Story | Ryan Yeo (he/him), Managing Editor
Graphics | Ryan Yeo (he/him)
The Class of 2025—the final cohort of Yale-NUS College students—has embarked on the second semester of their university journey. The Octant speaks to the Admissions Team to learn more about the class profile.
Breakdown of nationalities
The Class of 2025 comprises 240 students representing 35 nationalities (Fig. 1). The ratio of local to international students is 60% to 40%.
Singapore remains the largest country represented overall, while China and India represent the largest populations among international students. Students from the United States, Indonesia, and the Philippines also constitute a large proportion of international students.
Meanwhile, the male-female gender ratio is 43% to 57%.
|Country||Students of each nationality|
|Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan||4|
|Hong Kong, United Kingdom||3|
|Austria, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam||2|
|Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Côte D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Germany, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tanzania||1|
The acceptance rate for the Class of 2025 remained low at 4% (Fig. 2). This figure is a drop from last year’s acceptance rate of 6%.
The increase in the number of applications from 10,558 in the previous admissions cycle to 14,367 in the 2020-2021 admissions cycle accounts for the drop in the acceptance rate.
Meanwhile, the Admissions Team did not disclose the acceptance rate breakdown between local and international students.
Jasmine Seah, former Director of Admissions, explained that this is because there was a large number of international applicants who applied via the Common Application with Yale University. As a result, the separate acceptance rate breakdowns would not be representative of the final enrolled class and its demographics.
39% of students from the Class of 2025 are on need-based financial aid, merit scholarships, or both. In comparison, this figure stands at 57% for the Class of 2024.
A major change to this cohort’s admission cycle is the shift to a need-aware admissions policy for international students, which has likely contributed to the significant drop of students on financial aid for this cohort.
However, the Admissions Team was unable to share the separate breakdowns of financial aid statistics between local and international students, as well as between need-based financial aid and merit scholarships.
Ms. Seah said: “We can share the overall percentage of students on need-based aid and scholarships but we do not publicly report separate numbers.”
“This is because fees are significantly higher for international students and [because] some students receive merit-based scholarships, where they might have otherwise qualified for need-based financial aid. Some students receive both financial aid and merit scholarships at the same time.”
In May 2020, Joanne Roberts, then Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, estimated that financial aid offers to international students would drop from 80% to 50% in future years.
Meanwhile, there is still an overrepresentation of students from junior colleges and similar institutions in the Class of 2025.
Among the 154 students from 33 Singapore-based schools, 82% students come from junior colleges and similar schools, such as the Singapore Sports School, School of the Arts, and Millennia Institute (Fig. 3). In comparison, 76% of students in last year’s admission cycle came from these schools.
Meanwhile, only 5% of students from Singapore-based schools come from polytechnics in the Class of 2025. The proportion of students who studied in polytechnics has halved compared to the Class of 2024, where 11% of students came from polytechnics.
Commenting on the unusually high proportions of female students and local students for the Class of 2025, Seah said that there were no changes in the Admissions Team’s approach to enrollment.
“We remain consistent in our practice of holistic admission and in understanding the full potential of each applicant,” she said. “There is no change in our approach apart from the changes in our financial aid policy.”
“The limitations on global mobility due to the pandemic may account for some shifts in student decision-making. We think it would also be fair to highlight that the final composition of the cohort is the result of the decisions of several individuals facing unique circumstances.
“Fluctuations are to be expected and the final class is not always a function of admissions decisions, but also the decision-making of the individuals concerned. Some students choose to attend, and others do not.”
Some other statistics that were requested included breakdowns on students’ race, gender identity (including non-binary students), and monthly household income bracket.
Seah explained that the former two statistics are optional questions in the Admissions application, and thus the data would be incomplete. Meanwhile, household income information is considered confidential and cannot be disclosed, she said.