There was a nice piece on Yale likely letters in “The Yale Daily News” yesterday. In an article entitled “‘Likely letters’ part of Yale admit strategy” written by Kimberly Chow, it’s discussed how instrumental likely letters are in the admissions process at Yale. While the Ivy League universities can’t notify Regular Decision admits of their admissions decisions until the spring, likely letters are a great way to get around this stipulation. Likely letters, if you’re not familiar with them, are notes from the admissions office that tell students essentially that their admission is imminent. In the case of one student described in the article, Rui Bao, she not only got a likely letter but she also received a call from her Yale alumni interviewer, a Yale admissions officer, and she received a Yale sweatshirt in the mail. Now that’s recruitment! They clearly wanted her.
So why does Yale send out likely letters, you ask? The answer is that they want to win these students over. They don’t want students like Rui Bao going to Harvard or Stanford. They want Rui going to Yale and by letting her know before other schools that they intend to admit her, she can start thinking about going to Yale and envisioning herself as a Bulldog. From a psychological standpoint, it’s quite smart. According to the piece in “The Yale Daily News,” “[Jeffrey] Brenzel, [Yale’s Dean of Admissions], said the fundamental reason that the Yale admissions office sends likely letters is that students admitted under regular decision have just a month to make their decisions, during which time they may be considering many other offers. Students admitted under early action, on the other hand, have months to learn more about Yale and imagine themselves on campus before they hear back from any other schools.” Makes good sense, right?
What do you think about Yale likely letters? Do you think it’s unfair that some students receive likely letters while others have to wait it out? Do you think that more and more universities throughout the country will be sending out likely letters in the future? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below!