Princeton University’s 1,291-member freshman class is the most diverse in the university’s history, with a higher proportion of students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds than in any previous year, the university said yesterday.
A record 42.6 percent of the class of 2017 — 550 students — are from diverse backgrounds, the school said in a press release.
“Building a diverse community is a high priority for the university, and we will continue to concentrate on the recruitment, selection and yield from every background,” Dean of the College Valerie Smith said.
The release did not say what constituted diversity, but in past years the university has referred to students of color from the U.S.
A record 254 students from low-income backgrounds make up 19.7 percent of the freshmen class, and 60 percent, or 778 students, are receiving financial aid. The average grant for freshmen is $40,372, with a total projected scholarship budget of $31.4 million for the class of 2017, the school said.
The class is the 16th to enroll since the university began enhancing its undergraduate financial aid program to make a Princeton education more affordable to a broader range of students, the release said.
“At Princeton, access and affordability are core values, and we are pleased to hold firm to our commitment to the strongest possible undergraduate financial aid programs,” Smith said.
A near-record 26,498 applications were submitted for consideration for the class of 2017. Princeton offered admission to 1,963 applicants, resulting in an admission rate of 7.4 percent, the most selective in university history.
The freshmen class includes 156 international students, representing 54 countries and comprising 12.1 percent of the class, the release said.
The new students have begun classes just as the university also announced that it will try harder to increase the number of women and minorities among its faculty and graduate students, where are they still relatively underrepresented.
A campus committee this month offered a series of recommendations to boost faculty, staff and graduate student body diversity, including giving departments more freedom to create diversity in their ranks and providing resources to monitor progress.