This article is a portrait of what Yale admissions is looking for in a candidate—most of which is taken directly off the Yale admissions website—how applications are reviewed, who makes up the admissions committee, and what elements of the application factor most highly, which, admittedly, is highly subjective.
While many might pine for the acceptance letter from one of the eight Ivy League colleges, few are actually aware of where many of the top graduates from the elite eight actually end up working.
Consider this mystery solved. Reddit published in its ‘Applying to College’ section research on where Ivy League alumni work after graduation.
This information was obtained from LinkedIn, and can be found at https://www.reddit.com/r/ApplyingToCollege/comments/6j6elm/have_you_ever_wondered_where_ivy_league_alumni/
Jeffrey Selingo, author of There is Life after College and former editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education in his January 28, 2017 Washington Post article, ‘Business is the most popular major, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good choice,’ questioned the benefit of a business degree for undergraduates.
Within the Common application is an ‘Additional Information’ section allowing you to share ‘relevant information about yourself that is not captured elsewhere.’
Most applicants do not need to add anything to the additional comments section of the Common Application (or the UC Application for that matter). Leaving it empty does not in any way imply that the application is half finished, incomplete or less appealing. 80% of the applicants I’ve worked with over the years don’t touch this section, which is as it should be.
Recently I reviewed an application essay with an ambitious senior who had written about a water project in Africa that had produced a safe source of clean water for a rural village. I had written in the margin that he must have gotten gratification by improving the lives of those in the village, and possibly that’s worth mentioning in the essay.
A Reddit article by Hayden Shumsky, ‘Top 10 College Admissions Mistakes,’ (https://www.reddit.com/r/ApplyingToCollege/comments/5ozuc7/top_10_college_admissions_mistakes/) caught my attention with mistake number 1: ‘Sending in Poor Quality Essays and Applications.’
Just like any good marathoner, when you’re writing your college essays, always be prepared for that hill right before the finish line. It’s rare that the first review of admissions requirements will discover all the essays required, so keep an energy reserve, and, of course, start the application process as early as possible.