Cultural awareness, individual potential, community engagement, and an involved, balanced approach to life: these are the qualities the Hun School of Princeton seeks to inspire and cultivate in its students. This coeducational private day and boarding school, located a mere two miles away from downtown Princeton, New Jersey and Princeton University’s campus, has a host of distinguished alumni, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Elliot Roosevelt, Nicole Arendt, and Susan Hendricks. The Hun School continues to produce dedicated, informed citizens of the world.
Second in our profile series of local New Jersey high schools, The Hun School of Princeton places “a high value on a creative and rigorous traditional college preparatory curriculum.”
Students, Faculty, and Facilities
Steven Bristol, the director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the Hun School of Princeton, delineates two essential qualities in a successful, “fundamentally Hun” student:
- “They have decided to be people of character, who are inherently considerate, honest, and thoughtful.
- They have decided that they are going to work hard.”
The Hun School of Princeton maintains a moderate student body of 635 such individuals, which incorporates grades six through a postgraduate year. 150 of these students are residents. This profile will largely consider the Upper School portion of the Hun School of Princeton (553 students), rather than the Middle School (85 students). Hun School students represent 23 foreign countries and 18 American states, affirming the School’s emphasis on a diverse student body.
Of the 100 faculty members at Hun, 66 hold advanced degrees and five are published authors. The student to faculty radio is an impressively intimate 1:7. The average class size at this preparatory school is 13 students.
The Hun School of Princeton also provides “advocacy and instruction for students with learning differences” through its Academic Learning Skills Program. The Arthur Rozas International Student Program enables international students to achieve as rewarding and rich an academic and social experience at the Hun School as their American peers. Global and Immersion Programs also allow students to engage with the world as global citizens, and incorporate Summer Experiential programs and a Global Commons that hosts speakers and workshops.
Students have access to a Student Center where they can find television, snacks, couches, and social space; the Athletic Center, which includes a gymnasium, fitness center, and locker rooms; and the Landis Family Fine Arts Building, where students can use practice rooms, sound and digital studios, an art darkroom, and other classroom space to cultivate their artistic interests. The Hun School of Princeton also provides health and counseling services. Additionally, because the forty-five acre campus is less than two miles from downtown Princeton, students at the Hun School are encouraged to make the university town “their hometown” and “take advantage of all that the Princeton area has to offer.”
Academic departments at the Hun School include Science, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, ESL, Mathematics, Modern Languages and Classics, History and Global Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Computer Science, and English. Over 140 courses are offered at the Hun School of Princeton, 17 of which are Advanced Placement, and 12 of which are interdisciplinary. In order to graduate, a Hun School student must fulfill 20 credits minimum between ninth and twelfth grade (9 humanities credits, 7 S.T.E.M., and 2 Arts). Each full-year academic course earns one credit.
Additionally, students are yearly required to earn a specific amount of community service and extracurricular activity points: freshmen and sophomores must volunteer for ten hours of community service each year, juniors commit to ten prior to their third year at the Hun School, and senior students must participate in twenty hours before the start of their final year.
Students have access to a rich support network when it comes to academics, including peer-to-peer support, resident coaching, study groups, and evening library hours. The library at the Hun School of Princeton is home to over 50,000 books, 4,000 videos, and 200 periodical subscriptions, and is a participant in an Inter-library Loan system.
Student life is vibrant and active at the Hun School. Both day and residential students participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, including 54 student-run clubs such as Amnesty International, VoiceMale (an acapella group), Forensics, Meditation Club, and Intramural Sports. The arts community at the Hun School also attracts many students with its Dance Company, music and visual arts course offerings, private music lessons, and Theatre Program.
Athletic teams include varsity and junior varsity cross country, football, field hockey, soccer, basketball, swimming, fencing, ice hockey, baseball, lacrosse, track, crew, golf, softball, and tennis.
Currently, 97 students at the Hun School occupy positions in Student Government. Students also have the ability to occupy other positions of leadership through the Proctor Program and a Leadership Curriculum.
Residential life fosters a deep sense of community between students and faculty and encourages students to build confidence and independence away from home in a supportive environment. Resident students also can participate in Resident Weekend Activities, which include events such as movie nights, dinners, and other excursions. Dormitories include Russell Hall, and the Carter and Poe dormitories.
Although it constitutes a yearly requirement, community service is integral to a Hun School student’s experience and constitutes “service learning.” The Hun School also offers an impressive amount of summer programs for its students.
Looking Ahead: College Preparation
With an impressive amount of A.P. courses, dedicated college counselors, and curriculum, the Hun School of Princeton strives to prepare students for a successful college career. Over 100 university representatives visit the Hun School campus each fall and students work actively with faculty and counselors to ensure they remain confident at every level of the college application process.
The graduating class of 2013 matriculated in over 89 domestic and international universities, including New York University, Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Hobart William and Smith Colleges, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Tufts University. Members of the graduating class of 2014 matriculated in over 96 institutions.
For students in the ESL Program, tuition for the Hun School of Princeton is $12,500 annually; $18,500 for participants in the Academic Learning Skills Program; $36,550 for day students; and $53,150 for resident students. These numbers qualify the Hun School as one of the more expensive college preparatory schools in the nation.
According to the School’s website, thirty percent of Hun students receive financial aid. The Hun School adheres to a need-blind admission policy, and claims that its financial aid program “supports the enrollment of economically diverse students.” Aid must be applied for annually because it is awarded on a yearly basis.
The application process for admission to the Hun School of Princeton consists of a visit and interview, online application, transcripts, recommendations, and standardized test scores (SSAT for all applications and PSAT/ACT for applicants to 11th or 12th grades). Application fees are $50 for domestic applicants and $150 for international students.
Please check out the other posts in this series:
You may also be interested in a related series about student perspectives:
About the Author: Kathleen McGunagle is a 2014 graduate of Princeton University currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Boston University. During her undergraduate career, she provided tutoring services through Princeton Tutoring, participated in on-campus theatre, and enjoyed a year abroad studying English at Oxford University.