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Find Out Your Chances of Admission at Princeton University

As one of the Ivy League Colleges, Princeton University ranks among the most selective colleges in the U.S. But every year thousands of talented applicants are accepted… could you be one of them? If you’re curious about your chances of admission at Princeton, Go4Ivy can help by calculating your highly-accurate, guaranteed chances of admission. 

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The History of Princeton University

Princeton University was founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey. It was the result of a charter issued by John Hamilton, acting governor of the province, to the College’s board of trustees, whose members were leaders in the Presbyterian Church. They organized the College to train students, “different sentiments in religion notwithstanding,” a policy that shaped the character of the school.

The initial site of the College was Elizabeth, New Jersey, where its first president, the Reverend Jonathan Dickinson, had his home and parish. Dickinson died a few months after taking office, and the Reverend Aaron Burr of Newark succeeded him. The students (six in the original graduating class) moved to Newark. As the College prospered, Philadelphia architect Robert Smith was commissioned to create a building for the College in the town of Princeton. In the fall of 1756, President Burr brought his students and their tutors to that Princeton building—Nassau Hall. The large stone structure housed the College for the next 50 years.

Dr. John Witherspoon, an eminent Scottish clergyman, was president of the College in the latter part of the 18th century, and during his administration the College achieved a national reputation. A noted scholar, theologian, and patriot (the only college president to sign the Declaration of Independence), he left his mark on both clerical and civil affairs. The record of Princeton men who studied under him is outstanding, including President James Madison, Vice-President Aaron Burr, nine cabinet officers, 21 United States senators, 39 members of the House of Representatives, three justices of the Supreme Court, and 12 governors.

Following the Civil War, in 1868, the Reverend James McCosh, professor of moral philosophy at Queen’s College, Belfast, assumed a presidency that was to last for 20 years. During his administration the College’s first building to house a separate library, the Chancellor Green Library, was erected, nine endowed professorships were established to strengthen the faculty, and postgraduate study was encouraged. With the awarding of its first two Ph.D. degrees in 1879, the College was destined to become a university.

In 1896, the College of New Jersey became Princeton University. Princeton Professor Woodrow Wilson (Class of 1879), delivered the famous sesquicentennial address, “Princeton in the Nation’s Service.” Seven years later, Wilson was elected the 13th president of Princeton University. His interests focused on reforms in the field of undergraduate education and reestablishing the close rapport between student and tutor that had been part of the early tradition.

Wilson’s successors, Presidents Hibben (1912-1932), Dodds (1933-1957), Goheen (1957-1972), and Bowen (1972-1987), built on these principles. The University grew both physically and academically during the 20th century under their leadership.

Women were first admitted as degree candidates in 1969, and in the 1970s African American and other minority students joined women as an integral part of the University. The 1980s saw the expansion of the academic programs of the University, and when Harold T. Shapiro became president in 1988, total enrollment had risen to approximately 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students.  In 2001, Shirley M. Tilghman became Princeton’s 19th and first female president.

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