Michelle Foley 7 min read 11th Grade, 12th Grade, School Spotlight

Yale Diversity Statistics: An In-Depth Look

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Yale has changed significantly since its founding days, perhaps most notably in its commitment to diversity. Like many other selective private schools, Yale recognizes that a wide-ranging population of scholars not only allows students to engage with a broader range of perspectives, but also provides opportunities to traditionally underrepresented and underserved groups. 

 

In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into Yale’s diversity statistics, exploring how the school varies in its representation of racial, ethnic, cultural, geographical, financial, political, and LGBT+ backgrounds. Here, we’ll deepen your understanding of the school’s commitment to a well-rounded student body to help you best gauge how at home you’ll feel in New Haven.

 

Overview of Yale Diversity Statistics 

 

Ethnic Diversity

 

With a white undergraduate population of 49%, Yale is diverse. See below for a complete breakdown of the college’s undergraduate ethnic composition.

 

Ethnicity

Percentage of Students

Asian and Pacific Islander

19%

Black

8%

Hispanic

14%

Native American

1%

Other

10%

White

49%

 

For many students, faculty diversity is an important factor as well. With a white population of 64.2%, Yale’s faculty is moderately diverse

 

Ethnicity

Percentage of Faculty

Asian American

13.8%

Black or African American

3.2%

Hispanic or Latino

3.9%

International

5.2%

Native American or Native Alaskan

0.1%

Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian

0.2%

Two or More Races

0.4%

Unknown

9.1%

White

64.2%

 

The Faculty Demographics chart showcases aspects of the diversity of Yale’s faculty in greater detail, especially in regards to gender, rank, and tenure.

 

Over the past five years, Yale has poured $50 million dollars’ worth of resources into increasing faculty diversity. Yale’s Faculty Development and Diversity team aims to enhance faculty and diversity schoolwide. They work in planning, policy development, analysis, leadership, and more to create a more varied, inclusive Yale. 

 

Financial Diversity

 

Yale is need-blind, meaning the applicant’s ability to pay isn’t considered in admissions, even for international students. Yale is also no-loan, meaning that their financial aid offerings are provided so that students are not required to pay back any part of their financial aid award. This is done with the intention of meeting a student’s level of financial need without the burden of crushing student loan debt. Finally, Yale meets 100% demonstrated need for all admitted students regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Yale’s average need-based scholarship was $60,970 and 53% of students received need-based aid in 2020.

 

In addition, more first generation, low-income students “matched” with Yale through the Questbridge program than any other school in 2019. 

 

All of this is great news for low or mid-income applicants who could use some help paying for a world-class education. However, this does not make Yale a true haven for the exclusively non-rich. The New York Times published a study in 2017 detailing the economic breakdown of students at Yale and 2,136 other schools. Here’s Yale’s:

 

Median family income

$192,600

Average income percentile

82nd

Share of students from top 0.1%

3.7%

From top 1%

19%

From top 5%

45%

From top 10%

57%

From top 20%

69%

From bottom 20%

2.1%

Data from the New York Times

 

“About 2.1% of students at Yale came from a poor family but became a rich adult,” the Times reports.

 

Geographic Diversity

 

Yale’s student body represents all of the U.S.’s 50 states as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. 92% of students are from out of state.

 

21% of Yale students are international students from a total of 120 countries, the most represented of which are China, Canada, India, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Germany. International admissions and financial aid offerings are need-blind and need-based, so international students are eligible for aid, and needing it will not hurt an applicant’s chances. 

 

Cultural Resources at Yale

 

We’ve already touched upon Yale’s Faculty Development and Diversity team, which is just one of many cultural resources available to Yalies. Yale’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion works tirelessly in collaborating with individuals and groups across campus, especially within the school’s four key cultural centers

 

 

Though Yale’s robust residential college system limits the creation of living-learning communities, these cultural centers serve as gathering places which work to create solidarity amongst their respective student populations, educate and engage them in racial/ethnic social issues, and empower youth through connections and mentorship. 

 

Overall, Yale has 38 cultural clubs, each tailored to a specific ethnic or geographic group with some overlapping with artistic pursuits and hobbies. There are plenty of student organizations dedicated towards gendered and religious groups as well.

 

Unfortunately, Yale has no fly-in programs for low-income or multicultural students, and the pandemic has led to many alterations, postponements, and cancellations of these programs as it is. Fortunately, demonstrated interest via campus visits isn’t considered in Yale’s admissions process anyways.

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Plans to Improve Diversity at Yale

 

Yale’s past and present issues with diversity are similar to ones at other universities. The Yale Daily News, for example, is historically mostly white and East Asian. In addition, these students mostly come from higher-income backgrounds because A) student journalism is typically unpaid, so many lower-income students cannot afford to devote much time to it and B) many low or mid-income students come from high schools without strong journalism programs. 

 

Other aspects of the Yale College experience, like club selectivity, adjusting from high school to college academics, and even relating socially to certain peers is made more difficult by coming from an underserved background. Some issues are more Yale-specific, like its involvement with the Varsity Blues scandal and benefactor Elihu Yale’s history as a slave trader.

 

On October 14, 2020, President Peter Salovey unveiled a new nine-step plan to increase equity, equality, and diversity at Yale. His commitments represent the next phase of the Belonging at Yale initiative, which aims to increase diversity and inclusion. In summary form, the plan includes the following actions: 

 

  • Launching a project of racial education and critical examination of Yale’s history under history professor and director David Blight
  • Transforming of policing and public safety
  • Creating a center for Law and Racial Justice
  • Assessing ongoing diversity initiatives
  • Upping financial aid, especially in traditionally non-lucrative departments and for non-traditional students
  • Reaffirming Yale’s expanded commitment to the Faculty Excellence and Diversity Initiative (FEDI)
  • Launching a staff leadership diversity initiative
  • Including diversity as a key theme within the Yale Alumni Association
  • Expanding outreach to local minority-owned businesses to increase the diversity of sources providing goods and services to Yale

 

In addition, Yale’s diversity-oriented student organizations are constantly doing the work to provide a more equitable campus experience, and its students are constantly pushing the university to do and be better.

 

LGBTQ+ Inclusivity at Yale

 

Yale is nicknamed “The Gay Ivy,” and around 23% of surveyed members of Yale’s class of 2022 identify as LGBTQ+.  

 

Yale is vocally pro-LGBTQ+ and it has an officially enforced non-discrimination policy as well as formal reporting opportunities for instances of discrimination. Same-sex married couples recieve the same marital benefits at Yale as opposite-sex ones, and the school is actively inclusive of diverse pronoun usage.

 

Of course, Yale still has plenty of room to grow. Students and alumni alike have pointed out the school’s need for a more actively pro-LGBT+ attitude, as students there often don’t feel comfortable coming out, or have received lacking treatment from Yale’s undertrained mental and physical health workers. Advocates have recommended in-depth strategies for making LGBT+ students feel more welcome at Yale through comprehensive workshops and faculty sensitivity training. 

 

Yale’s Office of LGBTQ Resources provides emotional support, career resources, and training to members of the Yale community. Their staff is well-versed in counseling students through personal and relational issues during their office hours. In addition, the college has over 10 LGBTQ+-specific student organizations, many of them overlapping with artistic and cultural interests. The campus features 20 gender-neutral bathroom stalls to combat feelings of discomfort among Yale’s genderqueer and transgender population. Although the school still has a ways to go, it’s made great strides towards living up to its progressive reputation. 

 

How Diverse and Inclusive is New Haven?

 

New Haven is somewhat ethnically diverse, as reported by the 2019 Census:

 

Ethnicity

Population Percentage

White Alone

44.4

Black or African American Alone

32.6

American Indian and Alaska Native

0.4

Asian Alone

5.0

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Alone

0.0

Two or More Races

4.4

Hispanic or Latino

31.2

White alone, not Hispanic or Latino

29.5

 

This city isn’t lacking in culture, either! New Haven is famous for its deep-dish pizza and deep-seated restaurant rivalries, but Italian isn’t the only option on the city menu. Many of Haven’s most popular eateries are ethnic ones serving up anything from boba to falafel. Mediterranean, central/south-American, and Asian cuisine commonly top the list of popular markets and grocery stores, so students of all backgrounds should have little trouble finding foods reminiscent of what Mom used to make.

 

Like Yale, New Haven leans a little left, and it’s notably inclusive of the LGBT+ community. In fact, the 2013 and 2014 Municipal Equality Index granted New Haven a perfect score in LGBT+ inclusion, greatly surpassing the average score in the United States, Connecticut. Some believe that New Haven is more LGBT+ inclusive than Yale itself.

 

Is Yale the Right Fit for You?

 

Of course, diversity is just one of many factors that’ll slip onto your radar as you craft your school list. Location, student culture, and academic offerings will all come into play, for example. 

 

Our Yale profile page showcases these elements and more, giving you a clearer picture of what life at Yale may be like. If you’re curious about your chances of getting in, you may be interested in our chancing engine to give yourself a better idea. Unlike other solely stats-based chancing calculators, ours looks at your profile holistically, including both your quantitative stats and qualitative extracurriculars.

 

If you’d like to expand your school list, you may like our easy-to-use school search tool to sift through dozens of universities. Simply specify your preferences regarding location, class size, testing policies, and more, and we’ll find the best fits for you within our extensive database.

 

Yale or not, we hope you end up at a school that embodies diversity in the truest sense of the world, filling your college years with both a vast variety of perspectives and a sense of home.

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Michelle Foley
Essay Breakdown Writer at CollegeVine
Short bio
Michelle Foley is currently taking a gap year before starting at Yale College in Fall '21, where she is considering majoring in Art, English, or Cognitive Studies while earning her Spanish certificate. In her free time, she likes to paint, run, and read!