Yale University Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Johanna

I've never heard a Yale stereotype that made me wince (although I can't say the same for singing group auditions!). Beginning in the early 80s, Yale became a place where LGBT people felt comfortable coming out and pulling together, and that legacy remains a source of pride for all civil rights-minded alumni. But The Gay Thing is just one example of what the Breast and the Bite-est - no, the Brightest and the Shiniest - or whatever it's called - can produce.

Ryan

Some of them... but there are a lot of people who don't fit the stereotypes. Also, the preppy, old-money thing is not that big. If anything, rich new york hipster types are a much bigger presence.

Ryan

For the most part, no. There certainly are competitive kids, but public opinion largely discourages this. It's seen as not "cool" to be competitive and obnoxious about one's intelligence level. The prevailing opinion is, "we're all smart, or else we wouldn't be here".

Betsy

There are some people like that everywhere. We call them "section a**holes". But I'd say at least 80% of the people here are so grounded that they are amazed they even got in. Yalies come from all over the world and have so many great experiences that sitting down over lunch with any one of them is usually astounding. We love each other and Yale, and like to show it. We are an amazingly friendly bunch of people.

PoliSci gal

Some stereotypes -- that Yalies are very smart and ambitious -- are very true. However, Yalies are also incredibly down to earth; I have come across very few snobby or pretentious people, and actually have been amazed to find how friendly and fun everyone is.

Amelia

Not at all. There are generally more people better off financially than those that are not, but there is tremendous diversity here. People come from all over the place, wear all kinds of clothes and are into all kinds of random activities. Very few people are stuck-up or antisocial- people are very smart, but they also love to have fun and party.

gavin

yes

MJ

In some ways yes; it depends on the person. Not everyone is smart academically, and not everyone is socially inept.

Andy

Yes, this is true.

Andy

yes.

Anais

You definitely get preppy legacy kids, and Yale is the 'gay ivy' considering how accepting the community is, as a whole, to homosexuality. But you also get a lot of indie-hipster kids and brainy kids who never went out in highschool getting totally trashed here on the weekends. Good times.

Rhys

Though one will find people who fit that model well, the majority of Yalies are interesting, motivated people who come from a variety of backgrounds.

Charlie

All of them are not accurate. I mean, you get some serious and pretentious people, but you get them everywhere. There is a gay community (more than some colleges), but it's not in-your-face. It's just very accepted. Almost all the people I've met and all the people I hang out with are chill, down to earth, hilarious, quirky and amazing.

kristin

Truth: They may very well have been the best in their high school but among others of their own capacity, everyone is equal and happy to help out. They certainly seem normal... that is until they reveal that they discovered a new planet.

Rachelle

we are nerds. but this is a huge party school.

Kathleen

no, they really aren't at; i mean, of course we have our share of purely academic students, but generally people are pretty good at maintaining a balance; furthermore, half the students here are on financial aid, and the ones who aren't don't flaunt it

Emmerson

Yes. We are more down to earth and not obsessed with being number one.

Alexandra

Yes, sort, no, and yes, but in a good way. We are nerds. Almost all of us will admit it. But we function perfectly well socially, and we're generally very happy people. There is some divide between athletes and non-athletes, but it's not destructive and the groups aren't exclusive; You can find whatever social environment you want at Yale. Yale students are not pretentious, at all. I know many students here who try to avoid saying what college they're from rather than flaunting the Ivy League. We are a little obsessed with our work, but again, not in a destructive way. Most students prioritize their academics, but we definitely still know how to have fun. Where else would students pre-game the opening of the newly renovated library?

Kirsten

It's true that we don't leave campus, but we're not just sitting in our rooms doing homework. There's so many amazing things to do that there's never enough time.

Shawn

yes

Wenzel

YES. Of course, not for everybody. Everyone is competitive, though. And not everyone is smart.

Alex

Great school - check. Dangerous surroundings - based on personal experience, you'll be fine at night as long as you travel in groups. If you're a girl and it's 2am, of course it's not going to be a good idea to walk through New Haven Green by yourself, so just be smart about it.

Andy

Entirely true

Claire

In all 3 cases, I don't think these stereotypes are very accurate. while Yale is a very serious academic institution, there is a myriad of things outside the classroom that are readily available to students. Any extra-curricular activity that you could think of exists at Yale - and if for some reason it doesn't, Yale will help you start it. There are concerts, spanning all types of music both from student groups and professional groups, plays, and sporting events to attend and to participate. There's a healthy intra-mural sports program. There are plenty of student-organized dances and parties. Anything that you could want to do is available. And if all this isn't enough, New York City is a quick train ride away. Secondly, Yale's fantastic financial aid program ensures that anyone who can get in will not be kept from attending due to financial issues. So there are as many kids there getting substantial financial help from Yale as there are kids who's families completely pay their own way. In part because of this, Yale is a very diverse place with kids from all sorts of backgrounds. About the third stereotype I mentioned, I don't think that Yale is overwhelmingly liberal. I don't know the exact numbers of the split between liberals and conservatives, or any other political persuasion, and although I'm sure there are more liberals than anything else and it seems like they are more vocal and active, it is not overwhelmingly liberal; there's a large group of conservatives, both active and not.

Sandy

Not at all. Even I, as in love with Yale as I was during the application process, didn't believe the line from admissions officers about legacy admits being just as good as all the rest- but to be honest, many of the brightest people I know here are legacies. That's what comes of having a well-educated family. There are a lot of awful overachievers here, "craven careerists" as my friends are wont to say, who do all the "right" things for all the wrong reasons- it's this sort of thing that prompts resume padding (even here in college), cheating on exams and papers, doing the bare minimum- worst of all, in my eyes, it absolutely stifles academic passion. But there are diamonds in the rough, true intellectuals, true students, devoted to their studies. Their presence here keeps me going.

Steve

The first, the one about Yalies thinking they're better than everyone else is not accurate in my experience. The second? Well, I suppose there is some truth to it... the kids I knew who went to Yale were often mopey and self-obsessed. Some of it comes from the location of course ... living in a drafty gothic castle in the middle of a ghetto does weird things to your psyche.

Alexandra

Yalies are certainly pretentious...but no more so than at any other Ivy League University. In many ways Yalies attempt to defy the standard stereotype by immersing themselves in the greater-New Haven area and engaging with the community via service.

Rory

That?s really not true, there?s probably more of that here than at other places but overall we?re just hard-working, smart, and talented.

Bryan

There is snobbery, but it's not endless. And I can't find a George W clone anywhere!

Robin

Not at all. Maybe for like 0.000000001% of the population. The rest are remarkable normal, all things considered.

Greg

Some of them are, because this is the reason that most stereotypes begin. However, it completely depends from person to person. There are these types of people, but there are just as many who do not have money, are down to earth, and there are even some conservatives. I think that Yale strikes a great balance here. Other ivies, such as Harvard and Princeton (I have spent significant time at both), I feel are more stuck up and elitist than I typically see in everyday life at Yale.

Lindsay

I do not think that these stereotypes are accurate at all. I think, generally, Yale students do a really good job at balancing their social, academic, and if it applies, athletic lives.

Max

The stereotypes are accurate even though even the studious people tend to be very outgoing at Yale.

Dawson

Rich- yes; white- yes; preppy- many are, but about as many don't give a shit because they don't have to in order to find work

Hannah

NO! Many people do dress preppy, but 98% of the campus is NOT stuck up, full of ourselves, or assholes.

Joe

sometimes yes, sometimes no

Save time. Let us search for you.

Narrow down over 1,000,000 scholarships with personalized results.

Get matched to scholarships that are perfect for you!

START YOUR SEARCH