Inside the Yale Admissions Office Podcast

Go inside the admissions process. 

Admissions Officers Hannah and Mark share the complex and dynamic work happening inside the Yale Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The podcast gives firsthand accounts of how officers read applications, make decisions within the Admissions Committee, and collaborate with other offices and resource centers. Yale College receives more than 35,000 applications annually for a first-year class of 1,550 students. Hannah and Mark give an inside look into the strategies and processes that enable admissions officers to attract promising applicants from around the world, consider every applicant through a whole-person review process, and build a class filled with strong students from an amazingly diverse collection of backgrounds. Recorded inside the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on Hillhouse Avenue, this new podcast pulls back the curtain to reveal some of Yale’s most fascinating and rewarding work.

Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, SpotifySoundCloud, Stitcher, Android Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. All episodes are embedded below: 

Episode 1: Reading

Hannah and Mark discuss how officers read applications, make notes, confer with colleagues, and prepare to present applicants to the Admissions Committee. Every year officers read more than 35,000 applications cover to cover and collectively make admissions decisions on each one. Admissions Officers Julian and John join as guests to discuss their strategies for reading and rating files.

Episode 2: Committee

Every admissions decision is made by a committee composed of five members of the Yale community. Hannah and Mark take listeners inside a real admissions committee discussion and describe how the members reach consensus and make decisions. Admissions Officers Jill and Alfie join as guests to discuss their roles as a committee presenter and a committee chair.

Episode 3: COVID-19

As COVID-19 causes massive disruptions around the world, Hannah and Mark discuss how the Yale Admissions Office has adapted and will continue adapting to new realities for applicants, admitted students, and prospective students. Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan joins as a guest to discuss how high school students should think about the selective admissions process in the face of the global pandemic.

Episode 4: Essays: What Works

Part 1 of 3. The most effective application essays help admissions officers understand who students are and the contributions they would make to a community. There’s no formula or perfect essay topic, but Hannah and Mark discuss what makes an essay work for an applicant. Admissions officer Keith joins to share insights on the choices that can be most effective when writing an essay.

Episode 5: Essays: What Doesn't Work

Part 2 of 3. Application essays are an opportunity to speak directly to admissions officers and share meaningful insights and reflections. Unsuccessful essays miss that opportunity. Hannah and Mark share some of the ineffective choices that regularly appear in essays and discuss why each choice doesn’t work to the student’s benefit.

Episode 6: Essays: The Little Stuff

Part 3 of 3. Most colleges ask applicants to respond to several shorter questions that are unique to their school. Hannah and Mark discuss what officers look for when reviewing responses to Yale-specific questions. Admissions officer Reed joins to share the admissions office’s process of writing and reviewing those questions at the end of each admissions cycle.