How to get into Yale University - the third oldest university in the USA
How to get into Yale University - why choose Yale?
Yale University , a private Ivy League research university, was established in 1701 and is one of the so-called Big Three US universities, along with Harvard and Princeton. Yale University campus has been called the most beautiful in America, with its mixture of neo-Gothic and modern architecture, and successful applicants will live in one of the 14 residential colleges, which are hubs of community within the greater Yale environment.
Yale University is one of the richest universities in the USA and provides outstanding resources, brilliant faculty, and exceptional teaching. Its 80 departments and over 2000 courses offer a staggeringly broad curriculum which the average student would need two centuries to complete.
Yale University is highly selective and only 6 percent of applicants receive the offer of a place, although it has been calculated that 75 percent of applicants are qualified if admission was solely dependent on academic results. It is therefore clear that Yale University is looking for more than great exam scores and high grades at school in its applicants.
Most common asked questions:
What is Yale University is looking for in the admission process?
Yale University has set out a number of guidelines on the type of student who will blossom and contribute to the university.
A close reading of the statements issued by the university, and feedback from its alumni, highlights important personality traits which the admissions board is looking for in applicants.
Since Yale University stated mission is to make the world a better place and educate a generation of leaders and innovators, the university expects its candidates to demonstrate that they have the drive, energy, and enthusiasm to pursue their interests, to excel at whatever they do, to work hard to meet their goals and to test and push themselves.
In academic terms, the admissions board wants to see that students have consistently challenged themselves, taken demanding courses, and been fired by intellectual curiosity and a desire to know, to discover.
Performance in school is, therefore, more important than stark test scores, and this is why the teachers’ recommendations are key to success since they will demonstrate how your performance reflects your attitude and mindset.
You need to show that you will:
- stretch your limits,
- engage with the community and the world
- demonstrate that you have your own voice and viewpoint, personal passions and interests.
In short, the admissions office wants to know if you have taken advantage of everything your school years offered, have taken demanding courses and been outstanding, and will continue to do so at Yale.
Choices and performance matter and school is the litmus test of your engagement and effort. Your lived experiences and perspectives should echo through your application, and particularly in the essays.
How to get into Yale University - show your passion as well as your academic abilities
Universities in the USA do not focus on specialisms in the same way as their counterparts in the UK, where students have discarded the majority of the subjects they studied by the time it comes to choosing their A Levels at the age of 16.
Yale University, like every university in the USA, does not expect you to decide on a major until the end of the second year and favours a broad educational foundation. Undergraduates will take 4-5 subjects every term and Yale University provides them with what is known as “the shopping period”, a fortnight at the beginning of each term when its students can try out various fields and courses.
The Freshman seminars program also gives some idea of the huge variety of topics on offer: for example 1000 Years of Love Songs, Cosmology and Literature and the Science and Politics of Cancer.
Why your extracurricular activities will help you get into Yale University?
Yale University – why your extracurricular activities will help you get into Yale?
Universities in the USA pay attention to what you can offer and Yale University has 100 athletics teams to fill, 50 performance groups who are looking for new members, and over 60 cultural associations.
If you are devoted to dance or culinary experimentation, have spent years volunteering and providing outreach within your own community, have tried your hand at starting up a business, or taking advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities, you will find your niche and place at Yale.
You may think that your weekly stand-up comedy routines at a local club are irrelevant, but Yale University has long been renowned for its performance arts, and this may well strike a chord with your interviewer. A love of a capella, the Theatre of the Absurd, or single-handed yachting feats will all be nurtured at Yale University, and your extracurricular activities will tell the admissions board more about you and how you will add to the talent already treading the boards, winning sports matches or appearing in front of audiences on campus.
Yale University is well-known for its Music, Art, and Drama courses and its liberal arts programs, and if this is your passion, then you should express it.
Getting into Yale University: a breakdown of successful applicants
Are Ivy League universities in the USA expensive?
Ivy League Universities in the USA are expensive – but they also offer generous financial aid which can cover all your financial needs.
Applicants to Yale University in the 2021-2 intake have to cover a number of costs:
Books and sundry expenses
Total costs per year (average)
However, the net average cost for students with financial aid is likely to be around $13,000.
This is an average, and it is important to note that families who earn under $75,000 a year and have typical assets are exempt from making a contribution, and Yale will cover 100 percent of the student’s expenses.
There is a sliding scale in place for calculating family contributions, which range from 1 percent to 20 percent in the top income bracket.
Yale has a need-blind admissions policy, so the ability to pay fees is not factored in when students are being assessed.
How to get financial aid for studying at Yale University?
To get financial aid at Yale University you need to apply for financial aid at the same time as you submit your application.
If you have decided to apply through single-choice Early Action (deadline1 November) then you must get your financial application in by 10 November; if you have opted for Regular Decision (deadline 2 January)then your forms have to be in by 15 March.
Deadlines change from year to year, so ring Elab to check in good time.
You do not need to send copies to Yale, because they are forwarded directly by the CSS. The website opens for aid applications on 10 October, and it is wise to start this process as soon as possible, because you will have to find tax returns, sign them, and send in a number of supplementary answers.
You will receive an estimate of the amount of financial aid Yale is offering along with your acceptance letter.
Getting in to Yale - the application process
Like most universities in the USA, Yale University accepts applications through the Common App ( and through the Coalition App). The Common App contains Yale-specific supplemental questions.
You will need to pay a fee of $80 to submit your application and provide recommendations from two teachers and a counsellor who know you well, along with transcripts of your school report and your mid-year reports. These documents are important, since they establish your commitment to excelling, your potential and how you respond to and overcome academic challenges. Make sure that you choose referees who know you well and can give a precise and full picture of your school achievements and talents.
You will also have to fill in the Yale Supplement in the Common App, see below.
What is the Yale University Supplement?
Yale University requires you to answer Short Answer questions, normally seven in total, with word limits of between 35 and 125 words. In addition, you will be asked to write two short essays of 250 words each, in response to a number of prompts in the Yale writing supplement section – along the lines of “Who inspires you?”, “What course would you teach at Yale and why?” or “Why have you chosen Yale University and not another university?”
Engineering students are asked to tackle one additional essay. The essays are a great opportunity for you to show your personality and give a full picture of who you are, what you have done, and where your dreams are leading you in the future.
Do not try and guess what the admissions committee wants to hear, but concentrate on expressing yourself honestly and vividly.
Remember, admissions boards read literally thousands of these essays every year and know what the average student is likely to say.
Show your thought processes and defend your opinions with personal experiences and examples. It’s how you think rather than simply what you think that will intrigue the admissions board and give you the edge in the application process. Your views are more important than the topic, and this is your chance to speak directly to the committee who will decide whether or not to offer you a place.
Remember, when you are writing your Personal Statement for the Common App to proofread your work, get feedback from family and friends – and proofread it again!
There is no excuse for bad spelling or weak grammar – and it will be noted.
Getting into Yale University - the interview
Getting into Yale University – Universities in the USA interview a large percentage of prospective students, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are unlikely to be invited to have a cosy chat in a cafe with a Yale alumnus, since interviews are being held via Skype and Zoom.
You may not be asked to do an interview, and before you panic, all this means is that there are no available alumni in the country where you live , not that you have been cast aside. You cannot request an interview, since the invitation has to come from the Yale alumni association. If you are not called to an interview, this is not held against you during the application process, but if you do get contacted, it would be helpful to agree – if only to be able to ask your own questions about Yale and the course you intend to study.
If a member of the local Yale volunteer committee asks to talk to you, then take this opportunity of having a real conversation. There are no trick questions and the interviewer does not have a list of boxes to tick, so your interview will go more or less where you take it. It is not essential to dress smartly, although sportswear is not recommended unless you are a world-class athlete who has just finished a training session. Remember, too, that the interviewer will report back on their impressions of you, your potential, character and attributes, since this is why they are involved in the admissions process.
How to get into Yale and what happen to my application to Yale University once I have submitted it?
How to apply to Yale University – The first reader will decide where to categorise the application: Yes, No or Waiting List, before passing it on to the second reader, who comes from the applicant’s field of study, and will do exactly the same thing. If both agree, the application will go to the commission, who will make the final decision.
Yale University rankings and popular courses 2021
Applying to university in the USA - how Elab can help
Elab has a dedicated, extremely successful and professional team of consultants who help applicants who wish to study at university in the USA. We will work with you throughout the whole application process, ensuring that you upload an outstanding application which will maximise your chances of being accepted at Yale, or any of the other great universities in the USA. We can also put you in touch with current mentors studying in America, so they can give you an insider’s view of what life is like at a US university.
In view of the stiff competition for places from other highly-gifted students Elab recommends that when applying to Yale , or any Ivy League universities, you also consider applying to a few of the other fantastic universities that the USA has to offer, just in case.
Contact us by phone or email to discuss your future plans and requirements and let us start you on your journey to the colossus of learning which is Yale University.
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