How to write the Princeton essays

Recorded Thursday, August 5 at 11:00 PM

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About this livestream

School information

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

With a slim acceptance rate that shrinks more ominously every year, Princeton is highly discerning in its admissions, and its committees consider not just grades and test scores, but the caliber of prose and thought demonstrated in the applications essays.

In order to stand out from a sea of other applicants, a student’s personal statements should exude as much thoroughness and eloquence as possible. In this stream, we’ll provide through tips for brainstorming and honing your Princeton supplements to burnish your strengths as a candidate and blow your readers away.

We’ll also analyze some examples so you can see potential responses to each prompt and how they’d be viewed by admissions officers.

School information

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ
Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
1:12@mich5250:Hi Elias!
1:23@mich5250:It's fixed
17:51@909005:Does the activity have to be something we have accomplishments in? Or do we just have to enjoy it/be passionate about it
28:53@mich5250:If we include direct quotes in an essay response to prompt 2, will they be considered childish or acceptable since we're describing a conversation
29:49@Celsian04:As long as you demonstrate growth and improvement, is it ok to talk about something negative you did?
30:40@Celsian04:The name is after a mineral I am team farenheit
34:37@JC11:How does service differ from civic engagement?
35:34@909005:what was yesterday's webinar topic?
35:37@goldenretriever1:What was yesterday's essay about
40:37@princetonperson:can i get into princeton if i write a really good essay but have 1000 on sat?
49:56@JC11:If I’m unsure about engineering or not can students change majors to engineering if they are accepted?
50:23@goldenretriever1:Is it okay to submit a paper from APUSH or English Lan if im going to a stem major
50:31@JC11:For a graded paper, do we include the teacher’s comments?
52:05@SDC04:What does Princeton do with the graded paper?
52:22@goldenretriever1:I know you got 5s in all your a 4 going to kill me
54:09@goldenretriever1:Yeah the one i got 4 is physics C
54:44@Celsian04:Does it matter if the paper was a timed (1 hour) paper given my school has very little long term papers
55:06@goldenretriever1:Physics 1 is tough to get 5
55:21@goldenretriever1:I heard only 7 percent is 5
55:37@JC11:Does Princeton want more concise and not as decorative essays?
56:19@JC11:How are Princeton and Harvard different?
57:34@Celsian04:This past year I only wrote one non-extemporaneous paper so the pool of on the spot papers to pick from is better
57:45@Stockman:How important are themes in essays?
58:28@goldenretriever1:Thats physics C has 2 parts
59:06@Celsian04:This isn't remotely related to Princeton, but would you recommend sending the additional essay to Harvard that they offer
59:56@Stockman:What are the main points we should try to hit in application essays?
60:39@JC11:Will there be a how to write the Harvard essays livestream?
61:03@Celsian04:Do you offer essay review?
63:36@goldenretriever1:Whats your Instagram acct
63:48@Stockman:I find it challenging to write an intro to an essay about myself. Any tips?
65:13@Celsian04:Whats the biggest essau mistake
66:41@mich5250:Good luck with your concerts!
67:10@JC11:Thank you! Very helpful!


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