Affordability: The Details

“If you get into Yale, we feel sure that cost will not be a barrier in your decision to attend.”

Jeremiah Quinlan, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid
Affordable. For Everyone.

Yale is committed to an admissions policy that does not consider a student’s ability to pay, and a financial aid policy that meets the full need of all students with no loans required. These two principles: need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid, ensure that a Yale education is affordable for everyone, regardless of family background, citizenship, or immigration status. 

The Quick Cost Estimator is a good starting point for exploring what Yale’s need-based financial aid policies would mean for your family.

Financial aid highlights

  • All of Yale’s undergraduate financial aid is awarded on the basis of financial need. 
  • Yale meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students regardless of citizenship or immigration status. This includes undocumented students living in the US, with or without DACA status.
  • Yale does not expect students to take out loans. Instead, Yale financial aid awards includes a Yale Scholarship, a parent contribution, and a small student contribution.
  • Families whose total gross income is less than $75,000 (with typical assets) are not expected to make a financial contribution towards their child’s Yale education.
  • Families earning between $75,000 and $200,000 (with typical assets) contribute a percentage of their yearly income towards their child’s Yale education, on a sliding scale that begins at 1% and moves toward 20%.
  • There is no income cutoff for financial aid awards. Some families with over $200,000 in annual income receive need-based aid from Yale.

Who qualifies for financial aid?

The table below shows median financial aid awards for families of first-year students in the Class of 2022 who applied for aid. 

Annual Income Range

Median Net Cost

Median Scholarship

Percentage Who Qualified for Aid

Less than $65,000

$3,450

$74,732

99%

$65,000-$100,000

$5,538

$72,217

96%

$100,000-$150,000

$15,298

$57,856

93%

$150,000-$200,000

$34,005

$37,542

85%

$200,000-$250,000

$45,051

$27,165

72%

Greater than $250,000*

$52,102

$19,817

23%

* Most who qualify have multiple children in college.

Understanding the Yale financial aid offer

Yale’s financial aid evaluation process is holistic. Financial aid officers review every aid application carefully to ensure they understand each family’s individual financial situation. Here is a general introduction to what is included in a Yale financial aid offer.

  1. Estimated Cost of Attendance: Tuition, room, board, books, travel expenses and personal expenses for one Yale student for one full academic year.
  2. Gift Aid: The Yale Scholarship, and any government or external awards. Gift aid does not need to be repaid.
  3. Estimated Net Cost: The amount a student and family is expected to contribute towards the cost of a Yale education. Yale will calculate this number every year based on the information provided in a financial aid application.

Estimated Cost of Attendance - Gift Aid = Estimated Net Cost

Options to pay net cost

Yale suggests that students and their families meet the Estimated Net Cost, which includes billed and unbilled expenses, with these components:

  1. Parent Share: What a student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) are expected to contribute. The amount is dependent on a family’s income and assets. Many lower-income families will have a parent share of $0.
  2. Student Share: What a student should anticipate contributing from summer-employment income and/or student assets. For first-year students the suggested amount is $1,600. For upper-level students the suggested amount is $1,600-$2,600 depending on the family’s financial need.
  3. Student Campus Employment Option: The amount a student could anticipate contributing from term-time employment. For first-year students the suggested amount is $2,850 per academic year. For upper-level students the suggested amount is $3,350 per academic year.

Students and their parents work together to determine the right strategy for paying the net cost. Funds from outside merit-based scholarship awards can be used to reduce or eliminate the Student Share and Student Campus Employment Option. 

Loans are not included in Yale’s financial aid awards, but students and parents may opt to take advantage of their eligibility for education loans as an alternative route to paying their net cost.

Understanding expected family contribution (EFC)

The Expected Family Contribution is not the amount that will appear on a Yale term bill. Rather, it is an estimate of the total Net Cost a family will pay to cover a student’s estimated expenses for one year, including indirect costs such as books and personal expenses. 

Yale calculates the Expected Family Contribution through a holistic review process. As part of this process, Yale use a formula that considers the following:

  • Parents’ income
  • Parents’ assets (cash, savings, home equity, other real estate and investments)
  • Family size
  • Number of children attending college
  • Student’s expected income from summer and term-time jobs
  • Student’s assets (cash, savings, trusts, and other investments)

Yale also evaluates other circumstances, such as exceptional medical expenses, on a case-by-case basis.

How to apply for aid

To apply for aid, most prospective students and their families will need to send three documents to the Student Financial Services Office. See the detailed instructions on the Undergraduate Financial Aid website for more information.

  1. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Yale’s FAFSA code is 001426
  2. The College Board CSS Profile Application Yale’s CSS Profile code is 3987. Applicants from low-income families with few assets automatically receive a fee waiver when completing the CSS Profile.
  3. Signed copies of the parents’ 2017 federal tax returns submitted through the College Board’s Imaging and Documentation Service

There is no deadline to apply for aid, but Yale strongly recommends submitting these documents before March 1 to ensure that, if admitted, a student has an award letter in time to make a matriculation decision by May 1.