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?

I’ve been on call with my friends for nine hours till five in the morning, manifesting our dream universities. Their support is empowering, and the dreams we’ve had don’t seem so unreachable anymore.

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Essay by thulium

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

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?

His metal, vigorous and unyielding.

Her spirit, forged from whispers, corrodes his shackles.

I am a seeker of liberation. The liberation of immigrant communities and the oppressed. The liberation of our minds from the deadly Western imagination and the American Dream. I am drawn to the spirit of her–the movements that form under the mellow whispers of marginalized communities. Because whispers said in unison become louder–authoritative. They become shouts to penetrate the hard, yet brittle, crystal barriers that are manufactured to keep us in.

Writing about the experiences of those who persist through generational and societal hardships allows me to amplify the voices of those who do not feel represented in media, politics, and beyond. Learning about pioneering activists and the history of social issues catalyzes the progression of prose that I write.

Exploring the world of post-modern and critical literature, I am pushed to view systems and governments from perspectives that aren’t tainted from ignorance. Rather, I am pushed to uplift perspectives in politics that come from a place of openness and truth. Truth-seeking in the political sphere is where my heart lies as a community organizer who thrives on the fruitful justice of “the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

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Essay by Evan

Writer & Advocate | Ethics, Politics, and Economics + Comparative Literature @ Yale

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

The fantastical escapism of the Wizarding World and Camp Half-Blood captivated me. The thrill and excitement of musical theater had me in awe. The art of storytelling overtook my young mind. My infatuation with stories – reading, watching, and writing them – hasn't left me since.

Through storytelling, I both escape my world and process my reality; I relate with others and better understand myself. English, Film Studies, and Theater & Performance Studies each engage with a distinct avenue of storytelling that I hope to explore; dissecting the techniques each medium uses to convey narrative fascinates me. Within each area, I want to deeply analyze the stories of others and find a voice to create stories of my own.

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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?

The crayfish peeks at me, its shell glittering as sunlight reflects off its aluminum can home. While durable, the can corrodes, contaminating the crayfish’s aquatic environment—a frustrating paradox. 

I test the surrounding eutrophic water’s electrical conductivity and total dissolved solids, only to find ammonia levels outside of the EPA’s accepted range.

Hastily, I scribble down thoughts in a yellowing notepad: Rock-like design, made of zeolite.

Zeolite’s tetrahedrons sequester Al+3 and NH+4.  

“Zeolite Pod” to replace litter homes and clear algae.

Steadily, those notes take shape into research proposals. Biomimicry offers an abundance of opportunities to explore, and ultimately reimagine, our relationship with the environment. Through outdoor adventures like these, I expand my concept of bio-inspired engineering, using nature as a template for invention.

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Essay by Paloma

Environmental Engineering I Violinist I Biomimic

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