Yale University Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Mary

Your classmates are passionate and gifted, and you often will feel like they belong there much more than you do.

Natalie

Engaging, passionate people who love to learn from others and teach others about what they are passionate about, whethere that is politics, music, or biomedical engineering.

Wenzel

Yale is incredibly diverse. No two people have the same background. You can find people from all walks of life, from ever corner of the world, and from ever ethnic, social, and economic background. It's frankly quite humbling. You learn so much from each other that way.

Jess

Yalies are really diverse in terms of geography, interests, and religion/ethnicity. There isn't a ton of socioeconomic diversity, though, and everyone is similarly ambitious and hard working. We're also a very liberal campus, though there is a vocal conservative minority. Bear in mind that I'm speaking from the perspective of a white, middle-class student, but I'd say that students generally hang out in diverse groups and get along well.

Josh

Students at Yale are incredibly diverse and amazingly talented. For example, as a freshman, I lived in a 10-person suite. My roommate was from Shanghai, and we had students of many different races, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds, and interests. Some sing a capella, others are on varsity sport teams, others are involved in politics, others write for the newspaper, others play intramural sports intensely. Diversity is embraced at Yale; students love meeting other students from different backgrounds. It's a very welcoming, warm environment.

Bella

A common trend among students is that we all have the drive to do something great - whether it be a future political leader or simply write the best essay ever. The best part about this motivational energy is that it pushes everyone to strive in their own niches. But the thing is, everyone here is just so different (I guess that's what admissions wanted?). Personally, I love the fact that I can walk into a dining hall and sit next to a stranger with a totally different life story and leave with a new friend. Because the atmosphere here is so academically competitive, students use extracurriculars to handle their stresses in proactive ways. As a result, Yale has a host of incredibly influential student groups, all comprised of leaders and resourceful minds. The student groups here have the power to actively participate in local elections, invite prominent guest speakers for Master's Teas (actors, politicians, writers, etc.) and even create non-profit organizations, among many other things.

Irene

The classmates are very friendly.

Brittany

My classmates are an amazing, very driven, very diverse group of people from all walks of life who encourage each other to try new things and keep an open mind not just in the classroom, but in the world outside of it as well.

Michael

Smart, motivated, concerned people who are truly dedicated to exploring their interests and working hard to acheive their goals.

Elizabeth

An incredibly ecletic mix of people who are for the most part devoted to school but maintain a variety of other interests and extracurricular activities.

Laura

They're mostly driven by academic, career and social ambitions: they're restless sometimes, and passionate others.

Jesse

My classmates are driven to succeed but not in a cut throat fashion, they are willing to help their fellow classmantes as well.

Hannah

Passionate about all they do, both in and out of the classroom.

Jessica

My classmates are focused, interesting, and intelligent.

Heather

Classmates at Yale are independent, driven, friendly, and passionate.

Thanh

They are usually friendly, intelligent, and very motivated.

Ming

Everyone here is an achiever - they are all brilliant, motivated, talented, and seek success.

Eric

Brilliant yet ego-centered.

Ryan

No complaints here, essentially. The student body is very diverse, with people from all walks of life and races and perspectives. There are a bunch of people I find boring but for the most part they seem to get along with each other, so that's great for them. That said, this leads me to a different point: there is an element of cliquiness among the students, with athletes (even single sports teams) only hanging out with each other, science kids only hanging out with each other, hipsters only hanging out with each other, etc... I think this is natural, and when people from different groups are forced to interact, as in freshman year housing and some extracurriculars, there are rarely problems. Oh, and there are a ton of the gays. Yale loves gays.

Bryan

Classmates are friendly, helpful, and usually smarter and more successful than me.

Ryan

Yale is large enough that no one should have a problem finding a group to hang out with. Being discriminatory in any sense is frowned upon by the Yale community - for example, homophobic comments are largely just not tolerated. Of course, there is a large amount of ethnic diversity, but the more important diversity here is socio-economic. The University's administration hasn't done a fantastic job of addressing this sort of diversity, largely because it's a newer kind. There are definite differences between these socio-economic classes, but by no means do they divide the student body - students just seem to be very aware of socio-economic standings and issues. The student body is incredibly well-informed, and people make a large effort to take care of themselves in every way. Going to the gym is expected, as is making an effort to look decent in class. There is a somewhat large divide between those students who go out and those who don't.

Heather

Fantastic.

Xiaochen

They are always trying to beat each other in everything competitive they can get their hands on so much to the point that any friendships among them would last only when they provide incentives in the form of future profitable cooperation and mutual assistance.

Jeffrey

They were talented, ambitious, fun-loving, and intense.

Katie

Extremely smart and hardworking

Ricardo

My classmates live by the phrase, "work hard, party hard... work harder, black out."

Betsy

I love the students at Yale. They are the reason I am here. Dartmouth was my dream school throughout the application process. But then, upon my acceptance to Yale, I was introduced to BulldogChat, where accepted prefrosh can chat online with other prefrosh and a couple of Yalies that have the same interests. I got in that chatroom, and it was all over for me. The conversation was so witty and quick! They lol-ed my dry humor that had, more often than not, been met with blank stares in high school. They were amazing, wanted to help people all over the world-- and had done it! They were so inspiring that I made my decision then and there-- Yale was the school for me.

PoliSci gal

Yale draws the best and brightest from all over the world, but also focuses on finding people who are personable and passionate. There is a lot of diversity on campus in all senses of the words: different geographic origins, different ethnicities and religions, different socioeconomic backgrounds, different majors, different interests, and different goals. No two Yalies are alike, but what they all share is a love of Yale and a desire to change the world in some way.

Amelia

The student body is very diverse. New York, New Jersey and southern California have the biggest contingents, but people come from all over the place and 1 in 12 (or something like that) are international students. There have been a few incidents this year (one sexist, one racial), but these do not represent the student body as a whole at all. People are very accepting, welcoming and interested to talk with others about what's important to them. There is a huge gay population. It is a pretty liberal campus. It is awesome to be able to have passionate conversations at 4 in the morning about political or religious issues. Whether organized by the administration or spontaneously over a meal, there are always interesting conversations going on. I feel like I've learned just as much (if not more) from my friends as from my classes.

gavin

has an enormous amount of diversity

James

The biggest reason I decided to go to Yale is for the people. They are the most fun, caring, hard-working people I know. There is a welcoming atmosphere at Yale that can't be found at many other institutions.

Andy

Yale is very diverse, but like all Ivy League schools, it could still do a better job of socioeconomic diversity. I think that they should act affirmatively for parental income and education, in addition to acting affirmatively for race.

Micah

Yale's student body is why I chose to come to Yale. Everyone at Yale is brilliant and incredibly talented, but no one comes to Yale to emphasize how amazing they are. Yalies are interesting, but also interested - far preferring to ask about your adventures and learn from you than they are to show off their own experience or accomplishment. This makes for an incredibly non-competitive environment, which keeps everyone saner and focused on the right things, as opposed to consumed by competition with others. Also, everyone at Yale (certainly that I've met) is simply a good person, who values kindness and is genuinely friendly and open to everyone they meet. This is absolutely incredible, because it creates such a warm environment on campus that you can feel comfortable being yourself without any need to prove your worth to anyone, and that people will respect you and want to get to know you no matter what your interest or where you come from. I haven't met anyone at Yale that I don't like, and I certainly can't say that about any other group of people I've ever been with.

Rhys

Republicans will feel out of place. Yale is a generally liberal campus. Financially, those from more middle or working class backgrounds will sometimes feel the disparity, but it is certainly not an overwhelming thing. Some kids turn out to be filthy rich, but you would never know it from the way they treat you. There is a fair amount of activism; the campus reacts to the world and does not try to hide from responsibility.

Rachelle

so much diversity its amazing.

Emmerson

Lots of different groups. I attended some LGBT meetings but that group was actually pretty small. I'm still friends with some of the members though, so that's nice. Yalies are from a wide variety of places, and they mix together pretty well for the most part.

Jesse

Yale's student body is diverse and for the most part integrates all kinds of groups and beliefs, working hard towards exposing others to what is out there. Clothing ranges the spectrum, from really dressy to jeans and tshirts to sweats and hoodies - although choices depend mostly on personal style, seasonal deadlines and exam periods can influence this as well. Yale students are from everywhere.

Alexandra

Yale students are pretty diverse for a bunch of nerds (a large portion of whom are personally quite wealthy). Everyone can find a niche. Political activism is very strong here, and while the majority consider themselves liberal (particularly socially), there is room for the right wing as well. That being said, intolerance of homosexuality, racism, sexism, etc. will provoke a strong reaction here. The LGBT community is significant (there's a reason we're "the gay Ivy"). There is also a strong Jewish community, many houses for worship (primarily Christian), and several cultural clubs and houses. Some students form small, tight groups of friends and hang out with them all the time, while others create broad networks of friends and friendly acquaintances instead. In general, I think people tend to have several main groups - people they live with (that is, in the same entryway or residential college), people they have classes with, and people they do their important activities with (theater, a capella, sports, politics, etc). While it can be a little overwhelming during freshmen year, students eventually sort things out and find their own rhythms. As with academics, social life is what you create - you can wear sweatpants or dresses every day, because you'll find people who do both.

Shawn

If you're not smart, or at least value education in some way, you won't fit in here. I know plenty of people who were more interested in partying who went to Yale and who were ultimately unhappy. My circle of friends were certainly very intellectual, but none of us went on to get rich people jobs. Basically you can't sum up the student body in a paragraph. I think most of the students there were good writers. I think most of them were VERY good at something, whether that was academically, athletically, or being a legacy.

Wenzel

The residential colleges are a great system because they randomly assign you to roommates your first year and its always very diverse, but people almost always end up getting along. People tend to interact along the lines of their interests or groups, not their racial or class background. Most people here are quite smart, but in general I would divide the student body into Athletes/Frat Boys, Nerds/Shy people, and hipstery/artsy kids. And with a lot of overlap. But most of whom are incredibly wealthy, relative to the rest of the country. There's a lot of political activism on campus, but a lot of ignorant hate speech as well. And people often seem to care more about money than learning--but that's a personal choice.

Alex

The gay community is pretty big and pretty active on campus. As the saying goes, “one in four, maybe more,” so if you're thinking about coming out, this is the place to do it. The student body is really diverse - there are a students from every state and a lot of international students here as well. People constantly practice speaking in other languages in normal conversation. Everyone is smart here (even the students who got here on athletic merit had to do pretty well in school and be pretty intelligent to be here). Everyone either has one thing they're really awesome at, or is ultra-intelligent, or is really well rounded, or is just really interesting here. I have never questioned why any student got accepted into Yale, because it's always so apparent.

Andy

Since Yale draws students from across the country, we have a really interesting mix of people. I love my suitemates. We stayed together from freshman year to sophomore year and we're probably going to stay together through junior year. Students are much more collaborative than you would expect. People are always very willing to share their notes or prepare for exams in groups. We all do want to make good grades, but we aren't willing to do it at the expense of others.

Claire

Yale is the most diverse place I've ever been. There are people from every corner of the world, from every financial background, who's interests span the entire spectrum. People are involved in all kinds of dance groups, music groups, drama clubs, volunteer organizations, religious groups, athletic clubs, fraternities and sororities . That said, I think it would be very hard to feel out of place at Yale; there's a group that where everyone can fit in. On top of that, the residential college system ensures that every student is placed within the close-knit community of their college. Really, I think it would be really hard to feel out of place. And yes, different types of students interact. The residential college system ensures that there's a good mix of people in each suite, entryway, college, etc so that you're exposed to and form friendships with all different kinds of people.

Sandy

I'm pretty sure the only people who feel "out of place" at Yale are conservatives. People at Yale, and I suppose this is true of American culture in general, are very quick to label themselves "victims" of racism, sexism, this that or the other... it's ridiculous. We have an incredibly diverse, incredibly open, incredibly privileged community here, and anyone who says otherwise is looking for pity or attention. This is an incredibly, incredibly liberal campus. That said, the comparatively small conservative movement here is passionate, intelligent, and fearless. For the most part you don't see childish, unproductive shouting matches a la Crossfire in political discourse here- you see intelligent people passionate about their ideas engaging each other in political and philosophical discourse (or at least, within the Yale Political Union; it's probably different elsewhere). There seems to be a disproportionate number of students from California... People dress well here. Incredibly rare is the sloppy pajama pants and baggy t-shirt look (I never saw it once from anyone in my 9:25 class 1st semester, which is one of the earliest time slots Yale has). Heels, skirts, sport jackets, et cetera, although this is not a universal phenomenon.

Steve

I'd say that the Yale student body definitely takes all kinds ... There's an awful lot of interest group/race/religious cross-pollination unless you choose to stay specifically within your clique (I'm talking about YOU, overachieving Asians, Orthodox Jews and "political" Black kids.) But because Yalies are so driven and self-absorbed, no one really takes a huge amount of trouble being "social." People wear their pajamas and worse to class, and campus is so spread out that it's easy to fall into just hanging out with your roommates and their closest friends. Most Yale students are pretty liberal, which makes the conservatives who do go there react by being awfully loud and obnoxious.

Alexandra

The LGBT community is large but the lesbian community specifically, is quite small. the student body is pretty main stream. Range of financial background.

Rory

Like I said, the students here are mostly the coolest. Everybody is supernice and interesting, they all have some weird secret talent. Like you’ll have been talking to somebody for a month before they’re like, “Oh I worked on this project to help make removing plaque from people’s arteries easier” or “Oh yeah, that poem I published in the New Yorker.” As for minority groups on campus---I went to a high school with like 5 people of color in my class and zero out gay people. You wouldn’t have gotten the shit kicked out of you for being gay but you would definitely get teased mercilessly. Here that just isn’t plausible. Something like a quarter of the kids here are gay and nobody cares. Everybody’s friends with everybody else. And I finally have gay, black, and Hispanic friends, which is exciting.

Robin

Fine, they're pretty in your face, but (as I have discovered) with good reason. Out of place? Erotic minorities, goths, people who've lived in the real world for any period of time, people who are WISE beyond their years, people who are alternative, people from certain super-conservative countries/areas. Yale tilts towards the mainstream, so anything too far removed from that, watch out. 1. Black kids. 2. Internationals. 3. Athletes/Frat boys. 4. College-proud, bland kids with nothing outside their residential college. Most Yale students? Northeast. Financial backgrounds? Upper-middle-class. Politically EVERYTHING? Yes. Centre, with some right inclinations. Bank accounts? No concept of money, yet. Give it time.

Lindsay

I think that there is so much diversity at this school. As I stated before, I do think that some groups tend to kind of isolate themselves, which I think is unfortunate. I do not think anyone would really feel completely out of place at Yale. There are so many different kinds of people here, it's just a matter of going out and meeting them.

Max

There is a large gay community which was strange for me, being from Switzerland were homosexuality is not widely tolerated. About half of the students seem to be on some sort of scholarship. Most students dress casually (Tshirt,Jeans). Yalies are mostly left and very politically aware.

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