The 2018 Yale Young African Scholars application is now open


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


YYAS accepts applications from current secondary school students in Africa who will have to complete at least one full academic term or semester after August 2018. In addition, applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of an African country.

YYAS does not accept applications from students in their final term of secondary school, from secondary school graduates, or from university students.

YYAS cannot accept applications from students who are younger than 14 years old by the application deadline.

Students who have attended YYAS previously are not eligible to reapply, but are encouraged to consider applying for the Yale Young Global Scholars Program. Click here to learn more.

A typical YYAS participant has:

  • Excellent academic records

  • Demonstrated leadership potential

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

  • A desire and ability to work cooperatively with peers

  • Persistence and determination when facing challenges

  • High standards of personal and professional conduct

  • The ability to read, analyze, and reflect on large quantities of difficult material in English

  • Interest in engaging in discussions about intellectual, moral, and political issues in Africa​

Required application components include:
  • 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 three short responses, as well as to provide information on your activities and the school that you currently attend.

  • Official transcript or grade report - Students must upload their official transcript or grade report(s) for each year of secondary school. A student transcript is an official document provided by the school and includes the applicant’s list of courses and grades received. National exam scores, if available, should also be submitted but are not required.

  • One teacher recommendation - The recommendation must be written and submitted by a teacher through a link that will be provided by the applicant through the online portal. Alternatively, the teacher may email a letter of recommendation to and staff will upload it to the student’s application.

Please note that letters must be sent in PDF (.pdf) format and placed on institutional letterhead with signature, if possible. We will not accept recommendations that are submitted by students. Applicants should request the recommendation from a teacher at their school who knows them well and has taught them in an academic subject. The recommendation also must be received by the application deadline, 06 February 2018.

, 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.The recommendation letters are important