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6 Awesome Yale University Essay Examples

What’s Covered:

 

Yale is one of the top universities in the country, and a member of the prestigious Ivy League. Since many Yale applicants will have stellar grades and test scores, your essays are vital to standing out. Yale has a handful of short answer questions, two essays for all applicants, and one for engineering.

 

In this post, we’ll share some Yale essay examples by real applicants and accepted students to help you understand what makes a strong essay.

 

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

 

Essay 1: Immigration Reform

Yale students, faculty, and alumni engage issues of local, national, and international importance. Discuss an issue that is significant to you and how your college experience could help you address it. (250 words)

 

A chaotic sense of sickness and filth unfolds in an overcrowded border station in McAllen, Texas. Through soundproof windows, migrants motion that they have not showered in weeks and children wear clothes caked in mucus and tears. The humanitarian crisis at the southern border exists not only in photographs published by mainstream media, but miles from my home in South Texas.

 

As a daughter of immigrants, I have heard countless stories of migrants being turned away by a country they desperately seek to love. After seeing the abhorrent conditions migrants face upon arriving in the U.S., I began volunteering with Loaves and Fishes, an organization that shelters and provides necessities to undocumented immigrants. This year, my experiences collecting donations and working at pop-up soup kitchens have made me realize that the communities in South Texas promote true American values of freedom and opportunity. The U.S. government, however, must do better.

 

During my university career, I aspire to learn how our immigration system can be positively reformed by considering the politics and economics that shape policy-making. Particularly, classes such as Institutional Design and Institutional Change will prepare me to effect change in existing institutions by analyzing various methods to bolster the economy. 

 

Additionally, I hope to join the Yale Refugee Project that volunteers at the southern border and prepares asylum cases for court. With the numerous opportunities offered by YRP, I will be part of a generation of activists and lawmakers that builds a more empathetic immigration system.

Analysis:

 

This essay draws its strength from its roots in the applicant’s personal experience and its connections to Yale-specific opportunities. Here, we learn a bit about the applicant’s story, values, and fit for Yale, all well-encapsulated within the 250-count word limit. 

 

A chaotic sense of sickness and filth unfolds in an overcrowded border station in McAllen, Texas. Through soundproof windows, migrants motion that they have not showered in weeks and children wear clothes caked in mucus and tears. The humanitarian crisis at the southern border exists not only in photographs published by mainstream media, but miles from my home in South Texas.

 

This imagery-rich anecdote offers a fantastic introduction to this essay. For those oriented towards narrative writing, this may prove a strong way to draw your reader in. The author quickly establishes not only the problem’s dire extent but also a personal connection; this issue resides in her own backyard. Here, the applicant establishes that immigrant mistreatment is more than a faraway crisis to her, offering crucial background behind her passion for it.

 

In your essay, we recommend you do the same. Discuss not only what the problem is, but why it matters to you. Why do you find yourself drawn to your particular issue instead of another one?

 

As a daughter of immigrants, I have heard countless stories of migrants being turned away by a country they desperately seek to love. After seeing the abhorrent conditions migrants face upon arriving in the U.S., I began volunteering with Loaves and Fishes, an organization that shelters and provides necessities to undocumented immigrants. This year, my experiences collecting donations and working at pop-up soup kitchens have made me realize that the communities in South Texas promote true American values of freedom and opportunity. The U.S. government, however, must do better.

 

Here, the applicant further deepens her connection to the issue through her familial history. This strengthens her authenticity, showing that this is an issue she genuinely cares about and is thus naturally motivated to change. 

 

Secondly, the applicant succinctly describes the steps she has taken to resolve this issue, staying true to her main message and avoiding excessive wordiness to stay concise. This maintains the reader’s interest as they grow to trust that each sentence will carry interesting content that differs from that within the sentence before it.

 

She ends this paragraph with a call for the U.S. government to “do better,” and due to the work she has already described, her command comes across as especially justified. Meanwhile, her genuine passion for the issue and willingness to work to fix it are early signs to admissions officers that this is a student with the initiative to participate and contribute to campus. 

 

Despite her chosen topic being controversial and emotion-inducing, there are no excessive appeals to emotion within this essay. By discussing her knowledge and experience, the urgency of the immigrant condition speaks for itself, as does her determination to improve it.

 

During my university career, I aspire to learn how our immigration system can be positively reformed by considering the politics and economics that shape policy-making. Particularly, classes such as Institutional Design and Institutional Change will prepare me to effect change in existing institutions by analyzing various methods to bolster the economy. 

 

After creating a strong basis to showcase her determination to improve immigrant’s welfare, the applicant successfully shifts into discussing the future that her past has informed. Notice how as this essay progresses, the writer gradually transitions from writing about her general college goals to specific Yale offerings. 

 

In fact, this whole essay is filled with natural transitions and a clear train of thought linking each idea to the next. Be sure to bring this same quality in your own writing; the last thing you want to do is confuse your admissions officer with an abrupt topic switch!

 

Additionally, I hope to join the Yale Refugee Project that volunteers at the southern border and prepares asylum cases for court. With the numerous opportunities offered by YRP, I will be part of a generation of activists and lawmakers that builds a more empathetic immigration system.

 

By mentioning the Yale Refugee Project, the applicant gets even more specific in mentioning qualities that only Yale possesses, further demonstrating her fantastic fit for the school. Notice how YRP’s mission mirrors that of Loaves and Fishes in their shared goal to better southern immigrant communities. YRM’s opportunities for helping immigrants through the world of law offer an almost “grown-up” version of the work she has already completed; here, the applicant shows a willingness to build upon her experience and to push herself even further.

 

Furthermore, her aspirations tie back to the writer’s earlier claim that the United States’ government  “must do better” by showing that she intends to be part of this wave of positive change herself. This level of intent signifies that this applicant stays true to her word, acting upon her values instead of just talking about them.

 

This essay checks all of the right boxes. It’s a clear read without being simplistic. It’s sufficiently personal in a way that suits her purpose, and her motivation to tackle her issue is both explained and acted upon. Finally, her concurrent streaks of activism and intellectualism successfully paint this applicant as a proper Yalie, making it clear to adcoms that she belongs on campus. 

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Essay 2: Artificial Intelligence

Think about an idea or topic that has been intellectually exciting for you. Why are you drawn to it? (250 words) 

 

Her name is Sophia. Described by many as compassionate, sexy, and a witty twitter icon, Sophia embodies success and holds a level of intelligence humans can only dream of. Sophia is not your average girl. In fact, she’s not a girl at all. Created in an artificial intelligence lab in Hong Kong, Sophia is the most famous android in the world. 

 

When I first read about Sophia the Robot and its apparent ability to feel emotions, I was intrigued yet perplexed. For years, A.I. has revolutionized technology, enabling tasks to be performed rapidly and skillfully. But the single characteristic I long believed separated humans and A.I. was humans’ ability to express emotions. Today, with emotional A.I. undergoing expeditious development, I find myself wondering what actually makes us human. Can only humans have a mind with consciousness and thought? Will machines be able to imitate the human mind or can they perceive emotions only through algorithms? How do humans learn to feel emotions? What is the mind? 

 

As a philosophy enthusiast, I am fascinated by the potential for A.I. to recreate the human mind. From Descartes postulating that the mind is identified by a self-awareness to early monists arguing that the mind is a purely physical construct, philosophical theories seek to understand the mysterious minds of humans that science cannot fully explain. In college, I hope to study the Philosophy of Mind and Artificial Intelligence in order to better understand our minds and the technology that is increasingly resembling them. 

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Essay 3: Shaping Education Systems

Yale students, faculty, and alumni engage issues of local, national, and international importance. Discuss an issue that is significant to you and how your college experience could help you address it. (250 words)

 

Each time we handed homework back, our primary school students would anxiously start counting and comparing the number of corrections. The warning that “a mistake on the Gaokao will cost you thousands of places to your dream university!” had already been drilled into their heads. 

 

The combined efforts of generous government spending and unreserved sacrifices of parents have guaranteed education for most Chinese children. After two summers of teaching English in rural Chinese schools, I’ve realised that the problem isn’t funding, but a redundant system.

 

My friend and I founded Project Take Flight to propose learning driven by curiosity rather than pressure, earned by exploring rather than memorising. After two weeks with quirky essay prompts, vocab games, improvised debates and a lesson titled ”How to Fail”, students’ creativity flowed and the stigma of making mistakes seemed forgotten.

 

But there’s a limit to the impact of two high-school students; education systems around the world need nation-wide policies that do not just provide the resources but also ensure they are used effectively. Putting students in school might equip us with the skills necessary in the “world of tomorrow”, but education at its best – the type I hope to experience at Yale – enables us to have a say in what that world will look like. I want to understand the processes of curricula development and policymaking through taking courses in Educational Studies alongside my major so I can contribute to shaping an education system where every student can learn for causes greater than themselves.

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Essay 4: Biomechanics (ACCEPTED)

Yale’s extensive course offerings and vibrant conversations beyond the classroom encourage students to follow their developing intellectual interests wherever they lead. Tell us about your engagement with a topic or idea that excites you. Why are you drawn to it? (250 words)

 

My heel strikes the pavement, calf muscles flexed to brace for the mechanical load of the impact. As my weight shifts forward, I imagine horizontal velocity vectors extending directly ahead. The angle created by my knee increases as I hit the propulsion phase of my stride, and with a final drive of force, I push off from my forefoot.

 

I discovered my fascination with sports biomechanics in the USC Biomechanics Research Lab. In my research project, I apply scientific principles to running to prevent stress-induced injuries in athletes. By analyzing video frames of PAC-12 athletes in motion and linking them to force plate data, I seek to understand the forces behind running. Comparing these conclusions to the data of athletes after a stress fracture, I can deduce the tangible differences that increase susceptibility to injury. To accomplish this goal, I have learned to use Python and MATLAB to sync the video and force plate data to create graphs for analysis. I have also used sports analysis programs to identify the locations of joints in individual frames and create videos overlaid by force vectors. Through this work, I hope to use my passion for sports biomechanics to improve the health of athletes.

 

My interest in sports biomechanics also extends outside of the lab, where I see my knowledge in motion. Neighborhood runs are scientific feats where I analyze my movements with principles of physics. With every step, I seek to improve my performance, putting sports biomechanics into action as an athlete.

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Essay 5: Why This Major (ACCEPTED)

Why do these areas appeal to you? (Biomedical Engineering; Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Neuroscience) (125 words)

 

Tearing past layers of wrapping paper, I blink twice at the box in my hands: The Squishy Human Body. Little did I know that this strange seventh birthday gift would inspire a curiosity in biology and a desire to pursue medicine. Snapping open the plastic head, I would seek to understand the brain’s inner workings. Squeezing the rubber heart would turn into countless questions about the molecular properties of its tissues. Using the tweezers to remove the small intestine, I would perform my own surgeries, each time with improved equipment that I designed to fit the patient’s needs. I hope to continue my exploration of biology at Yale, working to understand functions on a cellular level while applying my knowledge to the field of medicine.

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Essay 6: Why Yale

What is it about Yale that has led you to apply? (125 words or fewer)

 

Coin collector and swimmer. Hungarian and Romanian. Critical and creative thinker. I was drawn to Yale because they don’t limit one’s mind with “or” but rather embrace unison with “and.” 

 

Wandering through the Beinecke Library, I prepare for my multidisciplinary Energy Studies capstone about the correlation between hedonism and climate change, making it my goal to find implications in environmental sociology. Under the tutelage of Assistant Professor Arielle Baskin-Sommers, I explore the emotional deficits of depression, utilizing neuroimaging to scrutinize my favorite branch of psychology: human perception. At Walden Peer Counseling, I integrate my peer support and active listening skills to foster an empathetic environment for the Yale community. Combining my interests in psychological and environmental studies is why I’m proud to be a Bulldog. 

 

Where to Get Your Yale Essays Edited for Free

 

Most students applying to Yale will have stellar academics and extracurriculars, so your essays are your chance to stand out and humanize your application.

 

Because your essays are so important, you’ll want to get a wide array of feedback on them. That’s why we created our Peer Essay Review tool, where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. Since they don’t know you personally, they can be a more objective judge of whether your personality shines through, and whether you’ve fully answered the prompt. 

 

You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. We highly recommend giving this tool a try!

 


Short Bio
Our college essay experts go through a rigorous selection process that evaluates their writing skills and knowledge of college admissions. We also train them on how to interpret prompts, facilitate the brainstorming process, and provide inspiration for great essays, with curriculum culled from our years of experience helping students write essays that work.