Eli Whitney: Application and Instructions

Admissions Overview

Yale welcomes applications to the Eli Whitney Students Program.

The admissions committee considers many factors when reviewing applications and uses a holistic approach to the review process. Academic strength is an important factor. Most successful applicants have recent college grades mostly in the A range. It is not unusual for some of our successful applicants to present weaker high school or earlier college records, but the most competitive candidates demonstrate strong recent performance in demanding liberal arts and science courses. Beyond academic strength, Yale looks for candidates who demonstrate intellectual depth and curiosity, strong motivation, leadership, and potential to make a positive impact on the Yale community.


Students are eligible to apply to the Eli Whitney Students Program if they do not already hold bachelor’s degrees and:

  • they have taken at least a five-year break from their education at some point in their educational careers
  • Or they will have been out of high school for five or more years by the time of their proposed Yale matriculation. 

Academic Preparation

Prospective students without recent academic credentials are encouraged to take classes elsewhere before applying to the EWSP and to enroll in courses that are similar to classes offered at Yale. Higher-level mathematics courses and writing-intensive courses are especially valuable to prepare for Yale’s rigorous curriculum.

Admissions Timeline

  • November: Online application becomes available
  • March 15: Admissions application deadline
  • Late April to Early May: Interviews for select candidates
  • May 1: Financial aid application deadline
  • Mid to Late May: Decision notification
  • Early June: Candidates’ reply date

Application Instructions

The online application for fall 2023 admission will become available on this page in November 2022.

The application includes:

  • $80 nonrefundable application fee: Applicants who feel that the fee presents severe financial hardship may request a fee waiver in the financial aid section of the application. All veterans of the U.S. military who request a fee waiver will be granted one.
  • Personal and biographical information.
  • Education history including official high school transcripts, GED diplomas (if applicable) and official college transcripts. Official transcripts should be sent electronically to eliwhitney.students@yale.edu.
  • A résumé with complete educational and professional history.
  • Two essays and answers to some short answer questions.
  • Three letters of recommendation: It is recommended that at least two letters of recommendation come from recent academic instructors. Applicants who have not attended school for several years may ask employers, colleagues, or other individuals to write recommendation letters.
  • Standardized test results: The SAT and ACT are recommended but not required. Non-native English-speakers who have not been taught in the medium of English in the last two years should consider submitting results from English proficiency exams such as the TOEFL. Applicants may self-report testing on the application. In June, enrolling students will be required to submit official score reports that match their self-reported testing.


  • StandOut interviews: All applicants to the Eli Whitney Students Program will be invited in early April to participate in an optional interview via StandOut, an online video interview platform. StandOut provides applicants access to record and submit video responses to interview questions for inclusion in the Eli Whitney Students Program application. StandOut interviews allow applicants an opportunity to share their perspectives and experiences beyond what is noted in their applications. Completing a StandOut interview is entirely optional. Applicants who do not submit StandOut interviews will not be negatively affected in the application review.
  • Virtual interviews: After a preliminary review of completed applications, the Admissions Office offers virtual interviews to a small number of Eli Whitney applicants. These virtual interviews are scheduled with admissions officers during the end of April and early May. 

Application Status

Current applicants can check for receipt of required application materials on the Yale Admissions Status Portal using their email address and personal password.

Financial Aid

The Eli Whitney Students Program offers generous need-based financial aid. To apply for financial aid, please visit the EWSP section of the Undergraduate Financial Aid website. The financial aid application deadline for candidates to the EWSP is May 1.

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