Yale has announced a single essay prompt for this year – the question being:

Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made.

The word count for this essay is 500 words. What is interesting to note is that  Yale SOM’s professor Amy Wrzesniewski (She teaches Organisational Behavior and is one of the lead faculty members in the core leadership courses) collaborated with the SOM admissions committee in developing this essay prompt.

When asked what the students should bring to the essay – the professor herself is quoted as saying, “In this first year out, part of it is getting a sense for where applicants take the question. One of the things that becomes apparent is that this has always been a place where people interested in tackling big problems come. I don’t want to say the question is about the size or scope of the commitment so much as what people deem worthy enough to invest a huge amount of time and energy over a sustained period. Post-MBA, our hope is that they will be taking on the big issues in the world. what it is they have chosen to spend that commitment on is informative.”

Yale retains its video essay question – however, the video essay questions will also be rethought.  Yale wants the video interview to create competency-based evaluations as opposed to just a general undifferentiated analysis of whether a person did a nice job answering video interview questions or not. As a result, Yale wants to create a more structured approach to the video interview from the 2017 intake.

These changes in application come after a spectacular year for Yale SOM. After a whopping 25% increase in MBA applications last year, SOM reported an additional 6% rise to 3,652 applications for the 325 seats in this fall’s new class.

Another interesting feature of the Yale SOM application is the sliding application fee feature.  The application fee is based on the self-reported compensation information candidates provide in the application. Yale SOM will verify compensation information of successful candidates who enroll.

This feature aims at making the application process as affordable as possible for candidates from developing countries and with diverse backgrounds. The standard application fee is $225.

  • For applicants earning less than $20,000 a year, the application fee is $175.
  • For applicants earning less than $10,000 a year, it is $125.

Application fee waivers are available to individuals who meet any of these criteria: current or former Peace Corps volunteer, current staff or alumni of Teach for America, Teach for China, or Teach for India. Candidates meeting any of these criteria can request an application fee waiver by writing to

The application deadlines for the year will be September 14, 2016, for Round 1; January 10, 2017, for Round 2.




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