Get Into Yale
Yale is ranked #3 among National Universities and #10 for Best Undergraduate Teaching in the most recent US News and World Report. Founded in 1701, it is also among the oldest of the Ivy League schools. (It’s second only to Harvard, which was founded in 1636.) Today, Yale has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,472, most of whom live on or near Yale’s 345-acre campus in New Haven, Connecticut.
Yale is well known not only for its excellent academics, but also for its many extracurricular opportunities. Students can participate in Yale’s NCAA Division I sports teams or join some of its many student organizations. Yale boasts fifty performance groups and sixty cultural associations, not to mention its secret societies, such as the famous Skull and Bones Society. Yale also uses a unique residential college system, assigning students to one of twelve residential colleges before freshman year. When they arrive at Yale, students live, dine, and socialize with the members of their college, providing them with a tight-knit community within the larger university system. The school consciously designs each residential college to serve as a microcosm of the university as a whole, bringing together students with different backgrounds and interests to learn from and be inspired by each other.
All undergraduate students at Yale must enroll in Yale College, where they can choose from among 75 different majors and thousands of possible courses. The student-faculty ratio at Yale College is 6:1, and over 75% of courses enroll fewer than twenty students. Most programs include a senior requirement, such as an essay or a project, that allows students to work one-on-one with a faculty member on a subject in their field. Yale also offers a host of undergraduate research fellowships—including over 100 summer fellowships for freshmen alone—allowing students to work with professors to explore topics that interest them.
In addition to its possibilities for undergraduates, Yale offers graduate degrees through its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and its twelve professional schools. These professional schools include the highly ranked Law School, School of Management, School of Medicine, School of Art, and School of Nursing, as well as the School of Architecture, the Divinity School, the School of Drama, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the School of Music, and the School of Public Health.
Applying to Yale
Yale allows candidates to apply Single-Choice Early Action or Regular Decision. Single-Choice Early Action is non-binding, meaning that you do not have to go to Yale if you are accepted. If you apply Single-Choice Early Action to Yale, however, you are not allowed to submit Early Decision applications to any school or to apply Early Action to any other private institutions.
The good news is that, if you decide to apply Single-Choice Early Action, Yale will still allow you to submit applications to schools with rolling admissions and to schools outside the United States. You can also apply Early Action to any public schools within the US. In addition, you are allowed to apply to another school’s Early Decision II program, provided the notification of admission to that program occurs after January 1. (If you are admitted to another school in the Early Decision II round, you must withdraw your application from Yale.) This means that you could still apply early to lots of other schools, including St. Andrews (international), Penn State (rolling), and the University of Michigan (Early Action, public school).
Students applying to Yale can use the Common Application, the Coalition Application, or the QuestBridge National College Match Application. Yale requires students to submit the SAT or the ACT with writing, and the school highly recommends that students submit SAT Subject Test scores. Based on our 20+ years working with students, we can tell you that successful applicants typically submit four or more subject tests with scores of 760 or higher, as well as several strong AP tests. The school also recommends an interview with a Yale alumnus or a current student.
When it comes to the SAT and ACT, accepted Yale students typically have very high scores. On average, the middle 50% of enrolled freshman at Yale scored 720-800 on the SAT Verbal, 710-800 on the SAT Math, and 710-790 on the SAT Writing. (Please note, these scores come from the old SAT.) Their composite ACT score was 32-35. Yale does use superscoring, which means that admissions officers will consider only the highest score for each component of all the SAT or ACT tests that a student has taken. The school does not participate in Score Choice, however, so applicants must report the scores of all the tests they have taken. For this reason, we never suggest that a student sit for a SAT or ACT test as practice. Instead, you should take practice tests at home and prepare until you are ready to achieve the score you need. Yale is not the only school that demands to see ALL standardized tests a student has taken. It’s better be safe than sorry.
For the class of 2022, Yale received a record number of Early Action applications, with 5,733 students applying in the early round. Yale’s acceptance rate for Early Action candidates was 15%. Based on previous evidence, we can assume that the Regular Decision round will be even more competitive.
As for the class of 2021: Yale received 32,900 applications, which marked a 5% increase over the number of applications from the previous year. Yale accepted only 2,722 of those applicants, giving the school an acceptance rate of 6.91%. Of those 2,722 students, 17% were accepted in the Early Action round and only 5.04% were accepted Regular Decision. This is partially because so many more students applied during the Regular Decision round: Yale received 5,086 Single-Choice Early Action applications and 27,814 Regular Decision applications. Among the enrolled students of the class of 2021, 16.6% are first-generation college students and 11.9% have a legacy affiliation with Yale.