Why is Yale University a Top Rated School?

One school in the United States that regularly makes top-rated lists? Yale University. And for 2024, College Raptor ranked Yale University #4 in the Top 50 Best Colleges List. Keep reading to see why Yale is deserving of this spot, what makes it a fantastic university, and what good students can do to increase their chances of getting accepted.

Yale University Was Ranked #4 by College Raptor for 2024

For College Raptor’s 2024 Top 50 Best Colleges in the United States, Yale University was named #4. It’s often considered a “dream school” for students, but our rankings account for several different factors including diversity, endowment, graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios, first-year retention rates, and more. 

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And this wasn’t the only “top best list” Yale made in 2024. We also named the university:

A Brief History of Yale University

Yale University was founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School with the initial mission to train ministers in the colony of Connecticut. It would become Yale College (or more specifically The President and Fellows of Yale College, in New Haven) in 1718 and earn its current moniker in 1887. Today the school is a private Ivy League research university, one of the nine colonial colleges, and the third oldest institution of higher learning in the country.

The Facts

  • Number of Students: 14,776
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • School Motto: Lux et veritas, אורים ותמים (Latin and Hebrew for “Light and Truth”)
  • Newspaper: Yale Daily News
  • Student Nickname: Bulldogs
  • School Colors: Yale blue
  • Mascot: Handsome Dan
  • Some Famous Alumni: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Jodie Foster, Paul Krugman, Olympia Bonaparte, Anderson Cooper, William Boeing, Eli Whitney

Why is Yale University a Good (in fact, Top-Rated) School?

Those who attend Yale University have access to some of the best education programs in the country, working alongside and learning from some of the best professors in the world. They also have access to outstanding academic resources including extensive libraries, well-funded research facilities, and state-of-the-art equipment. Yale as a whole focuses on innovation, diversity, collaboration, and community.

Students who graduate from Yale are known for having major impacts on their communities and the entire world. The school has produced over 60 Nobel laureates, 5 US presidents, 19 Supreme Court Justices, more than 30 living billionaires, over 260 Rhodes Scholars, and 9 Mitchelll Scholars. Many alumni have gone on to impact or even build many of the brands we interact with every day.

The Stats

  • Four-Year Graduation Rate: 88%. #35 in the United States
  • Student-to-Faculty ratio: 6:1. #51 in the United States
  • First Year Retention Rate: 98%. #9 in the United States
  • Endowment: $31,201,686,000. #2 in the United States
  • Diversity: #90 in the United States

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Into Yale University

Yale University received 50,060 applications in 2022. Only 5%, or 2,503, of those were accepted! Getting into Yale is tough – but not impossible. Taking the right approach to your application could make a difference. Yale University accepts the Coalition Application, the Common Application, or the QuestBridge Application, so here are some things you need to know to improve your chances of getting your acceptance letter.

1. Stand Out Academically

Grades aren’t everything when it comes to your application, but if you want to stand out, you’re going to need top marks. A high GPA is a must-have. You should also back up that GPA with academic rigor. Yale and other competitive colleges will notice if you’re taking “easy A” classes, so be sure your high school schedule is full of AP, advanced, and college courses where possible. 

READ MORE >> How to Pick the Right AP Classes For You

Although the ACT or SAT is no longer required by Yale, taking these standardized tests is still recommended as it could give you an edge over other applicants. Students accepted in the last admissions cycle had an average 34 – 35 ACT Composite score or a 1,490 – 1,540 SAT Combined score.


In addition, students shouldn’t slack off after their application is submitted. Yale requires applicants to submit Mid-Year Reports.

2. Practice for the Interview

Many competitive colleges and universities will require students to participate in an interview. Yale does have an interview process, but not every student will be required to participate in one. Instead, the university will contact the student if one is needed and it will be conducted by an alumni or current Yale senior. 

READ MORE >> How To Prepare for A College Interview

If you are called up for an interview, be sure to prepare beforehand. You will want to be able to:

  • explain why you want to attend Yale.
  • detail why you think the school should accept you.
  • back up any claims you made in your college application.

Practicing with a friend or family member can help you hone your responses and reduce any pre-interview anxiety you may have.

3. Take Your Time With Your Short Answer Questions and Essay

The question and essay requirements for Yale applicants depend on the application method. All three types of accepted application processes (Common, Coalition, and Questbridge) require replies to short answer questions. Those using the Common or Coalition Applications will also be required to respond to additional short-form questions and submit an essay. 

READ MORE >> 300 Word Essay Examples – College Raptor Blog

No matter which application form you choose, students should give ample time and effort when answering these questions and writing their essays. Brainstorming and drafting responses will help ensure that application submissions are clear, well-written, and properly answering the question. You can view question and essay topics ahead of time on Yale’s admissions website. 

For the 2023-2024 application, the question and essay topics focused on:

  • Academic interests and goals
  • Why Yale?
  • Inspiration and passions
  • Meaningful experiences
  • Meaningful relationships
  • Personal experiences

Yale University is regularly one of the schools in the country competing for the top 5 spots in college rankings every year. With an outstanding academic program, resources, and faculty, there’s no question as to why Yale is College Raptor’s choice for #4 in 2024. And it will be exciting to see what the future holds for the university going forward.

Do you want to learn more about Yale University, what they look for in a student, and how you can improve your chances of getting an acceptance letter? We recommend starting with Yale’s page on College Raptor, but also signing up for our College Match. There you can see how you stand up against the competition and how well Yale fits your individual goals and interests. Sign up today for free!

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