Yale financial aid budget will meet term bill increase

Yale today announced the Yale College term bill for the 2016-2017 academic year.

  • Yale’s financial aid budget will grow to meet a planned 3.9% increase in the Yale College term bill for the 2016-2017 academic year. Students receiving need-based financial aid from Yale will not see their charges rise as a result of the new term bill.
  • New enhancements to Yale’s financial aid program will reduce the amount that students receiving aid are expected to contribute towards their education.
  • Yale remains committed to a financial aid program that meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all students, without requiring families to take out loans.

The term bill, which includes tuition, room, and board, will increase from $62,200 to $64,650. Tuition will be $49,480, and room and board for students who live on campus will be $15,170.

Currently 51% of the university’s undergraduate students receive a need-based financial aid award from Yale, and the average grant for the 2015-2016 academic year is $43,989. No part of the Yale financial aid award is offered in the form of a loan, and every financial aid award meets 100% of a student’s demonstrated financial need. The median net cost of attendance — including tuition, room and board, books, and personal expenses — for students receiving Yale financial aid is just over $12,000 per year.

“The financial aid program continues to ensure that Yale College is affordable for every student Yale admits, regardless of a family’s financial circumstances,” said Provost Benjamin Polak.

Since 2008, the university’s financial aid policies have provided families with incomes below $65,000 (and typical assets) with financial aid awards that do not require parents to make any financial contribution toward their child’s Yale education — those families pay nothing.  In 2014-2015, nearly 650 families qualified for this award and received an average grant of almost $55,000 per year. More than 99% of families with incomes below $200,000 who applied for financial aid qualified for a need-based award.

The university is committed to granting financial aid awards that do not require students to finance their education with debt, and Yale has not included loans in its initial financial aid awards for nearly a decade. For students who opt to borrow, loans are a cost-effective way to supplement the calculated family contribution. Of the Yale College students who graduated in 2015, only 17% incurred any student debt, and their average debt at graduation was only $15,521. By comparison, 43% of graduates in the Yale College Class of 2005 incurred student debt, with an average debt at graduation of $17,361 in inflation-adjusted dollars. Both the percentage of Yale students who borrow and the average amount they borrow are well below the national averages. The Institute for College Access and Success reported that 69% of all students graduating from public and private non-profit four-year colleges in 2014 carried student loan debt, averaging $28,950 per borrower.

In December Yale announced a $2 million increase in financial aid spending to reduce the amount students receiving financial aid are expected to contribute to the cost of their education through on-campus jobs and summer employment. The increased budget will allow for a 15% reduction (from $3,050 to $2,600) in the summer income contribution component of the need-based financial aid awards for U.S. and Canadian sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Following current policy, freshmen will be expected to contribute a reduced amount ($1,625), and other international students are exempt from the summer income contribution. The increased budget will also fund enhancements to the supplemental aid available to students with the highest financial need. American and Canadian students in this category are eligible for a $2,000 “college start-up fund” freshman year, and will see their summer contribution for sophomore, junior, and senior year reduced more than 40% (from $3,050 to $1,700).

For more than 50 years, Yale has admitted students without regard to their ability to pay for their education, and has met the demonstrated financial need of all admitted students. In 2001, Yale became one of the first American universities to extend this “need-blind” admissions policy to international students as well.