How to get into Yale University

What you need to know

Strategy for getting into Yale

Yale University is a private Ivy League college and research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Spend time researching all that Yale has to offer and consider how those opportunities further your ambitions.

Visit the website, speak with current students and alumni.

Yale wants a candidate who will make the most of their time at Yale and will utilize/maximize their unique talents. In the essays, show Yale what those talents and skills are and how you intend to implement them and be involved at Yale. If you can show a history of displaying these talents/involvement in high school, it will help give the school an expectation of what you will be like when you join the Yale community and how you will engage the resources the school offers.

If Yale is your first choice, it offers a single-choice early action program for freshman applicants. If you chooses this option, you may not apply to early decision or early action programs at other schools.

  School Standardized Testing Stats

What you need to know

The average SAT score composite at Yale University is a 2265. The average ACT score is 33.

Yale has the Score Choice policy of “All Scores.” This means that Yale requires you to submit all SAT scores you’ve ever taken


You must score extremely well. Yale has one of the lowest acceptance rates of any college. You should aim for above 700 on all exams before you consider applying. Many students waste valuable time on a Yale application that is completely unviable. That being said there are certainly outstanding and exceptional students who score in the mid-600s on certain areas of the exam who are admitted.

Section Average 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Reading 755 710 800
Math 750 710 790
Writing 760 720 800
Composite 2265 2140 2390

  Application Essays

What you need to know

Yale University application essay tips


In addition to the common app, Yale has a required second essay. When considering your response to this question, think about your overall application and how you come across. What is the application saying about you. Is there anything missing? Use this essay to round out the application and paint a complete picture of yourself. Is there anything unique about your background? Where you grew up? Your culture? Great essays are able to tie this into pursuits at Yale, both inside and outside the classroom. It’s important to show a strong understanding of what Yale offers. Through this response, Yale will be able to more deeply understand what matters most to you and what you value.

Yale’s 2015 supplemental essay question:

In this second essay, please reflect on something you would like us to know about you that we might not learn from the rest of your application, or on something about which you would like to say more. You may write about anything—from personal experiences or interests to intellectual pursuits. (500 words maximum)

Yale’s 2015 optional essay for prospective engineering majors:

If you selected one of the computer science or engineering majors, please tell us more about what has led you to an interest in this field of study, what experiences (if any) you have had in computer science or engineering, and what it is about Yale’s program in this area that appeals to you. (500 words maximum)

  School Admissions Statistics

Yale admissions statistics for classes 2007-2019


What you need to know

Yale University’s Class of 2019 Admissions Stats

What the admissions statistics tell you:

Although a larger percentage of the Early Decision applicant pool is admitted than of the Regular Decision pool, that higher acceptance rate reflects the remarkable strength of a self-selected group of applicants. A candidate to whom we otherwise would not offer admission is not going to be accepted simply because he or she applied under the Early Decision program.