Top 14 Princeton Admissions Essays


Successful Princeton Applications and essays

These are successful college essays of students that were accepted to Princeton University. Use them to see what it takes to get into Princeton and other top schools and get inspiration for your own Common App essay, supplements, and short answers. These successful Princeton essays include Common App essays, Princeton supplements, and other Princeton admissions essays.


  1. Princeton Supplement Essay: Write About A Person, Event, or Experience That Helped You Define One of Your Values or In Some Way Changed How You Approach the World - Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event, or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world. Please do not repeat, in full or in part, the essay you wrote for the Common Application. (250-650 words.) "Always strive to do the hardest thing." These words were spoken at our awards assembly a week after our high school’s mock trial team won the Idaho State Mock Trial Championship. The intensity of mock trial has been the turning point of my life so far. Continue Reading »
  2. Princeton Supplement Essay: Tell Us About an Event or Experience That Helped You Define One of Your Values or Changed How You Approach the World - In addition to the essay you have written for the Common Application, please write an essay of about 500 words (no more than 650 words and no less than 250 words). Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event, or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world. Please do not repeat, in full or in part, the essay you wrote for the Common Application. Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years Continue Reading »
  3. Princeton Supplement Essay: How You Have Spent the Last Two Summers - Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held. (About 150 words) I have spent my last two summers in pretty much the same fashion. Every year, early on in our summer break, my sisters and I participate in the 4-H Exploration Days festivities held at Michigan State University. After that, we start to attend the summer program for our Upward Bound charter at Monroe County Community College. In the middle of this, I take a few days off to go to wrestling camp and learn new Continue Reading »
  4. Princeton Supplement Essay: Elaborate On One of Your Extracurricular Activities or Work Experiences That Was Particularly Meaningful to You - Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences that was particularly meaningful to you. (About 150 words) Upward Bound has been an integral part of my high school life. It has given me the time to develop my skills, test my abilities, and explore my interests. The after school tutoring that is available has been a safety net for assistance as I try to tackle harder classes every year. I do my best to be a student leader by helping other people out to the best of my abilities. Through Upward Bound, I have been to Continue Reading »
  5. Princeton Supplement Essay: How Can We Unlearn the Practices of Inequality? - Tell us how you would address the questions raised by the quotation below, or reflect upon an experience you have had that was relevant to these questions. “How can we unlearn the practices of inequality? In other words, how do we increase our capacities not just to act without racism but to actively promote racial equality?” Imani Perry, Professor, Center for African American Studies, and Faculty Associate, Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University. The bookshelf in my room holds about twenty books that have had the greatest impact on me over the past few years. Toni Morrison’s Beloved Continue Reading »
  6. Princeton Supplement Essay: Reflect On the Role That Culture Plays in Your Life - Using the quotation below as a starting point, reflect on the role that culture plays in your life. “Culture is what presents us with the kinds of valuable things that can fill a life. And insofar as we can recognize the value in those things and make them part of our lives, our lives are meaningful.” Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy, chair of the Council of the Humanities and director of the Program in Humanistic Studies, Princeton University. I first experienced the value of culture at a young age. It was one of my grandparents greatest desires for me Continue Reading »
  7. Princeton Supplement Essay: Tell Us About A Person Who Has Influenced You In A Significant Way. - In addition to the essay you have written for the Common Application, please write an essay of about 500 words (no more than 650 words and no less than 250 words). Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event, or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world. Please do not repeat, in full or in part, the essay you wrote for the Common Application. Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way. I have always regarded Continue Reading »
  8. Princeton Supplement Essay: How You Have Spent the Last Two Summers - Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held. (About 150 words) During the summer breaks leading up to my junior and senior year, I volunteered at School of Rock's summer camps. This music school is based on the belief that playing in a band is a unique experience that teaches one how to truly be a musician. The weekly summer camps were exercises in this belief as they group 4-6 students from different age groups and skill levels in a band, and, over the course of 5 days, Continue Reading »
  9. Princeton Supplement Essay: Elaborate On One of Your Extracurricular Activities or Work Experiences - Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences that was particularly meaningful to you. (About 150 words) I started the Current Events Club because my group of friends like to discuss current news and local, national, and international politics. Our discussions would usually become very intense and attract a diverse crowd of participants. After two years of these discussions, we noticed that people would express their interest in joining the discussion, but would not have enough knowledge on a topic to formulate and express their view. Once we realized this, a friend and I decided that it would be a Continue Reading »
  10. Princeton Common App Essay: Entrepreneurship - Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family. “Ka-ching!” Success! This was not a real cash register but the sound of a notification from the Etsy app on my phone. I eagerly read the screen. “One new order.” Someone bought something I created! A childish glee coursed through me as I opened the Etsy app. This adventure began two years ago when I clicked the “Publish” button on my new Etsy shop. (Etsy.com, a virtual marketplace, accommodates everyone from budding entrepreneurs to experienced sellers.) Soon came Continue Reading »
  11. Princeton Common App Essay: My Relationship with Music - Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. My relationship with music began when I started taking piano lessons on the well-loved Kreutzer upright in my living room. As my repertoire expanded from “Chopsticks” to Chopin, I realized I loved music but was still searching for meaning. I dreamed of finding the source of inspiration that would transform my music from recital to reverie. In ninth grade, I was offered the organist position at Continue Reading »
  12. Princeton Common App Essay: Musical Identity - Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Sometimes, I bring my Klavierbuchlein; other times, I bring the hymnal I received from my parents. In the winter, I bring an extra sweater. More important than what I bring is what I leave behind. As I ascend step by step up the passageway that many others walk by without a second glance, I cross through rays of light that appear to have been scattered  by Continue Reading »
  13. Princeton Common App Essay: Failure - Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn? I don't know what hit me first, the sight or the smell of the dead pig. It must have been dead for a few hours as the smell had begun to condense around the table. I could still see the purplish bruise left from where my uncle clubbed it, and the sanguine laceration underneath his leg leading to his heart, still dribbling blood. The pig's expression was a mixture of confusion and pain, unaware what was happening until it was Continue Reading »
  14. Princeton Common App Essay: Inspiration - Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family. Mr. Kimmel died of a heart attack the Saturday before school started. While I didn’t know him, former students praised how he made eighth grade tolerable with his tangential dialogues on Star Wars and the power of prose. Announcements deadpanned his passing, a library alcove renamed “Kimmel’s Korner” – his honorable epitaph, which few gave second glances to; I was no exception. Then, post-funeral reparations: the wise words of Yoda ripped, demeaned, replaced with motivational quotes when Mrs. Continue Reading »