New partnership strengthens pipeline for promising students

In a new partnership, Yale College will host summer institute for talented rising seniors from underserved communities.
Aerial photo of Yale campus and New Haven

(Photo by Michael Marsland)

As part of its commitment to build pipelines to channel talented young people into top universities, Yale College has partnered with the nonprofit organization Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) to host summer programs for high achieving, rising high-school seniors from backgrounds historically underrepresented at selective institutions.

Beginning this summer, the final week of LEDA’s signature program, the Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute — an annual five-week program that offers leadership training, academic writing instruction, standardized test preparation, college guidance, and community building — will be held at Yale, providing the participating 100 public high school students with first-hand exposure to residential life on the university’s campus.

This new partnership represents another step toward our goal of building and supporting a community whose excellence is strengthened by its diversity,” Yale College Dean Pericles Lewis said. “Students who participated in LEDA’s summer institute have contributed greatly to our campus community across academic disciplines, extracurricular interests and, of course, throughout our residential colleges.

We look forward to introducing this year’s entire LEDA cohort to all that our institution and its home city of New Haven have to offer.”

Designed to equip exceptional students from underserved communities for success in college and in life, the summer program covers critical areas for prospective college applicants, including test preparation, writing instruction, leadership training, and guidance on developing their lists of target colleges. For two decades, Princeton has hosted the program in its entirety, and LEDA is grateful to expand its relationship with Yale.

LEDA is a recognized leader in the national effort to improve college access for low-income students,” said Jeremiah Quinlan, Yale’s dean of undergraduate admissions & financial aid. “Deepening our involvement with the organization is one way we can affirm our sustained commitment to identifying and attracting high-performing students of all backgrounds.”

The partnership provides a foundation for Yale College and LEDA to explore a more comprehensive collaboration that would provide deeper exposure to Yale for students from underserved communities.

We are thrilled that Yale embraces the critical importance of engaging with students from underserved communities in order to grow the pipeline of future leaders in our country,” said David Garza, LEDA’s executive director. “Since our inception in 2004, nearly 100 LEDA Scholars have elected to matriculate at Yale as a result of its dynamic and engaging environment, and we are thrilled that this partnership will further empower even greater numbers of rising leaders to apply to this great institution and reach their academic and professional objectives.”

The new partnership builds on “LEDA Legal,” a program the organization established with Yale Law School in 2023 to expand the pipeline of underrepresented, low-income students attending the nation’s top-tier law schools by helping participants explore potential legal careers and navigate the application process. It is the latest in a series of initiatives, which Lewis and Quinlan recently described in a message to the Yale community, Yale College has launched in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2023 decision on the use of race in admissions to expand its outreach to prospective students from diverse backgrounds and support a culture of belonging in Yale College.

This year, Yale College received more than 57,000 applications for first-year admission to the Class of 2028. Applications from students who will be the first in their families to attend college and applications from students who reside in neighborhoods with median household incomes below the national average make up their largest shares of the applicant pool on record.

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Karen N. Peart:, 203-432-1345