Yale had a record-high number of applicants despite a year of tense and emotional student protests

Yale March of Resilience
Yale students gather in a march of solidarity against racism. Philipp Arndt Photography

Yale University saw a record-high number of applications for the class of 2020 despite a year that was marked by racial tension and student protests, The Yale Daily News reported.

The school received 31,439 applications, surpassing the 31,000 marker for the first time in the school’s history. There was also a 10% uptick in applications for African-Americans, according to the YDN.

At least one student attributed the record number of applications to the protests that erupted over allegations of systemic racism on the New Haven, Connecticut campus.

“I think that students of colour and students who are on the liberal side of the spectrum saw the inherent problems on campus and the demonstrations that students at Yale underwent and saw it as a sign that Yale was a place that encouraged student activism and that students were proactive about creating an environment where they could thrive and feel at home,” Yale freshman Isaac Scobey-Thal told the YDN.

Yale’s impressive application numbers stand in direct contrast with those at the University of Missouri, which has reported a decrease in student applications following its own fall semester with racial protests.

- NOVEMBER 9: Students embrace one another during a forum on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Students celebrate the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe amid allegations of racism. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
Mizzou students gather to protest racism on their campus. Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Through December, applications at Mizzou decreased nearly 5% from the previous year, and 19% for graduate applications.

Administrators have cited the racial protests that engulfed the school in the fall as a partial reason for the declines.

“While we don’t have any clear data, we know that the events this past fall have had an impact, and we are answering any questions that parents and students have about those events,” Director of Admissions Chuck May wrote in an email, according to the Missourian.

Racial tension on the Columbia, Missouri, campus erupted last September and quickly accelerated after multiple incidents of hate speech targeted at minority students.

Students protested, and their efforts eventually forced the resignations of Mizzou President Tim Wolfe and university Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

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