Top 9 Yale Admissions Essays


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These are successful college essays of students that were accepted to Yale University. Use them to see what it takes to get into Yale and other top schools and get inspiration for your own Common App essay, supplements, and short answers. These successful Yale essays include Common App essays, Yale supplements, and other Yale admissions essays.


  1. Yale Supplement Essay: Swimming - I thought there was something wrong with me when I realized that I was a terrible swimmer. Swimming never came naturally to me and I considered it to be my biggest adversary at the time. I began to take swim lessons at the age of twelve and I dreaded every moment. However, my parents continually pushed me in hopes that I should learn this lifelong skill, especially since they never had this opportunity growing up. Each lesson ended just as the previous: in failure. I believed that my effort was useless when it came to swimming and felt defeated after Continue Reading »
  2. Yale Supplement Essay: Travel - I’ve always loved words, but conventional was never among them. Growing up, I turned on the TV only for the Oscars and the Olympics, instead discovering the world through Lincoln Log cities and kitchen-sink science experiments. My education took advantage of nature, music, and hands-on exploration, dirt and noise my textbooks. It was an intense childhood, but one which encouraged independent thinking. To no one’s surprise, then, our family vacations took an equally atypical route: my parents matched budget with opportunity and rented RVs, family vacations on-the-go. Over the years, I have lived in ten RVs across eighteen states, two Continue Reading »
  3. Yale Supplement Essay: Introversion - I was born an introvert. From the moment I learned to walk, I sought out the most obscure hiding spots in the house to read and draw in seclusion until my parents dragged me out. When I began public schooling, I sat quietly and obediently in the corner, sneaking peeks at my books while my classmates prattled away with each other. Unsolicited conversation was my greatest fear, and moments alone were my greatest treasure. Everyone thought I was too independent, shy, and socially inept. But I was happy to be an introvert. Being quiet allowed me to meditate on my Continue Reading »
  4. Yale Supplement Essay: Theater - How can the post-apocalyptic, Simpsons-obsessed world of Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns be appropriately expressed in a theater that seats a hundred? How can the set of J.M. Barrie's The Admirable Crichton effectively and efficiently transform from the stuffy, rigid interior of Loam House, Mayfair, to a deserted tropical island in the Pacific? How can Shakespeare's As You Like It be elevated by a setting that both evokes the play's Globe beginnings and reflects the modern relevance of the work? A lot of people grow up with dreams of being an actor. I am not among them. Even so, my love Continue Reading »
  5. Yale Common App Essay: Indian American Identity - Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Since my childhood, I wanted success in America, a desire shared by many first generation children of immigrants, but as an Indian male I convinced myself that the only way to attain this was through complete assimilation. I found ways to pick and prod at some of the most unjust aspects of Indian society and used that as enough justification to reject my culture altogether. I wanted to Continue Reading »
  6. Yale Common App Essay: Musical Theater - Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. I was born amidst the jubilant chords of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony,  two hundred and fifty measures after my twin brother. I once asked why, of all the music ever written, my mother chose this piece to welcome us into the world. Her answer was simple:  she wanted the first thing we heard to be utterly joyous. Blame it on Beethoven, but the right side of my brain quickly Continue Reading »
  7. Yale Common App Essay: Failure - The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Every time I swung my leg back, I froze. It didn’t matter how many times I’d tried, or how perfectly I was postured. The moment I was ready to jump, flying across the ice with my arms poised to snap in, my heart would catch and I’d fall out of position, gliding uselessly around the corner to make another futile attempt. It was in this way Continue Reading »
  8. Yale Common App Essay: Beauty - Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again? Beauty is meant to be a right-angled thing, my parents taught me. The object must be symmetrical, clearly defined, approved by the right critics, and represented in fine art. We cannot make beauty; we can only look at it, they said. But even though nodding knowingly at Mozart’s melodies or Michelangelo’s murals was apparently the closest we could get to the stars, I didn’t want to look at their shine; I wanted to create it. But naturally, Continue Reading »
  9. Yale Common App Essay: Musical Identity - Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. I remember my first show, which I still consider the greatest day of my life:  The torn red carpet underneath my kit was accented by the unmistakable aroma and sight of broken drum sticks littered around the riser.  My sharpie-scribbled setlist was carefully blue taped next to my stool as the repeatedly flashing disco-esque lights and fog machine busied the stage.  I was 13 years old and had Continue Reading »