Yale Statement on Special Degree Program (Taliban-Related)

I will be back blogging on a regular basis soon, but this was in my inbox…

Statement of the President of Yale

The criteria for admission to both the non-degree and degree-granting special programs, as published on the web, are: “Yale seeks applicants whose academic background, work experience, and community involvement are particularly suited to study at Yale. All candidates must present evidence of high academic potential, maturity, and clear motivation for their proposed course of study.” It is also noted that “Candidates should have a compelling educational reason to attend as a non-degree student.”

The published criteria are adequate in some respects, but they fall short of the standard that we should require for admission to Yale College. In the process of admitting a regular undergraduate for four years of study in Yale College, we look for character and achievement sufficient to predict that the candidate will make substantial and meaningful contributions to the betterment of society. We seek to admit not simply candidates who can do the academic work required for graduation, but rather those with the capacity to lead and to serve society with distinction. Evidence of an applicant’s character, as well as his or her academic potential, is always given substantial weight.

Our review has raised questions whether the admissions practices of the non-degree Special Student Program have been consistent with the published criteria, let alone the standard that should prevail.

Over the years, both the non-degree Special Student Program and the degree-granting Eli Whitney Program have served many students of whom the University is justly proud. But, the initial review I requested concluded that both the programs suffer from lack of clarity about mission, purpose, and standards. As a next step, the Dean of Yale College, and I, as co-chairs of the standing Committee on Yale College Admissions Policy, will convene a subcommittee…

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