Will applying early action at Princeton help my chance of acceptance at all?
I can't say how much but it should at least demonstrate interest which is always good. I'm assuming especially for very known schools the type of students accepted will likely be accepted in most of them so they want to only accept students they think will enroll if they do. It makes their stats look good in rankings.
It depends on whether or not Princeton will have SCREA this fall. In the current cycle, they decided to skip Early Action and just have 1 Regular Decision round because of COVID-19. When most of the applicants didn't have a Spring grade report with actual grades but pass/fail grades, and many couldn't take SAT/ACTs, Princeton decided that it would be more equitable to just have an RD round because they would have more grades and data points for the people applying. They still received a record 37,601 applications for 1498 yes nods for a 3.98% acceptance rate.
The odds that all the Ivy League will continue to be test-optional because of COVID-19 are favorable.
One thing to be cognizant about is the fact that 68% of Princetonians admitted this cycle identified as persons of color. This means that Princeton is prioritizing the admission of marginalized applicants who are BIPOC, low income or LGBTQ, or all 3.
Since SCREA rounds traditionally favored legacy, development, or recruited athletes or the very strongest candidates in the pool whose #1 choice was that school, these rounds were not the best rounds for people who were first-generation or low-income. The caveat is if you were matched through Questbridge because you are a low-income, first-generation high achiever, and that has been one of few paths for success for such candidates.
If Princeton wants to continue to prioritize admitting more BIPOC students, I have to believe that they will scrap the SCREA round this upcoming '21-'22 cycle as well.
Hope that puts things into context for Princeton.
To keep this community safe and supportive: