The University has admitted 9.79 percent of the 21,964 applicants who sought admission to the Class of 2013. Only 2,150 members of the largest applicant pool in the University’s history were offered spots in the second admission cycle without Early Decision.
The acceptance rate is higher than it has been in each of the last two years. Last spring, the University admitted a record-low 9.25 percent of the 21,369 applicants who sought spots in the Class of 2012. In 2007, the University accepted 9.50 percent of those who applied to the Class of 2011.
This year, Harvard admitted 7.0 percent of its applicant pool, down from 7.1 percent last year. Yale’s admit rate fell to 7.5 percent from 8.3 percent, while Stanford’s fell sharply to 7.6 percent from 9.5 percent last year.
Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye attributed the higher acceptance rate to the University’s expansion of its undergraduate student body as well as the new bridge-year program available to members of the Class of 2013.
The target size for the incoming class is 1,300, which would make it larger than the Class of 2012, which has 1,245 members. The matriculation of this class will mark the final phase of a decade-long plan to increase the size of the undergraduate population to 5,200 by 2012. Rapelye noted that her office is expecting 20 of the accepted students to defer for a year to participate in the bridge-year program.
The University also placed 1,331 applicants on the waitlist, Rapelye said, explaining that “it sounds like a lot but it’s right for us.”
“I am delighted to be able to offer admission to more students," Rapelye said. "It’s only good for us. They are so strong and so powerful.”
Acceptance letters were mailed Tuesday, and applicants were able to check their admission statuses online beginning at 5 p.m.
In this year’s applicant pool, about 7,800 students had a cumulative 4.0 GPA, and more than 11,000 students had a combined score of 2100 or higher on the SAT. The applicants, half of whom are male and half of whom are female, currently attend 7,700 high schools around the world.
The accepted students, 10.7 percent of whom are legacies, hail from Washington, D.C., and every state except North Dakota. International students — from 55 different countries — comprise 10 percent of those admitted.
Of the accepted students, 9.1 percent identified themselves as African-American, 20.9 percent as Asian-American, 7.9 percent as Hispanic and 0.5 percent as Native American. The University anticipates that 59 percent of the Class of 2013 will receive need-based financial aid.
Kiran Gollakota, a senior at the Lawrenceville School, said he was “really excited” to find out that he was accepted to Princeton. Gollakota, who was also accepted at Penn, Brown, Stanford, Duke and the University of Virginia, said Princeton was currently one of his top three choices.
“Right now, it’s between Princeton, the Jefferson Scholars program at the University of Virginia, and Stanford,” he explained, noting that he was drawn to Princeton by students’ ability to balance work and leisure.
“All the kids were really hard workers and took their work seriously, but not themselves too seriously,” Gollakota said.
Seventeen percent of the admitted students are prospective engineering majors, Rapelye said, and 46 percent of those students are female.
Fabiola Vega, a student at Sergestrom High School in Orange County, Calif., said she was “completely shocked and excited” to be accepted to the Class of 2013. Vega, who also got into Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Dartmouth, said her top three choices were currently Princeton, Harvard and Yale.
“I went to Princeton last summer for the [Summer] Journalism Program, and I liked the campus, and I liked the undergraduate focus,” she said. “I knew a lot of people who went there from the program, and they all have a lot of good things to say.”
Fifty-eight percent of the accepted students attend public schools, while 29.5 percent attend private schools and 10 percent attend schools with religious affiliations. Eleven of the admitted students are home-schooled.
Calling his acceptance to the University “a dream come true,” Lawrenceville senior John Ezekowitz said he was deciding between Princeton and Harvard.
“Honestly, it’s a toss up … I’ll have to decide after I visit during admit week,” he said.
By 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Office of Admission had already heard back from eight students who accepted their spots in the Class of 2013, Rapelye said.
Sarah Bufkin, a senior at Grady High School in Atlanta, said she had difficulty accessing the admission website Tuesday evening.
“I worked for, like, 10 minutes trying to figure out how to log in,” she said, adding that though she was “thrilled” to find out she had been accepted to Princeton, she was planning to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a Morehead-Cain Scholarship.
— Staff writer Omar Carrillo contributed reporting to this article.