As a pioneer and leader of the egalitarian movement within the higher education community, Yale University has long been recruiting, advising, and supporting students who identify with underrepresented backgrounds. Each year, Yale hires a new team of Student Recruitment Coordinators from various backgrounds to assist with the recruitment of African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, and low-income students. The Recruitment Coordinators work in conjunction with Yale’s broader recruitment team to attract the best, brightest, and most hardworking students from alltypes of backgrounds and life experiences.
And it doesn’t end there—students often need financial support to pay for an education, and the university responds generously to those families who need this kind of help. All financial aid at Yale consists of need-based scholarships and each student receives 100% of his or her demonstrated need in financial aid.
In addition to financial aid, Yale also provides fellowship opportunities for undergraduate minority students on campus. Both the Edward A. Bouchet Undergraduate Fellowship Program and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program recognize minority students who have demonstrated a commitment to eradicate racial disparities and motivate them to pursue careers in research and academia. These fellowships, competitive and prestigious, allow talented students to work on paid research projects during the academic year, and to pursue full-time research during the summers.
The following are some more ways in which Yale actively creates an inclusive and supportive community for its underrepresented students:
• Clubs and Organizations: Yale offers more than 60 cultural associations on campus such as African Students Association, Asian American Students Alliance, Association of Native Americans at Yale, Brazil Club, Japanese American Students Union, Latin American Student Organization, Pre-Law Minority Outreach, Yale Friends of Israel, and many more.
• Cultural Centers: These centers house student organizations and provide space for meetings, plays, art exhibits, and parties. Founded in 1969, the Afro-American Cultural Center provided a model for the more recently established Asian American Cultural Center, the Cultural Center for Chicano, Puerto Rican, and other Latino students, and the Native American Cultural Center. These cultural centers foster a sense of cultural identity and educate people in the larger community. They also act as optional social centers and community bases for students of a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, supplementing the social environment of the larger, pluralistic Yale College community.
• Peer Liaison Program: Yale peer liaisons are upperclassmen who help connect freshmen to the wealth of support and programming based in the residential colleges. These student leaders also help first-year students to adjust to life at Yale and empower them to become engaged, responsible, and proactive citizens on campus.
• Special academic programs: Yale offers a wide range of academic majors geared toward topics of ethnicity and multicultural affairs including: African American Studies; East Asian Studies; Ethnicity, Race, & Migration; Latin American Studies; Modern Middle East Studies; and more.
• Intercultural Affairs Council (IAC): The IAC challenges bias on the basis of race and ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, social class, or other distinction. The council collaboratively offers educational and social programming to enhance the overall academic and developmental achievement of all students, while providing avenues for personal growth and increased advocacy, involvement, and support for the Yale community.
Each of these initiatives helps create a campus environment built on open-communication, cultural awareness, and increased advocacy for underrepresented groups. And this benefits everyone at Yale, not just those who identify with the underrepresented crowd. At Yale, a strong sense of community—one that is indiscriminate and provides equal opportunity to all— is at the heart of the university’s progress. And by cultivating this type of community on its campus in Connecticut, Yale seeks to incite a greater global movement, one that results in a more tolerant and just world.