Princeton University is updating its financial aid program to soon offer free tuition, room and board for undergraduate students whose families earn up to $100,000 annually.
Currently, the university’s average grant for families earning less than $65,000 per year covers the full cost of tuition, room and board. The change will take effect for undergraduates starting in fall 2023, the university announced on its website Sept. 8.
Many families earning more than $100,000 annually will also receive additional aid, the university announced, including those with multiple students in college.
The school said the change means that about 1,500 students – more than 25% of its undergraduate population – will receive financial aid covering full tuition, room and board.
“One of Princeton’s defining values is our commitment to ensure that talented students from all backgrounds can not only afford a Princeton education but can flourish on our campus and in the world beyond it,” Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber said in a statement.
“These improvements to our aid packages, made possible by the sustained generosity of our alumni and friends, will enhance the experiences of students during their time at Princeton and their choices and impact after they graduate,” Eisgruber added.
Dean of the College Jill Dolan added that beginning in fall 2023, Princeton will increase the annual personal and books allowance used in financial aid packages to $4,050, up from $3,500.
Dolan added, “Princeton’s generous financial aid program has transformed the socioeconomic diversity of our undergraduate student population, allowing more students from across backgrounds to learn from one another’s life experiences.”
Professor and Director of the Princeton Institute of Materials Craig Arnold has been appointed Princeton University’s vice dean for innovation, effective July 1.
Arnold will be Princeton’s second vice dean for innovation, a role the university established in 2020 to provide academic leadership for innovation and entrepreneurship activities across campus.
“Craig Arnold exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit of Princeton,” said Princeton University Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti, who is also a professor of chemical and biological engineering. “Throughout the University, Craig is recognized for his pioneering research, his visionary leadership of the Princeton Institute of Materials, his entrepreneurship and his outstanding service on behalf of Princeton.”
Arnold succeeds Rodney Priestley, who served as inaugural vice dean for innovation beginning in February 2020. Priestley will become the dean of the Graduate School on June 1.
“Craig will be building on the extraordinary foundation established by Rodney Priestley during his visionary tenure as inaugural VDI,” Debenedetti said. “What is more, Craig will bring his own experiences, creativity and inspirational leadership to this role.”
In his new role, Arnold is tasked with strengthening Princeton’s capacity to engage with technology investors, industry, entrepreneurs, alumni and other potential partners. The position leads the Princeton Innovation initiative and oversees the university’s efforts to grow Princeton’s culture of innovation across disciplines.
“The vice dean for innovation is the University’s representative for all innovation activities, connecting Princeton with external partners in industry, entrepreneurship, government and academia, and ensuring that faculty, students and staff can fulfill their aspirations to innovate in areas spanning research, education and service to humanity,” said Provost Deborah Prentice. “Craig Arnold brings to this position a wealth of firsthand experience in university innovation and entrepreneurship, and he has a long history of reaching across disciplines and across our campus community.”
Upon taking his new position, Arnold will join the Office of the Dean for Research and work closely with DFR offices including the Office of Technology Licensing, Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations, and the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council.
“It is such an honor to take on this opportunity to build bridges between the different parts of the campus and the external community,” he said. “Princeton is such an incredible place for innovation, and I am thrilled to be able to serve the community and to help people create impact in ways that benefit society.”
Arnold has served as the director of the Princeton Institute of Materials since 2015, leading a research program that “ranges from basic science to applied technology aimed at developing a deeper understanding of materials synthesis and processing in areas including advanced manufacturing, energy storage and conversion, and optics and photonics,” according to his May 10 position announcement.
He received an Edison Patent Award from the Research & Development Council of New Jersey for the creation of an adjustable lens that focuses light in response to sound waves in 2017. According to Princeton, the tunable acoustic gradient lens is now used in many industrial and research applications including robotics, machine vision, industrial metrology and ultra-high precision microscopy.
Arnold holds 13 granted patents and is the co-founder of two companies based on research conducted at Princeton: TAG Optics Inc. developed the TAG lens and was later acquired by a major precision instrument manufacturer; and Invictis Technologies is working to create a safer and less painful automated intravenous injection device.
Arnold and co-authors have published over 200 scientific papers and book chapters in the field of materials science. Prior to joining the Princeton faculty in 2003, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory.
Princeton University ranked No. 1 for Best Value Private College Overall on The Princeton Review’s list of Best Value Colleges for 2022.
Four other Garden State higher-education institutions also made the full list, which is presented alphabetically only: The College of New Jersey, Drew University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Stevens Institute of Technology. All five of these schools made the list in 2021, as well.
The annual list names public and private colleges that earn the highest return on investment rating, which the Princeton Review tallies using more than 40 data points. Princeton University received the highest ROI rating among the private colleges. The University of California-Berkeley was the No. 1 Best Value Public College Overall.
Princeton also was the No. 1 private school on the Best Value Colleges for Financial Aid list. According to the Review, the average scholarship awarded to Princeton undergrads with need last year was $61,928, reducing their cost of attendance to $12,262 from $74,190.
Both Princeton and UC-Berkeley “offer exceptional academics and career services and generous financial aid,” the Review said.
“The schools we chose as our Best Value Colleges for 2022 are a select group: they comprise only about 7% of the nation’s four-year undergraduate institutions,” Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review, said in a statement.
The Princeton Review chose 209 schools — nine of which are tuition-free — for its 2022 list based on its survey of more than 650 institutions during the 2020-2021 school year, according to the announcement. The Review analyzed school-reported data on academics, cost/financial aid, career services, student debt and graduation rates, as well as data on the levels of job satisfaction and salary of school alumni.
“When we launched our Best Value Colleges project in 2004, paying for college was a daunting challenge for many students and parents,” Franek continued. “Our annual College Hopes & Worries Survey, which we debuted in 2003, had revealed deep concerns about college affordability. We have seen those concerns rise every year since. Among the respondents to our 2022 survey—more than 14,100 college applicants and parents of applicants—80% told us financial aid will be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ necessary to pay for college, and their biggest worry was ‘level of debt’ to pay for the degree.’ However, 99% of our respondents said they believe college is ‘worth it.’ We agree. We recommend every one of our Best Value Colleges for 2022 as well worth it.”
A search committee chaired by Provost Deborah Prentice didn’t have to look far when considering Priestley, who is a professor of chemical and biological engineering at the university.
“Rod Priestley is a superb scholar, a dedicated teacher and a proven administrator,” said Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber. “He cares deeply about graduate students and graduate education, and I am confident that he will lead Princeton’s Graduate School with distinction.”
Prentice called him “a committed educator, a creative problem-solver, and an empathic listener and observer.”
Nearly 3,000 students are pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in the 42 departments and programs within Princeton’s graduate school. Upon taking his new role, Priestley will report to Prentice.
“My interest in becoming dean of Princeton’s Graduate School originates with my own personal experience of graduate school,” Priestley said. “The mentorship, encouragement and support I received has enabled every goal I have reached throughout my career. My advisers’ belief in me has always inspired me to give back to others to whatever extent possible.
“I’m really, really excited to be able to serve a wide range of graduate students, and hopefully impact their graduate education in a manner that they have an experience that’s as good as the one that I did,” Priestley continued.
Priestley’s predecessor Sarah-Jane Leslie stepped down as dean in July 2021 after serving more than three years in that position to return to the faculty. Cole Crittenden, deputy dean of the Graduate School, has served as acting dean in the interim.
Priestley joined Princeton’s faculty in 2009 and has since performed groundbreaking fundamental research in materials science; facilitated the development and translation of intellectual property derived from that research into products and enterprises; and expanded Princeton’s ties with industry, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, alumni and other partners.
In 2020, Priestley was named to the endowed professorship and appointed Princeton’s vice dean for innovation. In this role, he’s since provided academic leadership for innovation and entrepreneurship activities across campus. A search will be underway soon to succeed Priestley in that position, led by Pablo Debenedetti, dean for research.
Priestley will continue as co-director of the NSF Innovation Corps Northeast Hub, a Princeton University-led consortium of regional universities that will form a new innovation network with a $15 million grant from the National Science Foundation, fostering innovation at Princeton and throughout the region.
“Graduate students drive a significant amount of the innovation that takes place on campus and a lot of the scholarship,” Priestley said. “Whenever startups or spinouts come out of university research, it is often the graduate student that becomes the CEO of that startup — the faculty member never leaves their academic position. And so, they help enable not only the innovations on campus, but in taking the scholarship off campus and the formation of new ventures.”
The Biden administration awarded $2.1 million to Nokia Bell Labs for energy-efficiency technology it’s developing, and nearly $5.5 million in grants to Princeton University for research projects.
Murray Hill-based Bell Labs’ $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy would go toward developing emergency efficiency technology for cooling data servers, and for heating and cooling buildings.
It’s part of a larger $175 million nationwide grant made to several universities, companies and labs that U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Feb. 14 would focus on “doubling down on advancing clean energy technology innovation and manufacturing in America to deliver critical energy solutions from renewables to fusion energy to tackle the climate crisis.”
Bell Labs Core Research President Peter Vetter said the organization’s research would develop “new ways to generate, store and use energy,” according to a statement from U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat whose district represents Murray Hill.
“The grant Nokia Bell Labs received from the Department of Energy will enable us to develop next-generation clean energy technologies that will increase the energy efficiency of data centers, allowing us to play a positive role in tackling climate change in the U.S.,” Vetter continued.
A $1.49 million grant is going to Princeton University to study certain Proton-Boron fusion technology used for energy production, according to the Energy Department, while a $4 million grant to the Ivy League school will go toward developing more energy-efficient electric and power grids.
“DOE’s investments show our commitment to empowering innovators to develop bold plans to help America achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, create clean energy good-paying jobs and strengthen our energy independence,” Granholm added.
New Jersey Institute of Technology on Aug. 25 joined seven other universities to create a new regional research hub that will help faculty and students convert federally sponsored research into successful businesses.
Starting in January, the Northeast I-Corps Innovation Hub – funded by a $15 million National Science Foundation grant and led by Princeton University – will provide entrepreneurial training, mentoring and resources to enable researchers to form startup companies that rapidly translate laboratory discoveries into breakthrough products.
Participants will build skills and generate opportunities among researchers from all backgrounds, including those historically underrepresented in entrepreneurship, where NJIT said it excels.
The school has long been part of such transfer in the greater Newark area – as a standalone NSF I-Corps site and through the NJIT VentureLink startup incubation arm – and now brings its expertise to the hub as an affiliate under principal institution Princeton and partner institutions Rutgers University and the University of Delaware.
The other affiliates are Rowan University, Delaware State University, Lehigh University and Temple University.
Under the NSF’s previous arrangement, NJIT had approximately $100,000 per year available for Highlander-trained startup companies, but now that figure can substantially increase.
NJIT will also be able to attract companies from a wider area, and can do even more if the university moves to the partner level in a few years.
Hub advocates noted that fields such as artificial intelligence, computing, energy, health care, material science and robotics are all open for further exploration and that the Northeast region is a prime location for them.
The hub is expected to build on the robust industrial and government relationships of its member institutions to develop partnerships across industries that can leverage university-led federal research.
“Translating research and innovation that will benefit society into market successes through the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems has been a long-term priority in NJIT’s strategic planning,” said Senior Vice Provost for Research and Executive Director of Undergraduate Research and Innovations (URI) Atam Dhawan. “NJIT’s well-established participation in NSF vehicles such as I-Corps and Research Experiences for Undergraduates, as well as the creation of our own intensive innovation programs, such as the URI seed grant and undergraduate summer research programs, among many others, will make NJIT a vital partner in this hub.”
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