Recently, while waiting for college admission decisions to arrive, I thought I’d visit the Yale University website. As we all know, Yale is a “most competitive” school that admits very few of their 30,000 applicants and is in the 8% category for college admissions. At Perfect Fit College Consultants, we usually advise would-be Yale applicants to include other selective schools along with their Yale application because admission to any Ivy is elusive. We are always surprised by their acceptance list.
Still, the Yale application is a joy to work with. The questions are creative and the student’s answers, so enlightening. In fact, we often pull out the Yale application as a warm up for our college applicants just because it’s so inspiring. The downside, of course, is actually sending that application is risky because the return mail might be (except in a few cases) disappointing news.
In addition to having a great application, Yale’s website is refreshingly honest. Yale is not a school that begs for all-comers to apply. Instead, they outline the profile for a successful applicant so that interested parties can self-select. We hope all our clients take this advice seriously before putting any college on their list.
What Yale says that intrigues us, amazingly enough, is exactly what we have always tried to build in each of our students. The earlier we meet our clients, the better the chance that they will aspire to the Yale model. That is not to say that all of our early clients are guaranteed to be successful Yale applicants, but rather that all of our early clients are guaranteed to be successful clients because of the Yale model.
What Yale wants, all colleges want. The difference is that Yale has the numbers to shape their freshman class to be a cooperative and inspirational group. Individual qualities such as great grades and fabulous SAT scores are expected. It’s the rest of the list, however, that make an above-average student into an extraordinary one. They ask for a student to have: motivation, curiosity, intellectual energy, leadership experience, and distinctive talents. Any college in the country would be happy to consider a student with exactly those qualities. The difference between being accepted and being denied is often summed up by, “How much will this student contribute to the education of the other students on campus?”
Think about that now while you’re just at the beginning of your journey. Whether you are an accepted student or a future applicant, consider what you have to offer the other students at your future institution. Build on that to become a great student and to be a better applicant!
--All the best for Spring break from Perfect Fit College Consultants