Everybody knows Princeton University is elite, but did you know it's also affordable for those who get in? The school gives out such large grants to the 6 in 10 families that qualify (households earning less than $250,000 generally get some aid; those making less than $100,000 get a free ride) that more than 80% of students graduate without any debt.
And that's on top of the fact that, while at the university, undergrads have access to some of the country's best-known intellectual figures, such as Angus Deaton, who won the Nobel Prize for economics in 2015, and novelist-turned-professor Joyce Carol Oates.
Once students leave school, their Princeton diplomas clearly help them get a leg up in the job market. Early career students have median salaries over $110,000 per year, according to the College Scorecard. These outcomes, alongside the university's 98% graduation rate, contribute to Princeton's strong performance year after year in Money's list of best colleges.
Princeton's park-like campus with ivy-covered Gothic-style buildings is widely considered one of the country's most beautiful. While there's little Greek life, most juniors and seniors belong to exclusive "eating clubs," some of which only admit students who pass through a secretive selection process. The Tigers compete in NCAA Division I athletics. Sports events tend to draw small crowds, but if the football team defeats both Yale and Harvard, it holds a ceremonial bonfire on Cannon Green.
Princeton University tuition and fees
Estimated cost and due date
Tuition and fees at Princeton University cost $59,710. You’ll also need to think about room and board, books, and living expenses while enrolled.
The due date for Fall is August 25, 2023. However, it's always a good idea to regularly check the university's official calendar or your student portal for any updates. Late payments may incur additional fees.
Feeling overwhelmed by the cost? That’s understandable – attending college can be expensive, but there are a variety of financial aid sources you can draw on, including student loans, grants, and scholarships. Below is a brief overview of the available options; for a more thorough step-by-step, read our How to Pay for College guide.
Exploring financial aid options at Princeton University
Scholarships and grants
The typical grant aid for undergraduates at Princeton University is $50,583, which includes awards from federal, state, local and college programs. A popular source of college aid is the federal Pell Grant, which is given to students with lower incomes. Approximately 22% of Princeton University students receive a Pell Grant. To be eligible for Pell Grants and other types of financial aid, you must fill out the FAFSA.
Most states have a program to assist students with college expenses. Generally, these awards are only available to those who are studying in the same state, but it is worth verifying the eligibility criteria of your home state. For example, in New Jersey, residents can apply for the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) and other programs.
University scholarships, aka institutional aid
Colleges usually provide two kinds of financial aid. Need-based aid is based on your financial situation, while merit-based aid encompasses all awards that are not based on financial need. Merit scholarships can be based on academic success, artistic ability, leadership skills and more. At Princeton University, 65% of first-year students receive a scholarship from the university, with an average award of $44,945.
Don't forget to explore external scholarship opportunities. Many local organizations provide scholarships to assist students with college costs, and some scholarships have year-round deadlines, so you can receive funds after you’ve enrolled. Check out our guide on college grants and scholarships to gain more insight into the various types of gift aid.
Federal student loans
Student loans issued by the government are a common way to finance educational costs. These loans generally come with low-interest rates and a flexible repayment schedule.
Private student loans
Private student loans are an alternative. These are offered by private lenders such as banks and credit unions. They can be used to cover expenses not covered by federal loans, but they usually have higher interest rates and less flexible repayment plans.
How to pay tuition bills at Princeton University
Generally, when you are awarded a loan, grant or scholarship, it is paid straight to your educational institution. Any remaining balance will need to be paid by you. Tuition payments can conveniently be done online at https://www.princeton.edu/.
The information included in this page contains data published in university sites, government public records, and other vetted sources as of June 23, 2023. Be advised to validate this information with the university registrar or financial office.
This content was created with the assistance of AI technology and has been reviewed, edited and fact-checked by Money's editorial staff.