Yale Book Award


Every year, Yale Clubs recognize outstanding juniors in local secondary schools by presenting books to them or to their schools. Clubs participating in this program help to:

  • Bring Yale’s name to awards assemblies each year where the most outstanding students, their parents and key teachers, administrators and guidance counselors are present.
  • Strengthen the reputation of secondary schools as learning centers that seek to prepare students for Yale.
  • Ensure that the Yale award that is considered the most important one to receive each year, particularly over the book awards of other universities (the “gold medal” academic award).
  • Encourage students who had not previously considered themselves likely candidates for Yale or similar universities to widen their horizons and lift their hopes.
  • Let the community share the excitement through photographs and description of the award in local papers and websites (“Jane Doe receives highest award”).
  • Offer an opportunity for conversation between alumni and Book Award recipients.
  • Deliver with the book two important memorabilia:
    • A Yale bookplate inscribed with the student’s name, date of award, Yale Club sponsorship, and the personal name of an award donor.
    • A brochure portraying Yale’s excellence and student life.

To help subsidize this program, your Club might consider having individual members sponsor one or more awards. An alumni volunteer who sponsors the Yale Book Award can “adopt” a school and become part of your Alumni Schools Committee’s plan for recruitment with teachers and counselors at a particular high school.


Details: How the program works

  1. Yale Clubs present this award to outstanding local high-school students at the end of their junior year. Coordinating closely with its local Alumni Schools Committee, the Club decides the number of awards and which schools are to be involved; schools should be selected from among those that send or are capable of sending students to Yale. 
  2. In consultation with school officials, the Yale Club determines the criteria for the award, which should include “outstanding personal character and intellectual promise.”
  3. Ideally, the selection of the students should be made by a committee composed of members of the Club/ASC and officials of the school concerned. The selection may be left in the hands of the school if the Club authorizes this procedure. In any case, competition for an award is to be within each school, rather than among schools.
  4. Order Yale Book Award SelectionsThe award books will be selected and purchased by the local Yale Club. The Club is free to choose any appropriate book, although the AYA provides a yearly list of recommended titles published by the Yale University Press (see link below). If a Yale Press title is chosen, the Club may purchase the book either locally or via the YUP website, where it will receive a special discount.
  5. The Club orders bookplates from the AYA, which are free of charge. These bookplates should be placed on the inside front cover of each book. Bookplates are sent via the US Postal Service.  Please allow TWO WEEKS for delivery. We cannot send Express Mail unless you provide a credit card number.
  6. Once you have chosen the recipients for the Yale Book Award in your area, please send their names and home addresses to the AYA using the link below. We will forward this information to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  7. Every effort should be made to maintain a high degree of prestige and visibility for the Award in your Club area. Local publicity is recommended. Whenever possible, the actual presentation of the books should be made by a local Yale alumnus at a school assembly or other ceremony at the school.
  8. As always, please send us any photos of award presentations or Book Award recipients that might be taken at an ceremony for possible inclusion on the AYA website.


If you are a guidance counselor hoping to bring the Yale Book Award Program to your school, you must reach out to your local Yale Club or find a Yale alum who is willing to sponsor the program for you. To find your local club check here.

If you have any questions about the Yale Book Award Program, please contact Nory Babbitt at the AYA, either by e-mail or at (203) 432-7099.