The Eli Whitney Students Program is an admissions program designed to attract students from non-traditional backgrounds to Yale College. Students admitted through the program study either part or full-time and receive either a B.A. or a B.S. from Yale College. The program is different from Yale Colleges Non-Degree Students Program, which enrolls students into Yale College for credit but does not allow them to receive a Yale University degree; students in the Non-Degree Program may only take a maximum of 18 credits at Yale. Started in 1982 for students who did not attend college at the traditional age, the program typically admits anywhere from 2 to 9 students each academic year. In 2007 it admitted 2 and in 2009 it admitted 8. For the 2010-11 year, it admitted 4 students out of a pool of 120 applicants. In general, the program receives over 100 applications a year and accepts less than 10% of applicants. Eli Whitney students take all of their classes, and receive most of their advising, within Yale College. The Eli Whitney Students Program serves strictly as an admissions program; with the exception of being required to live off campus, once admitted, Eli Whitney Students receive exactly the same residential college and university services provided to traditional Yale College students, have complete access to Yale facilities, student organizations and libraries, and receive the same degree awarded from Yale College. Eli Whitney students are fully eligible for Yales need-based financial aid up to the cost of tuition. Admissions standards used to evaluate Eli Whitney students mirror those applied to traditional Yale college applicants. However, while Eli Whitney candidates are subject to the same academic standards as regular Yale College candidates, in assessing more mature candidates, greater weight is given to achievement than to potential. In contrast to the traditional student application, an interview is required and granted to only a small number of applicants. The program gets its name from the inventor Eli Whitney, who in 1789 and at the age of 23 matriculated into Yale College.
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