a record 27,115 students applied for the Class of 2015. Applications have roughly doubled in the last decade, after hovering between 12,500 and 15,000 per year during the 1990s.
Part of the change is driven by demographics. The number of U.S. high-school seniors has been rising in the last decade and a half, and a 2008 New York Times story anticipated that the applications would peak in 2009 or 2010. But Princeton’s increase in applicants has continued. Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye credited the University’s financial-aid program and outreach efforts both in the United States and abroad.
Above, a graphic representation of the growth in applications from 2000 to 2011 (click graph to view larger version).