For the first time in over a decade, Yale College’s top admissions official has traveled to Asia on behalf of the University.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan is in the second half of a two-week admissions trip that includes stops in major Asian cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. The trip is part of an Admissions Office effort to maintain ties with the region, from which hundreds of prospective students apply each year. Although the office sends admissions officers on multiple trips to Asia every year, Yale’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions has not traveled there himself for quite some time.
“This year … I wanted to visit Asia and conduct the outreach myself,“ Quinlan said. “Given the strength of the applicants Yale receives from Asia and the relative complexity of applying to college or university in the United States, it is important we continue to meet and talk to potential applicants.”
Around a quarter of all international students at Yale are from China, and more international students enroll at American universities from China each year than any other country. In addition, this year has seen increased ties between China and the University, with last week’s inauguration of the SOHO China Scholarship for low-income Chinese students and the creation of the Yale Young Global Scholars-Beijing — an academic program for high-school students — to take place in January 2016.
Quinlan’s trip also coincides with the inauguration ceremony for Yale-NUS’s permanent campus — an event that was attended by top Yale administrators including Quinlan, University President Peter Salovey, Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway, Graduate School Dean Lynn Cooley and Jane Edwards, dean of the Center for International and Professional Experience and senior associate dean of Yale College.
While in the region, Quinlan will also be giving presentations at high schools, meeting with alumni, conducting alumni interview workshops and holding school council tea sessions — gatherings where admissions representatives can discuss the college application process with highschool administrators. Quinlan said the trip is a useful opportunity for the Admissions Office to give updates on developments at Yale, talk about the application process with students and answer specific questions about parts of the admissions process like financial aid.
Kartik Srivastava ’17, an international student from India, said it was encouraging to learn that Yale’s dean of admissions is visiting the country, adding that having representatives holding information sessions in person can make students excited about applying, and eventually attending, Yale.
“Even with its name and all its history, Yale is an obscure place in a foreign land,” Srivastava said. “Sending a representative helps add a face to the various brochures and websites that are available otherwise.”
In addition to communicating with students, Quinlan said speaking with alumni interviewers about how the admissions process is evolving is valuable for the office, since applicant interviews are becoming increasingly important parts of the application process.
Caroline Van ’79, head of Yale’s alumni interviewers in Hong Kong, said Quinlan’s visit to the city will have a lasting impression on the members of the Alumni Schools Committee, the body that comprises alumni who interview prospective students on behalf of the Admissions Office.
“The weight of having the dean of Yale’s undergraduate admissions come in person demonstrated a caring commitment to attracting the best future classes for Yale College,” Van said. “Nothing can replace the face-to-face impact of someone speaking frankly and factually with bits of humor.”
As of fall 2014, 10 percent of students enrolled in Yale College were international students.