The Essay Guide Series: Yale University

Yale University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and has been known for its excellence. They are also world-famous for their drama and music programs, unlike other universities that go to show their value for holistic education. In this guide, we will be looking at how you can tackle the various prompts that they have.


Short Answer Questions

Applicants submitting the Coalition Application, Common Application, or QuestBridge Application will respond to the following short answer questions.


Students at Yale have plenty of time to explore their academic interests before committing to one or more major fields of study. Many students either modify their original academic direction or change their minds entirely. As of this moment, what academic areas seem to fit your interests or goals most comfortably? Please indicate up to three from the list provided. Why do these areas appeal to you? (125 words or fewer)


This is a prompt where most students might struggle because of the need to pen down fields they’re interested in especially if you’re undecided. But please remember that they’re already aware of this fact and that is why you’ve been given the choice to pen down more than one. Instead, use it as an opportunity to show them what you’re interested in! It’s better to keep it between two so that you can expand more about them and show them why you’re so inclined towards them. For example, they’re not asking you to tell them you’re going to achieve world peace but rather your motivation behind it. They need to know what the underlying factor is that is driving your motivation in this case. First, try to speak about the field from your own personal perspective, and then, in the end, you can wrap it up with your future goals. The majority of the essay will focus on you in the past and present form because that’s the main goal of the question.


What is it about Yale that has led you to apply? (125 words or fewer)


So, this essay is as straightforward as it can get. You need to show that you have done your research on the university and you are aware of the fact that it is a good fit for you. Talk about what aspects you are drawn to, of Yale. You can continue to how you will take advantage of these opportunities and how they impact your career and learning curve. The kind of picture that you depict in your essay, tells them a lot about how you think and how having a student with such a thought process could benefit them as well. It’s all about showing why you as a student, are the right fit for a prestigious university such as Yale.


Applicants applying with the QuestBridge Application will complete the questions above via the Yale QuestBridge Questionnaire, available on the Yale Admissions Status Portal after an application has been received. Applicants submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application will also respond to the following short answer questions, in no more than 200 characters (approximately 35 words):


What inspires you?


This requires a very concise description of your inspiration. You have to be very vivid in your description so that they can get a sense of what you’re saying. Is there something specific like a place, individual, etc. that inspires you? Pen it down and explain why!


Yale’s residential colleges regularly host conversations with guests representing a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. What person, past or present, would you invite to speak? What question would you ask?


This is a question where you get to show them your personal interests. This would be better envisioned as a TED talk that we see these days. Who would be the one person you would invite to speak at a conference that you are hosting? Why do you think they’re the best choice amongst the various people you watched/ listened to? What captivates you the most about them? There’s no right or wrong answer, it's just an insight into who you are as a person and what kind of interests you have.


You are teaching a Yale course. What is it called?


This question requires you to think hard about what you would teach if you could ever be a teacher. Be mindful of the fact that it does not have to be related to what you’re studying right now or want to study but rather, what you want to teach. Think of a catchy course title and the curriculum or description. It’s only 200 characters so you can’t get too deep with your details.


Most first-year Yale students live in suites of four to six students. What do you hope to add to your suitemates’ experience? What do you hope they will add to yours?


Many students while applying to universities tend to miss out on a big part of the process and that is accommodation. Most of us get so looped into how to make a perfect application, we give less thought to what we expect in terms of the living arrangements and the university experience as a whole. The admissions committee would like to see what you would want to build with the people around you and how you can contribute to the Yale community. Talk about qualities, habits, or skills you would like to share and would expect from the other person as well. First talk about what you can give and then move on to what you expect to receive as well. Most of us tend to grow out of things that we once loved in high school; the university is a big part of that so showing that you’re open-minded would also be a big boon especially since they possess a diverse international community.


Applicants submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application: use the two short essays (250 words or fewer) below to reflect on topics and personal experiences that will help the Admissions Committee learn more about you.


1. Yale’s extensive course offerings and vibrant conversations beyond the classroom encourage students to follow their developing intellectual interests wherever they lead. Tell us about your engageme