Financial aid budget increasing to $120 million, supporting commitment to keep Yale College affordable for all

Two weeks before it breaks the news to a record number of applicants for the Class of 2016, Yale College has reaffirmed its commitment to providing an affordable education for all those admitted.
Yale College has increased its financial aid budget to $120 million, underscoring its commitment to ensure that Yale is affordable for every student it admits, and without the need to borrow for one’s education.
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Two weeks before it breaks the news to a record number of applicants for the Class of 2016, Yale College has reaffirmed its commitment to providing an affordable education for all those admitted.

“If you get into Yale, we will make sure that cost is not a barrier in your decision to attend,” said Jeff Brenzel, dean of admissions. “We think of this in simple terms — families should pay only what they can afford, depending on their income. Our policies ensure that Yale is affordable for every student we admit, and without the need to borrow for one’s education. The number of students who qualify for Yale scholarships has increased significantly, and the number of students who choose to borrow, and the amounts they borrow, have been dropping dramatically, even through the last five years of recession and economic challenges for Yale.”

The average net price for college paid by Yale families receiving aid is down 8% since 2008, from $17,263 to $15,857. Fewer Yale students are borrowing, only 22% of graduates in 2011 compared to 43% in 2002, and students who borrow now graduate, on average, with just $9,000 in debt, well below the national average of $25,000. With only one-fifth of students borrowing at all, and with those choosing to borrow graduating with relatively modest loans, students do not have to allow loan concerns to limit their career choices after college. The graduation rate remains very high — 97% of Yale students graduate within six years.

 financial aid vs. student loans
While the percentage of students receiving aid has grown from 37% to 57%, the percentage of students borrowing has dropped from 43% to 22%.

Yale first made its commitment to need-based aid in the 1960s, but has dramatically expanded aid over the past decade. Since the 2001-2002 academic year, the percentage of undergraduate students qualifying for need-based scholarships from Yale has increased from 37% to 57%. The average annual grant from Yale today to its students receiving financial aid is $37,500, about two-thirds of the cost of attendance. No portion of a Yale grant is a loan.  

As part of its commitment to expanding access and decreasing cost for lower- and middle-income families, Yale does not ask parents of students with annual incomes of $65,000 or less to make any financial contribution toward the students’ education. Families earning $65,000 to $130,000 contribute on average from 1% to 10% of annual family income. (See related story on Yale’s net price calculator.)

 Financial aid vs. student debt
The average Yale aid grant has grown from $18,481 to $37,500, while the average loan has dropped from $19,000 to $9,000.

“More and more students who qualify for Yale financial aid are discovering that Yale College — and all a Yale College education offers — is less expensive than what they would pay at other colleges they consider, whether they are private or public institutions,” said Caesar Storlazzi, director of financial aid. “Everyone knows the quality of a Yale College education, but many are unaware of its value in terms of its actual cost until they begin to make comparisons.” (See this story from Mercury News.) 

For 2012-13, the Yale College term bill will be $42,300 for tuition, $7,150 for room and $5,850 for board, for a total of $55,300, which represents an increase of 4.9% over the term bill for the current academic year. The undergraduate financial aid budget is expected to total $120 million for 2012-2013. The financial aid packages for current and new students will be structured to meet their full need. No parents whose child is receiving financial aid from Yale will have to contribute more in 2012-2013 toward the cost of the Yale education — which includes books, travel, and other expenses — unless their financial circumstances have changed.

All students are expected to make a modest contribution toward the cost of their education. For the 2007-2008 academic year, the annual “self-help” contribution from a term-time job was $4,400. For 2012-2013, the self-help level for freshmen will be $2,700, down from $3,000 currently. For upperclassmen, the self-help for 2012-2013 will be $3,200. Students may earn their self-help contribution by working at a campus job for 9 or 10 hours a week. The hourly wage for campus jobs ranges from $12 to $14.


                   Total Family Income

Cost of Attendance $58,650 $58,650 $58,650
Estimated Family Contribution $1,550 $4,828 $21,042
Total Need $57,100 $53,822 $37,608
Yale Scholarship $54,400 $51,122 $34,908
Student Job $2,700 $2,700 $2,700
Total Aid $57,100 $53,822 $37,608
Cost of Attendance $58,650 $58,650 $58,650
Est. Grant Aid $54,400 $51,122 $34,908
Est. Net Price $4,250 $7,528 $23,742

For further information on financial aid, visit the Yale College Undergraduate Admissions website.

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