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We’ve all heard about Woodrow Wilson, Michelle Obama, and Brooke Shields at Princeton. But what about all of the fictional characters who have matriculated at this great, ivy-bathed institution?
It seems the University can’t get enough of our fake alumni:
DID YOU KNOW: Princeton has a Program in Linguistics, but contrary to what you may have seen on TV, “30 Rock” character Jack Donaghy was never employed there to read every English word to canonize the language in his perfect American accent.
- Princeton University’s Official Facebook, 2011
While Alec Baldwin’s big-time network executive character doesn’t seem like an unlikely character you might meet at Reunions, The Ink has decided to weigh in on how some of Princeton’s other faux-alums stack up:
THE UPC GUIDE TO FAKE PRINCETON ALUMNI
Bruce Wayne, revealed in Batman Begins
Plausibility: High. Just think about the donations the Wayne family could give to the endowment.
Major: Economics with a Certificate in Laying Chicks, I suspect.
Sam Seaborn, from The West Wing
Plausibility: A high-powered speech writer and political guru – sounds about right.
Major: Woody Woo
Trivia Point: His Secret Service codename is “Princeton.”
Doogie Howser, M.D., from Doogie Howser, M.D.
Plausibility: Questionable, but not unlikely. He’s a child prodigy who supposedly graduated from Princeton at age 10. In 1983. (But he’s white and not a woman, so he might have fit in with the lil’ old boys’ club.)
Major: Whatever gets kids into med school these days.
Fantasy Senior Thesis: “Riding Unicorns: How I Met Your Mother and Fooled Her into Thinking I Was Into Her”
Will Smith, from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Plausibility: Well, the proof is in the interview. (Just imagine Janet Rapelye in this situation.)
Major: ORFE, assuming they can all solve Rubik’s Cubes too.
Dr. Manhattan, from Watchmen
Plausibility: VERY High. (Blue is diversity points.)
Major: Atomic Physics, World Destruction
Probable Senior Thesis: “Tachyons: Not a Plot Point”
Princess Mia Thermopolis (aka Anne Hathaway), from Princess Diaries 2
Plausibility: Unlikely. Just because Princeton has castles does not make it the appropriate place for every Disney princess.
Major: The movie says Woody Woo. But maybe she only picked it because it was still in its heyday of selectivity?
Sam Montgomery (aka Hilary Duff), from A Cinderella Story
Plausibility: See above on princesses. Queens, however, we accept.
Major: Comp Lit
Trivia Point: “RaspberrySmoothie” gets hilariously upset in this College Confidential chatroom about how unfair it is that Princeton admits Duff’s character:
I can’t believe she got into Princeton! Nowhere once in that movie did I see her studying, working, or doing anything but moaning about how much her stepmother sucked. And she wasn’t even geographically diverse, a legacy, award-winning, or a minority. What a slacker.
Amory Blaine, from Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise
Plausibility: High. The character is based off of Fitzgerald, a Princeton
graduate drop-out himself.
Major: Literature or Philosophy. He would deem anything else too vocational.
Fred Flintstone, from the Flintstones
Plausibility: Based on this episode, the University was appropriately named “Princestone” in Fred’s time. Just ask John Nash, he’ll remember.
Major: Wheel and Fire Engineering (WAFE)
Some other non-canonical alumni include: Charlie Epps from “Numb3rs,” President Charles Logan from “24,” Paul Kinsey from “Mad Men,” and Angelina Jolie’s Russian spy character in that one movie no one watched called “Salt.”
Can you imagine how crazy Reunions would be with all these characters?
a collaboration by Oren Fliegelman ’16, Vivienne Chen ’14
Maybe you’ve already heard about the record-low 7.86% admit rate out of 26,664 applications, but in this digital age you’ve probably forgotten that all 26,664 of those strivers still need to be notified by mail, by physical things made of out paper. Which makes for a lot of paper. Check out admissions folk loading all those fateful letters onto trucks outside West College today, circa 2 PM:
I wonder what kind of letters they are holding, and whether they have adjusted their facial expressions accordingly.
Generally looking pretty stolid — hard to read into the emotions. But my tentative guess is, from left to right, admit, reject, waitlist, waitlist, reject, reject, reject. More importantly, none of them look as gleefully sadistic as these guys. Best of luck to all those on the receiving end of these letters; you’ve still got a solid hour before you get to convulse in front of your computer screens (whether positively or negatively).
Like a J-Lo summer pop single, Princeton has made a comeback, tying Harvard for #1 on the US News and World Report 2011-12 Ranking of the best undergraduate colleges in the United States.
After a year of being slighted by the Crimson menace, Princeton has returned to its former place on the leaderboard chart. One trivial beef I have: we always seem to inexplicably “tie” with Harvard and yet are listed after it– and don’t tell me it’s in alphabetical order.
Changes from last year among the Ivies were sparse:
- Dartmouth falls from #9 to #11
- University of Pennsylvania is still tied in a pan-America five-way with CalTech, Stanford, MIT, and University of Chicago.
- Columbia’s holding strong after a huge four-spot jump to #4 last year (mirroring their plummeting acceptance rates with the adoption of the Common App, or, as my theory goes, the result of Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”. See also: Brown’s Emma Watson effect.)
- Cornell: Still in Ithaca.
PRINCETON PREFROSH ARE CONFUSED BY CAMPUS MAPS, THINK GRITS SOUND DISGUSTING AND REALLY, REALLY LIKE SUPERMAN
[Editor's Note: I am extremely excited to reveal our first-ever 21 Questions with a composite person! Here, one collective prefrosh answers all our questions.]
What were you doing 72 minutes before the admit decisions came out?
Since I’m a sleep deprived senior, I was taking a nice nap. There was no way I could have waited three hours between school and the decision time.
Uh … my host, John Lack.
In one sentence, what did you do all day?
I relaxed, you know, got mango-ed at the lassi study break and then Frist-ed it up.
11:00 PM. I’m efficient.
Do you believe in Santa?
No. When I was in third grade, my parents told me that they put the presents under the tree. I was heartbroken for about an hour or so, but I let it go. I mean, how would Santa get to all the houses? Quantum physics?
What do you do to unwind?
Lately I’ve been going back to NFL Street 2. It’s a PlayStation 2 game.
I like to eat food. When there’s food in front of me, I can’t stop. The dining halls, man, next year I’m going to get fat.
Princeton received a record 27,115 applications for the class of 2015, according to a statement from the university. The number is a 3.3 percent increase from last year’s 26,247 applications for the class of 2014, when applications jumped by almost 20 percent over the class of 2013.
The university intends to enroll 1,300 freshmen in the fall, which means that the admission rate will definitely be over at least 5 percent.
“The depth of the applicant pool is impressive, and, as in previous years, we will have extremely difficult decisions to make in the coming weeks because of the quality of this year’s applicants,” Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said in the statement. “With the increase in applications, it’s clear that the University’s academic excellence, students’ unrivaled access to world-class faculty members and our generous financial aid policy continue to have tremendous appeal to prospective students.”
The biggest trend is online–only 1 percent of applicants submitted a paper version of the application (Why? Who are these 270 high school seniors?) and almost all of them applied with the Common Application.
The 27,115 applications have set a record for the seventh year in a row, though the jump in applicants is markedly smaller than the 20 percent last year.
College Confidential? Unimpressed.
Other schools also set records…that were perhaps more impressive. (And that’s why we do these posts, to impress ourselves.) Harvard received 35,000 applications, a 15 percent increase from last year, according to Bloomberg. Dartmouth and Penn saw similar jumps, and Brown saw a 2.9 increase to 31,000 students. Columbia saw applications rise 32 percent, to 34,587.
One reason these schools are setting records year after year could be that it’s getting easier than ever to apply to colleges, thanks to the Common App. According to the Cooperative Institutional Research Program’s Freshman Survey, the percentage of students who applied to 7 or more colleges doubled to 23 percent from 1999 to 2009.
- According to some pre-frosh, the world outside Fitzrandolph Gate thinks we are “squares,” with “windswept hair,” “weird shorts,” and “boat shoes and everything.” This may in fact be true.
- More serious, but also true: From navigating financial aid applications without a Social Security number to being unable to study abroad, undocumented students at Princeton face more obstacles to graduation than a few pesky Dean’s Dates. Yet they’ve gone on to great things. The Princeton DREAM team, which began at a dinner at Professor Patricia Fernandez-Kelly’s home, recently organized a week of events to raise awareness of the plight of thousands of undocumented students in the United States. The team supports the DREAM Act, which would offer a path to citizenship for eligible undocumented youth who complete a college degree or two years of military service.
Read these articles and more in the Princeton Alumni Weekly.
Here it is:
- 2,148 out of 26,247 admitted for an 8.18% acceptance rate — falling from 9.94% in 2009 and 9.25 in 2008. (Harvard admitted 6.9%, Yale 7.5%)
- 50% men, 50% women.
- 9.4 percent admitted identify as African American; 21.5 percent as Asian American; 10 percent as Hispanic or Latino; less than 1 percent as Native American
- Admitted students hail from all 50 states plus: Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Costa Rica, France, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, India, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Morocco, Myanmar, Norway, Senegal, Turkey, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia (and more).
- 1,451 students waitlisted.
In other news, the College Confidential forums have crashed.
After only a two percent increase in applications for the Class of 2013, Princeton University has been pushing its hefty financial aid package–and it’s working.
The 19 percent jump in applications to Princeton this year was greater than that of Harvard (5 percent) and Yale (Not really a jump, more like a…tiny step backward.), prompting Bloomberg News to proclaim to the Internet: “Princeton Surge Beats Harvard, Yale as Applications Soar.” Hahaha, we won!
But why the competition? Why not some Ivy League bonhomie? Why must we always be bickering like over-privileged siblings in a race to be Mom’s favorite? Am I even allowed to use bicker in this context this time of the year?
So instead, let’s talk about Brown.
If you haven’t heard of it already, Yale’s Admissions Office recently released a new video called “Why I Chose Yale.” Here it is.
Insane, right? Some blogs have called it “Why I Didn’t Choose Yale,” others are scratching their heads as to why this was created, and, naturally, Yalies are up in arms about it over at the Yale Daily News.
All that said… It is kind of cool, as far as university-created videos go. It’s incredibly well produced, obviously took a lot of effort to put together, and is, well, kind of enjoyable, in a way that most college admission videos aren’t. For those of you who’d rather not sit through the 16 minutes of High School Musical-inspired camp, here are some of the highlights:
- Everything looks good. Seriously, put the video on mute and just see how nice Yale’s facilities are. (Residential colleges have their own gyms? What?)
- Brian Williams completes a rhyme at 6:45. Damn. It’s cool.
- At 6:15, a professor sings over a really awful “hard rock” guitar riff. It makes me uncomfortable.
- 9:49 starts the worst part of the video, with the “academic” section. Imagine if all those people who brag about their internships and majors got a chance to sing their boasts over a cheesy guitar-and-strings pop riff with verses like, “Last year I spent the summer abroad / I helped to monitor a foreign election / And now I volunteer at a law school clinic on human rights protection” and “I came to Yale from across the world because I wanted a global education / Now I’m bringing cleaner water to the countries that need it through the H20 Africa Foundation.”
- Just read the above point again, because it’s hilarious and so gruesomely corny, and not in the way that Yale intended. It’s more like intellectual masturbation, set to awful music.
So, you’re thinking, Yale made a video that’s effectively tarnished their storied reputation with a level of self-congratulatory kitsch unseen in the Ivy League’s long history. Big whoop…
College Confidential, virtual home to thousands of angsty 17-year-olds college-prepped to within an inch of their lives, is a pretty easy gauge for the general College Admissions Stress Level. This week’s stress-inducer: The Prince’s annual joke issue–specifically, “Princeton sees steep drop in applications for Class of 2014.” (Oh, Class of 2014…we’re a little worried for you too.)
The take-away: High school seniors don’t care about how high the acceptance rate is! They’re not going to judge you for it, Ivy League schools (and University of Chicago!). They just want to get in!
From the joke issue:
The University received an astonishingly low 10,943 applications for the Class of 2014, representing a 50 percent drop from last year, a stunned Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said in an interview with The Daily Princetonian on Tuesday. If the University accepts roughly 2,150 people from the applicant pool this April — as it did last spring — the school’s acceptance rate would more than double, to 20.1 percent.
“I will be delighted to be able to offer admission to more students,” Rapelye said. “It’s only good for us. They are so strong and so powerful.”
Reactions after the jump.
So just who are these cute little freshmen oozing around campus in large swarms?
According to Princeton’s admissions office, there are 1,301 freshmen this year, which means they outnumber all other classes! Eek! They were plucked from 21,963 applicants, of whom 2,209 were originally accepted.
Thirteen percent of students in the freshman class are legacies, and 59% attended public school. The rest of the class graduated from some variation of private schools (18% day, 10% boarding, and 12% religious).
And did you know that the class of 2013 is very diverse? Yay, diversity! And by diversity, we mean Asian. Nearly 18% of the freshman class is Asian. African Americans and Latinos make up 7% each.
And where do they come from? Where is their natural habitat?