Frequently Asked Questions

General

When is the deadline?

You must submit an application no later than 11:59pm EST on 06 February 2019. Late applications will not be accepted.

How many students participate in each session of the Yale Young African Scholars Program?

YYAS will admit a combined total of 300 students to the Yale Young African Scholars sessions taking place in 2019.

I see that Yale also offers a “Yale Young Global Scholars Program”. How is that program different from yours?

The Yale Young African Scholars Program was created as an extension of the Yale Young Global Scholars Program (YYGS) structure. Whereas YYGS takes place on Yale’s campus in New Haven, Connecticut, and is open to students from around the world, the Yale Young African Scholars Program takes place in Africa and is only open to students who are citizens or permanent residents of an African country AND who are currently enrolled in secondary school (i.e. high school) on the African continent. Like YYGS, YYAS is an academic enrichment program, but ours also includes a significant emphasis on university guidance. More information about the Yale Young Global Scholars Program can be found at http://globalscholars.yale.edu/.

I want to apply for both YYAS and YYGS. Is that possible?

Yes, it is possible for students to apply to both programs using the same online application form. However, please be advised that students can only be offered admission to one program, not both.

If you decide to apply for both programs, please be sure you meet the eligibility requirements for both. If you choose to apply for YYGS as well, you must submit an additional letter of recommendation and unofficial standardized test scores if available (these are optional and not required).

Please also note there is an application fee of $60 USD for any student who wishes to apply for YYGS. This fee may be waived if you complete the need-based financial aid portion of the application and are applying for financial assistance to attend YYGS. The fee does NOT apply to YYAS-only applicants. 

I’m attending another program that overlaps with yours. Can I arrive late and/or leave early?

No. Due to the intensive nature of each session, we require that every participant commit to the entire duration of the session.

Do you provide transcripts or course credit for your program?

No. Our philosophy is to provide a unique opportunity for high-achieving students to learn without the pressure of grades and quantitative evaluations. However, our instructors will provide ample student feedback during the program. Also, a certificate is awarded to all participants who complete the program.

Do you have rolling admissions?

No. All applications will be reviewed after the application deadline on 06 February 2019, and all decisions will be released at the same time, by late March/early April 2019.

How many students do you accept?

We accept 300 students per admissions cycle.

Is there a Maximum number of students you admit per country (i.e. quota)?

No. 

I applied last year and was accepted into the program initially but, due to unforeseen circumstances, could not attend the program and had to withdraw. Am I automatically given a spot in the 2019 program?

No. Any student interested in attending YYAS 2019 must submit a new application and be accepted again in order to participate.

How will applicants be notified of admissions decisions?

All applicants will receive an email with their admission decision by late March/early April 2019. Please ensure your email and contact information are correctly entered when completing your application to avoid any miscommunication or delay in notification.

I live in close proximity to the venue where YYAS 2019 will take place. If accepted, am I still required to stay on-site at the accommodation provided?

Yes. In addition to a providing students with a set of skills that they can use for long after the program ends, we hope that the YYAS program will also provide a space for like-minded youth to meet, form friendships, and support each other in their future transition to university. To facilitate the formation of this network, we require all participants to reside in the dormitories with the group throughout the program. On-site accommodation is mandatory and will be provided for all students, along with three meals a day.

How much does it cost to participate in YYAS?

To make YYAS accessible to students from all backgrounds, there is no tuition cost to participate in the Program. Room and board will be provided for all students, along with three meals a day.

However, participants ARE responsible for any passport and/or visa related expenses, and for getting themselves to the venue at the outset of the program and their return home at the end of the program. Participants will also be responsible for any incidental expenses they elect to incur.

Please note that students from low-income backgrounds who demonstrate financial need may apply for a limited number of travel grants offered by the program. If awarded, the grant will cover the cost of a roundtrip plane ticket between a student’s home country and the program location. Students can only apply for travel assistance after they have received an offer of admission to YYAS. Please note that, if awarded, the grant will NOT cover the cost of securing a passport or a visa, which must be obtained and paid for by the student.

YYAS DOES provide all students traveling internationally with complimentary airport pick up and drop off on the day of arrival and departure. However, participants—including travel grant recipients—must arrange for their own transportation between their home and originating airport, and upon return. 

What are the chances that I will be selected for a YYAS 2019 session in my home country? 

Students may list their preferred session location(s) on the application form. While we cannot guarantee that admitted students will be matched with a YYAS session in their home country or first choice location, we will do our best to take each applicant’s preference into account.


Eligibility

i see that yyas 2019 is being held in ghana, kenya, and zimbabwe, but i currently reside and attend school in another african country. am i still eligible to apply?

Yes! Applications are accepted from ALL citizens or permanent residents of African countries. For more information please see our eligibility page. 

i am a refugee living in an african country. am i eligible to apply?

Yes. If you are a refugee living in an African country, and meet the other age, graduation, and English language requirements, then you are eligible to apply.

I am currently enrolled in secondary school in Africa but am younger than 14 years of age. Can I still apply?

No. YYAS does not accept applications from students who are younger than 14 years old by the application deadline (06 February 2019). Any applications received from students who are younger than 14 years of age at the time of application will be automatically withdrawan and not considered for admission.

I attend a school that provides support for students applying to universities abroad. Is it still worth my time to apply to YYAS?

Yes. YYAS is open to any eligible student who wants to apply. That said, please note that since YYAS is a university access program, our admission process gives preference to high-achieving, low-income (“HALI”) students who do not have university guidance in their schools or communities. However, each year YYAS participants come from a wide variety of schools and backgrounds.

I am an American citizen studying at an international school in an African country. Can I apply to the program?

While we give preference to African citizens, we will also consider non-citizens who are permanent residents of an African country. If you have a query about your eligibility status, email us at african.scholars@yale.edu with your first (given) name, surname, birth date, the name of your secondary school, and an explanation of your situation so that we can provide more clarification.

I receive high school instruction in a language other than English. Exactly how strong does my English need to be?

You must be able to do difficult, sustained academic work in English, including reading, writing, and speaking with a high level of fluency. For example, you need to be able to easily read a long article from a magazine or a book and be able to discuss it easily with native English speakers. In addition, you must be capable of writing an essay such that your thoughts are clear, even if your grammar and spelling still have some mistakes.

YYAS does not require TOEFL or other English proficiency exam scores, but applicants who do not attend an English-medium school may be contacted with a request to schedule a phone interview with the YYAS admission committee.

I am about to graduate from secondary school. Can I apply to YYAS?

No.  We do not accept applications from students in their final term or year of secondary school. We only accept applications from students who will graduate after August 2019. For those students who attend school in the Northern Hemisphere, you must be graduating secondary school in May/June 2020 or 2021. For those students who attend school in the Southern Hemisphere, you must be graduating secondary school in November/December 2019 or 2020. 

I recently completed my secondary school studies but have not yet enrolled in university or post-secondary education. Can I apply?

No. YYAS only accepts applications from current secondary school students in Africa who meet the eligibility criteria. YYAS does NOT accept applications from recent secondary school graduates or from university students.

i have attended yyas already and i loved it so much that i want to apply again, and perhaps go to a different country! can i reapply?

No. If you are a YYAS alum and have already participated in a previous YYAS program then you are NOT eligible to participate in subsequent YYAS programs. However, you are encouraged to apply for the Yale Young Global Scholars Program if you meet the eligibility requirements.

i am a yygs alum and interested in applying for the yyas program. i am currently enrolled in secondary school on the african continent and meet the age requirements. can i apply for yyas?

No. If you are an alum of the YYGS program, you may NOT apply for the YYAS program. You may, however, reapply for the YYGS program if you meet all other eligibility requirements.


Applying

I cannot access the online application. Help!

Please try accessing the application with a different internet browser and/or using a different computer. Also be sure that you change your Internet settings to disable pop-up blockers, allow cookies, and enable JavaScript. If you continue to have problems, contact us at african.scholars@yale.edu with a detailed description of the issue.

The application portal is available here.

I am having problems with the application. Who do I contact for assistance?

Contact us at african.scholars@yale.edu with a detailed description of the problem. Be sure to include your full name and reference number.

What is a “school transcript”?

A school transcript, or a grade report, is an official document produced on the school’s letterhead that includes a list of classes and the marks you’ve received at your current school. Your grade point average (GPA) and class rank are usually included on the transcript if those are calculated by the school. (Not all schools calculate GPA and/or class rank, and YYAS does not require this information.) In order to avoid confusion, please provide this information to the school official responsible for submitting your transcript.

If you have changed secondary schools at any point, you must include records from both your previous AND your current school. Please do NOT upload certificates or transcripts or grades reports from primary school.

Must I include my national exams as well?

Yes. If available, national exam scores should be submitted along with your school transcript or grade report. These can be combined into one multi-page document for submission.

I do not have access to my school transcript or grade report, but I do have a copy of my national exams. Can I submit these instead?

Yes.

Can I hand-write my essays?

Though we prefer students type their essays, we will accept hand-written essays as well BUT you must still upload them to your online application. If you choose this option, please write clearly and legibly and be sure to upload them to the appropriate section of the application portal in a viewable format. 

Who should I ask to complete my recommendation?

The evaluation must be completed by a teacher in an academic subject who knows you well. Recommendations from parents/guardians, siblings, relatives, family friends, and/or paid private tutors/counselors will NOT be accepted.

How should a teacher’s recommendation be submitted?

Letters must come directly from  teachers themselves. We will NOT accept recommendations written or submitted by students on behalf of their teachers. Teachers should write their recommendation on school letterhead and submit it through the secure link provided by the student. The link will appear in a teacher’s email inbox once their name has been entered their information in the online application under the appropriate heading.

Alternatively, if a teacher encounters difficulties accessing the secure link, he/she may email a letter instead directly to african.scholars@yale.edu and we will upload it to the student’s application on their behalf. If this option is chosen, please be aware that letters must be sent in PDF (.pdf) format and written on institutional letterhead with signature, if possible. Emails with recommendations copied/pasted into the text body will NOT be accepted. To ensure confidentiality and authenticity, YYAS will NOT accept letters that come directly from students.

The deadline is approaching and my teacher still has not received the secure link to write their recommendation. What should I do?

Please make sure your teacher’s email and contact information is correct and up-to-date before sending them a request and entering their information into the application form. If they do not receive an email, try sending them another reminder via the online system. They should also check their spam or junk folders in case it was received there by mistake. If they still do not see the link, or cannot access the form, please contact us to have the links resent, or have them email us directly at african.scholars@yale.edu.

When is the deadline to receive the recommendation letter from my teacher?

All application components—including your teacher’s recommendation—must be submitted by the 06 February 2019 deadline at 11:59pm EST.

I finished my application! What’s next?

Once you complete all components of the online application form, be sure to hit “Submit”, otherwise your application will not be entered into our system or considered for admission. Afterwards, make sure to check the “Application Status” page to confirm your application is in fact complete and that you are not missing any materials, such as your transcript or recommendation letter.

YYAS is NOT responsible for late or incomplete applications, or for applications that are finished but not officially submitted.

How do I check to see if my application is complete?

You may check your application status by logging into your online application. Materials, such as your transcript and letter of recommendation, that are still missing from your application will have a red “X” and “Awaiting” message next to the item name. If you are having technical difficulties, or are unable to see whether your application is complete or not, you may email us at african.scholars@yale.edu.