The QuestBridge program, a non-profit organization that has paired low-income applicants with Yale for 13 years, matched the University with 87 applicants, the greatest number of its students admitted early since the partnership’s inception.

The new record for Yale surpassed last year’s record of 55. The 87 accepted QuestBridge applicants at Yale make up the most matched students for a single school out of the program’s 40 partner schools. A total of 1,127 students matched with one of the 40 QuestBridge partners on Monday, which is also a new record for the organization.

“The staff members at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid are thrilled to offer admission and generous financial aid offers to a record number of students through the QuestBridge National College Match program,” said Mark Dunn, the director of outreach and recruitment and associate director at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Those who matched with Yale are accepted early to the class of 2024 and qualify for Yale’s most generous financial aid award — which includes a $0 parent share. This aid will include hospitalization insurance coverage, a $2,000 start-up grant in the first year and a student share expectation of $3,700. The student share expectation is equal to Yale’s estimate for out of pocket expenses like books, laundry, and other personal expenses. According to the QuestBridge website, finalists who matched must withdraw all their other applications.

Finalists who did not match with Yale still have the opportunity to be considered for Yale’s regular decision round. According to Dunn, Yale has offered admission to more finalists during regular decision round compared to the match round in past years.

“Dozens of staff members dedicated countless hours over the past six weeks to carefully consider applications and financial documents from an exceptional group of applicants who have all achieved remarkable academic and personal successes, despite coming from households with limited financial resources,” Dunn said.

According to Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan, QuestBridge applicants are viewed by a different admissions committee than Early Action and Regular Decision applicants. This year’s QuestBridge applicants have been the “strongest pool QuestBridge match candidates” in past years, according to Quinlan.

According to Dunn, when reviewing applicants from either the Early Action or the QuestBridge pools, the admissions committee makes sure to only vote to admit a student if they are “100 percent the student would also be admitted in the Regular Decision round.” No advantage is given to students who apply early, Dunn said.

This new record also comes along with Yale’s increased outreach to first-generation, low-income students. Dunn highlighted Yale’s leadership in establishing the Quest for College group travel, a new method of outreach that allows Yale to partner with other universities to gain more traction in historically underrepresented areas.

Natalia Taylor ’21, president of QuestBridge at Yale, noted that although Yale does a “good job” at reaching out to low-income students throughout the admissions process, outreach seems to end when students arrive in the fall. Despite this, she notes the opportunity and supportive policies that Yale does have.

“I can’t express how grateful I am to be at such an incredible institution,” Taylor said. “Even so, there are a lot of things that could use improvement when it comes to the on-campus support if FGLI students. I’ve been advocating for an FGLI space on campus for years, and we’ve just recently gained access to the Saybrook Athenaeum room,” a meeting room.

Earlier this academic year, Yale announced a new financial aid policy for the 2020–2021 academic year. This new policy reduced the student effort from $4,450 for the first year at Yale and $4,950 in subsequent years to $3,700 for all four years. The policy also raised the family income threshold to qualify for “Yale’s most generous financial aid awards” from $65,000 to $75,000.

“Although it is impossible to attribute the increase in students matched with Yale to any particular factor, I believe it affirms that Yale is an appealing college option for high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds,” Dunn said. “I am especially grateful for the hundreds of Yale Student Ambassadors who visited more than 700 high schools in 48 states last academic year to spread awareness about Yale’s affordability and accessibility.”

The QuestBridge program started in 1994.

Kelly Wei |