Becoming an A.L.E. Scholar

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate reflects three primary criteria: a commitment to improving the lives of others, leadership potential, and a congruence with the A.L.E. program.

  1. A commitment to improving the lives of others:
    Applicants must demonstrate a significant commitment to ameliorating the lives of those beyond themselves. Their desire to serve the greater community, in addition to “opening the door a little more for those that come after them,” should be evident.

  2. Leadership potential:
    Ideal candidates demonstrate a capacity to lead. Leadership potential – which can be evidenced in many ways – is evaluated by how likely an applicant seems to immerse themselves both on and off-campus during their 4 years at Yale College. The strongest candidates show promise of taking full advantage of the resources around them in order to push for the changes they would like to see in their various communities.

  3. Congruence with A.L.E.: 
    Ideal candidates demonstrate attributes and aspirations that align with the mission of the A.L.E. Scholar Program. Our selection committee aims to create a balanced, diverse cohort that brings together students from a variety of interests and backgrounds.

The best applications keep these criteria in mind, while also clearly, concisely, and creatively expressing who the applicant is. Yet beyond these criteria, we welcome scholars with diverse interests and passions as they bring unique and necessary perspectives to the ALE program.

How to Apply

The application consists of four sections:

  • General Information & Personal Statement:
    This section consists of a few background questions, but focuses mainly on a statement of 500 words or less that reflects both academic and professional interests, as well as aspirations. The applicant should also detail how A.L.E. would help advance the applicant's aspirations.

  • Personal Recommendation:
    This recommendation should speak to both the applicant’s character and skill-set, and should be written by someone who is knowledgeable of the candidate’s personal attributes. Examples of good recommenders include current or former academic advisors, employers,  or teachers. An applicant, however, cannot receive a personal recommendation from close friends or family members. Please note, applicants can also reuse one of the recommendations submitted for college applications in order to satisfy this requirement.

  • Electronic Copy of Financial Aid Award:
    Applicants must submit an electronic copy of the most recent financial aid award letter received from Yale College. The letter can be saved as a PDF and sent alongside the rest of the application materials.

  • Disclosure Form:
    Applicants must submit an updated form of all other scholarships received or for which the candidate is currently applying. This information will be considered alongside financial background, but will in no way disqualify an applicant.

Who’s Eligible to Apply?

Students are eligible to be considered for the A.L.E. Scholarship if they:

  • Are a current freshman at Yale College

  • Are receiving a Federal Pell Grant during the 2015-16 academic year*

  • Have completed and submitted all four required forms: the student’s background information and personal statement, a personal recommendation form, an electronic copy of Yale financial aid award, and a disclosure form for any outside aid

*Pell Grant Eligibility

All applicants must demonstrate proof that they will be receiving a Federal Pell Grant for the coming academic year by submitting an electronic copy of their Yale Financial Aid Award. Federal Pell Grants are awarded to families that demonstrate significant financial need. Eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant is a function of many factors, including dependency status, family income, family size and the number of students in the family.

When do applications open?

Applications open March 2nd. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; the rolling deadline will span from July 16th-30th. For further details, see the deadlines and selection timeline below.

Deadlines & Selection Timeline –

  • march 2 –

A.L.E. application open to incoming Freshman

  • march 2-18 –

Rolling review of applications beginning Wednesday, the 2nd of September, and ending at 11:59PM on Friday, the 18th of September.

  • march 23 –

Semi-finalists are notified, as well as those who did not make it to semi-finalist standing. Remaining candidates are then asked to conduct a 15-minute interview to allow evaluators to get to know more about them and better determine how well they align with the three core A.L.E. criteria.

  • march 27 –

Scholars are notified of their standing.

Additional information –

For any additional information about the application process, please refer to our FAQ or contact our Director of Recruitment, Idris Mitchell, at Inquiries beyond the application process can be directed to or to our Director of Communications, Skyler Inman, at