Yale University: Yale College welcomes Class of ’26 for inaugural ‘Camp Yale’ orientation

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Yale College this weekend welcomed 1,557 new first-year students to New Haven as members of the Class of 2026, an accomplished and diverse group that represents 51 U.S. states and territories and 55 foreign countries.

They will be joined by 24 new transfer students and a record-setting 23 new adult students matriculating through the Eli Whitney Students Program, a program for nontraditional undergraduates. Among the new students are 13 U.S. military veterans and 21 students who were most recently enrolled at a community college.

On Sunday they began a new week-long orientation, called “Camp Yale,” created by the Yale College Dean’s Office to welcome these incoming first-year and transfer students.

The incoming students were selected from the largest applicant pool in Yale history. More than 52,000 students applied for fall 2022 admission as a first-year, transfer, or Eli Whitney student, setting a record for interest in Yale College, said Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions and financial aid.

“The members of the Admissions Committee were extremely impressed by these students,” said Quinlan. “They’ve had an amazingly diverse collection of experiences: they’ve grown up and attended schools in every corner of the globe; they’ve made meaningful contributions to countless communities; and they’ve honed an incredible assortment of talents and skills.

“What they all share is a record of academic excellence and boundless curiosity that will push them to engage with Yale’s amazing resources.”

Promising students from myriad backgrounds
The 1,557 members of the first-year class are graduates of 1,147 different high schools, and 14% attended high school outside the United States.

They also represent a wide range of academic interests. As applicants, students in the first-year class were invited to list up to three Yale majors that fit their academic interests. Collectively, they expressed interest in pursuing 83 Yale College majors. More than a quarter (26%) of the students listed an arts & humanities major as their first interest. A similar proportion (27%) chose a social science major. Just under half of the class listed a STEM major; 30% opted for physical sciences or engineering; and 16% selected one of five life science majors. More than 97% of incoming students listed multiple majors of interest, and 78% selected majors spanning two or more academic categories.

For the fourth consecutive year, a majority (53%) of incoming first-year students are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who self-identified as a member of a minority racial or ethnic group when applying. Nearly half (49%) reported speaking a language other than English as their first language or in their home. Nearly one in five is the recipient of a federal Pell Grant for lower-income students, and more than 18% will be in their family’s first generation to graduate from a four-year college or university. A majority of first-year students (53%) are receiving a need-based financial aid award from Yale, with an average scholarship for the 2022-23 academic year of $66,362.

A complete profile of the class from the office of undergraduate admissions is available at admissions.yale.edu/profile.

An expanded commitment to affordability and access
The newest Yalies will benefit from recent enhancements to Yale’s need-based financial aid program designed to make the complete Yale experience affordable for everyone. Last fall Quinlan and former Yale College Dean Marvin Chun announced a 34% reduction in the student share — the amount that students are expected to contribute towards their Yale education — for most students receiving financial aid.

Under the new policy, Yale expects students to cover only the cost of their own books and personal expenses, such as outings, laundry, and other necessities. A need-based Yale scholarship and an affordable parent share expectation will cover the full cost of tuition, housing, meals, and travel to campus.

Yale College also announced that financial aid awards for Eli Whitney students — adult undergraduates who have taken time off before matriculating at Yale — will now cover the full cost of attendance, including housing, meals, and personal expenses. Previously, aid was capped at the cost of tuition. Many Eli Whitney students will also benefit from a new childcare subsidy for undergraduates with dependents.

New ‘Camp Yale’ orientation program
On Sunday, new students were greeted by first-year counselors and their residential college communities as they arrived in New Haven. Today and tomorrow, students will attend panels, receptions, open houses, and a welcome assembly on Cross Campus hosted by new Dean of Yale College Pericles Lewis.

Then, starting tomorrow evening, each student will join one of six Camp Yale Programs (CYPs). Previously known as pre-orientation programs, each CYP will form a distinct community that connects incoming students to their new classmates and upper-level students. To ensure the programs are accessible to all students, Yale eliminated the costs previously associated with pre-orientation programs. Students will participate in Cultural Connections (CC), FOCUS on New Haven, First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT), Harvest, Orientation for International Students (OIS), and BUILD – a new program hosted by the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design and the Department of Computer Science.

Next Saturday, all Yale College students will arrive back on campus in time for the third annual Bulldog Bash, a welcome event for all new and returning students held on Old Campus. Undergraduate classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 31.

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