Princeton University places great emphasis on transferring the rigorous academic content learned by its students into action that benefits society and the world. Students are encouraged to view their education, research, and experiential learning opportunities through the lens of contributing meaningfully to humanity. The Bridge Program allows a small group of students to defer their admission for a year in order to engage in international service projects. A University Volunteer Firefighter program trains students to work with the local fire department to serve the community. The Pace Center for Civic Engagement connects students with opportunities to participate in service to the community in a variety of ways.
The Princeton connection also lasts long after students have graduated. The alumni network at the university is strong and vibrant, with graduates returning to campus for events, funding research opportunities, and networking with current and past students. The atmosphere of community and the spirit of collaboration throughout the academic and social environments lend to lifelong community and partnerships that benefit students for the rest of their lives.
History of Princeton University
Princeton University was initially founded as the College of New Jersey in Elizabeth in 1746. Over the following ten years, the school moved to Newark and then to Princeton when 10 acres of land was deeded to the college. Nassau Hall, the first building to be constructed on the new campus, served as the Capitol of the United States in 1783. National leaders during and after the American Revolution, including John Witherspoon and James Madison, graduated from or worked for Princeton in the later part of the 18th century.
Many of the current hallmarks of Princeton University were established in the latter half of the 19th century. The first edition of The Princetonian, the daily newspaper still published by students during the academic year, was printed in 1876. The Princeton University Art Museum was founded just 8 years later. At the turn of the century, the honor system at the college was established and the graduate school was created. Most significantly, the school was officially renamed as Princeton University.
The 20th century saw growth in the diversity on campus, which continues into the present day. Jewish students founded the Student Hebrew Association and began hosting services on campus; the Center for Jewish Life was established later. The first African-American students graduated from the University after completing the Navy V-12 Program, and the first African-American professor was appointed to the university. The first woman received her phD degree, and the college granted tenure to its first female faculty member. Women were also allowed to join the undergraduate class beginning in 1969, and the Women’s Center was established two years later. In 2005, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center was opened on campus, and programs to study African American and Latino cultures were introduced several years later.
Campus Life at Princeton University
Princeton offers a vibrant social life on campus with over 300 student organizations and more than three dozen athletic clubs. Students can get involved in the school and surrounding communities in many ways, such as through tutoring, joining an a cappella group, or learning a new skill through a specialized club. Even with several thousand undergraduate students on campus, clubs and organizations make it easy to find students with shared interests and characteristics.
Princeton University also boasts an impressive athletic program. The NCAA Division I university has accumulated the most wins of all of the Ivy League schools, and student athletes have achieved national championships and played in the Olympics. Even for students who are not among the nearly 20 percent of the student body who play on Varsity sports teams, cheering on the Tigers is a fun way to build community and school spirit.
Princeton University has a comprehensive and generous financial aid program. Families who make under $65,000 annually are not expected to contribute to tuition expenses, including room and board. Higher income brackets are eligible for partial aid. Most financial aid is provided through grant money that does not need to be paid back. More than half of students receive financial aid support from the college, and more than 80 percent of students graduate from Princeton free of debt.