University announces some changes to undergraduate financial aid

The university has announced a $2 million increase in financial aid spending for undergraduates that will reduce the amount students are expected to contribute from summer earnings and significantly increase financial support for students with the highest levels of financial need. The changes, which add to Yale’s robust need-based financial aid policies, will go into effect for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Caesar Storlazzi, university director of financial aid, and Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions, announced the changes at a Dec. 7 Yale College Council town hall meeting. 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. Yale will also maintain the Student Employment expectation at its current level ($2,850 for freshmen, $3,350 for sophomores, juniors, and seniors).

Storlazzi commented, “Yale remains committed to ensuring that Yale College is affordable and accessible to all talented students admitted.”

During the town hall meeting Storlazzi and Quinlan also highlighted several 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). All other international students on financial aid will continue to receive $1,500 annually to support travel, housing, and meals during holiday breaks, and those international students with high financial need will continue to receive a $1,000 first-year allowance. (A smaller number of international students with the highest financial need have a first-year allowance of $2,000.)

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.

Yale has not included loans in its financial aid awards for nearly a decade. The average grant to undergraduates receiving financial aid was $44,900, and 83% of members of the Yale College Class of 2015 graduated debt-free. The university spent roughly $122 million on undergraduate financial aid in 2015-2016. 

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