International students accepted to Yale this year will find the University to be their steadfast ally in navigating the application process for visas to the United States.
With the possible increase in security surrounding the granting of student visas after Sept. 11, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Richard Shaw said Yale will make an effort to facilitate the visa process for international students it accepts this year.
“We are committed to educating international students,” Shaw said. “The collective voice of U.S. colleges and universities is supportive of bringing young people from around the world to educate them.”
Yale demonstrated this commitment last year when it expanded its need-blind admissions policy to include international students. The number of early-decision applications from abroad more than doubled this year after Yale announced the change.
Shaw said international students may be subject to more intense scrutiny this year because of heightened national security concerns. But he stressed that the admissions office will do what it can to make the application process go more smoothly for this year’s class of incoming students.
“We write letters of support if necessary and interact with anyone who inquires, usually an official in an embassy,” Shaw said. “We write follow-up letters and confirm they’ve been admitted. One of the issues is what is their method of support — they want to know how they will afford their education.”
This question of monetary means will be easier to answer since Yale’s new promise to meet the financial need of its international admittees.
Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead said he believes that having a strong international community at Yale is important to the University’s mission.
“We want to offer an education not to people from just one country, but to smart people everywhere,” Brodhead said. “Furthermore, we’re aware of the fact that when American students are only educated with other American students, their education is very limited.”
Kathryn Henderson ’04, from Trinidad and Tobago, said she had applied for financial aid and was wait-listed before eventually getting into Yale two years ago.
“I don’t know if the fact that it wasn’t need blind made me wait-listed or not, but it seems like that does have an impact,” Henderson said.
Anjan Sundaram ’05 said he has older friends from his home country of India who didn’t apply to Yale because they believed they wouldn’t get the aid they needed.
“Yale didn’t have a good record for financial aid,” Sundaram said.
Myra Smith, the director of financial aid, said more international students from the early decision pool will receive aid this year as a result of the new policy.
Muhara Hamza ’02, who is from Saudi Arabia, said she thought Yale’s decision to consider international applicants on a need-blind basis is a positive development, but that it should have come earlier.
“In order to be able to afford a Yale education if you’re living in a Third World country, you have to be in the top .000-something percent,” Hamza said. “I think it’s good that Yale’s in the forefront of making this decision, but I think it’s long overdue.”