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Princeton University

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The campus is just beautiful, many students areQuite BrightChemistry
The campus is just beautiful, many students are friendly and bright, financial aid is generous if you're eligible; however, grade deflation has made the place unbearable and affected the learning and teaching. Grades are the focus rather than a proper education. Students don't collaborate and take classes that they shouldn't, so you have fluent speakers in a beginner's language class; students who passed advanced AP classes in intro science classes; taking classes over the summer somewhere else and retaking at Pton; dropping out of class when you see that too many "smart" people are enrolled. Faculty, including TAs, have no incentive to make sure that you grasp the content, so assignments don't include feedback or are returned when it's too late; content is tested that's not taught or tests are ridiculously hard (to make sure that not too many people do too well; remember there's a cap on A's); you have no clue where you stand because grading is on a curve at the end of the semester, so you could have a 90%,but if everybody else has a 95%, you still end up with a B or C, or you can have a 60% and get an A. Of course, by the time you apply for scholarships/internships or to grad/professional school or for a job, you realize that nobody knows nor cares that your Pton average GPA of 3.2 or 3.3 is "just as good" as Harvard's 3.5.

While some faculty are friendly and helpful, but some of the tenured faculty are downright abusive. However, because of "academic freedom" they get away with it. Non-tenured faculty are treated like crap. Google Antonio Calvo and see for yourself.The administrators are arrogant and hush up any kind of disagreement or negative experiences. There's no reason to change, whether it applies to the grading policy, abusive faculty, or whatever else because they know that there are enough suckers who still want to attend Princeton. Not sure whether Yale or Harvard would have been better, but at 200K, it wasn't worth it. If you work your butt off for 4 years, may as well have better options afterwards.

4th Year Female -- Class 2011
Campus Aesthetics: A, Education Quality: F
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Almost everything they tell you about Princeton isQuite BrightEnglish
Almost everything they tell you about Princeton is a lie. From the brochures they mail out depicting beautiful Gothic-style dorms (only a quarter of the campus community lives in those dorms, the other 75% live in ugly brick 70's style buildings)to the president telling you grade deflation isn't that big of a deal (you try convincing an employer that a Princeton B is as good as a Harvard A). I was swayed by well-manicured lawns, the perfect, sunny weather (most of the year it rains/snows/is cloudy) and the awesome people I met at Pre-frosh orientation. But something happens to people when they come to Princeton: they become wholly preoccupied with getting the perfect grades (because people here don't learn for the sake of learning, they learn in order to become successful investment bankers), catching up on sleep (because we're constantly sleep deprived), and getting hammered on "the street" every single Thursday and Saturday night (because getting black-out drunk keeps one from dealing with the fact that they're stressed, miserable, and sleep-deprived). This place doesn't foster intelligent discourse or love of learning, it fosters competition. People here compete for everything--the right eating club, campus positions, even to be allowed into certain majors.

In my nearly two years here, I've only observed 2 positive aspects of this place: money and the professors. By money, I mean how much money the school has to pay for things for students. I have friends in other schools who have to play for laundry and printing, but here it's free and we're given money for study breaks, projects, really anything you could ask for. Essentially, whenever there's a problem Princeton throws money at it and hopes it will go away. This isn't always a positive thing, but in an expensive town like Princeton, NJ it usually only helps.

In terms of the educators I've encountered here, Princeton isn't lying about how great they are. I've had the most fantastic professors and TAs here. That isn't to say that the classes themselves are always interesting or all that good, but the teachers I've had have been excellent, always available and accessible should I need help with anything.

I worked my ass off in high school so that I could go to college and enjoy learning for the sake of learning without worrying about grades. I got into 11 of the 13 schools I applied to, and all of them were great schools. Unfortunately for me, I chose the wrong one, and now, with my grade-deflated grades, I can't transfer into any of the schools I originally got into. I'm stuck here seriously considering taking a gap year because the thought of staying here for two more years makes me physically ill. Knowing what I know now, I definitely would not have chosen Princeton. Most people here are unhappy with the general atmosphere of stress, competition, and, if they're like me, lack of motivation (why work hard when you aren't going to get grades that reflect that hard work?), but no one talks about it; they just drink until they forget. I hate this place, and I'd give anything to go back two years and choose University of Chicago, Brown, or Columbia instead where I got scholarships and students are happy.

2nd Year Female -- Class 2012
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Education Quality: F
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Princeton crushed my self confidence.BrightUndecided
Princeton crushed my self confidence. I dropped out after my freshman year. I failed everything that I tried and no one was there to help me. I became extremely depressed and spent most of time in the women's center because they had free meditation classes.

Many of my teachers told me that I was stupid, directly and indirectly. My math professor said that I was immature and that I should probably drop his class. He had a thick accent so I could barely understand the snide comment let alone his lectures. When I asked to borrow notes for the same math class people flat out refused. Finding study groups was very difficult because the students were clicky and competitive. I failed a geoscience test and when I went for help from the professor all he had to say to me was "deal with it."- so If you're looking for a nurturing academic environment, Princeton is not the place.If you do end up going to Princeton, the best advice I could give is to GET HELP as soon as you get on campus. Get to know the deans of your college- they are your advocates. Check out counseling services- believe it or not everyone on campus sees them. Go to the study groups in Frist- they are crucial for survival. Make sure you are aware of all of the student resources right away. By the time I learned about how to help myself, it was too late.

1st Year Female -- Class 2013
Useful Schoolwork: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: C-
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