The post below contains information from the 2015-16 admissions cycle–some of it still applies, some of it does not, depending on which prompt you will use. For posts on this year’s Princeton application prompts, check these out as well:
I have written about several of these prompts before, for the simple reason that the prompts are the same this year (class of 2020) as they were for the class of 2019. The Princeton prompts fit into some general categories that I have analyzed, both in posts about more general topics, like Writing About a Quote, or in posts about writing about books as a whole, like How to Write About Books I or in How to Write About Books III, as well as in analysis on the individual prompts–see below for more.
I broke down the Princeton Essays from last year in specific posts, below–and what I said last year applies to the same prompts this year, though some specific references may need updating, like those mentions of the Occupy movement for use on the “disparity” prompt, (Prompt 2). Last year, Occupy still seemed relevant. This year, not so much–at least the movement as such. Of course, the themes and concerns of Occupy are still relevant now, and just wait until the presidential campaign gets out of its warm-up phase–everybody from Hillary Clinton to Jeb Bush claims to be concerned with economic inequality, largely because pay has been flat or down in real dollars for going on decades now for most Americans.
Since it’s a hot topic, this also means it’s also an excellent essay choice, so long as you do not come across as preachy, lecturing, etc, et. al. Showing a personal connection to or concern with a problem like this is best, while avoiding bathos, as well as avoiding a patronizing tone. If you have never taken any interest in inequality, now might not be the best time to start.
On the other hand, a little research might make you genuinely concerned.
Best bets for this topic are those who are majoring in or interested in: Business and Econ, sociology, psych, politics/government and those who see themselves as innovators with a mission.
For more on the specifics of writing about the Princeton supplements, click below to read my analysis of each prompt:
I hope this helps you get a good start. Contact me if you need some editing help–I have a reasonable amount of space as of mid-July, but will my available slots will fill rapidly as the deluge of August 1st application releases approaches.