College Spotlight:
Studying at Yale University

Yale University stands as one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the United States, often mentioned in the same breath with luminaries like Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford. The popular US News and World Report rankings place it in a tie for #3 in the National Universities category, and its alums are well-represented in positions of leadership and excellence in the United States and throughout the world.

Given this reputation, it’s unsurprising that Yale is a popular choice for motivated students applying to competitive colleges. However, Yale isn’t just a big name; it’s also a real place where real people live, work, and learn. The school has its own culture, traditions, and character that makes it an especially good fit for certain applicants.

Likewise, getting accepted to Yale isn’t just about proving your academic aptitude. It’s a competitive and challenging admission process that addresses not only your grades and scores, but the potential and perspective you bring to campus and how well you fit with Yale’s approach to college education.

Gathering knowledge is a necessity when you’re crafting a successful application for a college like Yale and deciding whether it’s the right fit for you. Read on for all the basics facts about Yale you’ll need to get started with your research.

Yale: The Quick Facts

  • Type: Private University
  • Location: New Haven, CT
  • Founded: 1701
  • Current enrolment: 5,472 undergraduates, 12,458 students in total
  • Tuition: $51,400 (2017-2018)
  • Average financial aid award: $48,294 (2015-16)
  • Acceptance rate: 6.3%
  • Average SAT score: 1545 (roughly equivalent to 2265 on the old SAT)

An Introduction to Yale

Students and Culture

Yale is well-known for its culture of academic excellence and intellectual rigor. Its students are people who take their education seriously and intend to prepare themselves for leadership roles in the future, though this doesn’t prevent them from having other interests and goals.

 Undergraduates make up slightly less than half of Yale’s medium-large student body of over 12,000 students, meaning that graduate and professional students do take up some of the resources on campus. However, you don’t need to worry that undergraduates won’t get their share of attention. Yale takes its commitment to high-quality undergraduate education very seriously, and is ranked in US News and World Report’s top 10 schools for undergraduate teaching. 

Tuition and Financial Aid

As with most colleges on this tier, Yale is an expensive place to go to school. The most recent figure for tuition places that charge at $51,400 per year, and the total cost of attendance for most students is around $64,275 per year.

Yale awards only need-based financial aid, meaning it does not provide athletic, academic, or other merit scholarships. However, this need-based financial aid is very generous for students who qualify, and many students end up paying significantly less than their full cost of attendance. Yale’s aid awards are also entirely composed of grant-based aid, meaning that no student is required to take out student loans.


Yale’s main campus is in the downtown area of New Haven, Connecticut. The university owns various properties, including athletic facilities, that are separate from this main campus, but if you attend Yale, the main campus is where you’ll most likely spend your time.

New Haven is not far from the urban centre of New York City, making the larger city a popular destination for students on weekends and breaks as well as a resource for academic and career development. The campus itself, however, has plenty of charms. It’s well-known for its architectural and historical significance and was even named the most beautiful college campus in the United States in 2011 by Town & Country Magazine.

Academics and Popular Majors

The most popular academic majors at Yale fall within the fields of economics, political science and government, history, psychology, and biology. In recent decades, Yale has produced many alums who have become significant figures in government and politics, giving the school a reputation as a place where future political leaders are formed.

 Of course, these aren’t the only areas of academic excellence you’ll find at Yale; the school’s resources and prestige draw well-known scholars and foster top-tier scholarship in many different areas. One area of special interest is Yale’s drama program, which has trained many of today’s leading actors and other media professionals.

 Student Life and Activities

Yale students are committed to their studies, but they’re just as eager to pursue challenges and activities outside the classroom. The campus is home to over 380 student groups at present, and new groups and programs are always in the works. If you can’t find your preferred activity, you’ll always have the opportunity to create it for yourself.

Competitive and informal athletic teams at Yale include the infamous sport of “bladderball,” a Yale tradition that has been banned by administrators and revived several times. The well-known acapella group the Whiffenpoofs is only one of many performing arts groups on campus, and other activities include a wide range of cultural groups, political organizations, and the Yale Record, the oldest college humour magazine in the country.


Like Harvard, Princeton, and quite a few other top-tier schools, Yale’s student housing is arranged according to a residential college system. Most students live on campus within these smaller residential communities.

Residential colleges provide students with a place to live, eat, socialize, and find support within the larger Yale community. Each college has associated faculty members and advisors who mingle with students, provide resources, and help organize community events.

This post was tagged in: college life, university, yale university, college spotlight, yale, harvard, princeton, quick facts

Ryan Kelly

Head of Digital Media

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