Students share apps with Yale-NUS

Yale-NUS has accepted its first round of applications, which will form its class of 2017.
Yale-NUS has accepted its first round of applications, which will form its class of 2017. Photo by Ava Kofman.

Over 9,200 applicants to the Yale College class of 2017 chose to submit their applications to Yale-NUS as well, competing for spots in the Singaporean college’s inaugural class.

Roughly one-third of the total 29,970 applications Yale received this year will be independently evaluated by the Yale-NUS Admissions Office. Yale Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel said his team of admissions officers will not consider whether students have also shared their applications with the new Singaporean liberal arts college, and added that he cannot estimate how many students will be admitted to both schools as the two admissions offices will operate independently.

“We were expecting this level of interest [in Yale-NUS], particularly from international applicants to Yale, because there are very few institutions in the world that offer a liberal arts education and are need-blind for international students,” said Jeremiah Quinlan ’03, dean of admissions and financial aid at Yale-NUS.

This admissions cycle’s Yale supplement included a box for students to check in order to automatically apply to Yale-NUS by applying to Yale. Though Brenzel acknowledged that nothing will prevent Yale admissions officers from seeing the checked box on students’ application forms, he added that they have been instructed not to take the Yale-NUS option into account when evaluating the student for admission to Yale.

Quinlan said he expects Yale-NUS to compete with Yale and other top universities around the world for the best applicants, adding that due to the difference in class size at the two institutions, the potential number of students admitted to both schools is small. He said he expects the school to admit over 150 students — the target size of the Singaporean college’s inaugural class — and added that Yale-NUS admissions officers will not know whether the students they admit were also admitted to Yale.

“The two institutions, despite being closely linked, are so different that I think students will have an interesting choice,” Quinlan said.

Roland Allen, director of college counseling at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in California and a former admissions officer at Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said he thinks that providing the option on the application drew prospective Yale students to Yale-NUS, but may have caused confusion among some applicants. He added that he thinks Yale should have done more to educate college counselors about the liberal arts college it is creating with the National University of Singapore. Though he has done research into the Singaporean school, he said some of aspects of its operation — such as its curriculum and accreditation — are still “fuzzy areas” for him, and he suspects the same is true for students and parents.

Kristen Lee, a Yale applicant who also chose the Yale-NUS option, said she would be happy attending either school, though she was initially only interested in Yale. She added that she was drawn to Yale-NUS because the college will provide her with the opportunity to practice Chinese, a language she studied in high school.

Yale-NUS admitted 96 applicants in its first round of admissions in May 2012 and 65 in its second round in December.

Comments