Yale University was founded in 1701, and has been a center for academic excellence ever since. As a VetLink partner, Yale works with Service to School to identify competitive applicants. We interviewed Patricia Wei, Director of Admissions for Yale’s Eli Whitney Students Programs, so prospective veteran applicants know better what to expect from both the application process and life as a student at Yale.

Q1. What qualities do veterans possess which could make them a good fit as incoming students at Yale?

Yale welcomes applications from veterans. Veterans add much to the Yale community by providing perspectives that are often different than those of traditional undergraduates. Veterans’ life and professional experiences add to the intellectual discussions both inside and outside of the classroom. They tend to be self-motivated, resourceful, confident, intellectually curious and mature.

Q2. What can a veteran do to make his or her application more competitive?

If a veteran has not taken any academic classes recently, then I would strongly encourage them to take college courses at a local college before submitting their applications to Yale. They should take classes similar to the liberal arts and science courses offered at Yale, especially classes that would enhance their writing and quantitative skills. We do not recommend they take online classes as those are not transferable. Presenting strong recent academic credentials would enhance their chances of admission.

Q3. What would you say to a veteran who doesn’t feel he or she would be competitive at Yale?

If a veteran feels Yale is the right fit and he/she can show strong recent academic performance, then I would encourage the veteran to submit an application to Yale. That said, with an acceptance rate of below 10%, most applicants are not offered admission to Yale. If someone is not offered admission, it does not mean the Admissions Committee feels the student would not necessarily thrive on our campus. It simply reflects our extraordinarily deep applicant pool. I would encourage all prospective Yale students to apply to a range of colleges with different admissions selectivity, and not to just one or two schools. There isn’t just one college that would be the right match. We are blessed in this country with many wonderful institutions of higher education.

Q4. Once at Yale, does the university have additional resources for veterans?

I am thrilled Yale has recently announced the appointment of Jack Beecher, our first Veterans Liaison. Jack will serve as Yale’s central point of contact in supporting our faculty, students, staff and alumni who are military veterans.  Jack will assist our veterans in accessing services and resources both within and external to Yale.  He will work with various constituencies to develop and coordinate processes to enhance veterans’ experiences at Yale.

Currently all veterans who are undergraduates at Yale are enrolled in our Eli Whitney Students Program for nontraditional students. This is a very small program with only 25 students, and they receive excellent guidance and advice from their residential college deans and the Director of the EWSP. Our current veterans also serve as peer support for incoming veterans and for each other.

There is a VA Hospital in West Haven, only a few miles away from the Yale campus, and it is on the Yale shuttle bus route.

Yale participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program GI Education Enhancement Program.

There is also an active Yale Veteran’s Association on campus.


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