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Can I get a blunt opinion of Yale?

kcirschkcirsch Registered User Posts: 2,265 Senior Member
edited November 2005 in College Search & Selection
Tell me in one or two sentences what you think of Yale...it seems like all the books I read just talk about how wonderful blah blah blah it is....I want the real essence of the school. (I would never look at Harvard or Princeton just because they are so elitist - eating clubs are stupid - Yale seems more liberal to me and my counselor wants me to apply there for my reach school)
Post edited by kcirsch on

Replies to: Can I get a blunt opinion of Yale?

  • lookinf4aschoollookinf4aschool Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    I dont go to yale and I have never been there. But I know a few yale kids (about 10-15). So here is my generalization. Yale is a great school for kids who have a lot of raw brain power but are usually lacking in practicality and common sense. Simply put, they all have their heads in the clouds. But I must stress, very book smart.
  • meestasimeestasi Registered User Posts: 1,116 Senior Member
    your making a broad generalization about the types of students at Yale. I'm pretty sure there is a variety of types there, just as there are at any other college. But Yale is very intellectual, and I'm pretty sure watching "Gilmore Girls" won't give youa good impression of the people there (which is where I think you are getting your ideas of "head in the clouds" from) ;)
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    I don't see any evidence that Yale is less "elitist" than Harvard or Princeton. In fact, both Harvard and Princeton have a higher percentage of students qualifying for need-based aid (50%) than does Yale (42%).

    I wouldn't even hazard a guess about which school is the most "elitist". Harvard, for example, is made of many very different groups of students. It certainly has its share of blue-bloods, but it is also one of the most ethnically-diverse schools on the East Coast.
  • A.S.A.P.A.S.A.P. Registered User Posts: 2,663 Senior Member
    lol. I laughed when I read lookin4aschool's generalization of Yale kids, because I think there is a lot of truth to what he/she said..

    I don't know if you read the thread where 5 imaginary students stats were reviewed by adcoms from various colleges, but Richard Shaw, who just left as Yale's Dean of Admissions to go to Stanford this fall, dismissed one student's application because he seemed too "practially oriented " or some similar description. It seemed he wasn't intellectually curious and engaged enough for Shaw, and had a practical bent. Maybe there was a certain amount of intentionality in selecting "heads in the clouds" types. I don't know.

    My daughter is a junior at Yale, and although the characterization fits to a degree, I will say that living in New Haven will improve your practical skills a lot. Yale students are known for having a great deal of energy and passion for their work and their outside interests. They work very hard but I don't get a feeling of competitiveness among the students - they have a pretty good time.

    There's a lot to do on campus - for instance on Halloween the orchestra dresses in costume, as does the audience if they choose, and everyone comes out for the annual concert. Most people are involved with clubs as well as community activities. I can't speak to the "elitist" factor except to say that it's not an issue for my D. There are a lot of kids from famous families on campus, but then no more or less than H and P, I imagine. I can tell you that in her five semesters so far my D, has yet to have an instructor that she didn't think was wonderful.

    She's made some very good friends, has developed strong ties to her department's professors, and loves her college and the residential system. She has found the area of study she wants to pursue for her life's work, which is not the field she planned to pursue when she applied. Yale has been a life-changing experience in the most positive sense.
  • ariadne09ariadne09 Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    generalizing schools like harvard, princeton, or yale is tempting but incredibly, incredibly wrong. like an earlier poster said, these schools have a huge range in their student bodies--that's what makes them as attractive as they are to so many high school seniors looking for where to spend the next four years of their lives.

    visit the school, talk to real students, get a feel for campus life, sit in on some classes. all the subjective advice in the world won't compare with that...and if you're seriously considering yale, you probably shouldn't dismiss harvard offhand (although i guess i'm a little biased). princeton is pretty different-- location, size, etc.
  • eclipse0eclipse0 Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    A.S.A.P., I'd be interested in reading that thread. Do you have a link?
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    First let me not that I did not attend Yale nor do I know anyone who went there as an undergraduate.

    That said, you should check out the students review web site. They have a number of undergraduates who have commented on Yale. Although a number of kids liked the school, there is a persistant thread of students who felt that Yale was much more graduate oriented than undergraduate focused. Obviously, you have to take these comments with a "grain of salt." However, there are more than just a few kids who made reference to this. It might be worth checking out.
  • kcirschkcirsch Registered User Posts: 2,265 Senior Member
    I kind of want to apply to an Ivy just for fun...(I'm probably going to UT) and if I got in I just might consider it. Although I want to go into Marketing/Advertising, I don't want to go to Penn because I don't like the people there. I don't like the eating club atmosphere of Princeton, the elitist attitude at Harvard, the weather at Cornell, or the location of Dartmouth. Should I look at Stanford?
  • college2332college2332 Registered User Posts: 1,214 Senior Member
    kcirsch, Stanford while being equally prestigious is not a member of the Ivy League.

    Yale has beautiful architecture. It is in New Haven which isn't the best location. However, the blocks around the school are very nice especially Chapel St. and Broadway. The student body is definitely liberal (maybe a little too much). The students seems to be very into their studies, but also relax in the evenings at the buttery (food, movies, etc). There also seems to be many events and planned trips. The residential colleges seem pretty cool, and school spirit tends to be high.
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Registered User Posts: 22,686 Senior Member
    How can you generalize that way, Kcirsch? How can you "not like the people at Penn"? At a school with over 9000 undergraduates, that is a tough statement! There are many reasons for not liking a particular school, but it's hard for me to believe you have met enough of the Penn population to make such a statement. You forgot to say what's wrong with Brown and Columbia.
  • kcirschkcirsch Registered User Posts: 2,265 Senior Member
    I know Stanford isn't an Ivy.
    Columbia is in NYC which I hate.
    Brown has no real majors, which doesn't suit me well.

    What are the kids at Stanford like? How is the location (also in comparison to San Francisco?).
  • A.S.A.P.A.S.A.P. Registered User Posts: 2,663 Senior Member
    kcirsh - You do need to get out more!
    Brown has real majors! Stanford is in a quiet, upscale suburban neigborhood -not very Yale-like.

    eclipse - I'll look for the link. It was posted just a few days ago.
  • OneMomOneMom Registered User Posts: 1,925 Senior Member
    If you don't like the eating clubs, the secret society scene at Yale might also annoy you, although they do have plenty of alternative activities to join. The students have a lot of energy. Everyone seems to be involved in something. Of the top group of schools, it is the best choice, in my opinion.
  • A.S.A.P.A.S.A.P. Registered User Posts: 2,663 Senior Member
    OneMom - I'll reply since I can't sleep either :)

    There really isn't a "secret society scene" at Yale, even though all the guide books talk about it. Skull and Bones and the few others that exist are for seniors only. That, in itself, negates any real impact on the campus, and the fact that they're secret, further negates any impact. Very few students are involved in these societies, and when they are, no one knows it! They have nothing to do with the social life of undergraduates, until senior year, and then it's a very small number of students who are involved. (Often the rich, famous, and connected, who have their own social lives anyway, as I see it.)
    They are completely different from the eating clubs at Princeton, where much of student life revolves around the parties and dining in these clubs. Kids at Yale eat at any of the residential colleges - often their own - and also sometimes at Commons or one of the nearby eateries. The residential college system is the hub of social life at Yale, and not exclusive.
  • OneMomOneMom Registered User Posts: 1,925 Senior Member
    Good points, A.S.A.P. The residential college system does seem to be a great system.
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