Inside Yale’s Admissions Process

Yale Admission, Admission to Yale, Getting Into Yale
“The Yale Daily News” takes a look at Yale’s admissions process (photo credit: Namkota).

There was a recently released podcast episode for “The Yale Daily News'” “Cross Campus” entitled “Inside the Yale Admissions Machine” that we figured we’d share with our readers. The podcast features an interview conducted by Yale undergraduate Allison Park with Yale’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan. And while much of what Quinlan says won’t surprise our readers since we’ve described the admissions process at highly selective colleges like Yale extensively over the years, it’s always nice to hear from a sitting dean of admissions.

Yale’s Dean of Admissions Describes Yale’s Admissions Process

During this sit-down, Quinlan walks listeners through how Yale goes about evaluating each applicant to the university. As he describes it, “We have 25 admissions officers who are responsible for applications from all over the world and we divide up the world into geographic portfolios. So there’s someone who is responsible for reading all of the applications from Virginia or al of the applications from Michigan, all the applications from Eastern Europe. And that person opens up the file and looks at testing and the transcript and tries to ask themselves, ‘Can this student do the work at Yale?’ Fortunately for most of our applicants, the answer to that question is yes. So they read the rest of the application regardless. But if they really find the student would also — in addition to being able to do the work here — would be able to contribute in a really, really valuable way to the classroom, to the Residential Colleges, to extracurricular activities, to the New Haven community, then that person would probably be passed on to be read a second time. Now since it’s all virtually, the person would read the application, send it back to the area officer and then the area officer is responsible for presenting the strongest applicants from their geographic area to the admissions committee.”

Quinlan continues, “The admissions committee at Yale consists of usually around five folks: three members of the admissions staff, a member of the faculty, and a dean in Yale College. And the presentation is made about the specific applicant and then the application can be reviewed in the admissions committee room. So you can see five people around the table with a screen and they would hear the presentation, look at the credentials of the student-applicant, and then review different parts of the application — live in person as a group, discuss different parts of the application, and then vote on the application of that specific candidate. So by the time a student gets admitted to Yale, their application has been read twice and then seen by a five-person committee.”

Now that our readers have heard the system through which applicants’ files are processed at Yale University, does any of it surprise you? For our loyal readers, the answer is likely a resounding no since we’ve detailed variations of this process at many highly selective universities over the years. But let us know if something inspires you to raise your eyebrow. We’d be curious to hear from you!


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