Yale’s expansion is great for foreign students

Each year 5300 or so people attend Yale College – the 4 year undergraduate part of Yale University.

For the 2007-8 undergraduate class, there were 19,323 applicants – and a huge porportion of them deserve to go to Yale, or a similar institution. However only 10% got offers and 7.1% make it to the first day at Yale. 9% of that the class are international students.


To get in to a place like Yale College, you will have aced pretty much everything in your life, and probably faced a lot of adversity as well. You”ll need to get crazy marks in the SAT’s (glorified IQ tests), but more importantly have ridiculous school transcripts (results) and be  amazing at several things -and I mean really setting  records playing for the national team amazing. Meanwhile you’ll be doing your bit for politics and the planet.

Now I would never have been accepted at Yale College, but there are plenty of New Zealanders each year that have a shot. In my era we had no idea that going to a great US school was even a vague option, but now these schools are actively reaching out to the rest of the world. They want to be global schools, and great foreign students are in demand.


Yale is going even further. An endowment of $22.5 billion (28% return last year) and operating costs of around $2 billion adds up to being able to at least partially fund 42%  of students (the rich ones get nothing), to buy a massive second campus for medical and science research and now to add 2 more residential colleges.

Here’s the (existing) Timothy Dwight College:


Not insubstantial. Two more colleges means 15% more undergraduates – and that could be someone you know. Of course these new colleges only open in 2013, so that someone you know would be about 13 right now.

But you don’t need to wait until then – the thing about Yale and other great schools is that it is easy to apply – go for it.

Published by Lance Wiggs


5 replies on “Yale’s expansion is great for foreign students”

  1. What do these people do in their spare time….?

    A friend of my sisters is currently on a scholarship to Harvard – when he went I think the rest of us suddenly thought ‘wow, us little kiwis can go there???’

    I like it when these exclusive places earn their reputation. This is an awesome move and is exactly why it is worth heading to one of these institutions if you have the money, brains or motivation.


  2. Great post Lance. And as Natalie alluded to, most Kiwis don’t even know that these amazing opportunities exist. I once spoke to a Kenyan guy who went to Harvard. When I asked him how he ended up there, he said “I wanted to go there, so I applied and they gave me funding”. Too easy (OK, maybe I’m overstating a little)! The encouraging thing too is that Kiwis who go to those world-class universities usually do well when they get there–one of them did well enough that they asked him back to be the Vice Chancellor a few years later(John Hood at Oxford).

    One question though: do you think we risk ‘educating the New Zealander out of’ our smart young people if they study overseas at undergrad level? I do worry that impressionable young 18 year olds would lose their down-to-earth, just-get-on-with-it Kiwi nature by studying in the Ivy League or at OxBridge. Lets face it, they’re not qualities that those institutions are known for.



  3. I agree Alex – University is an important formative experience and part of being a kiwi. That said I would have, at the time, traded those undergraduate experiences for the Ivy League any time.

    While I think/hope that our Kiwiness is pretty well embedded by the time we leave school, these universities are great places for learning and changing people – often dramatically. However it’s a two way street – while our 18 year olds are learning how to be Americans, they in turn are learning a bit of Kiwi. and Aussie. And Chinese, French, Persian, Kenyan-German.

    The resulting graduates are well rounded, many of whom will run the world one day. It will be nice if they have a friendly kiwi in their past. Even nicer if those that run the world actually are kiwis.


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