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June 1, 2020

Applying to Yale as an International Student

Adapted from Victoria Lim’s Vlog from her You Tube Channel

  • Academics Matter but you do not need to be Valedictorian
    It is obvious that great colleges want to see great grades in rigorous coursework. Excluding Cornell, the Ivy League still requires SAT/ACT scores. SAT Subject Tests are optional in the Ivies, except for Yale in which they are not required at all. Plan to score within the middle 50%ile and you’ll be considered competitive and in range.
    The best source to obtain complete, accurate and current college information for a specific college is its Common Data Set.
    The key take home message is that you do not net to be perfect. But, you do need to be competitive.


  • Start Preparing Early
    You honestly need to begin thinking about college in middle school, because without succeeding in classes in 8th grade and continuing your extracurricular interests early in high school, you’ll never reach success in the advanced coursework by 12th grade, nor convince colleges of your genuine interests and passions through growth and progression.
    Moreover, it’s extremely challenging to write a compelling personal statement in just several weeks. Best to begin 4 – 6 months in advance to nurture your full brain’s resources.


  • Apply Early
    There are certainly advantages applying Early Decision or Early Action.
    Applying early allows you to stay organized and calmer.
    Knowing your deadlines and test dates helps you leverage distinct advantages, and increase your chances.
    When applying late, you make more mistakes, your grades suffer and you miss deadlines.


  • Know yourself
    Colleges not only want to know your accomplishments, but why you do what you do, what you’ve learned and how you overcame adversity.


  • Make a compelling case – it is all about fit
    Be able to articulate why Yale is your top choice, beyond the Yale brand and reputation.


  • Highlight your USP – your unique selling point
    Yale is not looking for a “well-rounded students” per se. Yale wants to build a “well-rounded class” of specialists.
    Emphasize your main interest or your passion, one or two things with year-to-year growth & progression that show your distinct talent or perspective


  • Create your own ranking criteria and rank
    There are perhaps a dozen reputable college ranking services; and they are all different. The US News is perhaps the most widely cited. To find the right college for you, develop your own college ranking list, based on criteria that are important to you.


  • Follow Your Passion
    It you don’t have a passion, follow Your skill set and your passion will develop over time.
    Don’t worry if you haven’t figured your life out yet


  • Focus on your vision
    Once you’ve clarified your accomplishments, experiences and activities, decide whose job and what position you want 20 years from now.


  • Beat the Competition
    Your competitors for Yale are not everyone that is applying to the colleges you apply to. Your competitors are applicants from your school, your region, your ethnic background, those applying with your major and your state.
    If you excel in the classroom, but have the same hobbies, activities and ambitions as your friends, you will not stand out.


  • Strategic Positioning
    Apply to a major at the Yale that is underrepresented.
    If you are premed and like biology and Spanish equally well, major in Spanish, not Biology in order to stand out.


  • Every essay should showcase a different part of you
    You want the Yale Admissions Committee to form a mental picture of you in their mind.
    Show and do not tell your story.
    Every sentence matters!


  • Be Well-Prepared for the Yale Interview
    Always have intelligent questions to ask!

In essence, applying to Yale as an international student fundamentally is not different than applying as a domestic student. It requires a personal review of your personality, preferences and goals. Having done that, formulate a plan and then execute. Need help, please contact Ivy Bound. We’re here to help!