Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) Program for African Students

An Overview of Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) Program for African Students

Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) is an intensive academic and enrichment program designed for African secondary school students who plan to pursue tertiary education and wish to make a meaningful impact as young leaders on the continent.

Yale Program 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 program, students will be paired with mentors who will help advise them throughout the university application process.
All eligible students are encouraged to apply, however, please note that our admissions committee will give preference to high-achieving, low-income (i.e. “HALI”) students who do not have university guidance in their schools or communities.

In 2023, YYAS offered a residential program in addition to its online program.
As we continue to adjust back to in-person programming amid an ongoing pandemic, the residential program will be smaller than in prior years. Moreover, prospective applicants should review the costs of the residential program. Additionally, there are no costs for participation in the online program.

While the YYAS program can provide free housing and academic curriculum materials for all participants during the residential program, each student will pay a program fee of 175 USD in advance to cover all meals and local operational expenses during the program. Additionally, each student must be able to pay for and coordinate their travel to and from Zimbabwe.


Yale Program


Eligibility for Yale Program:

To apply to YYAS, applicants MUST fulfill all of the following requirements:


You must be at least 14 years old, and not older than 18 years old, by the application deadline (1st February 2023) to be considered. Please note that a typical YYAS student is between the ages of 15 and 18.


You must be able to participate in a rigorous academic curriculum conducted in English.


You must be a citizen or permanent resident of an African country. YYAS will also accept applications from refugees living in an African country.

School location:

You must currently attend school in an African country.

Grade Level:

You must be a current 11th-grade student (or the international equivalent).

Graduation date:

If you attend school in the Northern Hemisphere, you must be graduating from secondary school by latest May/June 2024. If you attend school in the Southern Hemisphere, you must be graduating from secondary school by earliest November/December 2023 and no later than November/December 2024.

see also: 14 Fully Funded Scholarships for African American Students | 2023


Note also: If you are currently in your final year or term of secondary school, or recently graduated from secondary school, university student, then you are NOT eligible to apply.


If you are a YYAS or YYGS alumnus/a, you may NOT apply or reapply for YYAS. (However, if you are a YYAS alumnus/a, you can apply to YYGS if eligible.)

Step 1: Review the YYAS eligibility criteria.
Step 2: Review the YYAS application’s required components.
Step 3: Review a PDF of a sample blank application, and start preparing to answer as many application questions as possible.
Step 4: You will need to submit contact information for a parent/guardian, teacher, and/or official at your school. Reach out to them as soon as possible to review the PDF of a sample blank application with you and be sure to collect the information you need.


Complete the Application:

Step 5: Click here to start your YYAS application. Be sure to write down your email and password to access the application at a later time.

Deadline: 01 February 2023 @ 11:59 pm EST.

Step 6: Check the “Review” page of the application to see if you are missing any required components, and re-visit any pages that require further information.
Step 7: Once your application is complete, click on the “Review” page. Next, click on the “Submit Application” button at the bottom of the page.
Step 8:Check your inbox for a YYAS confirmation receipt that indicates the successful submission of your application. Confirmation emails usually arrive within 24-48 hours of submission, due to occasional delays in payment processing.


Application Requirements Yale Program:

The following list describes the typical YYAS requirements, although the most up-to-date and accurate information is always in the application.

The following three (3) components are required of all applicants:

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.

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 filled out via the Online Recommendation Form that will be sent to a teacher’s email after the student provides their contact details. An email will be sent with a link to the Form and instructions on how to fill it out. The recommendation must be written and submitted by a teacher who knows the student well.

Note: Recommendations from parents/guardians, siblings, relatives, family friends, and/or paid private tutors/counselors will NOT be accepted.

YYAS place great importance on these recommendations because they understand that students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and education contexts.

YYAS appreciate teachers taking the time to write recommendations for their student(s). To ensure sincerity, they ask that teachers should refrain from sharing their recommendations with students.

Be sure to click the “SUBMIT” button on the last page for your application to be considered.

YYAS reviews all applications holistically, and there are no minimum grades or standardized exam score requirements. However, a high level of English proficiency will be expected.

Decision Notification: Applicants will be notified electronically of admissions decisions by mid-April.


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