Yale welcomes record number of first-gen students

Yale welcomes record number of first-gen students

Published on September 6, 2018

Yale College’s class of 2022 boasts both the largest cohort of first-generation students in the University’s history and the highest yield rate since Yale eliminated its binding early decision program 15 years ago.

Out of the 2,229 students admitted from a record 35,306 applications, 1,578 chose to accept Yale’s offer of admission for a yield rate of 72.4 percent. A record number of first years — 47 percent — are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who identify as members of a minority racial or ethnic group, including the largest numbers of African-American, Asian-American, and Latinx students in a class.

The class also includes the largest number of first years who are receiving Pell Grants — subsidies the federal government provides to students with financial need — and the largest number of first-generation students. There are 311 and 284 such students in the class, respectively. Overall, 53 percent of students in the class of 2022 receive need-based aid from Yale.

“[In the future], we want to continue to build on this momentum,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan said. “Obviously we don’t have any specific target in mind, but we are following the strength and diversification of the pool in every class, and our efforts continue in this area. One of the things that is very clear from the research when you are thinking about how high-achieving, low-income students apply to college, is that we have to work to make this pool stronger and larger every time.”

Quinlan said that some of the factors that may have contributed to the high yield and socioeconomic diversity of the class include a larger and stronger applicant pool, as well as “very good” communication regarding financial aid.

Director of Outreach and Communications Mark Dunn said the admissions office successfully reduced the number of students whose financial aid awards were not yet complete when they received their admissions decisions.

“First impressions are lasting impressions,” he said. “The more students, particularly those from lower-income backgrounds, you can tell the moment when they get good news about admissions that they are also getting this fabulous financial aid award … that really changes the dynamic during the month of April for those students.”

He added that the admissions office also continued to rely on the “extremely active” first-generation, low-income community of students on campus, whom he described as “instrumental” to recruiting efforts.

Two hundred eighty students in the class qualified for a $2,000 Startup Grant. The grant, given to students whose parents earn less than $65,000 annually, helps students purchase necessities such as computers or winter clothing. This group is 39 percent larger than last year’s, when the program was first expanded. For each of their last three years at Yale, these students will also receive a $600 allowance, as well as free hospitalization insurance, which this year cost $2,402 per student.

“We know that the cost of a Yale education extends beyond just the cost of tuition,” said Director of Undergraduate Financial Aid Scott Wallace-Juedes. “The new startup grants ensure that our students with the greatest financial need have what they need to succeed inside and outside the classroom.”

First years in the class of 2022 come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 56 foreign countries.

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