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Unhappy with choosing Yale 2024

Gojira02Gojira02 2 replies1 threads New Member
edited July 8 in Yale University
I know that at face value, this statement seems very alarming and ripe for criticism. Please hear me out!

To preface, I am a low-income student from the Northeast and my family knew very, very little about colleges when I began this process of applying to schools. When deciding where to place my early app, I chose Princeton simply because it has the top-rated math department and I enjoyed visiting there awhile back.

While waiting on my Princeton decision, I applied to a host of other schools. When I heard back from Princeton in December, I was beyond thrilled to have been accepted. However—to be completely honest—I never really knew or felt the gravity of that achievement. My family and I knew that the school was hard to get into, but I was encouraged to see all of my other applications through and explore all of my options. When the dust settled, Princeton, Yale, Colgate, Rice, and Vanderbilt emerged as my top options financially.

I had an extremely tough time deciding. With formal accepted student days canceled due to COVID, I never really felt qualified to make my own decision about college. I eventually posted to a Q&A site (not College Confidential) asking what I should do. I was answered eloquently by a Yale alum who started talking with me privately. He contacted many other Yalies to talk to me; he even promised to write to his connections at Yale to guarantee me certain placements and (dare I say) privileges. Nothing illegal or anything, but he certainly painted a grandiose picture of me at Yale. Yale's financial aid offer also slightly edged out Princeton, and my family was 100% pro-Yale. In the last hours on May 1st, I accepted my Yale offer for all of the aforementioned reasons.

A couple of days later, I wrote to the alum who had taken me under his/her wing and said that I had committed to Yale. The reply was brief, he/she could not do ANY of the things for me that he/she had promised. This upset me immensely, and I began to realize that I had made an awful mistake. Princeton had come to be my dream school, and I had turned it down based on promises that I was foolish enough to believe and to make other people happy.

I wrote and called Princeton admissions desperately—several times over the past couple of weeks. I rarely got an answer, but when I did it was a very robotic "sorry, our Class of 2024 is full, we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors" type of message. I even tried to convince them to let me be considered for Bridge Year, a program where I could perform service abroad and then enroll in the Class of 2025. Again, they repeated the same "sorry, no, good luck" message. I was devastated.

To conclude, I know that Yale is an amazing school and that I am very lucky to be going there. However, Princeton will forever be my dream school and my interactions with the Yale alumni has left an awful, awful taste in my mouth. I am afraid that the actions of the Yale people I have spoken with are indicative of what the culture is like there as a whole. I am a teenager who has made misguided choices and bad mistakes. I have no one to blame but myself. Is there ANY path I can take to right this wrong, or should I just pull together and live with this? Is there any hope for me to attend Princeton as an undergrad? Should I try to transfer out of Yale even if it doesn't mean going to Princeton?
edited July 8
43 replies
Post edited by ccadminkris on
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Replies to: Unhappy with choosing Yale 2024

  • LindagafLindagaf 10848 replies588 threads Super Moderator
    You seem to be experiencing a classic case of buyer’s remorse. You chose Yale for sound reasons, not least because the financial aid was better. There is no use crying over spilled milk. I am pretty sure you will realize at some point that you made a very good decision.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3447 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Well I would not make plans to transfer without giving Yale a chance first. Clearly they want you more than Princeton does.

    It was wrong for an alumni to make promises he couldn't keep, but the fact that so many reached out in a positive way is good. I would start reaching out to your future classmates to start building bridges that way. Princeton and Yale are not interchangeable, but attending one over the other probably isn't materially going to change the trajectory of your life either. That's going to depend on what you make of the opportunities available to you.
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  • Bill MarshBill Marsh 505 replies5 threads Member
    edited May 24
    If I were in your shoes - lied to, opportunities misrepresented, your future messed with - I’d feel exactly as you do. In fact, I’d want a piece of this guy.

    Your best hope at this point would be to get on the Princeton wait list if they still have one that’s active. But since you’ve been unsuccessful on your own, you need an advocate. Your HS guidance counselor might have a relationship with a Princeton Admissions Officer. Have you contacted him/her? Were you contacted directly by anyone from Princeton or did you have an interview with anyone there? If you still have theur contact information, you could try that route. How about Michelle Obama? She’s an alum. Have you tried her? Yes, we’re running out of options.

    Are you so disgusted with Yale that you want no part of them even if you can’t be reconsidered by Princeton? If so, you could reach out to Colgate, Rice, or Vanderbilt. Most schools are still reaching into their weight list, and one of those 3 might be delighted to have you even at this late date.

    Both of the posters before me offered excellent advice. There are a lot of BS artists in the world. They do a lot of damage. But don’t allow yourself to be a victim of this guy’s character defect. He’s an alum, he’s not involved in running the college. So, he doesn’t represent what you’ll encounter when you get there. You don’t want to let your anger eat you up and destroy what is a great opportunity. Had you been rejected by Princeton, you probably would have been delighted to have Yale as an alternative. Well, that’s what you have. Put this behind you if you can, and make the most of this opportunity. Ultimately no college is a destination. They’re all a means to an end, which is the rest of your life. Otherwise you’re just passing through for 4 years.

    BTW, I would notify the Admissions Office of this alum’s unethical behaviour. No one else should find themselves in your position.
    edited May 24
    Post edited by MaineLonghorn on
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  • compmomcompmom 11780 replies81 threads Senior Member
    Is there a reason that Princeton is your dream school and Yale is not?

    I agree that one person should not dissuade you from Yale. I just wonder how you feel about New Haven versus Princeton, and whether you want to change only because of this one negative experience with a Yale alum, or whether there are more positive reasons for wanting Princeton.

    Honestly, Yale is a wonderful school and this one person is not at all indicative of anything that happens there.

    That said, I think you will feel better if you actually talk to someone at Princeton. Are you calling the admissions office? There must be a way to reach someone. And don't talk to a student. Can your guidance counselor help you get in touch? Do you have an email contact?

    Once Princeton tells you definititely one way or the other I think it will be easier to move on.
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3691 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Its great that the Yale financial aid was more generous. Congratulations on your high school graduation! The whole deal with the alum sounds so strange - what kinds of arrangements could he have been trying to set up for you? There are so many opportunities ahead of you at Yale I doubt you will miss whatever odd things you were promised. I would not assume all Yale alums are like this.
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  • parentologistparentologist 216 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Relax. You're going to Yale, and it sounds like they gave you fantastic financial aid, too. You will probably absolutely love it when you start in the fall, assuming campus is open. As for the perks that someone online promised you at Yale, they weren't worth anything, but you don't need them. You're going to Yale!
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  • blossomblossom 10389 replies9 threads Senior Member
    You do not need the backing of a so-called alumnus to get "perks" at Yale. You will be assigned a college, and pretty much anything you need that you can't get through ordinary channels will be available through your college. Special fellowships for travel, volunteer work, to support a hobby or research interest.... funds for an emergency trip home.... funds to pay for clothing if you are in an orchestra and need formal wear or other special performance items.

    If this fake-o alum promised you all of this- you don't need "connections". And any academic resources- extra tutoring, additional funds for books or labs- you can go straight to an academic dean or your advisor and get those as well.

    You will be fine. You will thrive. You had a bad experience but you've made a good choice- going to the most generous school on your list was a wise decision. And the fact that it's Yale and not somewhere else- icing on the cake.

    Congrats on your awesome achievement. And if you take five minutes to drop the admissions office a note with the email address of this so-called alum-- you will be doing another kid a favor down the road.
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  • SouthernHopeSouthernHope 2124 replies217 threads Senior Member
    edited May 23
    Here's the first thing you need to know, @Gojira02 -- This is totally and completely normal...every kid who has great choices like you do tends to agonize over the decision....and many will have days or weeks where they feel that they made the wrong choice....don't worry about that dumb alumni guy...you're going to Yale! The pandemic has made this whole thing so crazy but once you have time to stay on campus, you are going to love it. Regrets are normal....now onward!
    edited May 23
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  • Luckyjade2024Luckyjade2024 669 replies9 threads Member
    Do not let one interaction with a stranger decide your fate. Yale!!! Really?? you should be proud and excited to attend. Don't make another foolish mistake buy turning down Yale.

    PS Congrats on amazing schools!!
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  • giantoctopusgiantoctopus 155 replies63 threads Junior Member
    You are going to Yale. Amazing. What an incredible and thrilling opportunity. Get psyched cause it's going to be great!
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  • compmomcompmom 11780 replies81 threads Senior Member
    edited May 24
    If you are fixed on this issue, and yearn for Princeton, I still think it would be very very helpful to actually talk to someone at Princeton and strongly urge you to do so. After that, it will be clear that either you can switch (unlikedly, maybe through waitlist?), or you can move forward and be happy at Yale.

    It really depends on personality here. If you are a person who maybe won't let this go, I hope you will listen to how you feel and access an admission person at Princeton who can tell you a maybe yes or a definitive no.

    Yale is a great school. So is Princeton. Either way you have a great adventure ahead.
    edited May 24
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1641 replies8 threads Senior Member
    Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Please don't let this bad interaction color your opinion of the school in general.

    As a reasonably well connected alum, working with both the admissions and development offices, I can tell you a responsible/knowledgeable alum would never make the type of promises that seemed to have been made to you. At best, you ran into an overenthusiastic alum who bit off more than he/she could chew, or this person was a fake. For accepted students in my region, the only strings we can pull in conjunction with the AO is to put students in touch with current students who share their interest, and occasionally a professor who has volunteered their time for this type of outreach. We have 0 control over what happens at school. In fact, the most we can do as alums if one of our kids gets in is they can either choose to be or not be in our residential college.

    Yale offers all sorts of opportunities in terms of classes, research, and activities that any student can grab, but it is up to the student. Like life (or Princeton) , nothing will be handed to you but there will be plenty of support and resources there for the asking.

    Have you joined the accepted student forums the school sponsors or those informally put up by other students? Your parents should sign up for the Parents' Facebook page. You and they will see how welcoming and supportive the Yale community is.

    Best of luck.
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  • PublisherPublisher 11376 replies152 threads Senior Member
    What promises were made to you that you were not honored by the alum ?

    From a positive viewpoint: The acronym is HYP, not HPY as the alphabet would dictate. :smile:
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  • nycnycnycnycnycnycnycnyc 21 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited May 24
    Have you personally contacted your Princeton AO directly? or did you just write to admissions? Try to reach your AO or get your guidance counselor involved. You have nothing to lose.
    edited May 24
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  • PAdudePAdude 100 replies1 threads Junior Member
    For what it's worth I also turned down Princeton and took Yale. Everyone is individual and has their own story and own priorities. That being said, you may not know this but the cross admit data between Yale and Princeton skews heavily toward Yale. About 71-29% (with 71% choosing Yale) . Hard to think 71% of people are making "wrong" choice. Perhaps you may realize in short time that your spot in Yale was a twist of great fate. Congrats.
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  • bludbulldogbludbulldog 22 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I agree that this Yale alum (assuming he was legitimate) got over his skis in making promises he could not keep. Alumni are a variety of people and some are foolish even at Yale. Please don’t let that spoil your perception of Yale.
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  • PublisherPublisher 11376 replies152 threads Senior Member
    @bludbulldog: What promises ?
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  • PublisherPublisher 11376 replies152 threads Senior Member
    Based on OP's other post, OP selected Yale for a less intense environment & the liklihood of earning a higher GPA in order to be a more competitive law school applicant.

    Additionally, Yale offered better financial aid & OP's parents preferred Yale.

    My best guess is that this is just a case of buyer's remorse.
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  • paperchaisepaperchaise 6 replies1 threads New Member
    More like 61-39, but you make a good point.

    My son chose Yale over Princeton at the very last moment and it was so close it may as well have been a coin toss.
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