Eli Whitney: Application and Instructions

Admissions Overview

Academic strength is an important factor in evaluating candidates. While some individuals considering the EWSP may have been out of the classroom for a number of years and may not have had the strongest high school records, we do expect candidates to show very strong recent academic performance in demanding liberal arts courses. Most successful applicants have recent GPAs of 3.8 or above. While neither the SAT nor the ACT is required of Eli Whitney candidates, the Admissions Committee strongly encourages applicants to submit SAT or ACT results. Additionally, Yale looks for nontraditional students who have intellectual depth and curiosity, strong motivation, energy, leadership, community involvement and/or professional achievement. The Yale Admissions Committee takes many factors into consideration when evaluating EWSP applications and uses a holistic approach in the review process. Admission to the EWSP is highly competitive as there are only 25 to 30 Eli Whitney students among 5,600 Yale undergraduates. In recent years, Yale has admitted between to 5 to 10 Eli Whitney candidates annually, reflecting an acceptance rate of below 10%.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply to the EWSP, candidates must hold a high school or GED diploma and have had their education interrupted for five or more years at some point during their educational career. Individuals who have earned a previous bachelor’s degree are not eligible for the program. There are no typical paths for Eli Whitney students, but many take breaks in their education immediately after high school or in the middle of their college careers, and then return to college on a part- or full-time basis before transferring to the EWSP.

Academic Preparation

Individuals who cannot present recent academic credentials are encouraged to take classes elsewhere before submitting their applications to the EWSP. Prospective applicants should take courses that are similar to classes offered at Yale, such as courses in the humanities, social sciences, natural or physical sciences and foreign languages. We especially encourage candidates to take courses in math (preferably through at least Pre-Calculus) and classes that enhance writing skills because these will prepare students for the rigor of Yale’s curriculum. Candidates should take higher-level courses when possible. Online classes are not advised as they are not transferable to Yale. Courses must be taken at fully accredited institutions, either four-year or two-year, public or private. The majority of Eli Whitney students previously attended community colleges.

Application Instructions

The deadline to submit all EWSP application materials is March 15. Please note that all incoming students enter Yale in the fall term as Yale does not offer spring entrance.

To apply for admission to Yale as an Eli Whitney student, a candidate must complete and submit the application electronically. We suggest that students start the application at least two weeks before the March 15 deadline so as to be thoughtful in answering the questions and to give recommenders ample time to write letters of recommendations.

To begin the application process and to create an account, please visit: Eli Whitney Students Program Application

The online application will prompt for the following information:

  • $80 nonrefundable application fee: Applicants who feel that the application fee presents severe financial hardship may request that the fee be waived.
  • Personal and biographical information
  • Education history: Official high school transcripts, GED diplomas (if applicable) and official college transcripts are required.
  • Employment history: A resume with complete educational and employment history is required and can be uploaded electronically.
  • Two essays/personal statements
  • Short answers to five additional questions
  • Three letters of recommendation: At least two of the three recommendations should come from teachers or professors who have recently taught the student in academic subjects and who can shed light on the candidate’s academic performance, intellectual capacity, engagement in the classroom, and interactions with other students. For those individuals who have not attended school for a number of years, they may ask employers, colleagues, or other individuals who know them well to write recommendations.
  • Standardized test results: Though not absolutely required for admission to the EWSP, we strongly recommend that candidates take the SAT with essay or the ACT Plus Writing. Please use the Yale CEEB code (3987) or ACT code (0618) when submitting official scores directly from the SAT or ACT. For more information about the SAT, please visit the College Board website. For more information about the ACT test, visit the ACT website. For information about English language proficiency examinations, please see the section on International Students.

Interviews

After a preliminary review of completed applications, the Admissions Office offers interviews to a small number of Eli Whitney candidates. For admission to the EWSP, an interview is mandatory. While on-campus interviews are preferable, candidates who cannot come to New Haven may request Skype interviews. EWSP interviews generally take place at the end of April and early May.

Application Status

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

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

Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, please visit the EWSP section of the Student Financial Services website. The financial aid application deadline for candidates to the EWSP is May 1.

Yale University’s Nondiscrimination/Title IX Statements

The University is committed to basing judgments concerning the admission, education, and employment of individuals upon their qualifications and abilities and affirmatively seeks to attract to its faculty, staff, and student body qualified persons of diverse backgrounds. In accordance with this policy and as delineated by federal and Connecticut law, Yale does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment against any individual on account of that individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a protected veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

University policy is committed to affirmative action under law in employment of women, minority group members, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans.

Inquiries concerning these policies may be referred to Valarie Stanley, Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs, 221 Whitney Avenue, 3rd Floor, New Haven, CT 203.432.0849. For additional information, see yale.edu/equalopportunity.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Stephanie Spangler, at 203.432.4446 or at titleix@yale.edu, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, Five Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921. Telephone: 617.289.0111, Fax: 617.289.0150, TDD: 800.877.8339, or Email: ocr.boston@ed.gov.