Yale University is a private research university located in New Haven, Connecticut. The university is a member of the Ivy League and the third-oldest higher education institution in the United States. It is also a founding member of the Association of American Universities. The name of the university comes from Elihu Yale, a governor of the British East India Company.
Yale is proud to have the second largest endowment in the world, which, as of 2011, was worth $19.4 billion. It also affiliates 49 Nobel Prize winners and was the alma mater of five U.S. Presidents.
The university has its athletic team, Yale Bulldogs. Together with a rival Harvard University, the school competes in the oldest intercollegiate athletic event in the United States – Yale-Harvard regatta.
Like most U.S.-based Colleges and Universities, Yale recommends applying through a unified online system called the Common Application. In addition to the standard information required in the Common Application, you will also need to complete the “Yale Supplement application”, specific for Yale.
It might be interesting for some of you to know that you do not need to declare your major when applying – roughly 20% students choose not to do so. Yale searches for students that would fit the institution in general, not only a particular department or degree. With this said, it may be to your benefit to apply under a specific major. Regardless of what major you apply for, you will have the ability to change it until the end of your sophomore year.
HOW TO START
Set up your Common Application account (LINK https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/default.aspx) and have a look around the website – is contains very useful information for applicants, including application fees for different Universities and Colleges. You should set up your account as soon as you decide to apply and gradually fill it in with the required documents and information. You can save and come back to your application as often as you like until you are ready to submit it.
- November 1 for early admission. Note that you can only choose to apply for early admission in one College or University (with certain exceptions).
- December 31 for regular admissions.
The above are strict deadlines and you must submit all the documents before those dates. Please note that this means that if you want to start your studies in August/September of a given year you might often need to apply roughly a year earlier!
The application fee for Yale is $75. You can request a waiver of this fee if you wish – contact your college counselor and fill in the request with your application.
WHAT DOCUMENTS YOU NEED
Two admissions essays
You are required to write two short essays (around 500 words each) on topics of your choice – one as part of your Common Application and one for the Yale supplement. Make sure that your essays provide insight into your personality and interests. Remember, the Common Application will provide information regarding your grades and accomplishments. Essays should be descriptions of yourself that are NOT otherwise explained in the Common Application or Yale Supplement. All personal questions and essays should be the BEST pieces of literature you can produce. You should work on them and revise them multiple times. Be sure to ask your friends, family, advisor, and others to proofread any materials. Engineering applicants can sometimes be asked to consider writing an additional, optional essay on their engineering experience.
You need to supply two pieces of references (aka, letters of recommendations). Good references are one of the most important parts of your application. Be sure to choose people who know you well in the context of the field you wish to pursue at University. Those should be people of certain authority, such as your high school teachers or people who supervise your extracurricular activities. Remember that there will be many, many students applying to these universities with similar grades and SAT scores as you. The references, along with the personal essays, should make you stand out!
The school report will show proof of your academic ability. Yale asks for grade transcripts for past years, predicted grades for your final examinations in your current year and a counselor’s recommendation.
The SAT is the most widely used college admission exam in the States. Besides the general SAT examination, Yale requires you to provide a SAT result for a minimum of two subjects (called SAT Subject Tests). These three exam results will be taken into account in your assessment process instead of any final exams you might be taking in your country. Remember to check SAT examination dates well in advance of applying to have time to prepare.
Proof of English proficiency
Unless you are a native speaker or graduate with a bilingual diploma, you will be asked to take a test of English proficiency and attach the results to your application. You will most probably be asked to take one of the following: TOEFL, IELTS or PTE.
You are welcome to supply any material that will show your extraordinary talents, such as poetry, singing, and more. This is highly recommended for artists, musicians, designers and other similar applicants. Note that you should still try to submit supplementary material regardless of whatever major you are applying for. Yale University, in particular, seeks out students with a wide range of interests and talents.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SUBMISSION
In case of early admission you will receive a decision on your application in mid-December. This could be one of the following:
- An offer of admission to the freshman class
- Denial of admission
- Deferral for consideration in Regular Decision
In the case of regular admission you will receive a decision by 1st of April and this will be either an offer or a denial of admission.
Yale might decide to invite you for an interview in person, regarding your application, before they make a decision on your offer. It is highly recommended that you accept this invitation. It is common that prospective foreign candidates are offered interviews closer to their hometowns or even through a phone conversation or Skype. The interview is in the form of a conversation and concerns only your personality not your particular academic aptitudes (no tests involved). You may also choose to have your Yale Interview prior to submitting your application, and this is HIGHLY recommended.
The application is holistic and should reflect a complete personality of a student, with emphasis on his or her passions. Focus on showing your strengths and proving you are a unique human being with a passion for learning and creating. It is also highly recommend that you visit Yale’s campus if you have the opportunity – this will give you an idea of what your life as a student here might be.