First-Generation College Students

The Yale School of the Environment Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is committed to supporting first-generation students in the application and admissions process.

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    The office understands that first-generation students may face unique challenges when selecting a graduate program, completing an admissions application, enrolling, and financing education costs. To support you on your journey to join the YSE community, we have compiled a list of answers to common questions and links to YSE resources.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    1. Who are first-generation students?

      YSE’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid defines a first-generation student as the first in the family to attend college. You are still considered first generation even if siblings are concurrently attending college or have completed either an associate or bachelor’s degree.
    2.  Is my parental information required?

      Parental information is not required for the YSE admissions application. We encourage all students to provide their parents’ financial information, as it gives us a more thorough understanding of your financial circumstances. Providing your parents’ information may yield a higher scholarship award. Under no circumstances will it yield a lower scholarship award. Providing your parents’ information does not indicate to us that they will provide you with financial support. If you have any questions, please contact
    3. Can undocumented students be admitted?

      YSE stands in support of Yale University’s strong commitment to equal opportunity and accessibility to all candidates from any part of the world who possess unique experiences, varied academic achievements, academic readiness, and the potential to contribute to the incoming class. We extend our need-blind admissions policy and holistic application review to all students without regard to citizenship or immigration status. For more information on application requirements and policies for all applicants, please consult the YSE master’s admissions website.
    4. Is this a test-optional school?

      Yes, submission of a GRE, GMAT, or LSAT score is optional. We utilize a holistic review process to assess an applicant’s unique experiences, academic achievements, academic readiness, contribution to the incoming class, and potential for success, without the review of test scores.
    5. What kind of support does YSE provide for first-generation students during the application process?

      The YSE admissions team is committed to helping first-generation students navigate the admissions process and ensure that applicants receive the support they need to succeed. We are available to guide first-generation applicants through the entire process, answer all questions, and provide support to meet deadlines.
    6.  What financial support does YSE offer first-generation students?

      YSE admissions is need blind, and our team will help you with all your financial aid questions. We also provide student assistants who can help you identify scholarship opportunities both within and outside YSE and Yale University. More information about external funding sources can be found here.  
    7.  When should I apply for financial aid?

      As soon as possible! Our financial aid application deadline is February 15. Late applications will not be accepted. This means that you should not wait until you are admitted to the school to apply for financial aid. If you miss the financial aid deadline, you will not be eligible for YSE scholarships at any time during your studies at YSE.
    8. Does applying for financial aid affect my chance of getting admitted?

      No, our admissions process is completely need blind. The admissions selection committee only reviews your admissions materials and is not provided any financial information on applicants. Our goal is to admit the very best students regardless of socioeconomic status.
    9. What kind of resources and support networks does YSE provide for admitted first-generation students?

      Our office provides opportunities for first-generation students to connect with current students, faculty, and alumni at various events and other points of engagement throughout the application process.
    10.  What places of worship and cultural centers are available on or near campus?

      Please visit Yale’s Religious & Spiritual Resources website.
    11. What resources and organizations are available to first-generation students in the greater Yale-New Haven community?

      A list of resources is included below.

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