How to get into Yale University - the third oldest university in the USA

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 community hubs 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 would be 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.

Yale University’s most popular courses 2023

  • political science
  • economics
  • molecular, cellular and developmental biology
  • psychology
  • history
  • engineering
  • mathematics
  • statistics
  • performing arts

How to get into Yale University - What is Yale University 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’s 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 study 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.

How to get into Yale University - Why extracurricular activities will help you

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

How to get into Yale University - Getting into Yale University: a breakdown of successful applicants

  • Eight per cent legacy students (which is 30 per cent of the total number of legacy applicants)
  • Nine per cent international students
  • Over 52 per cent of students receive financial aid
  • 19 per cent are first generation students
  • 95 per cent were in the top 10 per cent of their class at school

How to get into Yale University - Are Ivy League universities expensive?

  • Ivy League Universities are expensive – but they also offer generous financial aid which can cover all your  financial needs

Applicants to Yale University in the 2024 intake have to cover a number of costs:

Tuition fees $67,250
Accommodation and board $19,900
Books and sundry expenses $3,600
Total costs per year (average) $90,750
  • 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 into Yale University - Financial aid

  • To get financial aid at Yale University you need to apply for financial aid at the same time as you submit your application.You will receive an estimate of the amount of financial aid Yale is offering along with your acceptance letter. Contact Elab , for full up to date information on the financial application process, the documents you need to present and deadlines.

How to get into Yale University - 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 also contains Yale-specific supplemental questions.

How to get into Yale University - 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.

How to get into Yale University - 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.
  • Introduction
  • Diagnostics
  • Personal Profile Map
  • Research
  • University Report
  • Final application choices
  • Application process plan
  • Mentor Program
  • Exam and Interview prep
  • Document completion
  • Application portal setup
  • Submission
  • Acceptance
  • Pre-departure procedures
  • Finances
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