Princeton University Scholarships for International Students

An iconic and famous member of the Ivy League, Princeton University is a prestigious private university that is located in the town of Princeton, New Jersey. With its origins dating back to 1746, the university holds status as one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the country. Its high prestige and academic excellence make it among the most selective universities in the country and currently has a student population of around 8500 undergraduates and postgraduates in total.

Education is offered particularly under the areas of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and engineering. Additional degrees are offered through unique schools of study such as architecture and finance. With its high standards of academia, it can be quite expensive to study at one of the best universities in the United States. As such, this article is about Princeton University Scholarships and financial aid, with a focus on opportunities for international students.

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Does Princeton University offer Full Scholarships?

Full scholarships and financial aid packages are awarded to students purely on a need-based basis. This specifically applies to students who come from low income backgrounds. As described by the Princeton aid program, applicants from families who earn as low as $140,000-160,000 are eligible for being considered for full tuition coverage. Additional scholarships awarded from external organisations are also applicable but this will depend on the country (such as the Fulbright Scholarships).

Are international students eligible for receiving scholarships or financial aid?

According to the International students page, Princeton University scholarships for international students is definitely considered and granted for the relevant students who apply. For international students, Princeton University scholarships are based purely on need but the university does not provide scholarships on an academic or merit-based basis. Additionally, the financial aid will depend on the difference between the cost of study and the possible amount of contribution by the student.

How much does it cost to study at Princeton University?

The total cost of study, including tuition fees, accommodation, boarding and living expenses at Princeton University is estimated to be approximately $70,000 for the academic year of 2019-2020, as mentioned on the Cost & Aid site.

Princeton University Scholarships

Undergraduate Scholarships

Princeton operates a financial aid program within a need-blind basis so there is no apparent disadvantage for all students applying for financial aid during the admissions process. The university further guarantees that it will meet 100% of the student’s demonstrated financial need through Princeton University scholarships. Additionally, the income of the family of the applicant does not factor in to the decision of the admissions department. This policy is applied to all students of any background and therefore makes international students eligible as well.

The average scholarship amount at Princeton is approximately $56,000/year. The actual cost of the aid for each student is calculated by the university through a special ‘need formula’. Even more amazing is the fact that Princeton operates a no-loan policy which makes it possible for students to graduate with little to no debt. In addition to the grant, students also get a term-time job (approximately 8-9 hours per week) to meet any additional expenses.

Additionally, while the previously mentioned policy has enabled a ‘little to no student debt’ situation which is highly beneficial for students, there is still the opportunity for students to apply for loans to assist with the cost of college. These loans include need-based or non-need-based loans specifically for international students. Further information can be received through the Financing Options for Students & Parents page.

Postgraduate Scholarships

Princeton University scholarships for Postgraduate Masters students tend to vary from department to department. However, the university states that Masters students do not have any central funding opportunities although they are eligible for working through assistantships in instruction and research in order to meet any financial requirements. In addition, there are Princeton University scholarships for Master’s students through the department as well.

In the case of PhD students, the average time taken to complete the degree is approximately 5 years. The university guarantees that all fully matriculated and degree-seeking PhD candidates receive central funding for the duration of all years of consistent program enrolment (subject to proper academic performance as well).

However, this can also vary across different departments, specifically in cases after the first year where the funding can change. For example, in the Natural Sciences and Engineering divisions, financial support is given by the student’s department during the academic year but during the summer, students are required to take assistantships in research.

PhD scholarships from Princeton University comes from multiple sources that collectively provide support in terms of full tuition fees, fee support and additional stipends. The base stipends intend to cover the living expenses and research expenses of a graduate student during a single year of enrolment. Stipends can go up to around $35,500 (for a 12 month period) depending on the nature of the fellowship.

Finally, while international students are not eligible for federal loan programs, there is the possibility of applying for private student loans through banks, lending institutions or other credit unions.

Application Procedure for Princeton University Scholarships

For undergraduate scholarships in Princeton, students should refer to the ‘Apply for Financial’ page for complete details. Application for funding is fairly complex and involves a series of documents. The deadlines for regular applicants (not transfer students) for these are given as follows:

  • Princeton Financial Aid Application – February 1st
    A fairly straightforward application for both domestic and international students. Refer to website for tips on how to fill this application accurately.
  • Tax return and W2 statements of applicant’s family – February 1st
    This is only for relevant students who have these documents available. Additional requirements.
  • Additionally, students should submit any documents proving the sources of income related to family employment, real estate, interest etc.

Postgraduate financial aid are operated on a departmental basis as opposed to a common application that undergraduates use. While Masters students have limited funding opportunities, students should be sure to enquire directly from a department for any further information.

In the case of PhD students, funding is automatically granted along with their applications for the program as is the case with regular fellowships. Competitive scholarships such as the Hyde Fellowships require individual applications as detailed on the linked page. For further information regarding application tips for postgraduate funding, refer to the Graduate Costs & Funding page.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the USA Scholarships Page!