Princeton Diversity Statistics: An In-Depth Look

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As Princeton University becomes increasingly diverse, the stereotypical image of the ‚Äúold boys club‚ÄĚ filled with preppy legacy students from upper-crust families is eroding. In recent years, Princeton has achieved gender parity, the percentage of students of color has grown to almost 50%, and the number of first-generation students is on the rise.¬†¬†

 

Keep reading to learn more about Princeton diversity‚ÄĒincluding the measures the school has taken to become more inclusive and welcoming, missteps of the past, and the community surrounding the university.¬†¬†

 

Learn more about Princeton University, your chances of acceptance, and how much the school will cost your family.

 

Overview of Princeton University Diversity Statistics 

 

Ethnic Diversity

 

Below are the demographics of Princeton’s undergraduate class: 

 

Ethnicity 

Percentage

White 

46%

Asian/Pacific Islander 

23%

International 

12%

Hispanic 

11%

Black

8%

Other 

11%

 

According to CollegeVine data, Princeton University‚ÄĒwith 46% white students‚ÄĒqualifies as a diverse university.¬†

 

Princeton‚Äôs faculty has yet to achieve the same diversity as its undergraduate class, as white males represent the majority, especially professorships. Princeton provides an ethnic breakdown of the faculty by position‚ÄĒbelow is the ethnic breakdown of Princeton‚Äôs faculty for the 2019-2020 academic year.¬†

 

Position 

White 

Asian 

Black 

Hispanic 

Multiracial 

Unknown

Assistant Professor 

59%

14%

4%

6%

1%

16%

Associate Professor 

77%

11%

3%

8%

1%

1%

Full Professor 

81%

10%

4%

2%

0%

3%

Non-Tenure-Track Faculty 

60%

13%

6%

8%

1%

12%

Senior Staff

78%

11%

6%

3%

0%

1%

Other Staff 

67%

11%

13%

6%

1%

2%

 

Below is a breakdown of faculty positions held by gender. 

 

Position 

Male 

Female

Assistant Professor 

58%

42%

Associate Professor 

60%

40%

Full Professor 

73%

27%

Non-Tenure-Track Faculty 

50%

50%

Senior Staff

49%

51%

Other Staff 

52%

48%

 

While Princeton has made strides in building a more diverse campus, there is still room for progress in inclusion and equity on campus, especially in the upper ranks of faculty. 

 

Princeton University Financial Diversity

 

Princeton’s reputation for attracting students from wealthy backgrounds is well deserved. According to a 2017 project by The New York Times, Princeton ranked 39th out of 2,395 colleges in median family income ($186,100) and 2348th out of 2,395 colleges for percentage of students from the bottom fifth in median family income (families who made about $20,000 or less per year).

 

Below is a breakdown of Princeton students by median family income according to The New York Times’ project: 

 

Top 0.1%

3.1%

Top 1%

17%

Top 5%

44%

Top 10%

58%

Top 20%

72%

Bottom 20%

2.2%

 

Princeton students are predominantly wealthy‚ÄĒThe New York Times ranked them 32nd out of 2,395 colleges for students from the top 1% in median family income.¬†

 

Princeton does provide generously for students from less-affluent families, however. The school practices need-blind admissions (financial need is not a determining factor in admissions decisions) and will meet 100% of demonstrated need. Princeton University is also a no-loan school, which allows students to graduate debt-free. 

 

Princeton University Geographic Diversity

 

The class of 2024 saw students accepted to Princeton from 48 out of the 50 states (only Wyoming and North Dakota did not join the Tigers)‚ÄĒWashington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam also sent students to the university. New Jersey sends the most students to Princeton, followed by California and New York.¬†

 

International students make up 12% of the class of 2024, with students coming from 48 different countries, ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe. Princeton is one of just a few universities that treat international and domestic students alike in the financial aid process‚ÄĒit‚Äôs need-blind, meets 100% of demonstrated need, and no-loan for international and domestic students alike.¬†¬†

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Cultural Resources at Princeton University 

 

Princeton is home to a diverse student body and boasts a wide range of centers and organizations to support and connect students of similar backgrounds and identities. The four centers supporting the cultural dimension of Princeton’s campus are: 

 

  • Carl A. Fields Center for Cultural Understanding: Supports and empowers students to explore topics like race, class, and gender and build the skills required to create a more just world.¬†
  • Davis International Center: Assists the university‚Äôs international student community on everything from visa matters to intercultural issues.¬†
  • Women*s Center: Provides a supporting atmosphere for female students and is working to end gender inequality.
  • LGBT Center: Allows LGBTQIA students, and the greater campus community, to affirm and explore their identities.

 

Princeton is also home to a broad spectrum of student identity groups, including: 

 

  • Arab Society of Princeton
  • Asian-American Students Association (AASA)
  • Black Arts Company (BAC) ‚Äď Dance
  • Black Student Union
  • Chinese Students Association
  • DoroBucci ‚Äď African dance
  • First Generation Low Income Council
  • Hong Kong Students Association
  • Japanese Students Association
  • Korean American Students Association
  • Malaysian and Singapore Student Association
  • M√°s Flow ‚Äď Latin dance
  • Muslim Advocates for Social Justice (MASJID)
  • Naacho ‚Äď covers a wide variety of traditional and contemporary South Asian dances
  • Natives at Princeton
  • Pehchaan ‚Äď Pakistani and Pakistani-American presence on campus
  • Princeton African Students Association (PASA)¬†
  • Princeton Association of Black Women
  • Princeton Bhangra ‚Äď a high-energy folk dance originating from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan
  • Princeton Black Men‚Äôs Association
  • Princeton Caribbean Connection
  • Princeton Filipino Community (PFC)
  • Princeton Latinos y Amigos (PLA)
  • Princeton for North Korean Human Rights
  • Princeton Bengal Tigers ‚Äď celebrates and raises awareness of Bengali culture
  • Princeton University Gospel Ensemble
  • Princeton University‚Äės Latinx Perspectives Organization (PULPO)
  • South Asian Students Association
  • Swara ‚Äď Indian classical music
  • Taiwanese Students Association
  • Thaigers Thai Students‚Äė Association
  • Vietnamese Students Association
  • Woke Wednesdays

 

Plans to Improve Diversity at Princeton University 

 

Diversity and inclusion are central to Princeton‚Äôs mission. According to Christopher L. Eisgruber, Princeton University president, ‚ÄúOnly by drawing the best talent from every sector of society can we achieve the scholarly and educational excellence to which we aspire.‚Ä̬†

 

Princeton has a number of key initiatives aimed at building a more inclusive and diverse campus, including: 

 

  • Climate and Inclusion within Academic Units: Advancing access, diversity, inclusion, and belonging within the university‚Äôs academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs.
  • College Access & Success: Increasing access and support to students from historically and economically underrepresented populations.
  • Combating Racism: Immediate Actions: Combating structural racism on campus.
  • Diversity Strategic Plans: Taking strategic action to enhance diversity and campus climate.
  • Funding Opportunities: Acquiring funding for a variety of programs structured around culture and identity.¬†
  • History and Sense of Place: Active examination of Princeton‚Äôs history and its effect on the university‚Äôs community.¬†
  • Supplier Diversity: Supporting a diverse and inclusive campus in the way the university conducts business.¬†

 

Princeton has had its challenges with diversity in the past, most notably in its eating clubs. In the 1950s, of the 23 students who were not accepted into an eating club, about half were Jewish. This led to 15 Jewish students signing a statement that said, ‚ÄúI feel I have been discriminated against because of race or religion.‚ÄĚ The response to the discrimination against Jewish students was the creation of a system in which every student was admitted into an eating club, although Jewish students were still singled out in the system and made to feel unwanted.¬†

 

It‚Äôs not just issues of ethnicity that have plagued eating clubs‚ÄĒissues over gender have been equally problematic. It‚Äôs only been 30 years since all of the eating clubs have been open to women and this was only after years of activism, legal action, and a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court.¬†

 

The University has also struggled with the legacy of one of its most famous alumni. Former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson (and former Princeton President) instituted policies to prevent the enrollment of Black students while serving at Princeton. The policies he instituted as U.S. President also resulted in the resegregation of the federal civil service. Princeton is coming to terms with this past and grappling with the ways it can become a more inclusive place.

 

LGBTQ+ Inclusivity at Princeton University 

 

Princeton receives five out of five stars on the Campus Pride Index‚ÄĒa benchmarking tool for¬† LGBTQ-inclusivity‚ÄĒearning high marks for its support and institutional commitment to LGBTQ students as well as its LGBTQ student life.¬†

 

The Princeton University LGBT Center is the hub of the university’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual community. It provides support and empowerment in a number of ways, including community building, education, events, and initiatives. 

 

One helpful resource is the Q‚Äônnections mentorship program, where LGBTQ+ students come together in ‚Äúfamilies‚ÄĚ to support one another. The families are made up of undergrads, grad students, and faculty and staff. Each group has 1-3 leaders who are in charge of organizing informal social events for their family.

 

How Diverse and Inclusive is Princeton, New Jersey?

 

Princeton is a predominantly white town, but has a reputation for being an excellent place to live for people of all identities and backgrounds. 

 

Ethnicity 

Percentage 

White 

67.7%

Asian 

16.4%

Hispanic/Latino

7.7%

Black 

5.6%

Two or More Races

2.6%

 

The food scene in Princeton is representative of the diverse community attracted by the college. Students will find everything from Asian and Middle Eastern to Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine readily available. 

 

Princeton, New Jersey is a somewhat liberal community; Mercer country has voted Democrat in the last five presidential elections. 

 

Is Princeton University the Right Fit for You?

 

Diversity and inclusion is important, but it‚Äôs only one aspect of your ‚Äúfit‚ÄĚ at a college. You need to ask yourself how well a particular school meets your expectations for a college experience‚ÄĒlocation, size, campus, majors offered, and Greek life are all factors to consider.¬†

 

CollegeVine can help you find a school that’s the right fit for you. Our school search tool allows you to sort colleges by a multitude of variables while our free chancing engine can calculate your odds of acceptance at your top-choice schools using a variety of metrics like GPA, test scores, and extracurricular activities.

 


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.

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