Eli Whitney Program for Nontraditional Students

Should I apply as a first-year, transfer, or Eli Whitney candidate?

You should apply as a first-year applicant if: you will have less than the equivalent of one year’s worth of transferable credits. Students entering as first-years must take classes full time every term. On-campus housing is available for all 4 years for students who apply as first-years. Students older than 21 may opt to live off-campus.
You are eligible to apply as a transfer applicant if: you will have accumulated between one to two years’ worth of transferable credits by your intended Yale enrollment. Transfer students are required to pursue studies on a full-time basis. On-campus undergraduate housing for transfer students is available. Students older than 21 may opt to live off-campus.
You are eligible to apply to the Eli Whitney Students Program (EWSP) if: you will have been out of high school for five or more years by the time of your intended Yale enrollment, OR you have taken at least a five-year break from your education at some point in your educational careers. This is a program designed specifically for adult students, and many of the EWSP advisors have experience guiding nontraditional students. The EWSP provides adults students with the flexibility to take classes full or part time while being immersed in the Yale community. Eli Whitney students receive free weekday lunch meals during the academic year. Undergraduate on-campus housing is not available to Eli Whitney students but they may apply for graduate housing. Most Eli Whitney students live off-campus, often within walking distance of Yale.
Some students may be eligible to apply through more than one of the above pathways, but applicants may not apply to more than one in an academic year. Feel free to contact the admissions office if you have questions about which admissions pathway is the best route for you.

Does it matter where I take college courses? May I enroll at a community college?

You should pursue coursework at a fully accredited post-secondary institution, such as a public or private college/university that grants bachelor’s degrees or a community college that grants associate’s degrees. Many Eli Whitney students took courses at 2-year colleges prior to enrolling at Yale.

I took standardized tests many years ago, and I cannot remember my scores. What should I do?

Your high school transcript may include standardized test results. If not, please ask the College Board (SAT) or ACT for your scores. For more information regarding SAT results, please visit the College Board website or call 866-756-7346 (212-713-7789 from outside the US). To contact ACT, visit the ACT website or call 319.337.1000. You may self-report any test results on the application form. If you are admitted and choose to matriculate, you will be asked to send official score reports to Yale from the testing organization.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of courses an Eli Whitney student must take in a term or year?

Eli Whitney students may choose to take up to nine course credits each year (roughly the equivalent of nine semester courses) and must take at least three course credits each year to remain in good standing. Eli Whitney students may take up to seven years to complete a bachelor’s degree. International students who hold F-1 status as Eli Whitney students must register as full-time students taking at least three Yale course credits per term. 

Are previous college credits transferable to Yale?

In certain circumstances, yes. Please review the detailed information on transferring credit

Is financial aid available for Eli Whitney Students?

Yes. Yale offers generous need-based financial aid for Eli Whitney Students, with the goal of making a Yale College education affordable for everyone. Review the detailed information about financial aid for Eli Whitney Students

Where should I send transcripts and supporting application materials?

Transcripts and application materials for Eli Whitney applicants may be sent electronically to eliwhitney.students@yale.edu, via postal service to Yale Undergraduate Admissions//P. O. Box 208234//New Haven, CT 06520-8234, or sent via courier (e.g. UPS, FedEx, DHL) to Yale Undergraduate Admissions//38 Hillhouse Avenue//New Haven, 06511-3407. 

What application is required to apply for the EWSP and how do I access it?

The EWSP uses its own online application form that is designed specifically for nontraditional students. The Yale Office of Undergraduate Admissions does not accept the Common Application or the Coalition Application for consideration in the EWSP. The Eli Whitney application form is available from mid-November until mid-March.

May I apply to the EWSP if I have already obtained a bachelor’s degree?

No. If you have already received a bachelor’s degree, you are not eligible to apply to undergraduate degree programs at Yale, including the Eli Whitney Students Program. This policy applies even if the degree is in a different field or from a university outside the United States. Learn more about admission to Yale’s graduate and professional schools

May I apply to the EWSP with a high school equivalency diploma (GED)?

Yes. You will need to submit your GED results as well as any high school transcripts from ninth grade onwards. Please have the GED testing agency send your official results electronically to eliwhitney.students@yale.edu or mail to Yale Undergraduate Admissions// PO Box 208234 // New Haven, CT 06520-8234

I have not taken any classes in a number of years. May I still apply to the EWSP?

Yes, you are eligible to apply to the EWSP even if you have not taken any recent classes. However, if your earlier academic record is not a good indication of your academic potential, we recommend completing additional college classes prior to applying.

What college courses should I take before submitting an application?

Consider taking rigorous liberal arts courses in the humanities, social sciences, foreign languages and natural or physical sciences. Take courses in math (preferably through at least Pre-Calculus) as well as classes that focus on writing skills. Yale recommends taking in-person classes. However, if this is not feasible, synchronous (i.e. in real time) courses are an alternative.  

Do I need to submit my high school transcript or earlier college transcripts?

Yes. Applicants must submit an official transcript for the high school from which they graduated, as well as official transcripts from all colleges attended.

How do I order a transcript if I left school many years ago?

Contact your high school and/or college registrar to request that transcripts be sent to Yale Undergraduate Admissions. If your high school or college has closed, contact the state Department of Education where you attended school. In the rare instance that you are unable to submit official transcripts, please use the Additional Information section of the application to explain your circumstances.

Should I submit SAT or ACT scores from high school, test again, or apply without test scores?

Standardized testing (e.g. SAT, ACT, SAT Subject tests, AP exam, IB exam) results are not required to apply through the EWSP. If you have completed any of these exams and feel that your results demonstrate one or more areas of academic strength, you may want to report those scores. Regardless of how old your scores are, including them with your application is entirely optional. As with other parts of the application, test results are considered as one component among many within a whole-person review process. Applicants who have not completed a test or who opt not to report scores are not disadvantaged.

Are there additional requirements for Eli Whitney applicants living outside the United States?

International students applying to the EWSP follow essentially the same procedures and have the same application requirements as other students. Students applying from abroad or who are not U.S. citizens should review this informaiton for international Eli Whitney applicants.

If I am denied admission, may I reapply?

Yes, but you must submit a new application for admission in a subsequent year. A new application fee is also required. Individuals may apply to Yale College no more than three times.

What does Yale look for in an Eli Whitney applicant?

The Undergraduate Admissions Committee considers many factors and uses a holistic approach when reviewing applications. Academic strength is an especially important factor. While many Eli Whitney students have demonstrated consistently strong academic performance throughout their educational careers, it is not unusual for our successful applicants to present weaker high school or earlier college records. The Committee, however, expects such candidates to show strong recent performance. Most successful applicants have recent grades mostly in the A range.
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. As admissions officers review every application, two questions guide the evaluation: “Who is likely to make the most of Yale’s resources?” and “Who will contribute most significantly to the Yale community?” 

What type of housing is available for Eli Whitney students?

Eli Whitney students are not eligible for on-campus undergraduate housing but may apply for graduate housing. Many Eli Whitney students live in rental apartments in New Haven, often within walking distance of the Yale campus. 

Does Yale College offer online, evening, or weekend classes?

No. Yale College offers only in-person instruction. Online, evening, and weekend classes are not available for undergraduate students.

How do Eli Whitney students integrate into the Yale community?

Eli Whitney students have access to the same courses, majors, facilities, extracurricular activities, research and study abroad opportunities as all Yale undergraduates. Eli Whitney students receive free weekday lunches during the academic year. Although they do not live in Yale’s residential colleges, every Eli Whitney student is affiliated with a residential college. They receive advising from their college dean and may participate in college activities. 

Must I take classes only on a part-time basis?

No. The EWSP offers adult students the flexibility to take classes full or part time. Some Eli Whitney students pursue their entire Yale education on a full time basis, while others are strictly taking classes part time. Some students may be part time for a few terms and full time during other semesters. International students, however, must register as full time students taking at least three Yale course credits per term, to meet F-1 visa requirements.