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Yale University College Admissions Profile: How to Get Into Yale University

About Yale University

Yale University is one of the top Ivy League schools in the United States. Founded in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale has built a name for itself in creating some of the best and brightest leaders in various fields. The university holds a substantial history that dates back to colonial times and spans over three centuries. Over the years, Yale has continued to uphold its traditions, while providing an innovative and forward-thinking education to its students.

Student Population Size and Acceptance Rate

As of the 2020-2021 academic year, Yale had an undergraduate enrollment of just over 5,900 students. The student body composition is drawn from different cultures, including students from all 50 US states and over 120 different countries. The acceptance rate for the Class of 2024 was a record low of 4.55%, making it one of the most difficult schools to get into in the country.

Location and Tuition Breakdown

Yale University is located in New Haven, Connecticut – a bustling town that is considered one of the best places to live in the state. The campus covers 1,015 acres and is close to several tourist attractions in Connecticut, making it an ideal choice for students who prefer a lively campus atmosphere. The total cost of attendance at Yale University, including tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses, for the 2020-2021 academic year was $78,725. However, the school provides generous financial aid packages to students who cannot afford the full tuition. The average net price for students receiving financial aid was $17,884.

Requirements for Each Undergraduate College Program

Yale has four undergraduate colleges: Yale College, the School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Art, and the School of Drama. Yale College is the largest undergraduate college and has over 70 majors to choose from. Yale College

The requirements for admission to Yale College are as follows:

  • Common Application or Coalition Application with the Yale-specific questions
  • ACT or SAT (with or without writing)
  • Two teacher recommendations from academic instructors
  • Mid-Year School Report and Transcript
  • Application fee waiver or fee payment

There is also the option for students to submit supplementary materials, such as portfolios, research papers, and videos.

The essay prompts for the Common Application or Coalition Application for Yale College are:

  • What inspires you?
  • Yale’s residential colleges regularly host intimate conversations with guests representing a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. What person, past or present, would you invite to speak? What question would you ask?
  • You are teaching a Yale course. What is it called?
School of Engineering & Applied Science

The admission requirements for the School of Engineering & Applied Science are the same as those for Yale College. Students must choose their engineering major at the time of application and submit a supplementary essay addressing why they want to study engineering.

School of Art

Admission to the School of Art is highly selective. Students must submit a portfolio of their artwork as part of the application process. The additional requirements are:

  • Common Application or Coalition Application with the Yale-specific questions
  • ACT or SAT (with or without writing)
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers or art professionals
  • Application fee waiver or fee payment
  • TOEFL or IELTS (for international students only)

The essay prompts for the Common Application or Coalition Application for the School of Art are:

  • What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or inspired you, and in what way?
  • Please indicate a specific moment or moments that have inspired your decision to pursue art, design, or film.
School of Drama

The School of Drama only admits graduate students. Applicants must submit a resume, personal statement, and letters of recommendation as part of the application process. There are no specific essay prompts.

Requirements to Apply Academically and Teacher Recommendations

Yale University is a highly selective school, and the admission process is rigorous. The school considers several factors when making admission decisions, including the student's academic record, standardized test scores, essay, extracurricular activities, and teacher recommendations. In terms of academics, students are expected to have taken a challenging course load that includes honors, AP, or IB classes. They should also have an excellent GPA and impressive standardized test scores. The average composite ACT score for admitted students is 34, while the average SAT score is 1500. Yale requires two teacher recommendations from academic instructors who have taught the student in a core subject. The school encourages students to ask teachers that know them well and have taught them for at least one year. The college counselor or another school administrator typically writes the third letter of recommendation.

Most Popular Subjects and Admissions Rates by Department

The most popular majors at Yale are economics, political science, history, psychology, and biology. However, students have access to a wide range of majors in different fields, such as literature, ethnic studies, environmental studies, and more. According to Yale's Common Data Set, the admission rates by department for the Class of 2024 were as follows:
  • Yale College: 4.87%
  • School of Engineering & Applied Science: 4.82%
  • School of Art: 3.94%
  • School of Drama: No data available

Popular Employers from Yale University

Yale graduates are known to get employed at some of the top companies and organizations in various fields. Some of the popular employers from Yale include Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Company, Amazon, Google, and Morgan Stanley. Yale alumni are also known to be successful entrepreneurs, inventors, and scientists.

Popular Student Traditions

There are several popular traditions that take place at Yale University, some of which have been going on for centuries. One of the most famous traditions is the Harvard-Yale game, which is the second-oldest rivalry in college football. The game is held annually, and students from both schools participate in elaborate pranks and stunts leading up to the game. Another popular tradition is the singing of the "Whiffenpoof" song. The song is one of the most famous college songs in the country, and it has been sung by the Whiffenpoofs, an all-male a cappella group, every year since 1909.

School Strengths and Weaknesses

Yale University has several strengths that attract students to the school. The university has a world-class faculty that includes experts in various fields, such as literature, economics, mathematics, and more. The school also has an extensive library system, with several branches that house rare collections and resources. Yale's location in New Haven is also a strength, as it provides students with access to several cultural amenities, such as theaters, museums, and galleries. Additionally, Yale's commitment to diversity and inclusivity is evident in its student body, which comprises individuals from various backgrounds. One weakness of Yale University is its high tuition cost, which can be a barrier for many students who cannot afford the full fees. However, the school provides robust financial aid packages to students who qualify, making it more manageable for some. Another criticism has been the lack of transparency in the admission process and the considerable emphasis put on standardized tests.

Rounds to Apply for Admission and Deadlines

Yale University has two rounds of admission – Early Action and Regular Decision. Early Action is non-binding, and applicants who apply in this round will receive their decision by mid-December. Regular Decision applicants will receive their decision by April 1st. The application deadlines for the 2021-2022 academic year are:
  • Early Action: November 1st
  • Regular Decision: January 2nd
In conclusion, Yale University is one of the most prestigious and sought-after schools in the US. Its commitment to academic excellence, diversity, and inclusivity has earned the school a reputation as one of the top Ivy League institutions. While admission to the university is challenging and competitive, students who get accepted are guaranteed an excellent education and the opportunity to be part of a vibrant and diverse community.