Princeton is one of the oldest universities in the US and is regarded as one of the world’s most illustrious higher education institutions.
Founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, it was officially renamed Princeton University in 1896 in honour of the area where it is based, opening its famous graduate school in 1900.
Acclaimed for its commitment to teaching, the Ivy League institution offers residential accommodation to all of its undergraduates across all four years of study, with 98 per cent of undergraduates living on campus.
Its student body is relatively small, with fewer than 10,000 in total, and international students make up 12 per cent of undergraduates.
Princeton is also one of the world’s foremost research universities with connections to more than 40 Nobel laureates, 17 winners of the National Medal of Science and five recipients of the National Humanities Medal.
Faculty members who have been awarded a Nobel prize in recent years include chemists Tomas Lindahl and Osamu Shimomura, economists Paul Krugman and Angus Deaton and physicists Arthur McDonald and David Gross.
Notable alumni who have won a Nobel prize include the physicists Richard Feynman and Robert Hofstadter and chemists Richard Smalley and Edwin McMillan.
Princeton has also educated two US presidents, James Madison and Woodrow Wilson, who was also the university’s president prior to entering the White House. Other distinguished graduates include Michelle Obama, actors Jimmy Stewart and Brooke Shields, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad.
Princeton, which is consistently ranked among the world’s top 10 universities, is renowned for its campus’ park-like beauty as well as some of its landmark buildings, designed by some of America’s most well-known architects. For instance, its Lewis Library was designed by Frank Gehry and contains many of the university’s science collections. Its McCarter Theatre Center has won a Tony Award for the best regional theatre in the country.
Spread across 500 acres, the Princeton campus has about 180 buildings, including 10 libraries containing about 14 million holdings. It is popular with visitors, with about 800,000 people visiting its open campus each year, generating about $2 billion in revenue.
The Princeton area, which has a population of about 30,000 residents, is also something of a destination itself, with many attracted by its tree-lined streets and wide variety of shops, restaurants and parks.
The university is within easy reach of both New York City and Philadelphia, with the “Dinky” shuttle train providing a regular service lasting about one hour to both cities. Princeton regularly subsidises many student trips to concerts, plays and athletic events in the two cities.