On Ivy Day 2019, the Yale Admissions Office invited just under 2,200 students to join the incoming Class of 2023. Though the recent admissions scandal was a story of exceptional admissions cases in their own right, we were more interested in unique tales of adversity, struggle and triumph. We spoke to some of our current classmates about what it takes to get into Yale as an undocumented immigrant, a first-generation low-income student, one of the only students who hails from Alaska, a U.S. Army Ranger, and even someone who didn’t really go to middle school. (All without bribes.)

This episode was co-produced and edited by Matt Udry and Christine Yang. Additional producers include Alejandro Ortega, Aaron Jenkins, Laura Palacio Londono and Tom Murray. Thank you to Andrew Nguyen, Laura Palacio Londono, Bairon Reyes-Luna, Aaron Jenkins, and Naomi M for telling their stories. Original music credits to Eric Krebs.

This episode is the second half of a two part series about Yale Admissions. You can check out our last episode featuring an exclusive interview with the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan.

If you’re interested in launching your own podcast through the YDN, contact me at allison.park@yale.edu to pitch your idea for next fall. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all @crosscampusydn. Additional music via 8notes.