Yale’s 1,307 incoming freshmen have not only surmounted the toughest odds in the College’s admissions history, but together, they also represent one of the most ethnically and economically diverse classes ever to arrive on campus.
The members of the class of 2013, who hail from 48 states and 39 countries, were selected from a pool of 26,003 applicants, reflecting a record-low admit rate of 7.5 percent. Yale is also providing more scholarships to freshmen than ever before, with nearly three out of every five freshmen receiving need-based financial aid from the University.
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Yale’s freshmen represent the second-most ethnically diverse class in the University’s history. A total of 34.8 percent of freshmen self-identified as students of color, a figure surpassed only by the freshman class of 2011, with 35.4 percent students of color.
According to Dean of Admissions Jeff Brenzel, the yield rate held relatively steady this year at 67.8 percent, compared to 68.7 percent last year. Brenzel said he had expected the yield to fall further than it did, given that Yale accepted 143 fewer students through its early admissions process compared to last year. Students admitted early typically matriculate at higher rates.
In previous years, Yale’s yield rate had hovered around 70 percent, but after Harvard and Princeton universities eliminated their early admissions policies, the number of students cross-admitted by these schools increased. With more students receiving offers from more than one of these schools, Brenzel said yield would naturally drop slightly.
Yale admitted a total of seven students from its wait-list this year, Brenzel said.
The proportion of female to male applicants remained nearly identical to last year, Brenzel said. A total of 54.9 percent of applicants to the class of 2013 were female, compared to 55.0 percent the previous year, Brenzel said. While the proportion of female to male applicants increasingly diverged in recent years, Brenzel noted that this year bucked the trend, albeit only slightly. The number of female and male matriculants was nearly even, with 652 females and 655 males in the freshman class.
In the class of 2013, 59.4 percent of students are receiving some form of need-based financial aid, University Director of Student Financial Services Caesar Storlazzi said. Storlazzi attributed this rise both to Yale’s ability to attract more low-income students and to the flagging economy, which has left more families in need.
In the class of 2013, 12.2 percent of students qualified for Pell grants, compared to 12.3 percent of students in the class of 2012 and 10.8 percent in the class of 2011. Last year, 55.9 percent of freshmen in the class of 2012 received financial aid. This represented an 11.6 percentage point increase compared to the freshmen in the class of 2011 the previous year, thanks to the major expansion of Yale’s financial aid program in 2008.
Yale’s expenditures on scholarships for the class of 2013 rose to an estimated $26.5 million, compared to $24.2 million the previous year, Storlazzi said. The average Yale scholarship grant rose to $34,311 from $32,949 last year. This increase in grant funding helps cover the rising costs of attending Yale, Storlazzi said.
This year’s financial aid budget will come in at around $97 million, Storlazzi said, compared to the final $92 million budget last year. This estimate includes funding for International Summer Awards, which are one-time scholarships given to students on financial aid for summer travel abroad.
Among the 34.8 percent of non-international students who identify as people of color, 15.5 percent are Asian-American, 8.3 percent are African-American, 8.3 are Hispanic and 2.7 percent are Native American. Compared to last year, the percentages of African-American and Hispanic matriculants decreased by 1.1 and 1.0 percentage points respectively, while the percentage of Asian-American matriculants rose by 1.7 percentage points compared to last year. The percentage of Native American students in the class of 2013 increased nearly three-fold compared to last year, when 0.7 percent of the incoming class was composed of Native American students.
Liz Reese ’11, from Nambé Pueblo, New Mexico, said she believes the rise in Native American matriculants reflects Yale’s commitment to welcoming Native students. She added that while resources like a deanship, a house and a Native studies program once seemed unattainable, the University has moved “leaps and bounds toward making Yale a better place for Native students.”
The freshman class’s median SAT scores rose slightly compared to last year, Brenzel said. Members of the class of 2013 achieved median scores of 750 on all three sections of the SAT, whereas the class of 2012 received median scores of 740 on the math and writing sections and 750 on the verbal section. The percentage of freshmen from public schools increased slightly compared to last year, to 56.9 percent, while the rest attended independent, religious and international schools or were home-schooled.
Continuing past trends, the best-represented geographic areas among the freshman class include the Northeast, which serves as home to 34.4 percent of the class, and the West, home to 18.4 percent of the class. The proportion of international students in the class stands at about 11 percent.
The admissions cycle for the class of 2013 was the most competitive ever, with 13.4 percent of students admitted early and 5.4 percent of students initially admitted regular decision.