Monday, August 24, 2015

Ask Asha: What would you tell someone who was hesitating to apply?


The most common reason that students hesitate to apply to Yale Law School is because they think they won’t get in, and everyone thinks they won’t get in to Yale Law School. It’s a selective admissions process, but people do get in. And often people are pleasantly surprised every year when they threw their hat in the ring and they get the call from the admissions office. What I would say to those people is: We take an incredible personal and holistic approach to admissions. I could very easily push a button and admit all the people with the top scores and the top G.P.A.s who’ve applied. And that would make my job very easy, but we take the harder route because we really want to know the people behind the application. And so numbers are not all that matters. We really do look at what each applicant could potentially contribute to the class. And you can always throw your hat in the ring, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

The second reason that students are sometimes hesitant to apply to Yale Law School is because of New Haven. And, you know, they want to be in a big city or they have ideas about New Haven that I don’t think are accurate. As someone who went here kind of skeptical of New Haven herself, I have to tell you it’s a fantastic place. It’s got all of the aspects of a big city—the restaurants and the theaters—and all of the great things about a smaller city, which is it’s manageable and you can really get involved in the community both through the law school—through the clinics and some of the activities that are there—and socially by getting to know all the other parts of the university. And the other thing about New Haven is that it is a very close train ride to New York and to Boston if you really want to get away.

The last thing I’ll mention is that we do offer need-based fee waivers, so anyone who’s concerned about the cost of applying should just write to the admissions office and request a need-based fee waiver form, and we will send one to them.

Asha Rangappa, Associate Dean for Admissions & Financial Aid, allays some common apprehensions about applying to Yale Law School. Read more on Asha's blog in Apple Trees, Honeybees, and Snow White Turtledoves