The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has begun their annual tour guide application process, closing the first round of applications on Feb. 7.

The position receives “several hundred applications each year,” according to John Yi, the Associate Director of International Admissions. While there is no limit to the number of new tour guides hired each year, applicants must go through a lengthy four-round hiring process.

Aspiring guides must submit a written application, sit for a virtual panel interview with current tour guides and program leaders and conduct a one-on-one interview before finally giving a practice tour.

“Guided tours give visitors a unique chance to interact with our knowledgeable guides and ask questions tailored to their particular interests,” said Nancy Franco, director of the University Visitors’ Center.  “Student tour guides share stories and experiences that bring facts and figures to life.”

If accepted to the program, students can expect to give weekly tours and be compensated 15 dollars an hour. 

In addition to the standard campus tours, the admissions office also offers a specialized science and engineering tour that is directed towards prospective STEM students. 

“It’s important that we have science and engineering majors represented among the campus tour guide group as well,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan said. “These tours are designed to highlight STEM resources in depth, while providing prospective students with the opportunity to speak directly with current undergraduates majoring in STEM.”

With the first round of applications now closed, prospective guides must wait in anticipation as they hope to survive the first round of cuts. Tour guide hopeful Charlie Martin ’26 said he is excited about the possibility of leading campus tours despite the competitive nature of the selection process. 

“I know it’s gonna be a tough job to get, but I’d like to think I’m the right candidate,” Martin said. “I want to show visitors the more ‘under-the-radar’ aspects of Yale that I’ve enjoyed here such as the first-year seminars that are offered, which put you in an intimate classroom environment with professors.” 

Matthew Lee ‘25, made it to the interview round in tour guide applications last year until being cut. Lee told the News he does not intend on applying again this year. 

“I don’t think I did anything wrong,” Lee said. “It’s just really competitive. Everybody is proud to be here and wants to represent Yale.”  

Franco explained that the program’s selectivity allows the admissions office and visitors center to “select students who are well suited for this position and it gives prospective tour guides the opportunity to shine.”

Alongside the process of selecting campus guides, the admissions office is also seeking student ambassadors. The admissions office hires Yale Student Ambassadors to visit high schools in their home areas during spring and winter break and speak to prospective students about Yale and the application process. 

“Ambassadors school visits attract many qualified high school students who may not have previously considered Yale,” Corinne Smith, the Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions said. “We also find that hearing from current Yale students tends to feel more approachable and exciting for high schoolers.”

The office, which is expected to receive around 200 spring applications, estimates that student ambassadors have totalled a cumulative 650 to 800 school visits. Smith explained that ambassador application decisions largely depend on the office’s geographic needs. 

“We try to hire as many Ambassadors as possible—especially those from rural or small-towns,” Smith said. “These areas typically don’t receive as many school visits from highly selective institutions, which make them great schools for Ambassadors outreach.”

Ambassadors get paid $20 for completing a training session and $40 for every school visit they complete. 

BEN RAAB
Ben Raab covers faculty and academics at Yale and writes about the Yale men's basketball team. Originally from New York City, Ben is a sophomore in Pierson college pursuing a double major in history and political science.