YDN Staff Reporter
Published Monday, January 14, 2008
Posted 1 p.m. Yale will reduce the cost of a Yale education for families making under $200,000, the University announced Monday afternoon.
Yale’s new policy, announced just over a month after Harvard University unexpectedly unveiled its own financial aid shake-up, strikingly resembles Harvard’s revamped financial aid offer. The expected contributions from families in income brackets up to $180,000 are identical to those laid out by Harvard, and like Harvard, Yale will eliminate the need for student loans.
But Yale will allow families making between $120,000 and $200,000 to contribute on average 10 percent of their income toward tuition, while Harvard limited the 10 percent contribution to families making up to $180,000 in its December announcement.
As at Harvard, Yale families earning less than $60,000 annually will not be asked to contribute toward tuition, while families making between $60,000 to $120,000 will contribute up to 10 percent of their total income.
The University will also reduce the amount that students are expected to contribute from their own earnings each year to $2,500, from $4,400. Students will be able to earn this by working on campus for about seven hours a week, according to the University's announcement.
“Yale should be a college of choice for the very best and brightest students from across America and around the world, regardless of financial circumstances,” University President Richard Levin said in the statement. “We want all of our students to make the most of Yale – academically and beyond – without worrying about excessive work hours or debt.”
University spokeswoman Helaine Klasky and Director of Student Financial Services Caesar Storlazzi could not immediately be reached for comment early Monday afternoon.
The changes will increase Yale’s financial aid budget by more than $24 million, to over $80 million annually, which will be funded in part by increased spending from Yale’s endowment.
Levin announced last week that the University will increase the amount of money it spends from its endowment by 37 percent, to $1.15 billion, next year largely to provide more financial aid to students and to boost scientific research.
Yale will also tie its increase in tuition, room and board charges next year to the expected level of consumer price inflation, 2.2 percent, according to the statement. For the past few years, Yale has increased these costs by around 5 percent each year.
The statement did not explicitly state that Yale would exclude home equity from consideration in financial aid calculations, something that both Harvard and Princeton University now do.
The announcement followed months of heavy pressure from Yale students regarding the University’s financial-aid offerings.
An online petition posted last month calling upon the administration to match or surpass Harvard’s new financial aid package and to “commit to a position of leadership among peer institutions in promoting economic diversity and equality among students” had received over 1,000 signatures from the Yale community as of Monday morning.
On the social networking Web site Facebook, over 800 students joined a group in recent weeks urging Yale to expand its aid program.
In a Yale College Council financial-aid poll conducted over winter break, 54 percent of respondents said increased assistance for middle- and upper-middle-class families should be the University’s top financial aid priority.
More than one third of students — 1,815 — responded to the poll, which was emailed to the entire undergraduate student body between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3.
Yale last altered its financial aid policies in 2005, when the University eliminated the parental contribution for families making less than $45,000 and reduced contributions for families making between $45,000 and $60,000.