Yale-NUS College announced Wednesday that its acceptance rate for its current class of freshmen was 5 percent, placing the school high — and above Yale College — among a list of the most selective undergraduate institutions worldwide.

Laura Severin, director of admissions and financial aid for the Singapore-based college, shared the previously publicly undisclosed admissions data for the class of 2020 in response to queries from the News. Per Severin’s data, Singaporeans continue to represent the largest pool of students in the class, and that the United States, India and China are the three most common countries of origin for the school’s international cohort. The announcement comes about a year after the students were admitted as the college prepares to release decisions for prospective students who applied in the school’s second and final admissions round for 2017.

“The Class of 2020 is composed of more than 200 students from 40 countries, the highest diversity of student nationalities in a single intake,” the college wrote in an August 2016 press release introducing the current freshman class. “With the new class, the Yale-NUS student body now comprises more than 700 students from 53 countries across six continents.”

Now in the midst of finalizing the fifth class of students to matriculate at Yale-NUS, the college’s admissions office has been reserved in its disclosure of data for admitted classes. Unlike Yale College and its peers in the United States, Yale-NUS has not publicly shared statistics detailing the high school academic performance or standardized test scores of matriculating students since sharing information regarding the SAT scores of students admitted in 2013 and 2014.

The college also does not share a breakdown of student enrollment by country, as is released annually by Yale’s Office of Institutional Research, choosing instead to provide a list of the different nationalities of students.

Though it was established as an autonomous college within the National University of Singapore, Yale-NUS does not follow the practice of NUS in releasing an indication of the grade profiles for the majority of applicants admitted in the previous academic year. A section of the admissions website devoted to frequently asked questions states that there is no “magical set of courses, grades, essay topics and accomplishments that will guarantee admission to Yale-NUS College.”

“We seek students who will thrive in the residential, liberal arts environment, and we value students with a global mindset and a willingness to explore new ideas and perspectives,” Severin said in an email. “The college practices holistic admissions and evaluates academic achievements, as well as recommendations, essays and extracurricular accomplishments and interviews.”

Although the college has previously released admissions statistics, including total application numbers and admit rates, this year the school did not provide this information in the August press release welcoming Yale-NUS class of 2020 to campus.

According to a November article in The Octant, Yale-NUS’ student newspaper, a student officer in the admissions office claimed that the admissions office had, however, shared the data in an earlier meeting with members of the parents’ association of a Singaporean college preparatory school.

Severin said the college received more applications for the class of 2020 than for the class of 2019, “confirming the strong interest in Yale-NUS College.” Prospective students can apply to Yale-NUS in three separate ways: through the college’s custom admissions portal, by selecting Yale-NUS on the Common Application or by selecting Yale College on the Common Application and agreeing to share their application with Yale-NUS when subsequently prompted.

Though the admissions office collects data on how many applications are received through each separate method, Severin declined to share specific numbers.

The college received more than 8,000 applications in 2016, Severin added. The number is a significant decline from the more than 12,000 applications received in 2014, though similar to the numbers in 2015, when the college reported receiving more than 8,500 applications.

Severin said the college expects to be able to share statistics on the admitted class of 2021 this June. Students admitted in the first of two applications rounds received their acceptances late last month, while students who applied in the second round will receive their decisions by early May.

Yale College admitted 6.27 percent of its applicants for the class of 2020 and admitted 6.9 percent of its applicants for the class of 2021.

Contact Ishaan Srivastava at ishaan.srivastava@yale.edu .

  • Frankie Leung

    Asian students are more brand-conscious than their American counterparts. Many Asian parents would rather send their children to USA to attend a reputable college. Secondly, how their alumni are going to fare in the future? Cambridge produces Lee Kuan Yew and his next generation. Oxford is looked up. Harvard, Yale and Stanford are the most prestigious now since the UK has degenerated into a second rate country, especially after Brexit. Is this hybrid school more like NUS or Yale or neither? In marketing, they have a concept of brand contamination. Toyota does not want Lexus to be confused with Avalon even though both brands share the same engine. Both Yale and NUS should be more conscious of this brand management.

    • Jawaralal_Schwartz

      Stand back a bit and realize that the NUS degree, though substantive, worthy, meritorious in all respects, just does not ring the bell like a degree granted in New Haven. Its big advantage, however, is that it is scott free of the controversy and radioactivity wafted into the air in 2015 in the quad. That remains an issue for us all.