QUESTIONS & ANSWERS with JANET LAVIN RAPELYE, Dean of Admission at Princeton University

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1 SEPTEMBER 2012 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS with JANET LAVIN RAPELYE, Dean of Admission at Princeton University The Essay You hear admission officers and counselors talk about how important the essay is and how it shows that you are not just a test score. The importance, however, is still not clear. What exactly does an admission officer think as he goes about an applicant's essay? What does he look for? What works in the applicant's favor? Your ability to write well is critical to our decision because your writing reflects your thinking. No matter what question is asked on a college application, admission officers are looking to see how well you convey your ideas and express yourself in writing. It is our window to your world. Your command of the English language, whether or not you are a native speaker, is important because you will be asked to write extensively when you get to our campuses. The best applications come from students who have spent time writing their essays, editing their work, and refining their message. It is important to answer the question that is asked by a specific school, and not just to "recycle" one essay. This is not the time to take an academic paper you have written for a high school course and edit it for the application essay. This is your moment to be authentic. Let me suggest that you take this opportunity to sit down and write about a topic you care about and know well. If you are stuck, you might begin with this question from the Common Application: "Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence." Each of you has someone in your life who has played a role in your development, someone to whom you are grateful, and someone you could describe well. That person may be an adult, a child or a peer. Write a draft that you can put aside for a few days or weeks and edit later. Even if this is not the final essay you send to a college, it will get you started, and working from a draft is much easier than staring at a blank page with a blinking cursor. Please resist the Web sites that give you access to college essays. This needs to be your own work. Your integrity in this process is paramount.

2 SAT Scores and the Importance of Standardized Tests To what extent are SAT scores scrutinized? Is there a defined cutoff for the composite SAT score, or is it more about individual module? For example, would a composite score of 2130 that included a 780 math, 710 writing, and 640 critical reading scores be regarded in the same light as a 2130 composite score that included 700 math, 700 writing and 730 critical reading scores? Can you get into Princeton with a 1730 on the SAT? Despite their biases, inaccuracies, limited ability to measure achievement or ability, and other flaws, why does such a world renown and highly accredited institution like Princeton University require applicants to take standardized tests? Is admission possible without it? To answer these questions, it is important to understand how admissions officers read an application. At Princeton, every application is given a holistic review. Because we look at the totality of your experience, there is no formula to the process. We look first at the transcript that is sent by your secondary school, and we evaluate the rigor of your program and the grades you have received. If you are in our applicant pool, we expect that you have taken the most demanding academic program offered at your school. You will be challenged when you get to our campus, and we want to be sure you are well prepared to handle our college courses. We are looking not just at your potential, but at your performance. If you had a slow start to your studies in high school, we hope to see academic improvement. We then review the recommendation letters that are sent by your teachers and guidance counselor. We read your essay and assess your extracurricular activities, how you have spent your summers, if you have had a job or were engaged in community service, what you may have done outside of school, and any other supporting material. Admission officers understand that standardized tests measure quantitative ability, critical reading, an understanding of some subject areas, and writing skills. Combined with your grades, they only partially predict first-year performance in college. They do not predict, however, other values we hold in high esteem at the college level, such as motivation, creativity, independent thought, intellectual curiosity and perseverance. When we shape our class, we look for students who will continually challenge themselves and contribute to a lively exchange of knowledge and ideas in the classroom. We seek students whose interests are varied and who have a record of accomplishment in athletics or the arts. We look for qualities that will help them become leaders in their fields and in their communities. If one test could measure all these things, our jobs would be easy. Standardized test scores help us evaluate a student's likelihood of succeeding at Princeton, but by themselves are not accurate

3 predictors. For all these reasons, we have no cutoffs in test scores, nor do we have cutoffs in grade point averages or class rank. We consider all of these measures within the context of each applicant's school and situation. Although our most promising candidates tend to earn strong grades and have comparatively high scores on standardized tests, we look at other parts of the application, including essays, to learn more about the kind of student you are and how you approach learning. Location, Location, Location How important is geographical diversity to admissions offices? My daughter attends a very small public school in an isolated rural town in Montana. While she will have taken (literally) every rigorous course the school offers, the school doesn't offer AP courses, dual credit or many of the clubs, courses and opportunities available elsewhere (they just started a National Honor Society last year, for example). People from more urban states tell me she's got it made because "you're from Montana." But I'm realistic: She's simply not had the opportunities available at larger schools. Will being from a small Montana rural public school help her - or hurt her? Do college admissions officers take into account that a student who attends a large (public) school faces more competition when competing for slots in extracurricular activities than a student from a smaller (private) school? Similarly, that a student from a small town has less opportunities for internships and jobs than a student from a more metropolitan area? These questions touch on two important considerations in the admission process: where you live and the opportunities you might have to excel based on the resources of your schools. When evaluating applications, we ask ourselves whether students have taken advantage of what their setting offers. In a perfect world, every student would have equal access to the same academic resources and extracurricular activities. We, of course, do not live in such a world. We recognize that not all high school students are offered the same courses, opportunities or extracurricular offerings. Some schools, public or private, offer International Baccalaureate, a range of foreign languages and Advanced Placement courses; others have more limited offerings. Similarly, some students live in communities that are able to afford extremely robust athletic and arts programs with extraordinary facilities, while others do not. We give full consideration to any applicant who has been unable to pursue the recommended studies as long as the student's record shows promise, initiative and intellectual curiosity. We are looking for academic excellence; students who are pushing back intellectual limits no matter what their background might be. Some students have overcome great adversity. Others have had many opportunities, and they have seized those opportunities. We're looking for students who have made a commitment to an extracurricular activity or a set of activities. Some students are well rounded in their interests, and others have one well-honed skill. We

4 value both kinds of students. We're looking for students who will enrich our campus with such talents as music, art, drama, athletics, public speaking, and leadership. On the question of geographic diversity, it is our hope that we will attract students from all over the United States and the world. We believe that our academic community benefits from the diversity of experiences that students bring with them when they come from geographically diverse backgrounds. Just being from a remote area, or a city on the other side of the world, however, will not necessarily give you an advantage in this process. Our applicant pool is so large that we can admit only a fraction of the qualified candidates. We will evaluate each student's academic performance and personal achievements in the context of his or her setting. Applying Early Action Would my daughter's chances of admission be increased by applying early action instead of regular admission? Her SAT scores are currently 2100, but she believes she can boost them. We wonder if she should hold off on submitting her application in the hopes of increasing her November scores. Thanks! High school students frequently wrestle with this issue, and it is understandable. They are receiving advice from many sources as they consider where to apply and which colleges and universities might be the right fit. Some schools have binding early admission programs, other schools have two or more early admissions options, and there are a variety of deadlines and plans depending on the college or university. The process is complicated. Princeton has a single-choice early action program, which is a nonbinding program. It means that if you decide to apply early to Princeton, you may apply early only to our institution. Once we make our decision in mid-december, however, you are free to apply to any other school. If you are admitted, you are not required to give us a response until the deadline for the regular admission cycle on May 1. That gives you an opportunity to compare offers and make the choice that best suits your academic and financial needs. We advise you not to apply early to Princeton unless you are sure it is your first choice. We want you to research all your options and consider the best fit for you. If you decide Princeton is where you want to go more than any other school, then applying early might be right for you. However, if you are applying early to Princeton because you believe it is the right strategy for increasing your chances of admission, we would advise against it. Our admission process is not weighted toward early applicants. The early admission programs at most colleges, whether binding or not, are intended for students who think it is the right match for them. This past year we admitted 726 students early from a pool of 3,443 early applicants. The early pool is very competitive because it is a self-selected group of excellent students. So it is not "easier" to be admitted early in our process, even though the statistics seem otherwise. If you are considering applying early to any school, please do your homework about the possible outcomes. In the early process at

5 Princeton, you either will be admitted, deferred into the regular decision round - where you will be reviewed again with the entire applicant pool - or refused. We hope that the students we refuse will make other plans and apply to a broad range of colleges in the regular decision round. We do not want to give them false hope in this process, knowing that we will not be able to admit them in the spring. If your college counselor is telling you that applying early to a college or university is unwise, you may do well to listen to them; they are trying to help you. Ultimately, you should consider carefully all the factors before deciding whether you apply early to a college. Over the years, the program has attracted growing interest from students, but because of the reasons noted above, it is not for everyone. Do your best to weigh the pros and cons at each school you are considering and then choose carefully. Strategically Choosing a Major How important is the applicant's choice of major to the admissions process at highly competitive schools? For example, is it harder to get into Princeton as a potential psychology major than a potential physics major? If the applicant wants to go to medical school, is he more likely to be accepted if he expresses an interest in a relatively unpopular major (let's say chemistry) compared to a popular major (let's say biology)? Obviously, the applicant has to be interested in the major and likely to do well. At Princeton, the major you choose does not have an impact on our admission decision. During the admission process we ask students to indicate their possible major (we call them concentrations), as well as subjects that might be of interest in certificate programs, which are to some extent comparable to minors in other universities. These choices are not considered binding, however, which is clearly stated on the Princeton application. The only exception is for students who indicate that they will be applying to the bachelor's program in the arts or in science and engineering. Within those two programs, they are encouraged to explore the academic offerings until they declare their majors after either their freshman year in science and engineering or their sophomore year in the bachelor of arts program. You should know, however, that this is not the case at all schools. At some colleges and universities, the major you indicate will affect your chances of admission. You need to do your homework on this issue. Ask your school counselor and the admission officers at the schools where you intend to apply about the policies regarding academic majors. One reason the choice of a concentration has little bearing at Princeton is that most of our students change their minds after they begin taking classes. About 70 percent of our students graduate in a major different from the one they indicated on their admission application. We think this is exactly the right approach. We expect that students will explore their intellectual interests, and we want them to follow their passions, wherever they may lead them.

6 Research Experience Princeton requires that all college juniors and seniors write research papers and theses, in addition to their regular course loads. Is that graduation requirement unique to Princeton? Does the admission process look more highly on an applicant with significant research experience outside of the classroom? Princeton provides all undergraduates with the opportunity to pursue original research and scholarship. All bachelor of arts students complete junior papers or projects and a senior thesis. Similarly, nearly every Princeton student pursuing a bachelor of science in engineering completes a senior thesis or a substantial research project, such as building a robot. Although some prospective students apply to Princeton with research experience, and we value this experience, we do not expect this to be the norm. We know that some students will have better access to such opportunities than others. We do, however, expect that the students who come to Princeton will have the writing skills, intellectual curiosity and drive that will equip them to engage in original research. Most colleges and universities have avenues for undergraduates to conduct significant research, and many academic programs provide exciting opportunities for extensive study. If this is something of interest, you should explore the options with your college counselor and the admission officers at the schools you are considering. Reviewing College Applications Do applications go through a series of rounds (filtering)? If an application is strong, is it reviewed by multiple readers? Princeton's process for reviewing undergraduate applications is extremely detailed and comprehensive. As I've noted in an earlier post, when we say that the process is holistic, we mean it is designed to discover all the potential qualities of our applicants, qualities that we know cannot be assessed by evaluating just academic grades or standardized scores, although these are important components of an application. Last year, Princeton received more than 26,000 applications. We thoroughly read every application twice before rendering a decision; some applications received three and four reviews. Almost 2,100 students received letters of admission. The entire process ensures the integrity and confidentiality of each application. Here's how it works at Princeton: When a student's file contains all the required materials, an admission officer begins a thorough first reading of the student's application. The staff member reads the file cover to cover, including teacher and guidance counselor recommendations, the student's essays, transcript, standardized test scores and

7 any other supporting materials. The grades and the rigor of the student's course of study, as well as the extracurricular activities and summer experiences, are taken into consideration. In some cases, faculty members are engaged to review supplementary materials that the students submit. After the admission officer summarizes the candidate's academic performance, achievements, talents and personal qualities, the file is read completely again by a senior admission officer who is knowledgeable about the high school and the region. The application is then sent to a committee that includes admission officers, the director of the admission office and me. Every candidate goes through the committee process, and the files with the most promise are discussed in the committee. It takes many weeks of very long days, evenings and weekends to conclude the work. In the committee meetings, the summaries prepared by the first and second readers are often read out loud and discussed. After deliberating, the committee votes on whether to admit, deny or, in the case of early admission, defer a student. During the regular admission cycle, we also vote to place students on the wait list. As you might imagine, at each step there are moments for conversation and further discovery. We are always looking for reasons to admit students. The admission process is more of an art than a science, and we have developed it in a way that we believe assures all students the opportunity to present their best case. Every year we receive applications from thousands more qualified candidates than we can accept. The consolation for us is that we know these are extraordinarily gifted students who will be excellent college students wherever they decide to go. Finding the Right College Fit How would you suggest a student determine the culture of a school and whether or not it would be a good fit? Suggestions for both on-campus visits or schools that one cannot visit would be appreciated. I think this is a very hard decision for many 17-year-olds. Determining culture and fit is indeed difficult for a high school student looking at colleges. If you are a parent, you want to do your best to support your son or daughter throughout this process. On paper, a school might seem to meet all the right criteria: selectivity, number and choice of majors, resources, quality of faculty, student-faculty ratio, size, location, climate and extracurricular offerings, among others. Until your student has actually had a chance to visit, however, it is difficult to answer the all-important question, "Will I like it here?" I have always been a strong proponent of the campus visit. Parents often marvel at how quickly a student can formulate a response to that question after a visit. For some students, the reaction is visceral and immediate.

8 The visit is most valuable because it gives prospective students an opportunity to talk to undergraduates, meet with faculty or even sit in on a class. Students, when you arrive at the school, it is important to let the college or university know you are on campus by signing in at the admission office, even if you are taking just the tour. As you are leaving the campus, jot down your impressions so you can remember the highlights of your visit. If you are visiting a college or university that offers interviews on campus, take them up on their offer. Be sure to read about the school before your trip so you can ask good questions in the interview, such as how students choose majors at that institution, or are freshmen allowed to participate in a particular program of interest in the first year. We know, however, that a school visit is not always possible. Many schools are making investments in a variety of visit proxies, everything from videos and virtual tours to online chats and blogs hosted by students, professors and administrators. College Web sites can also be a valuable resource. Most are packed with information that can supplement the printed materials schools generate. We host off-campus information sessions around the country and the globe. These sessions give parents and students a chance to discuss whatever they wish with our admission officers. College fairs at high schools and other nearby locations are useful resources, too. Finally, person-to-person research should not be overlooked as an important research tool. Your college counselor may be the most important resource for you. Alumni and current students also can help parents and students determine if a school might be the right choice. What Does It Take to Get In? My husband and I both went to Ivy League schools and are keenly aware and appreciative of the remarkable educational and social opportunities they offer. We have not encouraged our own children to strive for the Ivy League, largely because it appears that perfection is now required for admission. In the old days, intelligence, success in high school courses and engagement in some interesting extracurriculars could get you there. Am I wrong? I hope you say that I am. I would like to think that smart, curious and engaged 17-year-olds with the occasional B have a shot at the outstanding educational opportunities that Princeton offers. In many of the questions and comments submitted to The Choice this week, I noticed that students and parents are seeking "guarantees" in the admission process. The reality is there are none. If students are applying only to highly selective schools, they will encounter steep competition. Spreading a wide net in terms of the selectivity of the colleges where they apply will greatly enhance the number of admission choices they will have in April.

9 I am often asked why the admission process is so much more competitive now than it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago at our school. The qualities of being smart, curious and engaged as cited in the question above are still very much in demand. As I've mentioned several times in this forum, Princeton considers every applicant as an individual and takes into account many factors before making an admission decision. Also, this country and the world have changed in the last few decades; demographic trends in the high school population play a major role in the way many admission offices do their work. Consider United States high school graduation numbers as analyzed by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education report Knocking at the College Door. Since 1992, the projected number of high school graduates has grown by approximately one million students, from 2.2 million to 3.2 million graduates. The latest data collected by Wiche suggests that the number peaked in at about 3.3 million graduates and dipped slightly afterward. These same projections show that the next peak will be reached again in and that by , the number of high school graduates will exceed the level. Not all these students are college bound, but with about a million more students graduating from high school now than in the early 1990s, significantly more students are in the applicant pools of colleges that have a national pool. At the same time, we are seeing interesting trends in international applications. According to the Institute of International Education, the United States has attracted a growing number of international students at the undergraduate level over the last few years. While international students still account for a small proportion of the total enrollment in U.S. higher education, the combination of demographic factors in the United States and interest from abroad has contributed to the record levels of applications at some colleges and universities. For example, in the last decade, applications to Princeton have almost doubled to more than 26,000. In the same period, the first-year class has grown by only 11 percent. However, not every college or university has seen this rate of growth in its applicant pool, and the subsequent drop in admission rates, and yet they are excellent institutions. In the next few years we may see a flattening of application numbers, but it is unlikely the numbers will drop to pre-2000 levels. For parents, the take-home message is to support your daughter or son in their efforts, rather than encourage them to apply to the school you wish you had attended or even the school you did attend. Be realistic about the competition and set your son or daughter up for success in the process. 'Preferential Treatment' for Certain Students? It is evident that Ivy League admissions are skewed toward various "subgroups" (minorities, legacies, alleged athletes, artists, sexual preference, etc.) to the point where these subgroups make up about 50 percent of acceptances. This leaves approximately 500 to 600 spots for middle-class average Americans with excellent academic records. Do you feel that the Ivies have gone, shall we say, overboard, in the preferential treatment they give subgroups, to the point where there is nothing "sub" about them at all? What is the justification for this philosophy to be so one-sided?

10 Some of you may have noticed that our president for the past 11 years, Shirley M. Tilghman, has announced that she will be stepping down at the end of this academic year. On many occasions, President Tilghman has emphasized the benefits of increasing the diversity of Princeton's student body. Here's what she once said to an assembly of newly admitted students: "Princeton also offers you a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with men and women whose lives have differed dramatically from your own; who view the world from a different vantage point. Never again will you live with a group of peers that was expressly assembled to expand your horizons and open your eyes to the fascinating richness of the human condition." In this same address, she said the reason Princeton took such care in selecting students with a broad mix of academic and extracurricular interests was "to increase the likelihood that your entire education experience, inside and outside the classroom, is as mind-expanding as possible." As President Tilghman has noted, many studies have shown that students learn more in an environment where preconceived notions, born of circumstance and upbringing, are challenged by students from other backgrounds. Our efforts to build a multicultural community at Princeton mean that we look for students who can add to every student's academic and living experience. We have no admission quotas. We are fortunate that Princeton's applicant pool includes many academically strong candidates, far more than we can admit. We look beyond grades and test scores to other criteria important to the university's educational objectives. To this end, we conduct an individualized review of each candidate's entire application file to assess his or her talents, achievements, experiences and potential to contribute to learning at Princeton. High School Curriculum and Extracurricular Activities What should a ninth grader be thinking about, other than taking a challenging course load and doing well, in terms of applying for college in three years? How should a future college application factor into decisions about courses, extracurriculars, etc.? As students begin high school, they should focus primarily on their high school experience rather than just the preparation for college. These are important years not only for academic growth, but also for personal development. We hear about students who go off to summer camp and fill their spare hours with standardized test preparation after spending many of their after-school hours during the regular school year with academic tutors. That is not what we wish for students, and I hope sincerely that high school students will enjoy the richness of life as it presents itself. And while we are on the subject of summer camps: If you have gone to a summer camp that you love, please return to it in the next few summers. Being a senior leader at camp or working as a counselor can be a rewarding, fulfilling and meaningful experience.

11 A number of my colleagues at selective institutions have noted the problem of student burnout. For some students, the dash begins as early as kindergarten or prekindergarten. We recognize that the growing competitiveness of getting into top-tier institutions is a primary driver of student burnout, and for that reason it is even more important to convey this note to parents: Let your children enjoy their youth. Keeping an eye to the future is probably how I would frame this notion of preparation, rather than focusing exclusively on it. To that end, I would advise a healthy mix of rigorous courses and extracurricular activities. Many selective liberal arts colleges and universities have a recommended but not required list of high school courses, in part because we know that not all schools offer the same academic opportunities. If the courses are offered, we expect students will avail themselves of the opportunities. These usually include four years of English with a curriculum that gives students continued practice in writing. We hope students will take four years of mathematics, including calculus for students interested in engineering. If a high school offers four years of a single foreign language, students would be wise to take four years of a language. In addition, we hope that students can take at least two years of laboratory science, including physics and chemistry for students interested in engineering, and at least two years of history. Students should consider taking the most advanced and rigorous course load offered at their school. Students who have taken advantage of these opportunities will not only improve their chances of admission to selective schools, but they will be better prepared to handle the challenging course work required at the college level. At some colleges, advanced standing and credit are granted for students who have scored well on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A level results. Each college and university has a different policy about this, so students should check with their college counselors and the admission officers at particular schools for more information. As for extracurricular activities, we recommend that students follow their individual interests in the special talents they want to develop in the visual and performing arts, athletics, leadership activities, and that they engage themselves civically. But they should choose these activities judiciously. Don't overload. If students need to have a job during the year, they can learn valuable life lessons in these endeavors. Use the criterion of interest when selecting extracurricular activities, rather than how a list of activities might appear to a college admission office. Common App Confidentiality Will colleges on the Common App know what other colleges the student is applying to? Thanks in advance. Students should think of the Common Application as a process that is confidential in every way. Admission officers at participating schools only know that you are applying to their own school. They have no knowledge of where else you may be applying through the Common Application.

12 The schools that have decided to participate in the Common Application did so because they recognized that much of the information they require is similar. These include high school records, test scores, an essay, and teacher and guidance counselor recommendations. Some schools, such as Princeton, require supplemental sections that seek additional information. The Common Application was created as a convenience for the student. By allowing students to answer questions that are common to the applications of all participating schools does not mean that the schools get to share information about who has applied to what schools. This information is held strictly confidential by the Common Application organization. SAT Subject Tests My daughter plans to apply to Princeton for fall She decided late in August to do so after visiting family and the school. Because her other school choices did not require SAT subject exams, she had not taken any. She therefore registered for two SAT subject exams in October Will Princeton accept the scores or will it be too late? Yes, we will accept SAT subject tests taken in October. Most colleges and universities will post their deadlines and their policies on their Web site. Princeton has two admission cycles: single-choice early action and regular decision. For the early action cycle, we strongly recommended that you send us by Nov. 1 the two SAT subject tests that we require of applicants. If you take the tests in the month of November, we suggest that you tell the testing agency to send the scores directly to Princeton. For the regular decision cycle, we strongly recommend that you send test results by Jan. 1. If you take the tests in January, and the admissions office said it will process the results, please send the scores directly to the college to which you are applying. You can find most of the answers to questions like these in admissions materials distributed by each college. It is wise to check these deadlines with every school, since each institution has its own guidelines. If you have other questions about deadlines or the application process, you should check with your college counselor. Sports How much importance is given to a student's participation in team-oriented extracurricular activities (as in most sports) as opposed to those requiring individual participation (as in music- or arts-related activities)? I ask this since a child's social skills in a team may not be very obvious if she has spent most of her life pursuing her interest in music or arts. Sports. How important is participation in athletics to the admission staff at an elite college or university? Is merely being on a school team enough to help admission, or must the student be a star player? Does

13 it only help if he or she may be good enough to play at the college level? Does pursuing physical activity as a hobby (say running or cycling) help at all? And dare I ask why sports are important at institutions that are leaders in intellectual achievement? We've received many questions about the value of athletics and the arts in our admission process. The two questions above pose the subject a little bit differently, asking if we place more emphasis on one than the other, and why sports should even be part of the equation in an intellectual environment. We do not emphasize one activity over the other; athletics as well as artistic endeavors are equally regarded. They both present students with opportunities to show and develop character. In both, students are likely to show such character traits as motivation, creativity and independence, and to learn such life lessons as overcoming adversity, demonstrating empathy or learning the importance of hard work and perseverance. I'm not sure I would describe athletics as only being team-oriented and music as only being individually oriented. We may think of musicians, dancers or actors as people who spend most of their time practicing alone, but many will play in a band or orchestra, participate in a choreographed production or act in a play. And runners and swimmers, for example, can spend long hours alone in their training. In both the arts and athletics, there are opportunities for soloists and supporting actors, stars or team players, and both kinds of players bring equal value to their endeavor. As I've also mentioned previously, we see students who have honed an interest in a particular skill and students who are well rounded and have excelled in a number of different activities. We want both of these kinds of students on our campuses. We have students who have worked their whole lives developing their skills as high jumpers, rowers, speed skaters or marksmen, some of whom have gone on to compete in the Olympics. We also have students who have spent their lives perfecting their piano or singing technique and who have gone on to win international competitions or to sing opera on the world stage. In any admission cycle, we also are likely to see the student who is both a skilled athlete and a talented musician. We also have students applying who have participated in athletics and music, and while they love the activity, they may not be the stars. There is a place for these students in our colleges. We value students with all kinds of talents because we know they will enrich the university environment. On a residential campus such as Princeton's, we want to see students whose enthusiasm will be infectious. When we see, for example, a student who comes here with a strong interest in cello who later joins the cycling team, we consider that a win for the individual as well as the campus. We also know that the arts on our campus can be both a curricular and an extracurricular focus. For all these reasons, American colleges and universities have historically stressed the importance of extracurricular activities in the admission process - everything from participation in the arts and athletics to feeding the homeless or taking care of a relative. It is our mission to educate a student in every way possible. It is our duty to expand their intellectual horizons and to nurture them in ways that will prepare them ultimately to be leaders in whatever field they choose.

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