Learn What it Takes to Stand Out When Applying to Yale
It’s no wonder a multitude of beloved characters, including Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls and Brooks Rattigan of The Perfect Date, dream of attending Yale University. The Ivy League institution is academically renowned and holds an array of distinctions in many fields.
Due to the university's immense popularity and prestige, Yale's acceptance rate is one of the lowest in the country. Keep reading to learn more about this top-ranking institution and what it takes to stand out in the admissions process.
Yale University is a private Ivy League research institution in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is one of the oldest institutions in the country and is one of just nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Total undergraduate enrollment falls slightly under 6,000 students, and the university also has many top-ranking graduate programs, including a law school, medical school, and MBA program. For undergraduate students, some of the most popular majors include Social Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, History, and Engineering. The college is also known for its excellent arts and cultural offerings, including drama and music programs.
The Yale Bulldogs compete in the Ivy League’s athletic division and are well known for their rivalry with Harvard.
Last year, Yale’s acceptance rate was under 6%, and the university reported an unprecedented number of total applications – as many as 36,843! Students can choose between applying in the Single-Choice Early Action round (with a deadline of November 1) or Regular Decision round (with a deadline of January 2). Students who are interested in applying early must keep in mind that Yale’s SCEA process prohibits applicants from applying to other institutions in the Early Decision or Early Action rounds, with a few exceptions, including any non-binding process for public universities.
In addition to choosing which round to apply in, students have the option to use the Coalition App, the Common App, or the QuestBridge application. Applicants must pay an $80 fee, include a letter of recommendation from two teachers and a guidance counselor, send in a high school transcript, and submit either SAT or ACT scores. Applicants also have the option to submit supplementary materials, including portfolios, film samples, and musical scores, but Yale notes that these materials are not required and that the majority of their applicants choose not to.
What it Takes to Stand Out
Given Yale’s particularly low acceptance rate, applicants need to know how to set themselves apart from the competition. Students interested in Yale should note that the average GPAs and test scores for admitted students are quite high: for the Class of 2023, nearly 90% of admitted applicants received a 32-36 on the ACT, and nearly half of all students received a 760-800 on both sections of the SAT. Additionally, 92% of admitted students ranked within the top 10% of their high school graduating class. These numbers demonstrate the high level of academic caliber that applicants must possess in order to be competitive throughout Yale’s admissions process.
In addition to top-tier grades and test scores, students must write compelling personal statements and supplements, demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the institution, and highlight their interests and passions throughout all of their application materials. It’s always best for students to get a jumpstart on their applications so that they can present the best possible version of themselves to the admissions committee.
Students who identify Yale as a best-fit option need to do their due diligence and make grades and test scores a priority throughout high school. If you are interested in learning more about the application process, our team of admissions experts can provide personalized guidance.