Yale University Admissions Statistics

Learn About Yale University and the GPA and SAT/ACT Scores You'll Need to Get In

The Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University
The Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University. Andriy Prokopenko / Getty Images

With an acceptance rate of just 6 percent, Yale University is one of the most selective colleges in the country. To get into an Ivy League school such as Yale, you're going to need stellar grades and high SAT/ACT scores as well as meaningful extracurricular activities, winning application essays, and success in accelerated courses such as Advanced Placement, IB, or Dual Enrollment. Even if you are a straight "A" student with extremely high SAT or ACT scores, you should consider Yale University to be a reach school. Many highly qualified students will not be admitted.

Why You Might Choose Yale University

Established in 1701, Yale (with Princeton and Harvard) usually finds itself high on rankings of the nation's top universities. This Ivy League school has an endowment over $27 billion and a 6 to 1 student to faculty ratio, so it’s easy to see why. For Yale's strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, the university was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Yale's library's hold over 12.7 million volumes. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale is an easy train ride to either New York City or Boston. In athletics, Yale fields 35 varsity teams. Not surprisingly, Yale made our lists of Top National UniversitiesTop New England Colleges, and Top Connecticut Colleges.

Yale University GPA, SAT and ACT Graph

Yale University GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Admission
Yale University GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission. See the real-time graph and calculate your chances of getting in at Cappex. Data courtesy of Cappex.

Discussion of Yale University's Admissions Standards

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent students who were lucky enough to get in, and you can see that most students who were admitted to Yale had an SAT score (RW+M) above 1300, and an ACT composite score above 28. Higher test scores will improve your chances measurably, and much more common is a combined SAT score above 1400 and an ACT composite score of 32 or better. Nearly all successful applicants had high school transcripts filled with "A" grades, and GPAs tend to be in the 3.7 to 4.0 range. Also, realize that hidden beneath the blue and green in the upper right corner of the graph is a lot of red. When your grades and test scores are on target for Yale, you're still going to need other strengths to impress the admissions committee. Students really do get rejected with 4.0 GPAs and nearly perfect SAT scores.

What can you do to improve your chances of getting into Yale? The university has a holistic admissions policy, so non-numerical measures such as letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and application essays all play an important role (see tips for acing your Common Application essay). With extracurriculars, depth and leadership in one activity will be more impressive than a smattering of superficial involvement. For example, a student who does drama for all four years in high school and takes the lead role in a play will be more impressive than a student who was on stage crew one year, Spanish club the next year, and yearbook another year. 

Also, Yale University has a single-choice early action plan. If you know that Yale is your first-choice school, it's worth applying early. The acceptance rate tends to be well over twice as high for early action applicants as it is for the regular applicant pool. Applying early is one way that you can demonstrate your interest in the university. 

Finally, legacy status can also improve your chances of getting into any of the Ivy League schools. This is something that colleges don't tend to publicize much, and it isn't something that you have any control over, but many schools will give a slight preference to applicants who have a parent or sibling who attended. This builds family loyalty for the institution, something that has value on the fundraising front.

Admissions Data (2016)

  • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 6 percent
  • Test Scores: 25th / 75th Percentile
    • SAT Critical Reading: 710 / 800
    • SAT Math: 710 / 800
    • ACT Composite: 32 / 35
    • ACT English: 33 / 35
    • ACT Math: 30 / 35

More Yale University Information

About half of all Yale students receive grant aid from the university, and the financial aid packages tend to be generous for qualifying students. The university can also boast of high retention and graduation rates.

Enrollment (2016)

  • Total Enrollment: 12,458 (5,472 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 51 percent male / 49 percent female
  • 100 percent full-time

Costs (2016–17)

  • Tuition and Fees: $49,480
  • Books: $3,580 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $15,170
  • Other Expenses: $720
  • Total Cost: $68,950

Yale Financial Aid (2015–16)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 58 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 50 percent
    • Loans: 10 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $48,126
    • Loans: $5,365

Academic Programs

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 98 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 87 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 96 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Football, Lacrosse, Rowing, Swimming, Tennis, Fencing, Golf, Ice Hockey, Soccer, Squash
  • Women's Sports: Rowing, Lacrosse, Swimming, Tennis, Squash, Volleyball, Track and Field, Softball, Field Hockey

Like Yale University? Then Check Out These Other Top Universities

Applicants to Yale often apply to other Ivy League schools such as Harvard UniversityPrinceton University, and Columbia University. Just keep in mind that all of the Ivies are extremely selective and should be considered reach schools.

Other top universities that tend to appeal to Yale applicants include Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University

Data Sources: Graph courtesy of Cappex; all other data from the National Center for Educational Statistics