Yale University

134 Yale Essays That Got In

Updated for the 2024-2025 admissions cycle.

About Yale

Nestled in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University is an Ivy League institution that provides students with an exceptional educational experience. Students at Yale may benefit from the University's highly regarded academics and research opportunities, diversified campus culture, world-renowned professors, and extensive choice of extracurricular activities. Yale's dedication to quality extends far beyond the confines of a typical institution, with renowned undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, as well as world-class museums and libraries. The school’s interdisciplinary philosophy is best captured by their motto “Yale is and.” Indeed, at Yale, students are encouraged to study multiple disciplines and see how they interact; for Yalies, it’s about studying fields like biology and sociology — not one or the other. As such, Yale University—with its lively student body and devoted staff—provides an exciting, challenging, and creative learning environment for students from all walks of life.

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Real Essays from Yale Admits

Prompt: What inspires you?

Unfinished stories. They’re a reminder that life isn’t neatly defined by chapters, and that I have the power to choose the meaning and impact of events and find ways to improve upon them.

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Essay by Rosie

Statistics & Data Science + Ethics, Politics & Economics (and Musician?) @ Yale :D

Prompt: What is something about you that is not included anywhere else in your application?

The freedom of a Hibachi buffet is amazingly powerful. Ice cream, beef and broccoli, a dozen dishes of fish—it’s a veritable choose-your-own adventure novel. For me, Yale holds even more appeal. I want to gorge myself on Yale's "Writing About Oneself" course—it focuses on self-exploration through literature and theme introspection, something I wish to do with my own writing. My palate is not bound to English foodstuffs—I also want to devour Yale's "Democracy and Sustainability" course. Through my urban community farm, I have seen firsthand the importance of sustainability but have seldom been able to study it at my own school. Yale's undergraduate curriculum combined with its two-week shopping period will allow me to freely explore my many interests—letting me discover myself in the process.

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Essay by Python Chen

I'm an aspiring author from Nashville. I love reading & writing, playing video games, watching anime, cooking, and letting my undiagnosed ADHD lead me on a wild ride everyday!

Prompt: What is it about Yale that has led you to apply?

Visiting campus, I learned Yale students were exceptionally passionate. Yalies raved not only about the world-renowned academics, but also their adventures in the arts, volunteering, and athletics. Additionally, I saw that residential communities’ fascinating guest speakers and social events transform dorms into lively homes. As an institution, Yale fosters student enthusiasm. Through class shopping, students explore their many interests before committing to a course. Also, many classes are seminars, proving that Yale has plenty of opportunities like any large university, but maintains the intimacy of a small college. Finally, I love that the Yale spirit is intelligent and collaborative. Students are both brilliant and appreciate others’ strengths. Yale is the perfect place for me to pursue my passions, surrounded by other Yalies doing the same.

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Essay by Michelle

Yale grad who loves renewable energy, travel, and the arts!

Prompt: 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 would you ask them to discuss?

To rapper and Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar: How do you balance telling your own personal stories and addressing social issues in your music?

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Essay by Nikhe

History student, poet, and Succession-fanatic @ Yale

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

Computer science: an alluring juxtaposition of problem-solving and art. It transforms me. When I’m meticulously debugging code, I’m 8-year-old me, manipulating the faces of my Rubik’s cube to return it to its original configuration. When I’m fervently typing away lines of code, I am a craftsman, painting on the canvas I call the IDE-software-application. When I’m compiling code, I am a scientist, testing for sources of error.

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Essay by Rose

Programmer and performer @ Yale!

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