Yale Young African Scholars Program (YYAS) 2019
The Yale Young African Scholars Program (YYAS) is an intensive academic and enrichment program designed for African secondary school students planning to pursue tertiary education and who wish to make meaningful impact as young leaders on the continent. YYAS is designed to introduce secondary school students from all African countries to the demanding university and financial aid application processes and requirements, thereby making higher education more accessible to the continent’s most talented young leaders.
Participants will enhance their academic skills, receive university admission and financial aid application guidance, and join a network of young leaders from across Africa. Following the eight-day program, students will be paired with mentors who will help advise them throughout the university application process. There are no tuition, meal, or lodging costs for students to participate in YYAS.
Administered by the Yale Young Global Scholars Program and building off that model of interdisciplinary academic exploration, YYAS participants next year will attend lectures led by prominent Yale faculty and local experts. Students will also attend seminars designed and taught by Yale graduate and undergraduate students, many of whom are themselves from Africa and familiar with the international university application process.
During the program, participants will engage in several experiential activities aimed at fostering leadership, team building, and communication skills. Students will also have a chance to interact directly with admissions officers from universities around the world and learn about gap-year programs and other post-secondary school opportunities both at home and abroad.
Participants will receive individual as well as group lessons for standardized tests, designed specifically for African test-takers new to exams like the SAT. In addition, YYAS offers daily workshops on different components of a university application, such as the ins-and-outs of the Common Application and how to craft a personal essay. By the end of the program, students will have a plan and timeline for submitting their applications, as well as abundant resources for further research and mentor-ship.
YYAS is the flagship program of the Yale Africa Initiative and is designed to introduce secondary school students from all African countries to the demanding university and financial aid application processes and requirements, thereby making higher education more accessible to the continent’s most talented young leaders.
Application and Eligibility Requirements
Prospective applicants must currently be attending secondary school in an African country and set to graduate after August 2019. In addition, applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of an African country.
Selected participants will be self-starters who have an interest in pursuing post-secondary education, are in excellent academic standing, and demonstrate leadership potential. A full list of eligibility criteria can be found here.
A typical YYAS student is between the ages of 15 and 18, however we do accept applications from students who will turn 14 years old by the application deadline. YYAS is a proud member of the HALI Access Network and gives admissions preference to high-achieving, low-income (i.e. “HALI”) students who do not have university guidance in their schools or communities.
To make the program accessible to students of all financial backgrounds, there are no tuition, meal, or lodging costs for students to participate in YYAS. In addition, YYAS offers a limited number of travel grants for admitted students from low-income backgrounds and who demonstrate the need for financial assistance to offset the costs of airfare between African countries.
- Completed application form – The application can be found online and must be filled out by the applicant. Students will be asked to complete one 500-word essay and two short responses, and must provide information on their extracurricular activities and the school that they currently attend.
You may preview the application here.
- Official transcript or grade report(s) – A student transcript is an official document provided by the school and includes the applicant’s list of courses and grades received. Students must upload their official transcript or grade report(s) for each year of secondary school. National exam scores, if available, should also be submitted but are not required. If a student has changed secondary schools at any point, they must include records both from their previous AND their current school. Please refrain from uploading certificates or transcripts from primary school.
- One (1) teacher recommendation – The recommendation must be written and submitted by a teacher who knows the student well. They may do so through a link that will be provided by the applicant on the online portal. Alternatively, the teacher may email a letter of recommendation in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org and our staff will upload it to the student’s application. Recommendations from parents/guardians, siblings, relatives, family friends, and/or paid private tutors/counselors will NOT be accepted.
We place great importance on these recommendations because we understand that students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and education contexts. We appreciate teachers taking the time to write recommendations for their student(s). To ensure sincerity, we ask that teachers please refrain from sharing their recommendations with students.
To apply, students must submit an online application form which includes one essay and two short-answer responses. Students must also upload an official school transcript or grade report, as well as one recommendation written by a teacher who knows them well and has taught them in an academic subject. The deadline to submit all materials is 06th JULY 2019 at 11:59 pm EST.