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Application Instructions & Components
Applicants for freshman admission must submit the following:
- Common Application and Yale Supplement
- $75 Application Fee or Request for Fee Waiver
- Two Teacher Recommendations
- School Report (includes Transcript and Counselor Recommendation)
- Standardized test results, including either
- Mid-Year Report (due when first semester or trimester senior grades become available at your school)
- Application Acknowledgement and Status
- Important Notes on Legal Name
- Mailing Instructions
- Applications for Financial Aid
We strongly encourage you to apply online. The online versions of the Common Application and the Yale Supplement are easy to use and ensure quick and accurate transfer of your personal information to our database. In the most recent application cycle, over 98 percent of our applicants filed their applications online.
The Common Application and Yale Supplement give you the opportunity to tell us more about your background, activities, interests, and motivation for applying to Yale. You are asked to write two essays on topics of your choice and to write about your extracurricular activities in the spaces provided. Write openly and honestly about activities, interests, or experiences that have been meaningful to you. Most importantly, write in your own voice about topics that you are passionate about. If an essay doesn't sound like the person who writes it, it will not work well as a personal statement. We read essays very carefully and try to get a full sense of the human being behind them. Concise writing is often the best writing, so please try to limit each essay to approximately 500 words. You may find the 2012-2013 Yale Supplement essay topic below.
Note: If you have trouble submitting your Common Application or Yale Supplement, please go to Common Application Help. If you do not find an answer to your question, you may contact the Common Application Support Center for assistance. *** Please do not contact the Yale Admissions Office if you have technical difficulties with the Common Application or Yale Supplement; we do not have control over the Common Application website.
Online applicants may pay the $75 application fee by credit card or electronic check via the Payments link on the Common Application website. Applicants who apply on paper must submit a personal check or money order payable to Yale University and stapled to page 5 of the Common Application.
If you wish to request a fee waiver, please provide the following information when you fill out the Yale Supplement: the combined annual income of your family in U.S. dollars, the number of dependents listed for tax purposes by your parents, and a brief statement of additional circumstances that should be considered in a review of your request.
High school teachers can provide extremely helpful information in their evaluations. Not only do they discuss your performance in their particular class or classes, but they may also write about your motivation, intellectual curiosity, energy, relationships with classmates, and impact on the classroom environment. It is important that you solicit recommendations from teachers who have taught you in academic subjects, who know you well, and who have seen you at your best. It is also preferable that letters come from teachers who have taught you during your junior or senior year of high school. Please ask your teachers for letters of recommendation well in advance of application deadlines to give them ample time to write a strong letter for you. Teachers may submit letters of recommendation online, using a link you can provide them through the Common Application. Alternately, they may mail or fax letters of recommendation. We do not encourage supplemental letters of recommendation.
We prefer that letters of recommendation come from teachers who have taught you during your junior or senior year of high school in a core academic subject.
Just as teacher recommendations give the admissions committee a glimpse of what you are like in the classroom, the counselor recommendation and transcript give us a sense of your place in your high school class and in the larger school community. Your counselor can help us assess the degree of difficulty of your program, tell us what a particular leadership position means at your school, provide information on your background, and, in general, provide the sort of textured comments about you that can help your application come to life. If your college counselor does not know you well, he or she can still provide helpful contextual information about your school and its programs for your application.
*A Word on the Submission of School Documents
Recommendations, transcripts, and other school materials may be submitted electronically through the Common Application, by mail, or by fax. We strongly encourage online submission whenever possible. You will have the opportunity on the Common Application website to 'invite' your teachers and counselor to file their forms electronically. If they prefer to submit these materials by mail, they should use the appropriate address at the bottom of this page. Documents sent by fax should be sent to 203.777.6120.
Teacher recommendations and your School Report may be sent before or after you submit your Common Application and Yale Supplement. Materials that arrive before your application will be kept on file until your application is received. We understand that it may not be possible in some cases for teachers and counselors to meet our deadlines, and we will make reasonable allowances for late school documents.
All applicants for freshman admission should submit either the SAT and two SAT Subject tests, or the ACT with Writing. For more information on Yale’s test policy, including our policy on Score-Choice, please visit our Standardized Testing page. Standardized tests are just one component of a student’s application to Yale and are viewed within the context of the student’s entire file. There is no minimum score required for admission, nor is there a score that will guarantee admission. We receive applications from many highly qualified students and standardized testing is one of many important factors considered in our holistic review. The middle 50% of test scores (meaning the 25th to the 75th percentiles) for enrolled freshman are as follows:
- SAT-Verbal: 700-790
- SAT-Math: 700-800
- SAT-Writing: 710-790
- ACT: 31-35
The mid-year report should be submitted as soon as first trimester or first semester senior grades are available. It is important to maintain a high level of achievement throughout your senior year because we consider senior grades as we evaluate applicants. Admitted students and students who have already completed high school will be asked to submit a Final Report including a final transcript.
- Within three weeks of receipt of your application, we will send an email to the email address you listed on your application. It will include a username, PIN, and instructions for setting up your "Eli Account." If you do not receive your Eli Account information within three weeks, please check your 'junk mail' folder in case our email has been filtered by mistake. To prevent this, you may want to add 'firstname.lastname@example.org' to your address book or contact list.
- You should use your Eli Account in the coming months to check online for receipt of required application materials.
- Please use one email address throughout the application cycle. If your email address changes, please send that information to email@example.com as soon as possible in case we need to contact you via email.
- Please use your full legal name on all admissions documents, including teacher recommendations, the school report, standardized test results, supplementary materials, etc. We will file your application under the full legal name listed on your Common Application. If we receive documents under any other name, they might not be filed with your application.
- Remember to use your full legal name when you take the standardized tests as well.
We strongly encourage you to apply and submit your documents online. If you do mail any paper documents to us, please write "Early Action" or "Regular Decision" on the envelope so that we can process your materials more quickly. Any materials that need to be sent via the U.S. Postal Service should be sent to our post office box:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
P.O. Box 208234
New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8234
If you or your school send material by Federal Express, UPS, TNT, DHL, or other private delivery services, please use our street address:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
38 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, Connecticut 06511
Please note that the Yale freshman application will be available on the Common Application website on September 1. The Yale Supplement will ask candidates to provide one additional required essay for all applicants, and one optional essay for prospective engineering majors. The essay prompts for the 2012-2013 Yale Supplement are as follows:
Yale supplemental essay required for all freshman applicants:
- In this second essay, please reflect on something that you would like us to know that we might not learn from the rest of your application – or something that you would like to say more about. We ask that you limit your essay to fewer than 500 words. Before you begin, we encourage you to go to http://admissions.yale.edu/essay, where you will find helpful advice.
Optional essay for prospective engineering majors:
- If you selected one of the engineering majors, please write a brief third essay telling us what has led you to an interest in this field of study, what experiences (if any) you have had in engineering, and what it is about Yale’s engineering program that appeals to you.
If you wish to apply for financial aid, please refer to the Yale Financial Aid Office website for instructions. All financial forms and documentation should be sent directly to the Financial Aid Office.