Yale Acceptance Rate & Admissions Requirements (Complete Guide)

Yale University is easy enough to fall for. Perhaps you visited Yale University with your parents as a way to get away from traffic on I-95. Later, you'd read about Yale residential colleges. They made Yale look like Hogwarts. Yale was your first choice.

You should also be aware that Yale accepts very few applicants. Are you able to score high enough on the SAT and ACT to be accepted at Yale? What about your high-school GPA? It seems difficult to grasp the admissions process for Ivy League schools. How does Yale select who it will accept? What can I do to increase my chances of getting accepted at Yale? Raise your test scores? Get involved in extracurricular activities. Do you want to take action early?

Below are our top tips for getting into Yale University. Learn more to see if you're competitive, and to get tips on how to increase your chances to be accepted.

Yale Acceptance rate

Yale is very selective. Yale had a 5.9% acceptance rate in 2018. This means that 94 of 100 applicants were rejected by admissions officers. As we have mentioned elsewhere, this total rate does not include Yale's early acceptance rate. It is also higher than Yale’s regular decisions rate. In reality, Yale's regular admissions rate is closer than 4%.

Additionally, college admissions are becoming increasingly competitive with more applicants from all over the world. You must be different. You need to be confident in your application. Understanding what Yale expects from you will allow you to tailor your application accordingly.

Yale GPA Requirements

Let's begin with your grade-point average (GPA). Yale admissions officials will use your transcript from highschool, which you'll send with your application.

Yale students were admitted last year with an average GPA of 4.19 from 4.0. That is what we refer to as a "weighted", which is a 4.19 GPA. Unweighted GPAs can be misleading as different high schools weigh GPAs differently. Yale requires a GPA of 4.0 or more to be admitted. It means you can get almost straight A in all classes.

Requirements for SAT/ACT

Yale, as the rest, is required to take either the SAT/ACT in order to be admitted. They do not have any preference. You can choose which test is better for you.

The table below shows that Yale's average SAT/ACT composite score varies for admitted students. You will not be admitted if you are an athlete, donor, or a member of a privileged group (legacies, athletes, donors, etc.). For admission to be maximized, your SAT/ACT scores should be closer than 25th percentile.

Yale SAT/ACT Average Scores

Test/Section 25th percentile 50th percentile (Mean). 75th percentile
Total 1460 1510 1560
SAT Reading 720 745 770
SAT Math 740 765 790
ACT 33 34 35

Yale University "superscores", but not ACT, the SAT. This means that they will take ACT composite scores and mix and match sections from different days.

Subject Tests for the SAT

Yale recommends that applicants submit at least two SAT II scores. Yale doesn't explicitly require that you submit scores on these subject tests, but you should if possible.

Decide on percentiles rather than scores. Scores are adjusted based upon who took the test in the year. A score of 750 on English Language and Literature is considered a higher score than a score of 750 on Math 2 SAT Subject Test.

Additional requirements

These are Yale's general academic requirements. What about all the other things? Yale admissions officers not only want to evaluate your academic ability, but they also want to see all aspects of you life. Yale admissions officers will not only report your grades or SAT scores but also take into consideration other aspects.

  • SAT Subject Test Scores, ACT scores or two SAT Subject test Scores.
  • A transcript from highschool
  • Mid-year Report
  • $80 Application Fee or Waiver
  • Completed Common Application
  • Yale-specific essays

Recommendations letters

Yale will request letters of recommendation from your teacher and your school counselor to help you understand your character as a student. You don't need to focus on teachers with the highest marks. Consider asking for recommendations from people who know you well.

Recommendations from Counselors & School Documents

Your school counselor will also submit additional documents, along with your transcript and letter.

  • A school reports, which contains information on your school's demographics. Also includes its most significant features (such as if you are allowed to take AP classes).
  • A midyear report that will give Yale an update on senior year grades, even if they are not officially posted at the time of your application.

Yale will use this information to help you contextualize and improve your application.

The Common Application & An Essay

The Common Application (or Coalition Application) will be required. This online interface will help you to navigate college applications. The Common Application consists mainly of standard demographic and education information. A section called "activities" will be completed, in which you can detail any extracurricular involvement.

You will also need to submit a single essay for the Common Application. The Common Application asks for a short essay of no more than 650 words. This is your opportunity to share with Yale and other schools a significant moment or theme from your life. Common App essays must be strong to make your application competitive. Make sure you revise the essay at least three times.

Supplemental Essays

Yale and other schools may require additional essays that are specific to their school. They can vary from one year to the next, but they usually ask about your interest and/or provide details about past activities. Yale University asked eight questions about essays last year. These topics included:

  • What do you love about Yale? Think of an idea, topic or subject that you find intellectually fascinating. What draws you to this topic?
  • You are teaching Yale courses. What is the name of it?

A strong application strategy is necessary to ensure that essays are written, edited, and completed.

App Fee

Final, to submit your online application via these interfaces, you will have to pay $80. If you are unable to pay these fees, financial hardship may be considered.

Deadlines for applications

When you're putting together your materials, remember the deadlines! Everything must be submitted to Yale by:

  • November 1, Single-Choice Early Action
  • January 1, Regular Decision

Early Action decisions go out in December. Regular Decision applicants can hear online from April. Students admitted must make a decision by May 1 whether they will attend.

Last thoughts about applying to Yale

Remember that Yale University is highly selective. This means that even if your application is successful, you should apply to other schools such as Harvard University or Princeton University.

Best of luck to you! Remember, we can help you with anything: understanding your GPA, taking the SAT/ACT, which extracurricular activities you should do, how to spend summers, and what to write about.


  • baileywilliams

    Bailey Williams is an educational blogger and school teacher who uses her blog as a way to share her insights and knowledge with her readers. She has been teaching for over 10 years and has a deep understanding of the school system and how to help students reach their goals. Her blog is packed full of helpful information and resources, so be sure to check it out if you're looking for help with your schoolwork!