Yale University Transfer Acceptance Rate, GPA, and Requirements

An elite private school founded before the American Revolution, Yale University is one of the most respected Ivy League schools.

For most college hunters, the words “Ivy League” denote intelligence and success. They bring to mind images of esteemed professors crossing historically significant grounds, their caps and gowns waving in the wind.

The Ivy League includes some of the most famous schools in the world, including Harvard and Princeton. Graduates from their hallowed halls go on to change the worlds of business, science, and politics. Its faculty and alumni include Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, and Pulitzer winners.

Even among such proud company, Yale stands near the top.

Established in 1701 as the Collegiate School, Yale University is the third-oldest institution of higher learning in the nation. With over three hundred years of history, Yale has established itself as a University devoted to innovation and improvement.

One such innovation is the “Yale System” employed by the medical school. Under the Yale System, first- and second-year medical students do not receive grades for their work, allowing them to explore their creativity freely.

Similarly, the English and Comparative literature programs at Yale have been highly influential. The faculty in these programs are so innovative that an entire critical approach took the name “The Yale School.”

With so many outstanding innovations, its easy to see why one would want to transfer to Yale, even if they already attend an impressive institution. However, the transfer process is not like the usual admission process. It’s full of special requirements and a very low acceptance rate.

But with the right information, qualified candidates can have a real shot at joining one of the Ivy League’s signature universities.

Yale University Transfer Acceptance Rate

Yale University
Ragesoss, Berkeley College (South) at Yale, CC BY-SA 4.0

For the 2021 school year, Yale University accepted 1.7% of the students who applied to transfer to the University. That’s down from the previous year when the school had a 2.2% transfer acceptance rate.

Those are not encouraging numbers for those who want to leave their current institution for Yale. But when put in context, they aren’t that different from the school’s acceptance rate for freshman applicants.

Yale has an acceptance rate low even among Ivy League schools, taking only 6.9% of the thousands of people who apply. Only Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia are more selective among the Ivies.

There are many reasons that Yale and other schools restrict the number of transfers they accept. However, Yale gives preference to those coming from community colleges. Out of Yale’s thirty-four 2019 transfers, fourteen came from community colleges.

Application Requirements & GPA for Yale Transfers

Yale University does not have a minimum GPA requirement for transfer applicants. For the 2022 application season, it does not require students to submit their standardized test scores.

But while Yale may not have a minimum GPA requirement, the average grades of the few transfer students accepted into the school can help hopefuls see the standards they should try to meet.

According to most reporting outlets, students allowed to transfer to Yale tend to have an average GPA of 3.8. 

Yale itself reports that accepted transfer students average between 720 and 780 on the reading and writing portions of the SAT and between 740 and 800 on the math portion. ACT grades tend to come in between 33 and 35.

As informative as these averages certainly are, they represent only one small part of Yale’s evaluation process when deciding upon its few transfer students.

First of all, Yale bases its decisions upon the student’s eligibility to transfer. Only those who have at least one year’s worth of post-secondary credit, but no more than two years, can apply to transfer. However, they may not have a bachelor’s degree or more than five years since their last college class.

Second, Yale requires many materials when evaluating transfer applicants beyond the basic application. In addition to transcripts from high school and any higher education institutions, transfer hopefuls should also secure two evaluations from instructors. Additionally, applicants must send a college report and a mid-term report from their current school, indicating their achievements in their current school.

Yale requires two evaluations from instructors, at least one of which should come from a college instructor. These evaluations are recommendations. They should speak about your academic abilities and the qualities you bring to the student body.

Finally, if students want to submit their scores, they must include them in the application. Although Yale does not require standardized test scores, stores within the average range of accepted students can help an application stand out.

Yale University Transfer Deadline

Yale University
Helpfullguy99, Benjamin Franklin College Yale, CC BY-SA 4.0

All transfer application materials must be submitted to Yale by March 1st.

This later date is both good news and bad news for transfer students. On the one hand, it is much later than the regular application date, which is January 2nd

With a later application deadline, transfer hopefuls need to wait longer to hear if they will be accepted into Yale.

However, given the extra materials required of transfer applicants, the extra time may be useful. 

In the two additional months before the transfer deadline, hopefuls can not only gather all of the materials, but they can also work on their standardized tests, potentially gaining that extra edge.

The additional time can also be useful for securing excellent evaluations from instructors. More than the other materials, evaluations show the school what qualities a hopeful can bring to Yale’s student body. 

An instructor who can describe not only your academic potential but also your unique personality and interests.

What is the Decision Date for Yale University Transfers?

Transfer applications will learn of Yale University’s decision to accept or reject by May 10th. They will inform applicants of their decision via the admission portal by 5 pm on that day.

To be sure, some will be frustrated with such a late decision date, especially when looked at in the context of regular admissions dates. Yale lets incoming first-year students know of their decision by January 2nd, while early decision applicants receive an answer by November 1st.

However, the later date is consistent with the transfer process. Those trying to transfer to Yale must not only submit many more materials, but the school also has much more to consider. The school needs the extra time to examine those materials thoroughly.

Although the extra time is undoubtedly frustrating, transfer hopefuls can take some comfort in the fact that Yale is using the time to examine and consider the materials they submitted thoroughly.

Deciding Whether You Should Transfer to Yale University

Yale University Saybrook College
Helpfullguy99, Saybrook College Courtyard, CC BY-SA 4.0

As you probably recall, Yale University has a microscopic acceptance rate for transfer students. Because they only take in 1.7% of applicants, eight of ten hopefuls will be rejected by Yale, sometimes even fewer.

On top of that, Yale demands much of its transfer applicants. If you want to transfer to Yale, you must gather many materials and wait a long time to get a decision.

Those reasons would be enough not even to try to apply for some. But the very fact that Yale admits 1.7% of applicants reminds us that the school does indeed want good students to join them.

Furthermore, Yale is a selective university regardless of when an applicant is trying to join. In 2021, 32,900 people applied to enter Yale as freshmen, and only 2,272 were accepted.

But despite those low odds, thousands of people still apply to Yale every year. And there’s no secret why they would risk it. Yale University alumni and faculty include winners of every major award and numerous presidents, including William Howard Taft and George H.W. Bush.

Yale University has some of the finest museums and libraries in the world. The Yale University Library boasts the third-largest collection among American university libraries, with over 15 million volumes on hand. 

These items include the world’s largest collection of 18th-century British literary works as well as other rare books and manuscripts.

With so much to offer, it’s easy to see why so many people try to study at Yale every year, despite the low odds. Why should transfer students be any different?

RECAP: How to Apply As a Transfer Student to Yale University

Two important points must be kept in mind when applying to Yale University. First, it’s important to remember that Yale is among the most competitive schools globally. Thousands will apply to transfer every year, but only 1.3% will be accepted.

Second, it’s important to remember that some people do get accepted every year. But they must be the best of the best, able to bring a unique quality to Yale’s student body.

Of course, Yale only allows those who have completed at least one year of college but do not accept applications from those who have completed more than two years. Also, no one with a bachelor’s degree in hand can transfer to Yale.

All of the application materials must be sent to Yale by March 1st. Those materials include not only an application and transcripts from high school and college but also a midterm report. Accepted students must also send final transcripts at the end of the semester.

Additionally, Yale requires evaluations from instructors, which should indicate the unique qualities you offer the institution.

Without question, that’s a lot of material to gather for very low odds. But if you even have the chance to study at one of the top schools in the world, it’s hard to say no to taking the shot.