NEW!  Build your college list in 5 minutes with our free college list generator!



School Name: Yale University
School Location: New Haven, CT
School Type: Liberal Arts / Ivy League
Category: High Reach

Yale University Admissions Rates Fall 2020

Applications: 35,220
Admitted: 7%

General Info


Test Optional for 2021-2022
Admission Cycle

Fall 2020 Test Scores
Math: 740-800
ERW: 720-780
ACT: 33-35


Single Choice EA: November 1
Early Results: Mid-December 
Regular Deadline: January 2
Regular Results: By April 1

School Information

Schedule: Semester
Curriculum Type: Distributional Requirements
Greek Life: Yes
Athletics: DI

Yale is the kind of place that gives you a chance to explore, grow, and discover your authentic self. From underclassmen to tenured faculty, the community is full of interesting, talented, and passionate people eager to learn from each other by cultivating spaces to share their thoughts and experiences.

– Alexis, Yale Class of 2021

Yale Admissions Guide– Here’s everything you should know before you apply to Yale University

Yale is a school whose rich history can be dated back to the 1640s in the colonial town of New Haven. It was officially founded in 1701 but wasn’t called “Yale College” until 1718. Since then, it has come to be recognized as one of the greatest universities in the world, and its campus houses world-class museums, research facilities, and libraries. Here are a few things to know about this Ivy League university.

Where is Yale located?

Yale is located in the eclectic city of New Haven, which has been described as “large enough to be interesting yet small enough to be friendly.” Located between Boston and New York, New Haven provides the community feeling of a smaller city with convenient access to all that it’s nearby metropolises have to offer. The history of the Elm City and the school has been inextricably tied for over three hundred years, and Yale students are often active members of the New Haven community. Many undergraduates participate in community service, especially in New Haven’s public schools.

New Haven is certainly known as a “foodie” town — the small town offers a dizzying array of cuisines, and is even where the first-ever hamburger was sold in 1895. According to Thrillist, “you’re not legally allowed to love pizza until you’ve eaten it in New Haven, Connecticut.” Food trucks are also a big part of food culture here — at Ingalls Rink, commonly referred to as “the Whale,” undergraduates and graduates flock to the food trucks stationed outside the rink for lunch, where they have their pick of Bengali to Ethiopian to Mediterranean cuisines.

For a virtual tour of Yale, click here!

Why Yale?

Yale consistently ranks in the top 5 for universities in the U.S. You’ve probably heard the name Yale mentioned frequently in movies, on the news, or on TV. But what makes Yale so special? Yale is known for its excellent arts programs, most notably its drama and music programs. The arts are heavily integrated into Yale’s culture, especially in its a cappella scene. The co-ed Whiffenpoofs are a world-famous group — they even embark on a global tour! Yale’s drama scene is also famous, with alumni such as Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti, and Lupita Nyong’o. Besides the arts, Yale’s is known for their secret societies. The most well-known society, Skull and Bones, counts George W. Bush and John Kerry among its alumni.

Yale’s Residential College housing system randomly assigns incoming first-year students to one of the fourteen residential colleges. Each college is intended to be a microcosm of the Yale community, and provide students with a smaller community as a home base. While the colleges have different architectural styles, all of them have a dining hall, library, and buttery, a late night snack bar that sells inexpensive study fuel and serves as a hang out for students in search of a study break. Some residential colleges have other facilities, such as gyms, game rooms, music practice spaces, pottery studios, or basketball courts.

How diverse is the student body at Yale?

Based on information published by Yale on its Class of 2024, 45% of students identify as white, 13% as African American, 29% as Asian American, 2% as Native American, and 9% as international. 67% of students attended public school, 19% attended an independent day school, 5% attended a boarding school, and 9% attended a religious school. Geographically within the U.S., 29% hailed from the Northeast, 9% from the Middle Atlantic, 14% from the South, 11% from the Midwest, 9% from the Southwest, 17% from the West, and 11% from “other” including international. 19% of freshmen were first-generation college students.

How do I get into Yale?

To apply to Yale, you will need to submit:

  • Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application (All complete with additional Yale supplemental questions)
  • $80 non-refundable application fee (or fee waiver)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation from Teachers
  • School Report with transcript
  • Letter of Recommendation from a School Counselor
  • Official SAT scores or official ACT scores (applicants for the 2021-2022 cycle should be aware that Yale is test-optional admission due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Mid-Year Report detailing first-semester grades

What is Yale’s acceptance rate?

According to the Yale Daily News, Yale’s acceptance rate was 4.62% for the Class of 2025—making it an ultra-competitive college. Out of the record applicant pool of 46,905 first-year applicants (Single Choice Early Action: 7,939; Regular Decision: 38,966), there were 2,169 acceptances (Single Choice Early Action: 837; Regular Decision: 1,332).

Yale Admissions reports that test score ranges (25th to 75th percentiles) for enrolled first years during the most recent year were:

  • SAT EBRW: 720-770
  • SAT Math: 740-790
  • ACT Composite: 33-35

While these high scores may be intimidating, Yale has a holistic application review process and no score cutoffs.

Can I afford Yale’s tuition?

Yale’s tuition and fees in 2021-2022 total $59,950. There is no difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at Yale. Fortunately, Yale is committed to its generous financial aid policy. According to Yale’s financial aid website, Yale awards financial aid based on financial need, and does not offer any merit-based scholarships. Yale is dedicated to meeting 100% of student’s demonstrated financial needs. They do not consider citizenship or immigration status, including for undocumented students living in the US, with or without DACA status. Yale’s financial aid awards are based on the total cost of attendance, which includes tuition, room, board, books, and personal expenses. These awards include a Yale Scholarship, a parent contribution, and a small student contribution, as Yale does not expect their students to take out loans.

In 2019-2020, the average need-based scholarship was $55,100 for financial aid recipients. Families with a total gross income less than $75,000 (with typical assets) are not expected to contribute financially, and families with earnings between $65,000 and $200,000 (with typical assets) are only expected to contribute a percentage of their yearly income on a sliding scale beginning at 1% and reaching up to 20%. Yale does not have an income cutoff for financial aid, and in some cases families who earn over $200,000 per year have received need-based aid.

What are the academic requirements at Yale?

Yale does not have a core curriculum, but instead uses distributional requirements to encourage students to take a breadth of courses. Yale requires that students take at least two course credits in each of their three areas: humanities and arts, sciences, and social sciences. Students must also complete two course credits in quantitative reasoning and two course credits in writing. Finally, students must fulfill a foreign language requirement, which can range from one to three courses depending on the level of proficiency at time of matriculation. In some cases, the language requirement may also be fulfilled by study abroad courses.

By the end of their sophomore year, students are required to choose their major or double major. Yale does not offer minors, but does offer certificate programs for students interested in deepening their knowledge of a language, skill, or pursuing an interdisciplinary course of study.

Does Yale have a good athletic department?

Yale has a range of athletic programs including 30+ men’s and women’s varsity teams; over 40 club sports (most of which are co-ed); and intramural programs. Yale’s golf course has been rated the #1 campus golf course by Golfweek and in 2021, Golf Magazine rated it as one of the top 100 courses in the world. Yale also has facilities for tennis, polo, sailing, ice hockey, and more. Many students are also active participants in club sports. Although some clubs remain solely recreational, most are highly competitive.

National collegiate championships have been won by men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, croquet, fishing, polo, rugby, sailing, and skeet shooting. Additionally, numerous individual national collegiate championships have been won by a variety of club athletes. In 1976, Brad Simmons, captain of the Yale Skeet and Trap Club, was the first civilian shooter in twenty years to make the U.S. Olympic Skeet Team!