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

Application Instructions

Yale accepts the Transfer Common Application for the Eli Whitney Students Program. All EWSP applicants will use the Transfer Common Application, even if they have few or no transferable credits. The Transfer Common Application becomes available in mid-November for students planning to enroll the following fall. Follow these steps to apply:

1. Create a Transfer Common Application account at apply.transfer.commonapp.org.

2. Add Yale’s Eli Whitney Students Program from the list of available programs.

3. Complete all four sections listed in the My Application tab:

  • Personal Information – share biographic and contact information and request a fee waiver.
  • Academic History – provide education history and request official transcripts from all colleges attended. If you have not previously enrolled in any college, contact eliwhitney.students@yale.edu for instructions on completing the required Colleges Attended section.
  • Supporting Information – detail experiences and achievements and submit a résumé with complete educational and professional history.
  • Program Materials – respond to Yale-specific questions – including two personal statements – and add contact information for recommenders.

Additional Requirements:

  • An official final high school transcript or GED
    An official copy should be sent from a high school or department of education via email to transfer.documents@yale.edu or via mail to Yale Undergraduate Admissions, P.O. Box 208234, New Haven, CT 06520-8234.
  • Two letters of recommendation
    The admissions committee prefers recommendation letters from recent academic instructors. For applicants who have not been recently enrolled, employers, colleagues, or other individuals may write. Follow the instructions on the Common Application to request letters from two recommenders.
  • A nonrefundable $80 application fee or fee waiver
    Fees and waiver requests are processed through the Common Application. All U.S. military veterans and active duty service members may apply for free by responding “Yes” to Yale’s military fee waiver question in the Program Materials section. 

Additional Information:

  • Veterans of the U.S. military should submit their DD214 military discharge papers via the Documents tab in the Supporting Information section.
  • SAT and ACT scores are optional. Standardized test results shared with the admissions office will be taken into consideration in the application review process, but these test results are not required.
  • Non-native English-speakers who have not been taught primarily in the medium of English in the last two years should submit results from English proficiency exams.


  • 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 April 28.

Podcast: Transfer and Nontraditional Students