Yale University

New Haven, CT, USA

Reviews

Yale University

4.57 Average Rating

Yale '12

a current student here
101 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
It is hard to limit yourself to only 4 or 5 courses with all that Yale has to offer. It isn't unheard of for very ambitious students to pile on 6 or even 7 at a time! Many classes will push you hard to master the material, but there are always a handful of courses that are more laid back. That is, you get as much out of them as you're willing to put in.
Am enjoying being here
How could I not enjoy hanging out with charismatic nerdy kids, learning about anything I am interested in from world-class professors, being a part of any of the dizzying array of activities, and of course, living in a castle?
Bang for the buck
Financial aid is great! Yale will always help you and your family find ways to keep school affordable. After all, it is in their best interest to keep you here.
Tips for prospective students
Don't bother joining every organization that your school/community offers. Try to find a few things that you really like to do by junior year and really hone in on them. Everybody I've met here did lots of really cool stuff in high school, but they limited themselves to only a few activities that they were passionate about.
Great for these types of students
Adventurous types seem to enjoy it the most. It certainly is best to have an open mind and just dive in when you're free to try anything: research as an undergrad with amazingly talented professors, learn any foreign language, travel anywhere in the world, develop relationships with people wildly different from what you're used to, etc.
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Sara from Buda, TX

researching this school
90 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
With so much history around you combined with an Ivy League atmosphere, how can you not learn a lot?!
Will enjoy being here
The residential college system ensures that you get the feeling of a close-knit community of students within the larger institution. Students seem really happy to be there.
Bang for the buck
As of the recent Ivy League financial aid initiative, Yale has likely never been so affordable!
Tips for prospective students
Getting in is likely the hard part! Take the most challenging courses your high school offers and do well in them. Make sure to get involved and stay involved in clubs of your interest.
Great for these types of students
If I had to guess, I would say bright, highly-motivated students.
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Angela

a current student here
39 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
There is such a expansive variety of classes that it seems to be the best of an all-encompassing education I think you can get almost anywhere. Of course there are less than motivating lectures or seminars, but if you find those classes that click, you will be very happy. With the 2 week shopping period, you have a chance to try out a lot more classes and have higher chances of finding the ones good for you.
Am enjoying being here
Although sometimes the weekends can be slightly dull if you don't look into what's going on ahead of time, there is usually something taking place. The frat scene isn't big, but if you want that, you can find it, as well as plenty of dorm parties and Toads is open every Wednesday and Saturday if you want to dance. No party school by any stretch, but definitely a fun place.
Bang for the buck
I have found it slightly hard to find an on campus job, but actually, I seem to be spending less money on average here than I did during my time in high school. Be prepared for the expensive books, but you have time to order on Amazon or other cheaper websites. With the dining halls being so close and available, it almost seems improbable to go out to eat, but if you want, there is everything you can want out there in New Haven.
Tips for prospective students
Bring a big variety of clothes since many of the social events include costume parties, such as 80's themed or mathlete themed dances. Get into the routine of cleaning a little bit every day since you won't usually have the time to stop what you're doing and do a full run through of the room.
Great for these types of students
If you like the feeling of community. If you enjoy personal relationships with the faculty affiliated with your college or who head your seminars. There are plenty of heavy partygoers, but for the most part, I would say if you want to go out every night, here wouldn't be conducive not only because there would be limited options but because of the work load.
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MK

a current student here
37 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Yale offers everything that I wanted in a school. It has a beautiful campus, wonderful faculty and incredible residential college system. The students here are super motivated and driven, but the atmosphere isn't competitive so even though you are pushing yourself really hard, you don't feel intimidated by what everyone else is doing--everyone is brilliant at something, be it academics, an extracurricular or in the personality and social life.
Tips for prospective students
Definitely come and see the school before you decide here. I would suggest contacting the admissions office to see if they can find someone you could stay with for a night (everyone loves hosting potential students!). I fell in love with Yale when I first came; it's how you know you'll be happy here. Also, come to Bulldog Days if you get in! It's tons of fun to meet future Yalies.
Academic Rigor
It's definitely a tough school, but there's also a huge support system here. Tons of advisers, your college dean and freshmen counselors are all totally available to help.
Dorm Life
I love the residential college system. It creates the sense that you are attending a smaller school with all the benefits of a larger research university. And I made instant friends with my randomly assigned suitemates.
Food and Dining
Although it's nothing like home cooking, the staff here really makes an effort. We have a large variety of food, and it's easy for vegetarians and vegans to find yummy stuff. Desserts here are incredible as well....
What to do for fun
There's East Rock for the avid hikers/joggers, a movie place nearby and of course Broadway street for shopping. Plus, New York City is just a train ride away (only $28 round trip!!!) so that's great for a fun day trip in the city with friends.
Bang for the buck
Okay, so it's pricey. But it's also great for financial aid. I pay less here than I would going to an in-state school, and the education...well it's basically priceless.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
We have screw, which is basically when everyone sets you up with a blind date for a dance. Then there are residential college gatherings, such as the running of the bulls for trumbull students, or the freshman olympics. We have tons of school spirit. Oh, and the Harvard-Yale football game of course.
Great for these types of students
Super motivated, independent, driven, but also ready to let go and have fun.
Clubs and Activities
Anything you can imagine, Yale has it.
Greek Life
There are enough frats/sororities here to be present but not to overwhelm. I know people in them, but I also know tons who are more than happy without Greek life. It's a good mix.
Campus Safety
So New Haven isn't exactly the safest city. But we have tons of security--ID swipes are required practically everywhere and there's always a blue emergency phone nearby. Yale Police are on every corner, especially at night, and you can always call for a safe ride home.
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Taylor

a current student here
31 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Yale is a great place for an academic challenge and usually great socially, but it can be isolating for students from lower-income families due to the large number of extremely wealthy, boarding school/magnet school kids. The residential college system gives you a group of people to associate with, but is basically luck of the draw, and because the dorms are organized by entryway, there are few people on one floor, which keeps groups fairly small and close-knit. STEM majors are often discouraged due to harder courses and a lack of well-taught intro classes, especially in mathematics, but tend to bond over the walks to science hill, the never-ending stream of midterms, and the eccentric lecturers.
Tips for prospective students
If you are accepted, make sure it's the school and not just the name that you love (that goes for any school). Also, go to Bulldog Days if you can. I felt that Yale was the right fit for me when I visited, which is why I'm here now. If you decide to enroll, sign up for a pre-orientation program; it's a great way to start the semester with a group of friends and makes the transition so much easier while also giving you connections to upperclassmen. FOOT (Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trips) was one of my favorite Yale experiences!
Academic Rigor
Yale is hard, especially as a STEM major, but I love it. There are so many resources available and so many opportunities because Yale is one of the greatest research universities in the world. It's really easy to find work in a lab or make connections with incredible writers and artists, if you're a humanities person. I couldn't ask for more!
Dorm Life
Some people love the dorms, but if you don't click with your residential college, it can be hard. (There is the option of transferring to another residential college as a sophomore.) In my college, freshman year has all suites of 4 people, but sophomore year is all 6's, and junior and senior years are 3's,4's, and 5's, so it can be really difficult to stay with all your suitemates if the number doesn't quite work out. There is a ton of housing drama. Overall, the social scene is really nice, and the dorms themselves are beautiful - all hard wood floors and paneling, with large windows to let in light.
Food and Dining
Yale's food is way better than other cafeteria food. The desserts are incredible (hello, freshman 15) and there are special dinners each semester with really classy food. The freshman year holiday dinner was another highlight of my Yale experience. There's even a place where you can get bagels with lox (tons and tons of smoked salmon and capers!) every other Saturday!
What to do for fun
It depends on what social scene you are into, but there's anything from frat parties to board games and friends watching Netflix. Toads is a dance club/bar/bonding experience that Yale students go to on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The social experience is really what you make of it, and for me has been much better as a sophomore that as a freshman, because people have relaxed about general drinking and party habits. There is a lot of alcohol consumption and very little regulation by Yale security or police.
Bang for the buck
The financial aid at Yale cannot be matched. Paired with the incredible academic rigor, you won't find a school with better bang for the buck.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The admissions office will tell you that Yale students touch the golden foot of a statue on Old Campus before tests for luck and allow you to take a picture doing so to give you luck for your application. We don't touch it, and you probably shouldn't either, judging by rumors of what some groups have put on the foot.
Great for these types of students
High-achieving extroverts do really well at Yale, which can be daunting for introverts, since nearly every extracurricular requires an application and interview, an audition, or a tryout.
Clubs and Activities
You can pretty much do anything you want at Yale, as long as you're up to the process of getting into whatever activity you want to do. The admission process for some activities can be daunting, but I can't imagine what I'd do without the people from my teams, jobs, and clubs.
Greek Life
I'm not involved in Greek life, but it can be a fun part of the social scene. Many athletes are involved in fraternities and sororities, and most of the fraternities are associated with a specific sport or two. They seem to be really supportive of their members, and I haven't heard anything about bad hazing or problems with sexual misconduct.
Campus Safety
As long as you have the common sense to bring friends with you when you go out at night and you stay within the Yale bubble (basically from the New Haven green to streets near Broadway and Popeyes/Alpha Delta Pizza), you won't have a problem. New Haven has a reputation as an unsafe city, but in my experience it's no different than other cities - it has it's bad parts, but mostly it's fine. All residential colleges require an ID to get into, so there aren't random people walking around and Yale students look out for each other. There is also a pretty large campus security presence and a lot of resources if you need a ride home or feel unsafe. I always feel safer if there is a guy in the group I'm out with as well.
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Pastor Clearance of Monuckabee, UT

a current student here
28 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Yale's plethora of books, resources, and cafe's is what attracts students and staff the world wide to study and teach in this revered university. Nestled in the heart of New Haven, Connecticut, Yale brings with its prestige an old time charm and a medieval feel, as most of the buildings are reminiscent of castle fortresses. There is certainly something for everyone to be found within these hallowed halls and wrought iron gates.
Tips for prospective students
You want to be able to stand out in a positive way among applicants in your pool, and the best way to do that is to adopt a memorable tone in your essays. Also be sure that Yale is a good fit for you--it may not be the case!
Academic Rigor
Yale is by no means easy. The conversion rate for one Yale course credit is four credit hours at a state school. Yale's finals are consistently ranked among the most difficult in the nation, and grade inflation is nonexistent.
Dorm Life
Yale's housing situation is unique. Students are randomly assigned to one of twelve residential colleges, and freshmen of ten of these twelve are housed outside of their college, in Old Campus. The colleges breathe new life into each space, complete with their own mascot, colors, chants, reunions, and traditions. It gives Yale a sense of place as well as the students a secondary identity.
Food and Dining
The food is all edible and cooked to impress, with exotic dishes coming out left and right. However, some menu selections may prove seriously lacking, and you may find yourself in line at the Chipotle more often than you would have hoped.
What to do for fun
The town of New Haven is anything but boring. When there aren't parties on campus (which, let's face it--is only during Finals) you can bet on the party scene at the local Toad's Place to be on fleek. There are college fairs as well as regular entertainment on the New Haven Green. There's always something to do, but you may want to go out of town from time to time as well.
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Lotta from Hartsville, SC

a current student here
17 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Despite being highly selective, Yale nurtures an extremely diverse student body. The range of interests and backgrounds creates a thriving environment both inside and outside the classroom; though the academics are great, the most rewarding part of attending Yale is having your horizons expanded by people who think so differently from yourself.
Tips for prospective students
Be authentic in your application. Trying too hard to sound intelligent will only make you stilted and bland, so instead show the admissions team that you have a unique personality/perspective that will add to the diversity of Yale. Also, seriously consider why you want to attend Yale. "It's an Ivy" is not good enough, and will not earn you an acceptance.
Academic Rigor
Classes are difficult, especially if you make the most of your time here. That having been said, great classes in areas that interest you generally feel easier, and those are easy to find.
Dorm Life
Yale randomly assigns you one of 12 (soon to be 14) residential colleges upon your arrival. Whether your college would have been your first choice or not, you will spend at least one year in it, and this college will significantly impact on your experience here. However, one can transfer in future years. Likewise, roommates and suitemates are carefully selected for freshmen; in future years, one can (and usually does) create one's own suite and rooming situation.
Food and Dining
Dining has improved considerably, and the accessibility of nutrition information is fantastic. Dining staff are very accommodating of any special needs students may have, ask for feedback, listen to requests and ideas from students, and host special events.
What to do for fun
Because every Eli is different, a community exists for everyone. There are more parties and traditional social scenes than one might expect; at the same time, Yale groups and organizations host a plethora of events on any given weekday.
Bang for the buck
Yale provides so much more than a classroom education.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There are so many! It really takes a visit to campus to understand the quirks of each residential college, each extracurricular group, and the many, many unique sites in New Haven.
Great for these types of students
Hard-working; dedicated to personal interests; creates opportunities for self; makes use of connections and opportunities provided by others
Clubs and Activities
There's something for everyone. Club members are often very different from one another, but mutual interests foster an environment of acceptance, inclusion, and understanding.
Greek Life
Greek life, though it exists, is less active than at public universities and not that involved in social life on campus.
Campus Safety
The Yale Bubble, as we call it, is a safe and well-patrolled area with many resources for students. New Haven, on the other hand, is not the safest city in America. Nevertheless, smart choices combined with common sense will suffice to keep you safe.
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J

a current student here
16 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Yale is an environment for brilliant minds. You can expect to find plenty of competition in an environment like this, but you will also be surprised by the amount of peer support that you will find here.
Tips for prospective students
Yale really does look at more than just academics. They are really interested in students' extracurricular activities. They make it incredibly easy for students to start their own clubs. I really believe that I was admitted because of my dedication to high school extracurriculars.
Dorm Life
Every university should have a suite configuration and a residential college system. This is one of the reasons why I chose Yale. First, the suites allow you to become closer to more than just one or two roommates. In addition, the residential college system makes it feel like you are part of a smaller college. Each college has a master and a dean, and they really do know you by name, and you will see them almost every day at the dining halls or giving out candy in the college library during finals week.
Food and Dining
Food on campus is not bad, but the availability of late-night food is less than satisfactory. Dining halls close at 7:30, and this tends to be a problem for students who are up late. The only other options around campus (Gourmet Heaven and Durfee's) are ridiculously expensive. However, Downtown New Haven has some great restaurants. If money is not a factor, these are definitely great options.
What to do for fun
No matter what, there is always something for everyone. Yale is known for its acapella, improv, and comedy groups. If you're not the type to join these, you can always attend their concerts. Most are free, if not under $5. There are also on-campus parties pretty much every weekend.
Bang for the buck
Yale may be expensive, but their financial aid department is amazing--as are the departments of all the Ivy Leagues. Luckily, I pay not tuition thanks to the generous financial aid and a few outside scholarships that pay for work study and summer contributions.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Don't be surprised if you attend a party and everyone ends up naked. Yale loves naked parties. And naked runs at the start of finals week.
Greek Life
The great thing about Yale is that you don't have to join a frat or a sorority in order to have a good time. I've seen other schools that require the students to join a frat in order to go into frat parties. This is hardly ever the case at Yale. Greek life isn't too big, and the administration is constantly trying to restrict Greek influence on campus.
Campus Safety
New Haven may not be the safest city in the country, but the campus is not dangerous at all. The Yale Police Department and Yale Security are both constantly visible around campus. Students can even call security to be escorted from door to door. That being said, one has to be street smart while around New Haven--don't go out along past the boundaries of campus at one in the morning. Students do occasionally get held up, but that happens mostly to the graduate students who live off campus.
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genericstudent2

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Yale University has a great academic environment, and a very friendly student body. In my experience, professors have been very available and eager to engage with their students: they want you to understand the material and do well on the course. Although it certainly is a challenge, studying at Yale is very rewarding and you get to make connections that last for life.
Tips for prospective students
Dear prospective students, do not be discouraged by the university's acceptance rates: you should definitely apply. Yale loves quirky students, so feel free to brag about uncommon talents and unusual stories/ background. Yale's also great about financial aid, so don't let tuition costs dissuade you!
Academic Rigor
Academic rigor really depends on the schedule you select at the beginning of the year. Obviously, if you take more difficult courses you'll feel overwhelmed. For your first semester, I recommend you take a relatively easy course schedule, since you're still getting adjusted to the college life, so you have time to try out many different extracurriculars and really get involved with the student body.
Dorm Life
Again, dorms depend on the residential college you're sorted into. Personally, I got what are referred to as the "worst" dorm rooms on campus (L-dub life!) but even then it's not too terrible: the rooms are a little smaller than I'd like but it works.
Food and Dining
The food in our dining halls is actually great, we have lots of vegan/ vegetarian/ gluten-free options. Most of the food is actually healthy and doesn't taste too terribly! If all else fails, you can always make yourself a sandwich or eat cereal.
What to do for fun
Go to Woads!
Bang for the buck
You definitely get more than what you pay for: life -long connections, great entry-level job opportunities, internships. Can't complain.
Great for these types of students
Yale is great for students who enjoy deep, meaningful conversations but can also have a 10-minute long conversation about trivial topics, like chocolate cake (speaking from experience). You really find your niche, everyone here is so nice and great.
Clubs and Activities
We have a TON of clubs- ranging from varsity football to a Jane Austen club!
Campus Safety
The campus is very safe!
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Brea from Freeport, NY

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Yale University is the best thing that has happened to me. In the most non cliche way possible, I have learned more during my first year and a half here than I could have ever imagined. Thanks to the political, economic, and ethnic diversity, I have been places, met people, and learned things I never could have imagined.
Tips for prospective students
If you are considering applying here, I suggest that you focus on your personal essays. Everyone applying here is amazing academically and does a million and one activities. Your personal essay is your area to say hey! this is me and i'm perfect for your school! It's what takes your scores, statistics and resume and makes it into a real person. Think of it as your closing argument.
Academic Rigor
The school is harder to get into than it is to maintain. Don't get me wrong it is hard at times but thats mostly a challenge of time management. There is infinite support so you'll never feel lost or alone.
Dorm Life
The dorms are absolutely gorgeous thanks to that good ole gothic architecture! But beware: this university is older than this country and so there are lots of cracks and corners for mice to get into during the winter. But maintenance is really good about getting an exterminator and plugging in those holes if you call them!
Food and Dining
There are soooo many options for dining halls! The food and ambience is great! No need to worry about running out of dollars or anything like that. You get three meals a day so no need to budget. This only becomes problematic when its 11 pm and you want food but its not breakfast lunch or dinner time.
What to do for fun
there is literally something for everyone! i mean that. There is a club that runs around old campus on brooms like in harry potter. If there is something you wanna do and there isn't a club for it, you can easily start one. My friends and I started a club for people who love Beyonce and we get FUNDING for it lol.
Bang for the buck
The opportunities, networking, and experiences you will get here are definitely worth the tuition. (especially if you are receiving financial aid)
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
We have a naked run at the end of the year before finals for people to let loose and be relieved of stress!

Great for these types of students
EVERYONE. but if you are an LGBT student and you come from a family or region where homosexuality is condemned (cough texas cough) this school is for you!
Clubs and Activities
like i said: something for everyone!
Greek Life
there are so many frats and sororities to cater to any and everyone. And if you don't wanna pledge but you still wanna party no worries! i'm not in a sorority and i go to every frat party with no feelings of not belonging.
Campus Safety
There are blue telephones stationed EVERYWHERE to call police if you feel unsafe at all. If you are walking around and feel unsafe you can call an escort and a yale security officer will meet you to walk with you to your next destination. or you can call a shuttle between 6 pm and 6 am to drive you anywhere if you are afraid of walking.
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