Virtual College Tours: Yale University
CollegeAdvisor.com presents its virtual college tour series on Yale University in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with college students and alumni. Our CollegeAdvisor panelist will share their insider perspectives on what it is like to be a student at Yale. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2021-05-27 Virtual College Tours Yale University
Hi, everyone. Welcome to the college advisor, virtual college tour of Yale university. To orient everyone with the webinar’s timing. We’ll start off with the tour of Yale. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our presenter.
Hi everyone. My name is Zoe. I use she her pronouns and I graduated from Yale in 2016. I majored in religious studies, concentrating in environmental studies. Within the religious studies, you’re allowed to pick a concentration if you so choose. You just have to provide a reasonable defense as to why there’s an intersection.
I wrote my thesis on Jewish farming commune, so it was my deal. And. Yeah, that’s a little bit more about me and I’m excited to reminisce about Yale and take you through campus a little bit. So for some basics, a Yale is located in new Haven, Connecticut and new Haven is a city. It’s a small city.
It’s not a New York type city or Los Angeles type city. But it’s urban. And I think it can get a bad reputation because some people say it’s unsafe. Some people say there’s nothing worth doing there. I disagree on all fronts. I loved living in new Haven for four years and I even lived off campus for two years.
There are so many great restaurants and museums, many associated with Yale. But then there’s the new Haven farmer’s market and there’s lots of art going on. And if you don’t feel safe walking around at night alone. Yeah. Has a service where you can call a shuttle and they’ll pick you up from wherever you are and drop you off wherever you need to go.
It’s free, super convenient. So I’m a full proponent of living in new Haven. I think it’s wonderful. And in terms of the size of Yale, it’s a medium school and the undergraduate population has even smaller. It’s less than 6,000 students. For the types of schools I was interested in was actually on the larger end.
And I found it to be a great way to expand and be introduced to new people without it feeling completely overwhelming because as we’ll discuss the all breaks down its undergraduate population into residential colleges, which gives you a sense of smaller community, which was really important to me while also having access to the resources of a renowned institution and research universities.
And then campus size, it says here 260 acres, and I’m sure that’s true because the Gale owns a ton of land. And that sounds huge because that number is big, but like campus where you’ll attend classes is actually quite small. You’ll get to know what, like the back of your hand within your first month at Yale and with the student to faculty ratio, there are lots of teachers at Yale and there’s a lot of emphasis placed on teaching and encouraging undergrad students.
It’s not one of those institutions where teachers are just there to do their research. So to give you a little bit more background on what my application process was like I applied to eight schools, all of them, regular decision. And I did that because I was so sure that I was changing my mind changed almost monthly about where I actually wanted to go to school.
I knew what I was looking for. I liked small liberal arts colleges. And I’ll talk a little bit more about that on the next slide, but I wanted to give myself that space. To figure out exactly where I wanted to submit my applications and then have the autonomy to then choose where I was applying or where I would matriculate.
Once I got all my acceptances. And I started the process early, even though I wanted to give myself time to figure it out. I started writing my central essays over the summer and I got those done because I was a very serious student and knew I wanted to focus on being a senior and enjoying high school.
And with the time I gave myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the application process. I’m also a nerd who loves words and loves writing about myself. And that plays really well to what is required in the application process. In terms of what I was looking for, as I mentioned, I was looking for small liberal arts colleges.
Yale was on the larger end of the schools I was looking at. There are some small liberal arts colleges and they’re mostly. Under 2000 students, and those were my jam. I loved those schools. But Yale pushed me in ways that were both scary and really exciting. I was also looking for schools with a solid dance program.
I didn’t want to study it academically, but dance had been a huge part of my life. As I was growing up and I wanted to continue that in college and I wanted a school farm because sustainable agriculture was increasingly becoming something that was really important to me. And financial aid was central to my search.
I needed schools that would be generous. And Gail is incredibly generous with financial aid. If you have demonstrated need they don’t have merit scholarships for you being a good student, but if you’re a family meets the requirements of demonstrated need, then the financial aid is met a hundred percent.
So a little bit about why I chose Yale. I’m a very community oriented and driven person. So I actually visited a friend of mine who had graduated from my high school, and I stayed with her for a couple of nights and the conversations that were alive on campus, the sense of connection between the students.
It made me feel at home and made me feel excited to engage in conversation, engage in learning. That had been a struggle for me throughout like middle and high school, finding other people who were as passionate about learning as I was and feel is filled of passionate nerds so that they were my people.
And I knew that Yale would again push me to grow, being a larger school, having more resources and being on the, a little bit on the edge of what I thought I wanted. And Yale’s generous financial aid. I was on 80% financial aid made it possible. For me to attend school and graduate without loans and have an easel experience that didn’t put a strain on my family.
Thank you. Yeah. Thank you, Zoe, for that overview of where ads are running around. Okay. So here’s a poll about whether or not you’re planning to apply to Yale.
Definitely a lot of yeses so far. Okay. And a few maybes, but no. So that’s good. Cool. Yeah, we’ll see. And hopefully this gives you a little bit more of an insider’s perspective on the island can help you sort out how committed you are to apply. All right. Are we ready to close the poll? Yeah, we have nine who say it’s their top choice?
33 who say they’re applying and it’s on their school list and nine who say they’re still deciding wonder. All right, here we go. So we’re starting with library is Yale is renowned for its libraries. There are so many libraries, and I think if we’re going to focus on one, it should be Sterling Memorial library.
It’s the one that’s featured on all the brochures of Gail. It’s big. It’s beautiful. It looks like a cathedral. It makes you feel like you’re in Hogwarts. So we’ll go through some pictures of Sterling Memorial library and like insider’s tip Yale loves acronyms. So students would call it SML. We don’t use full names for virtually anything on campus.
I also like personally loved to library hop. So like SML is only open, I think until midnight. And then there’s another library in the basement of SML. It’s more modern. It’s a little bit cozy or it’s open till 2:00 AM. So I’d go down there if I still had to work. And then if I still had to work after 2:00 AM, I’d go back to my residential college, which has its library open 24 7 and the divinity school library and the law school library, where some of my favorites for daytime studying.
I was also known to take a nap for two in the law school, if I was really tired studying for exams. So let’s look at some pictures. This is Sterling Memorial library, Sterling SML is in the center of cross campus and you can see inside, it looks cathedral. Like it looks very it’s grand. It’s a place when you walk in, it makes you catch your breath.
And when you’re walking in to go to the staff, And get books for a research paper. It maybe feels a little bit less grand, but I always felt the immensity of it. Every time I walked in, no matter how stressed I was. There’s something nice about studying in a beautiful place. And yeah, this is a little bit more of the inside of SML.
This bottom picture is the main reading room which is so pretty. You can’t see it here, but the ceiling I think, is painted blue and has stars. I keep referencing Hogwarts. It feels very much like the the dining hall and hub words, and I felt smarter writing my papers in there. And on the left here, we have the divinity school library and the divinity school is beautiful.
It’s up on the top of science hill. And sometimes you may or may not have access, but I would just wait for a divinity school student to walk inside and I’d follow them and we were good to go. And then on the right, you have the law school library, which is incredibly beautiful and there their little cubicles, so you can really focus in on your work.
And then I mentioned these residential college libraries. So when you enter Yale, you will be sorted. You’ll just be put into a residential college and that’s where your sweets are. That’s where you will be. And you have 24 hour access to these residential colleges and the libraries are open 24 7 because I think Yale acknowledges that college students do occasionally pull all nighters.
So it’s a nice to have that space open if you don’t want to be in your suite doing homework. So we’ve talked a little bit about residential colleges, dining halls are also a big feature of the residential colleges. So each residential college or like dorm and more vernacular language that you might be more familiar with has a dining hall.
There are also dining halls that are separate from residential colleges. And one of them actually was my favorite. It’s located in the Slifka center for Jewish life and I loved their lunches. So they have their own dining halls. The Slifka center has its own dining hall. It only serves kosha meals.
So lunch was no meat and had dairy and dinner had meat, but no dairy. And as a vegetarian, I loved lunch, lots of like creamy green dishes which you know, who doesn’t love good butter and pasta and some polenta and it’s quieter in the Slifka center. So I liked that and I’d have those conversations with my friends there.
But you’ll have no dearth of options for where to eat. So here are some pictures on the left. We have Saybrook and then on the right, you have the more styles, dining hall. So Morrison styles are two separate residential colleges, but they’re a combined through their dining hall and through their underground amenities and the basement and more styles, their dining hall is open later for dinner.
So a lot of athletes go there. It’s also located right next to the gym. So really convenient if you’re going to work out or you’re coming back from practice or in my case, I’d go for brunch after a dance class. Okay. So right. The dorms at Yale, they’re called residential colleges. Mine. I was in Davenport college which is named after John Davenport who founded the city of new Haven.
I didn’t know that. So Davenport is just one of 14 residential colleges. And. I have to have some pride about it because that was my home and my community for a couple years. So something that’s fun about Davenport is that its architecture has a duality to it. So you can see the outside very Gothic, yellow is known for its Gothic architecture, but then once you get inside the gates of Davenport, it’s Georgian architecture, as you can see on the right here.
Fun fact, I last year was watching one of the sisterhood of the traveling pants, movies, and it features the Davenport courtyard. I was like, I have walked through there. That’s where I lived. It’s like when Carmen is going to yell or something. So now let’s talk about classes. So there, I took classes all over campus.
If, has a bunch of libraries and has a bunch of dining halls that has even more classrooms. But the building that I probably had the most classes in was WL H which is William L Harkness hall. It’s got a cup, a couple of big lecture halls. It’s got a bunch of small seminar rooms it’s located in the center of cross campus.
So it’s a very central location. You’ll cross it almost every day that you’re on campus at Yale. And yeah, it’s right next to bass library and SML as we were discussing. And there are two residential colleges right next to WLA, Grace Hopper in Brooklyn. So this is the outside of WL H nice, big building, beautiful architecture on the street to the right.
You won’t see this, but sometimes there’s a food truck affectionately known as the cheese truck. There’s a restaurant called Cassius cheese in new Haven and they do delicious grilled cheese from there, their food trucks. So highly recommended that if you end up in new Haven and some more of WL H this is cross campus where you can just have gone out there to enjoy some reading before class.
And then the picture on the right is the biggest lecture hall in WL. H also sometimes some performance groups will do performances there over the weekends, or late at night, or like visiting lecturers will come in and give their speeches there.
So off campus is just as wonderful as on-campus a neighborhood that a lot of people will go visit. If you venture off campus at Yale is east rock. It’s a quaint little neighborhood and it’s got the small hiking area of rock called east rock. It’s very appropriately named. So I’ll show you a picture of that.
And then my personal favorite place off campus was an off-campus house called the greenhouse. He is not in fact green, it’s actually blue. But it’s where a bunch of my friends lived. A bunch of the people who worked on the farm and they would have potlucks and people would play their fiddles. And it’s exactly how I wanted to spend my time off campus.
So I spent a lot of time there. So this is east rock, right? That’s the big rock that you can hike up. Some of the outdoor hiking clubs at Yale we’ll do sunrise hikes at east rock. I did that once. It was very early, but it was worth it. And then in terms of one of the most beautiful places on campus is incredibly subjective.
So my answer is also incredibly subjective. I worked on the yield farm, three of them, three out of my four years at Yale. So it was my favorite place and the place that I find most beautiful, but runners up, I wanted to include a and y’all can look up. Pictures of is so old campus is stunning. That’s where the majority of freshmen live your first year at Yale.
A lot of students live on old campus. If you’re in Silliman TD, which is Timothy Dwight, and maybe two of the new residential colleges, you won’t live on old campus. But I lived on old campus. I was in what was called a princess suite because our suite had two floors and a brick wall. And I had like it, it was beautiful and it was huge.
So old campus is beautiful, especially right after it snowed. It’s got all these old, tiny lanterns courtyards and reading rooms with an SNL are beautiful. And you might not even discover all of them unless you really try to discover all the nooks and crannies and SML. It’s huge. And then I also loved the forestry school.
It’s more modern architecture and very sustainable, all that good stuff. So you’ll see some pictures of the Yale farm. It’s up on science hill, the picture you’ll see on the right. That’s the. Gosh, there’s some name with a P like pergola or pagoda for that wooden structure. And underneath it is the wood brick oven at Yale.
So Fridays at the Yale farm, our community workdays, we invite anyone from the yield community or the new Haven community to come harvest and do fun and work. And then we give food up to the people who make pizza in that oven. And then at the end of the Workday, that, that is where you find the best pizza in new Haven.
That’s a hot topic of debate salads and Pepys have national renowned, but I think the Gill farm has the best pizza in new Haven. So Fridays workdays in the afternoons go up and have you some pizza on science hill. And then this, beautiful vegetables. This was my sanctuary. I would go here and to catch a breath, get some respite, and also do my work.
I actually got paid to work at this beautiful place. So you’ll have some cool opportunities for work study. If that’s something you need on campus. I think the most iconic place on Neil’s campus is cross campus. We’ve already talked about a lot of building, a lot of buildings on cross campus, SML, the big library, WLA H, which is one of the main lecture halls and where there are also a lot of seminar rooms.
And it’s through way. So it’s called cross campus because students cross it all the time. So these are some really pretty pictures. One is in spring and then one is in fall. Love the foliage in new Haven. And it shows when you were walking from. Following the people on the air, like entering this tunnel on the right hand side, you would have been coming from old campus.
And then you’d be, if you walked through, you’d be walking past SNL Sterling Memorial library on your left, and you’d get to the Beinecke key rare books and manuscripts library right in front of you, which is stunning. You get to find really old books, lots of history. The building itself looks very odd.
It’s like this big cube that looks a little bit like a beehive. You’ll know it when you see it. So this is cross campus. It’s on all the brochures and you will walk through it dozens of times, maybe even. Yeah.
In terms of where I had my back. Best memories at Yale. I’d have to say the residential college basements because the basements and residential colleges at Yale are not like normal basements. They’re not full of ghosts and murders. They are really done up. So there are gyms and some of the residential colleges have a ceramic studio or Davenport had a printing press.
Every residential college has a gym. Every residential college has a buttery where you can get food late at night, eight or plays. Air hockey. So I, there are some dance studios in the basement of residential colleges, and I spent countless hours rehearsing with my student dance company in those basements.
And if you’re involved at all in dance or theater, you’re used to what’s called tech week the week leading up to a performance and we would spend so many hours in these basements. You’d go a little stir crazy, but there’s something in that NAVYA that brings you very close to the people you’re making art with.
And I have very fond memories of those times. This is just an example on the left, this, I think is the gym in more styles. And then the ceramic studio is in Grace Hopper. And these two pictures on the right are the ceramic studio in the basement of Grace Hopper. And then these are more residential college basements on the left here.
We have the buttery, I think also for Gregory’s hopper. And then on the right, this is one of the dance studios I spent so much time in and this is in Trumbull college.
All right. So I’ve just triggered a poll for if you’d like to see more virtual college tours with us We understand that visiting colleges has been very difficult during this time. So please let us know if you’d like to see more of the series.
Great. Okay. So I’m seeing a lot of yes answers. So I want to see videos. I want to see photos. I want to see videos and or photos. And it seems like people even after COVID is over, would still like this programming. Awesome. That’s great to know. Thank you everyone.
Okay. Yeah. Okay. Perfect. So my favorite and least favorite things about Yale. So my favorite thing first and foremost was the people I met. Yeah. Yeah it’s a difficult place to get into and Yale really curates the community it builds. And this is true of a lot of elite institutions in the us is that colleges are trying to make a diverse class of individuals.
And I really found that to be true. Every single person I met was incredibly smart, obviously, and so talented and whatever their chosen lane was, whether it was writing for newspapers or playing the cello or making podcasts about fermenting food. And I found it so inspiring to be around people so talented, and I think Yale stands out amongst similar institutions for its emphasis on community.
And it, I think Yale really. Preferences students who are really self-aware, who are well-spoken and want to share their interests with each other. It didn’t feel like we were in the hunger games and fighting each other for the top graded. It felt like we were working together. Eagerly and excitedly sharing our passions with one another.
And I think Yale also likes really students who are very nerdy and interdisciplinary. That was certainly true for me. So don’t ever feel like you have to make yourself unidimensional Yale likes its students dimensional. And my least favorite thing about Yale, very transparently. It’s just like the institution of it.
It is so old and all the things that come with it, there’s like class privilege. And, it was founded by a bunch of old white guy is one of the colleges only in the past five years. One of the residential colleges, Grace Hopper was renamed because previously it was named for a slave owner. So right.
Like it has that history and there’s still that elitist. And I think that’s true in any Ivy league college in the U S so it’s something I definitely had to contend with as a student there. And I felt uneasy with it. But I also have to look at the other side of it that same privilege and an elitism also paid for 80% of my tuition every year and handed me a $10,000 check to go to Butan the summer after my freshman year.
So it’s a double-edged sword and good to be critical of the place you ultimately end up attending. But I am so grateful for all the opportunities this place afforded me. And one of the things I want you all to walk away knowing about Yale is that every student’s Gail is different. So I think about my Yale I’m a weirdo, I’m a nerd.
Like I loved farming and I love dance and not just dance, but like post-modern feminist dance. So my Yale and the Yale I inhabited and created for myself was very different. From the student whose life was working at the YDN, which is the Yale daily news which is a really well-known student publication.
And that student seal was very different from the student who was a biochemistry major and spent their life up on science hill, doing labs. And that person’s sale is different from the varsity swimmer who spent all of his time in PWG, which is the big gym. And I think this is probably true at different colleges as well.
That it’s what you make of it. And it’s about finding your people and finding your lanes and the places that make you feel at home and make you feel challenged to learn more and grow. Yeah, so I it’s both what I love about Yale and yeah. What you should take away from this. Let’s see.
What’s next questions and answers. So this is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab, moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through the questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them in the public chat.
So you can see and then read them out loud before Zoe gives you an answer as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, double-check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page. Okay. So our first question is what majors are most popular.
I don’t know, off hand. But I know that Yale is very well known as an institution. That’s very strong in the humanities. So there are bunch of English majors and, the English majors and given Yale’s emphasis or I guess, reputation for the humanities. A lot of people wouldn’t know that. I think one of the most popular majors is probably in the, like the life sciences and biology.
There are a bunch of very accomplished scientists and mathematicians at Yale. So it’s not just one thing that Yale does, obviously my major, I think there were four other people who are religious studies majors with me in 2016. So it was in one of the smallest majors.
Okay. Our next question is. Hi, not sure if you would know or not, but how has Yale’s aerospace engineering and astrophysics programs? And if there’s an engineering program we need to apply for what is the acceptance rate, if any? So I don’t know, yields ranking for aerospace engineering. And in fact, if they have a discreet major for aerospace engineering I do have friends who were in engineering, but in different facets of it like environmental engineering and biochemical engineering, I had friends in those fields.
And in terms of acceptance rate, it’s Yale’s acceptance rate. So if you’re applying to an engineering program, you are applying to Yale school of undergraduate engineering and you’re filling out the same application as anyone else, even students who are applying as an English major and applying to your college.
Your application is exactly the same, except you have to answer an additional question about why you’re applying to engineering in particular and what your experience in that field is.
Okay. Our next question is what is the required GPA to apply? So Yale and I don’t know that any school actually has the required GPA. So that’s trivial as well. There’s no like minimum, you’re allowed to apply with a 0.0 GPA. I don’t know if anyone has that as your a 0.0 GPA. But you’re not going to get in with as you’re a 0.0 GPA.
So Yale has published its average and median GPA is at accepted students. I suggest you look at those, look at the range of the average. And even if you’re a little bit below the range, there are other things that can compensate for it. GPA is not the single determining factor. And if you’re getting into Gail or not, it will help you gauge your chance of getting in.
But it’s not the only thing that matters.
Our next question is if you feel comfortable saying, what was your personal statement about? Yeah, I’m happy to answer that question. So in high school I did a semester program that is like a corollary to study abroad, but it was in the us. So I grew up in the Boston area and I went to a school called Concord academy.
But for the spring semester, my junior year, I went to a school in rural Vermont that had a working farm, very competitive academics, and I got to. Feed sheep and cut down tree is it’s exactly what I wanted. It was a wonderful experience. And part of it was doing a three-day solo in the woods of New Hampshire.
And for me, that was an incredibly transformative experience spending three days alone in the woods. And I had always been someone who was so perfectionistic and driven, and I constantly had a litany of my to-do lists running through my head. I was not used to Stacy and just I would just follow the sun for hours as I was sitting in the woods for three days.
And I loved that sense of stillness and I challenged myself to be boring. And not the kind of board where I was like, wishing somewhere else and twiddling my thumbs, but the kind of board that asked me to be present and to not be distracted by my to-do list. So I wrote about that experience and I, at least at the very least use the phrase on the other side of boredom and how it encouraged me to then inhabit the world once I was back in society and no longer sitting on rocks.
Our next question is, does Yale have a semester or a quarter system? You’ll has a semester system. So there are two semesters and to like, get your graduation credits, you’re encouraged to take four or five classes every semester. You want to average nine per year so that you can have 36 credits at the end of your career and graduate.
You would need your Dean’s permission from your residential college. If you wanted to take fewer than four or more than five classes.
Our next question is how do you apply for financial. So financial aid is a separate application from like the one where you write your essays for Gail. And you turn that in. I think Yale requires both the FAFSA and the CSS. I definitely did when I applied. So the FAFSA is the federal application for student aid.
It’s free. The CSS profile is very similar but it uses slightly different metrics and they collect a bunch of information about you, about your family and the people you live with and what your parent or Guardian’s income is, all that good stuff. And then these applications determine here’s what we think this family can afford for college tuition based on all the factors we gathered and they send that to Gail.
And then you’ll says, okay, this student can afford $10,000 per year for college. And our tuition is 80,000. Here’s Zoe, you have a $70,000 scholarship. That’s generally how it works glossing over some of the finer details.
Our next question is, what do you feel like is the main, what do you feel like are the main problems that incoming freshmen at Yale face? Yeah, it’s hard to generalize. Something I struggled with was that thing of finding your people and feeling like I knew who my friends were and finding my community because yeah, it’s not huge.
It’s not one of those schools that has more than 35,000 students in undergrad alone. But it’s big enough. And, you got used to high school wherever your high school was, and you got used to living with your family and it’s a completely new environment. So there’s a lot of adjustment. And I didn’t personally struggle with the transition in academics and the rigor, but the sense of am I making friends the way other people are making friends?
Are these friends all actually keep with me throughout my time here? It I had anxiety about it, but once I stopped worrying and just let it be what it was, I found my people and developed friendships that I still have today have gone to multiple weddings of people. I met at Yale. And one of my friends from Yale actually lives like now a number of blocks from me and it’s still a friendship.
That’s very important. So you’ll find your people. You might struggle with the transition because it’s a lot of change, but just give yourself some time and ask for help. From the people around you cause there’ll be willing to give it.
Okay. Our next question is what would you recommend someone applying to Yale do in advance before applying and while applying, writing essays, interview application itself, et cetera. In other words, what makes a student stand out in their application here? Got it. So do the things that are required obviously as the only way that you’ll be able to submit your application and be considered.
So if you’re like a rising senior at this point, there’s only so much of a difference you can make to your GPA and your extracurriculars. So let’s assume that like you got, you have a good GPA, you take rigorous courses, you have really good extracurriculars that you’re really committed to what you can do in your application.
Be vulnerable be self-aware and don’t just pander to what you think you’ll wants to hear what y’all wants to hear. It’s who you are. This is a much more human process than people realize it is, right? Like obviously you’ll has high expectations. They admit students who are very strong academically and have very strong extracurriculars.
So those are expectations, but they’re not the sole determining factors. There are real people reading your applications. And if your story feels human and feels honest and resonates with the person reading your application that’s, what’s going to make the difference between you and Joe Schmoe, who has the same stats and also has great extracurriculars.
But maybe Joe Schmo, his stories didn’t resonate as much. I actually got a personal call from the person who read my application once I was accepted. And I like, because I put a lot of effort and a lot of vulnerability into my essay is my admissions reader. I felt like she knew me and I felt like she really cared.
And she was like really excited to say, welcome to Yale. So I know that might sound a little intangible, but it is really like the single most important thing you can do.
Okay. Next question is, does Yale have an animation program and, or an illustration. Great question. I have no idea. Gail does have a very strong school of the arts which translates into more resources for undergrad students. The furthest I ever got in the art department was taking basic drawing, which is actually a very competitive class to get into because a lot of students want to take it.
And as y’all may or may not know, Yale has what’s called shopping period. So for the first two weeks of classes in a given semester, you don’t have your classes yet. You get to go to any class you want and sit in and decide if you want to go. And if you want to keep up with the class with lectures, that’s pretty easy.
Generally it’s pretty straightforward. Show up, take the class register. But for seminar classes like basic drawing had a cap of maybe 15 students and probably 40 students showed up the first day. So sometimes. Little essays you’ll write about this is why I want to take basic drawing. Or I remember the first day I went into basic drawing during shopping period, we were asked to draw a portrait of our hand and also write why it was so important to us to take basic drawing.
And then that’s how the professor decided who would continue with the class. So my short answer to your question is, I don’t know if y’all has an animation department mint. But I had very positive experiences with my min minimal interactions with the fine arts department.
Our next question is, are students required to live on campus? And if so, can living on campus be waived if you have medical issues such as allergies, et cetera. Interesting. I’ll approach the waving question later, but at least when I was on campus, and I think this policy is probably still true.
You are required to live on campus for your first two years at Yale. And Yale does that because again, they want to instill the sense of community. A lot of freshmen live in old campus, and it’s fun to be surrounded by a bunch of students who are new to Gail, getting to know each other. It creates a sense of belonging.
And then sophomore year, the majority of students will move into their residential college. So that’s required. And I was, once you reached junior and senior year, it’s optional. You got to decide whether to remain on campus or move off campus. A lot of students stay on campus because Yale’s residential colleges and like housing accommodations are really nice.
Like probably some of the best you’ll find in any college or university. I however, wanted to live off campus, to live with my friends who weren’t in Davenport. And I, it was really important to me to have a full kitchen to myself and be able to cook for all my meals. So I moved off campus for both my junior and senior year.
I don’t know if they’re like the waving policies. If you have a medical condition, there are like sweets on campus that are particularly for students who have disabilities and need certain like access. And I know that there are suites for students with like different situations who might need more privacy.
Yeah, that would be something you’d have to either research on your own or call Yale about to find out the finer details.
Okay. So we’re going to take a quick break in the middle of the queue. If you want to work one-on-one with an advisor from our team of over 155 advisors and admissions officers, then I can tell you how sign up for a free consultation with us by going to college advisor.com and clicking the green chat button in the bottom, right of the screen from there, just write in consultation and a live team member will get back to you to help coordinate your free consultation with us now back to the Q and a, our next question is it easy to skip to switch your major?
And I think there’s also a question about, can you double major? Yeah, sure. I am happy to answer those at once. So with switching your major, Yale being an institution that really values a liberal arts education model. You don’t have to declare your major until the end of your sophomore year. So you have time to figure it out.
And I needed that time. Like I think I applied undecided to Gail, but I thought I would probably go into anthropology. I took a class that sounded perfect for me. It was called environmental anthropology. And while I really enjoyed it, I realized I do not like anthropology. It’s like too many shades of gray, too wishy washy.
I prefer B being able to formulate my own theories in the realm of literature and history. I had time to figure that out and craft my major in religious studies, which I never would have projected before. I enrolled in Yale, so you have time to figure it out. And I definitely saw friends switch their major once more than once.
So it’s possible. And yet it doesn’t make it very hard. That’s one of the benefits of its liberal arts education model on the whole is that it’s not like you’re applying to a separate college within Yale. If you were trying to switch from Yale college, which is where the vast majority of the majors are housed.
And you’re trying to like switch into the engineering school. That might be a little bit more difficult, but I assume it’s possible in terms of double majors. I actually don’t know. I know that offhand. I know a lot of students don’t because they have their hands full with the requirements of their own major.
But that being said, I have seen very motivated students. Like one of my friends who lived at the greenhouse, the off-campus house, I mentioned earlier when she was graduating from Yale, she actually graduated with a master’s degree as well because her academic advisor was like, Hey Sarah, you took so many classes and so many high level classes that like, if you take a few more over the summer, you can get another degree when you graduate.
So Yale will update you and your academic advisor will help you navigate those waters. Okay. Our next question is what would you tell your younger self and applying what to do differently advice, et cetera. That’s so nice. I love that question. I was like fairly pleased with how I handled the application process itself.
If anything, like looking back, I know that my main weakness was my extracurricular profile. I danced and I loved it and I farmed and I loved it and I like had some leadership and I had some achievements, but it’s not up to, I think what Yale’s normal caliber is, I think other things weighted the game for me.
So I would go to my younger self, right? Like freshmen sophomore year and say Hey, if you think this is a college you’re interested in applying to, maybe there’s some more steps, you can take more passion projects you can pursue to demonstrate that you’re the type of student that can take initiative and really take advantage of the types of resources that you’ll have to offer.
Our next question is I’m currently a dual credit high school student with will some of my college credits possibly be transferred. Yeah. So that’s going to depend college to college. And generally my assumption is they probably won’t transfer to you institutions like Yale, or are usually a little strict about what credits they accept.
I also see a question about AP is transference as credit for Yale, and I don’t think so. The reason I don’t know super well is that my high school didn’t offer AP classes. All of our classes were assumed to be taught at a very high caliber. And we didn’t follow the AP curriculum. So I’m unsure what I think if I’m remembering correctly, from what I learned from my friends who took AP is I think what it can do is if you get a five on AP French, you wouldn’t have to take intro French.
You could go straight into French five or whatever. But I don’t think that the credits transfer, they might, I’m honestly not best positioned to answer that because again, like my high school didn’t have AP classes or dual credit.
Okay. Our next question is we’ve had a few questions along this line about pre college summer programs. So does Yale provide summer programs for high school students? If yes. Could you please suggest some tips to enroll in summer business programs for internationals? Yeah. So I have a couple of things to say on this.
So yes, Yale does have a summer program for high school students. It’s the Yale young global scholars program. And I think they have it in various academic areas. And in terms of applying a lot of the same expectations apply, right? Yale still wants to see that you’ve been a good student. There are going to be essays.
You have to write to be considered for admission. And you want to focus on self-awareness. You want to focus on being yourself and being very honest.
I also want to be very transparent in saying there is the, are a dime a dozen at this point, even if you’re taking classes at. Like a business class from Wharton at Penn, which is one of the best business schools in the world. Even if you’re taking a summer class at Yale or Harvard or Columbia sure.
That will never hurt you. That’s like a good thing. And it’s a marker that you’re a good student able to keep up with rigorous coursework, but it’s not necessarily like the shining star on your activity list that students assume it is. It doesn’t make it that much easier to get into Yale. If you’ve done Yale, young, global scholars, if there a classes how and eye opening to you and you think it would really help you explore your interests and fine tune what you’d like to pursue in the future, go for it.
But know that it’s not going to have the same weight as like a summer program where. Thousands of people apply internationally. Only a handful gets selected and you actually receive a stipend or you receive a scholarship to go. These paid programs carry less weight and Gail’s yield young global scholars program is a paid program.
It has tuition. Okay. Our next question is, have you met anyone that got into Yale after a gap year
about that? I know students who applied got in and then took a gap year and I took a year off from Neil. Yes. Once I was already accepted, I took a year off between my sophomore and junior year. Not because I disliked feel, but just because I wanted to try my hand at farming in a more like real context.
I don’t know if someone who took a year off and then got into Yale, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. I’m sure it has. I met various people at Yale with kind of untraditional routes. They took to Yale. So there’s a school called deep Springs. It’s out in the desert and I think it only takes a handful of students every year and they learn philosophy and cattle ranching.
And I saw multiple people transfer from deep Springs. After a couple of years, get into Yale. I saw full grown adults like in their thirties, forties apply after being in the military. So I’m sure it’s not impossible. I just don’t personally know those people.
Deep Springs is actually my first choice. They didn’t accept women yet. What if you which is our next question is what have you been up to since Yale? And do you believe your time there has prepared you for the professional world?
Yeah. So that is a very good question. It’s an astute question. I am not the best person to answer it because some people really treat college as a launching pad for their professional life. And that’s smart at Yale. There will be no shortage of opportunities to network and meet people. I know people like a bunch of big firms like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and those big, fancy rich firms.
They come to Yale, they recruit, so you’ll have a lot of professional development. That’s not how I approach my college experience. I approached it as I want to get to know myself. I want to explore the world intellectually. And I did that. So after graduating, I have worked on farms, I’ve done professional dance work.
I do college counseling for a living. I’ve been doing it for the past five years. And that’s in addition to the farming and the dancing, which have remained lifelong passions for me.
Our next question is, would you say Yale is a diverse institution? I would. And I’ll add the caveat. It’s diverse for American institutions, right? Like a lot of American colleges, no matter what they’re going to. It’s an HBCU. A lot of colleges are predominantly white, even if they’re still diverse racially, a lot of colleges are going to have a very strong showing of rich students and very well off students, in higher socioeconomic statuses.
That’s who in America, like those students are privileged and you’ll see them disproportionately represented in a lot of colleges and universities. So that is still true at Yale. But for American institutions, Yale is very diverse and Yale is constantly growing and how it supports its diverse students.
There’s, Center and then the FM house and that’s for African-American students. There’s the Slifka center for Jewish life. And since I left there were always queer groups on campus and groups to support queer students. But now I’ve been doing research on it and there are like more than 80 resources for queer students and trans students.
And it’s like really quite beautiful. So yeah, for the standard of American institutions, I think yield is pretty well and it’s diversity factor and how it actually supports students.
Okay. Our next question is, does Yale offer any scholarships to international study? So I’ll make the distinction here that yield doesn’t offer any merit scholarships to any student, right? The merit is getting into Yale, but if you have demonstrated need you fill out the FAFSA, you submit your financial aid application, which might be different as an international student.
But I know for a fact that Yale provides financial aid to students, regardless of their citizenship status. It is one of the few colleges that does that. So it provides financial aid to international students, just students who are undocumented. At least that’s my understanding. You would want to research that yourself, but my understanding is regardless if you have demonstrated financial need, they will meet 100% of it.
We’ve had a few questions about If yell is a good place, if you’re interested in pre-med or medicine or nursing. So is applying tail beneficial for students pursuing a career in medicine? Definitely. I know a lot of people who have gone from Yale into med school, law school, but we’re talking about medicine right now yeah, Yale, you’ll be able to take all the classes you need to prepare for med school, like the culmination of biology classes and chemistry.
And I’m sure calculus. I was not a pre-med student. I don’t know, firsthand, but multiple friends, even from like my students dance company are now in med schools and some of the best med schools in the country. So yeah, it was great. If you want to go into pre-med it’s one of the best institutions in the U S so really.
Whatever your future career path is, you can probably prepare you for it very well.
Our next question is, in what ways has Yale surprised and disappointed you? That’s a smart question. And Gil surprised me in the people I met that it relates directly to what I said was my favorite part of helix, the people, I met people with such radical politics and one of my first months at Yale, I was like in a group of people who were discussing, they weren’t even sure if they wanted to go to college point blank.
And I was shocked. I was like, what are you talking about? I thought that was a given. And like you’re at Yale. Why would you ever question whether to go to college or not? So you’ll constantly surprised me. The people I met the views, they held the experiences they had and their passions. I never failed to be astounded by the talent and interest of the people on campus.
And yeah, I was definitely disappointed by the entrenched elite ism in Yale, being, having this history that is old and white and powerful. It’s got a troublesome history and that has marks on today on the people who are on the board of Yale and decide where Gail’s endowment goes. And whether they invest in fossil fuels or not those institutional factors and some policies that really hurt students who already felt marginalized.
That does disappoint me, but students are loud about it. I was a part of this huge March of students where like thousands of undergrad students at Yale, thronged the campus. And we did this big demonstration. It was one of the most powerful demonstrations I’ve been a part of.
Okay. I think this will probably be our last question, but the question is what makes Yale different from other great schools and who is the ideal Yale student? So I think Yale is distinguished amongst like similar Ivy institutions or just like high caliber academic institutions. And that it’s known to be really strong for the humanity is And it’s incredibly collaborative.
It really emphasizes community. There are other institutions where competition is the name of the game and getting the highest score is the name of the game. Not to say that there’s not competition at Yale. I’m sure there are competitive students. But it’s not the general like campus culture. And I think Yale, particularly prizes students who take initiative in their own lives who have interdisciplinary interests, and who are particularly well-spoken and self-aware about who they are and what they want.
Okay. I think that’s a great place to end. Thank you everyone so much for coming out tonight and Zoe, thank you so much for presenting. So this is the end of the webinar and the end of our may series on virtual college. If you want to check out our next set of webinars, we have a new series on standardized testing coming out in June.
Here’s the calendar. And I hope to see what one of our June sessions.