Yale University

134 Yale Essays That Got In

Updated for the 2023-2024 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?

A flash of realization across the face of the girl I tutor tells me that a tricky concept has clicked. Lightbulb moments inspire me: I hope to continue sparking them and experiencing them for myself.

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Essay by Sophia

First year student at Yale studying Biomedical Engineering (and Econ?); Taylor Swift and Crochet Enthusiast; Avid Pickleball Player

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

At 2:32 pm, when my 1.5 mile trek home commences, I allow myself to get lost – in the thrumming bass of passing cars, in the pressing weight of my backpack, in the winter mist blanketing the sidewalk.

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Essay by Gabi Cohen

Public Policy, Knitting, and Pistachio Latte Enthusiast

Prompt: Tell us about a topic or idea that excites you and is related to one or more academic areas you selected above. Why are you drawn to it?

It was truly the pinnacle of cinema. With its musical synergy and Meryl Streep-tier acting, the “Woodrow Wilson Diss Track,” as we called it, struck the perfect balance between historical depth and make-your-history- teacher-cry-tears-of-joy energy.

Sarcasm aside though, the fact that we managed to produce six minutes of song about Woodrow Wilson’s most treacherous policies—ranging from his ardent segregationism to his intervention in Haiti—never surprised me. If anything, it represents a tendency of mine to go overboard when it comes to presidential and electoral history.

It may be the most useless party trick I know, but explaining the intricacies of the 1912 election brings me joy that contrasts Eugene V. Debs’ disappointment at losing that election—and the other four he ran in. It may have taken more than a bullet to kill the “Bull Moose,” but his decision to betray William Howard Taft and split the Republican vote killed his vein of socially-aware progressivism.

The histories of past elections and policies hold innate abilities to inspire and warn—they are gold mines of information for me to learn and grow from. Ruther“fraud” B. Hayes’ corrupt compromise in 1877, for example, displays the dangers of poor negotiation and partisan greed. I obsess over little-known details and historical events because I believe they offer the best resource for approaching future trials and tribulations.

And while I’m pretty sure I’ll never be tested on Michael Dukakis’ army helmet incident, It doesn’t hurt to know that bad fashion choices can lose you an election.

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Essay by Gustavo T

Feel free to contact me for questions! Email in the "Additional Information" section :)

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

In Yale’s caring, tight-knit community, I admire how individual differences interface as a collective strength, fostering an atmosphere of meaningful collaboration that seeps into every aspect of Yale. Leaping out onto the stage in Woolsey Hall with my fellow Purple Crayon members to instill uproarious laughter within our audience; applying deep learning techniques to produce computational models of galaxy clusters (the astrophysics phenomenon of most interest to me) while working on Professor Daisuke Nagai’s research team; competing in intramural basketball games as my residential college vies to claim the coveted Tyng Cup: Regardless of the endeavor, I look forward to contributing to many diverse, supportive teams. Yalies understand that their impact on the community and the world is greater when working as a whole.

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Essay by Sarah J.

CS @ Stanford | Sharing the essays that got me into top schools (14 acceptances, 2 waitlists, and 0 rejections)!

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?

With humor and humility, SPANX founder Sara Blakely has achieved incredible success. I would invite Blakely to discuss how she embraces authenticity as a leadership style and marketing technique.

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Essay by Abby

English major interested in creative writing, theater, & film

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

Behind the Lines: A Mathematical Analysis of Art. We’ll cover math behind linear perspective and optics and investigate how these techniques add to art such as Las Meninas and the Arnolfini Portrait.

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Essay by thulium

$2.5 million in scholarships | Jack Kent Cooke Scholar | 21 APs | 45 essays

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