We know the college admission process can be a little overwhelming. We're here to help.
For quick reference, we’ve compiled the answers to our Frequently Asked Questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there funding for summer programs?
If I do not apply for aid my first year and my family circumstances change later, can I request aid after my first year?
Yes. Students can apply for aid at any point during their time at Princeton. An explanation of the change in circumstances may be required.
Do I have to maintain a minimum GPA to remain eligible for financial aid?
There is no minimum GPA requirement to remain on financial aid, but students must continue to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Will I receive the same amount of financial aid every year?
It is our policy to meet every student’s full demonstrated need each year. Award amounts may vary from year to year, based on changes in a family's financial circumstances and Princeton's cost of attendance.
Do I need to reapply for financial aid each year?
For each year of attendance at Princeton, students must submit a new financial aid application.
Is it true that eating clubs for juniors and seniors are too expensive for aid students to join?
The food allowance included in the aid packages of juniors and seniors is based on the approximate average cost of an eating club board plan. This policy provides access to a variety of dining options for all aid students, including the eating clubs.
Can I use financial aid to study abroad?
Aid students who receive approval from the Office of International Programs for a semester or year abroad will be eligible for funding based on the cost of the program and amount of their family contribution. Princeton sponsored summer programs are not included since they have their own funds to support student costs.
What does it cost to attend Princeton for a year?
The cost of attendance at Princeton includes tuition, housing, food, books, course materials, supplies, equipment, and personal expenses. Review the most current cost of attendance.
What if I win an outside scholarship?
In 2022-23, outside scholarships from private sources are used to reduce the student contribution. Once the student contribution is fully replaced, the Princeton grant is reduced to make room for the remaining scholarship in the award. Students can then use the amount of reduced scholarship toward the one-time purchase of a personal computer up to a pre-set amount by the financial aid office. Learn more about how outside scholarships impact the financial aid award in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions, available on the Apply for Financial Aid page.
What is the Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP)?
Federal Work-Study is a form of federal aid which pays student wages.
Is it easy to find a student job on or near campus?
Our Student Employment site is continuously updated with available jobs, making it easy for students to find employment opportunities both on and off campus.
If my aid award includes a campus job, how many hours per week will I work?
We typically expect first-year students to work 9 hours per week, which allows them ample time for studies and extracurricular activities.
If I qualify for aid, how much assistance will I receive?
At Princeton, we are committed to meeting 100 percent of the calculated need of each aid applicant based on an individual evaluation by a financial aid counselor. We make this determination using the information you provide on your financial aid application. Learn more about aid awards in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions, which accessible through the Apply for Financial Aid page. You can also use the Princeton Financial Aid Estimator to see how much aid might be offered based on your particular situation.
For students who borrow, what is the average debt at graduation?
For students who choose to borrow, the average total indebtedness is about $8,500.
Does the “no loan” policy mean I would not be allowed to borrow if I wanted to take out a student loan?
Loans are available, and some students request an optional education loan to replace a shortfall in the expected student contribution or cover expenses not included in the standard student budget. Learn more about financing options.
Will I need to take out loans?
More than 20 years ago, Princeton eliminated student loans from financial aid awards, replacing them with grants. Since then, no Princeton student has been required to borrow as part of a basic aid package. 83% of recent Princeton seniors graduated debt free.
What kinds of funds will be included in my aid award?
If you receive financial aid, your award will include Princeton grant and federal work-study if eligible, as well as any outside scholarships you earn. More information about these types of aid is available in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions, which can be found on Apply for Financial Aid.
When will I know if I will receive financial aid?
If you are admitted to Princeton and have applied for aid, you will receive a financial aid award along with your offer of admission.
Can I send my tax returns directly to you?
You will be asked to upload your parents’ tax return, or non-filer information, through the financial aid portal after you submit the Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA).
What if my parents are unemployed or did not file a tax return?
If your parents are unemployed and filed taxes, they should submit the requested tax return. If your parents did not file a return, you should submit all documentation of that year’s income, along with a parent non-filer statement. Please visit Additional Aid Application Requirements to download the non-filer statement.
What if my country doesn’t have a tax return?
You should submit all documentation confirming income. Common documents include year-end wage statements and a letter from each employer stating annual income.
Do I need to supply my parents’ financial information if I am a self-supporting student?
When awarding aid, we require parental financial information for all students, with very few exceptions.
My parents are separated or divorced. Do they both need to submit financial information for my aid application?
Yes. Princeton requires both parents to provide financial information in most cases. Please review the Additional Aid Application Requirements for more information.
Will applying for aid hurt my chance of being admitted to Princeton?
No. There is no disadvantage whatsoever in the admission process for financial aid applicants. Princeton has a need-blind admission policy, ensuring equality of opportunity for students who cannot afford the full cost of attendance. This policy covers all admission applicants, including international students. Learn more about how our aid program works.
How will I know that the FAFSA has been submitted correctly?
You can check the status of your FAFSA online. You should allow one week for processing an online signature, and three weeks for processing a paper signature page.
What is Princeton’s Federal School Code for the FAFSA?
Princeton’s Federal School Code for the FAFSA is 002627.
Do my documents have to be in English?
Yes. All documents must be officially translated into English for us to review them.
Can I email you my financial aid documents?
After you submit the Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA), you will be able to upload the required documents. If you have supplemental information to send, you should use our secure fax number (609-258-0336) or postal mail. Visit Contact Us for our postal address.
How and when do I apply for financial aid?
You should apply for financial aid by Feb. 1 of the year you plan to enter college, or you may submit your application by Nov. 1 if you are applying for Early Action. To learn more, please visit Apply for Financial Aid.
Do you give scholarships for academic merit, special talents, or athletic ability?
No. All financial aid awards are based solely on need. Learn more about how Princeton's aid program works.
Are undocumented students eligible for financial aid?
Yes. Undocumented students, including students who have received deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process, should apply for financial aid as international students by completing the Princeton Financial Aid Application. The FAFSA is not required. Princeton is one of less than ten schools nationwide that doesn't limit the financial aid available, regardless of citizenship status. Admission is offered to students regardless of their ability to pay, and the full need of every admitted undocumented student is met just as it is for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. While undocumented students are ineligible for federal financial aid, students can still receive aid from Princeton.
Are international students eligible for financial aid?
Yes. Princeton is one of less than ten schools nationwide that does not limit the financial aid available to international students. Admission is offered to students regardless of their ability to pay, and the full need of every admitted international student is met just as it is for U.S. students.
Before I apply, can I get a sense of whether I might qualify for aid?
Residents of the United States and Canada can enter their financial information into the Princeton Financial Aid Estimator to get an estimate of how much aid they may be qualified to receive. The Princeton Financial Aid Estimator is completely confidential and in no way affects your application for admission or financial aid. Please note the estimator is an estimate and not a guarantee of aid or admission.
How do you decide who gets financial aid?
Financial aid is awarded based on need only. We use the information you supply on your financial aid application and supporting documents to determine how much support we will provide.