Beyond its Ivy League brand and selective admissions, there’s more to know about Yale to understand whether it’s a fit. Given how competitive it is to be admitted to Yale, it’s worth it for students to get to know the university beyond the surface of its New Haven location.
Admittedly, I love the artsy feel of the town itself. The prolific arts and culture scene are well-matched with the arts and entertainment figures who call Yale their alma mater. Two of my favorite actresses, Angela Bassett and Jodie Foster, graduated from Yale and there are several others.
Yale is a major research university with a historic commitment to undergraduate teaching. Research is a big component of academics. The curriculum across the undergraduate years is 1/3 distribution courses, 1/3 major courses, and 1/3 electives. Distribution course requirements cover the humanities and arts, social sciences, and natural sciences plus two courses that emphasize writing and another two that emphasize quantitative reasoning. Foreign language mastery is also a requirement. Interestingly, there are no minors at Yale, only majors. Juniors and seniors can take classes in any of the thirteen distinguished graduate schools.
Last year, Yale received over 31,000 applications for a class of approximately 1,300 students. The majority of the applicants are highly qualified which makes the admissions decisions very difficult. Students seeking admission to Yale are weighed according to these ABCs of getting in:
A- Academics [school context, teacher recommendations (from 11th or 12th), SAT/ACT testing, with subject tests]
B- Breadth and depth for extracurricular activities (i.e. stop doing a lot of activities for the sake of resume building)
C- Character (evidenced in essays)
Given the vibe of Yale and New Haven, arts supplements are even welcomed!
The keys to getting in to Yale is 1) knowing yourself, 2) being your authentic self in academics and outside interests, 3) researching Yale thoroughly and 4) applying to Yale only if there’s a sincere fit with their campus academically, socially, financially and vocationally.
Additional quick facts about Yale:
Freshmen retention: 99%
Freshmen from out of state: 93%
4-year Graduation rate: 86%
Most popular majors: economics, political science and government, history, psychology, molecular biology
Social: There are 32 Division 1 teams with several championships in men’s ice hockey, basketball, women’s volleyball and sailing. In addition to athletics, there are 500 active clubs including 50 performance groups and 60 cultural associations. Only 20% of students are involved in Greek life. Yale’s proximity to downtown New Haven affords students a vibrant artistic and cultural life, countless restaurants (I had the best Cuban meal ever at a local spot), and a myriad of academic and service opportunities within 15 minutes of campus.
Housing: There are 12 Residential colleges at Yale which are smaller communities where students live, eat, socialize, and pursue academic and extracurricular activities. Although undergraduates are required to live in the residential college for 2 years, most choose to live all 4 years there.
Similar colleges to consider: Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania
Financial aid: Yale offers only need-based scholarships, with 100% of need met. Although the cost of attendance is $64,000, the average need-based financial aid package is $45K. About 80% of students receive scholarships/financial aid. Yale covers financial aid for one summer, in addition to all academic terms.
What do you think about Yale? What about this college is a good fit? Please post your comments below.
Author: Pamela E
Dr. Pamela has helped thousands of teens attend the college of their choice. She brings her 25 years experience in education to assist families, schools, and employers with college selection, admissions, financial aid, and more. Dr. Pamela holds a PhD from Stanford School of Education, and an MBA from Dartmouth.