Financial Aid Policy and Procedures

Yale School of Drama sound design department. Photo by Joan Marcus, 2017.
Andrew Rovner ('19) Yale School of Drama Sound Design 2018 . Photo by Joan Marcus.

Yale’s financial aid policy has been designed to ensure that, within the School’s resources, all qualified students with demonstrated financial need will have the opportunity to attend Yale. For this reason, financial aid at the School of Drama is awarded on the basis of financial need.*

Each year, the School awards a substantial amount of financial aid, totaling more than $7 million in 2018–2019.

A small portion of our students and their families have the ability to pay the full costs of educational and living expenses, and, therefore, can bear substantial costs. Student and family contributions vary based on financial circumstances, but all students on financial aid are expected to contribute a minimum of $2,000 toward their educational and living expenses each year.

Students with financial need demonstrated through documentation of personal, spousal, and parental income and assets receive financial aid awards consisting of a combination of work-study employment, educational loans, scholarship, and in many cases living expense stipends. All students on financial aid are expected to take out an educational loan in their first year, up to $9,500, which is eliminated and replaced with increased scholarship in their second and third year, assuming there are no changes in the student’s demonstrated financial need.

As of 2018, an average student with demonstrated high financial need receives aid covering 89 percent of the cost of attendance over three years. An average student with demonstrated moderate financial need receives aid covering 71 percent of the cost of attendance over three years. An average student with demonstrated low financial need receives aid covering 53 percent of the cost of attendance over three years. Students who do not qualify for need-based financial aid may be able to receive assistance through work-study employment and various supplemental loan programs.

*Financial aid figures are for 2018–19 and may change in future years. Applicants offered admission are typically notified of their financial aid award at the time of their acceptance if they have met the financial aid application deadline of February 15 (for all programs). If you have questions about your specific circumstances, please call the Financial Aid Office at 203.432.1540

Requirements of Yale School of Drama’s need-blind admission policy as well as Yale’s Policy on Student Records ensure the confidentiality of applicants’ and their families’ economic circumstances. Access to personally identifiable financial aid materials—including applications, financial aid transcripts, financial aid award letters, and loan applications—is limited to Financial Aid Office personnel and members of the Financial Aid Committee.

Yale School of Drama’s Financial Aid Office makes financial aid awards which, when added to the funds that are expected from students, their spouses, their families, and other available sources, should enable students to meet the basic costs of attending Yale.

Student and Family Resources

Student Assets

Students are responsible for contributing toward the cost of their own education. Financial aid recipients are expected to use a portion of their savings and assets during each year of enrollment at Yale School of Drama. Students are advised not to reduce their assets by more than the expected contribution since the balance will be assumed to exist whether spent or not. If the student’s assets increase, the expected contribution from these resources will also increase.

Student Income

It is assumed that students will contribute to their own support an amount based on either last year’s or next year’s earnings. The minimum required student contribution is $2,000. Spouses of married recipients who are not themselves students, have no dependent children, and are capable of working will also be expected to contribute toward the student’s support from their wages.

Parental Assets and Income

A parental contribution from assets and/or income may also be assessed, regardless of the student’s age, independence, or marital status. The student can replace any expected parental contribution with an additional educational loan, if necessary.

Other Resources

Other resources such as outside scholarships and Veterans Administration benefits are included among a student’s resources.

A financial aid award is determined by first establishing a standard budget, or cost of attendance. Using a set of formulae developed by the U.S. Congress, called the Federal Methodology, as well as formulas developed by the College Board, a calculation of a student’s resources and expected family contribution, if applicable, is determined. The difference between a student’s cost of attendance and the student’s personal and family contribution constitutes that student’s demonstrated financial need. Under no circumstance may financial aid exceed a student’s cost of attendance.

For first-year students during the 2018–2019 academic year, the first portion of a student’s need was met through work-study employment, the earnings for which ranged between $3,052 and $5,445 depending on the student’s program of study; the next portion came in the form of an educational loan; and the balance of a student’s demonstrated need, if any, was covered by scholarship.

Sample First-Year Awards for 2018-19 Based on Demonstrated Financial Need*


*Your award may be significantly higher or lower than the average in any of these groups, and may only be determined after you and your parents have provided information about income and assets.

Students’ financial need is reassessed annually, because personal and family circumstances may change materially. After the successful completion of the first year and assuming that there are no changes in the calculation of the student’s need, Yale School of Drama’s policy is to improve the financial aid award offered to students in their second and third years. Specifically, the educational loan is eliminated and replaced with increased tuition scholarship and/or living stipend, based upon calculated financial need.

Work-study Work-study consists of a combination of required and elective work-study jobs within Yale School of Drama, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Yale Cabaret. All students, except special students and special research fellows, are required to perform on-campus work-study jobs totaling 150 to 330 hours per year, of which 150–200 hours are assigned and the remainder are elective. The student may choose elective jobs from among numerous work-study opportunities available at the School of Drama, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Yale Cabaret. Work-study earnings are paid weekly or semi-monthly. If the School fails to assign a minimum of 150 required hours of work-study, students receiving financial aid may petition the Financial Aid Committee for additional grants.

Educational loans Educational loans make up an important part of many aid awards. The basic loans are issued through the federal student loan programs and various private supplemental loan programs. Private supplemental loan programs offer funds to students who are not eligible for the federal loan programs. A student may convert the expected student contribution and any expected parental contribution to a loan if needed. Students interested in seeking additional loans for this purpose should consult with the Financial Aid Office.

Tuition scholarships If the student’s demonstrated financial need is greater than the total of the work-study award and the educational loan, the next portion of unmet need will normally be provided by a tuition scholarship. Eligibility for scholarship assistance is ordinarily limited to six terms of study; exceptions are extremely rare.

Living stipends When the total amount of the student contribution, parental contribution, work-study employment, loans, and scholarship do not meet a student’s full financial need, a stipend is awarded. Stipends assist with living expenses and are paid in two installments, the first at the start of the fall term and the second at the start of the spring term.

Financial Aid Application Procedures

Applicants must complete all the applicable requirements (U.S. citizen/permanent resident or international student) in order to be evaluated for financial assistance.


    All students requesting financial assistance who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens are expected to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is essential for establishing eligibility for federal financial aid programs, including Federal Work-Study and federal loan programs. For efficiency and accuracy, complete the application online at

  1. File a 2019–2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15, 2019, at Yale’s federal school code is 001426, which is necessary to complete the FAFSA and to ensure that the School of Drama receives the processed information electronically.

    College Board

    All students wishing to be considered for federal work-study, federal loans, tuition scholarship assistance, and stipend for living expenses must file their application online at

  2. File a 2019–2020 College Board CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® application by February 15, 2019, at

    Federal Tax Returns

    All students must submit a copy of their and their parents’ federal tax returns.

  3. Mail signed copies of your (the student’s) and your parents’ 2017 federal income tax returns by April 15, 2019. Please include copies of all W-2s and any schedules.

College Board Application and International Student Certification of Finances

College Board Application and International Student Certification of Finances

All international students requesting financial assistance are expected to file the College Board application and the International Student Certification of Finances. Both forms are essential for establishing eligibility for work-study employment, loan, tuition scholarship, and stipend for living expenses.

  1. Complete the College Board CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® application by February 15, 2019, at
  2. Mail the International Student Certification of Finances by February 15, 2019. Download the International Student Certification of Finances

Federal Tax Returns and/or Income Statements

  1. Mail signed copies of your (the student’s) and your parents’ 2017 tax documents and income and bank statements (U.S. and home country) by April 15, 2019.

Visa Documentation

In order to receive visa documentation, international students must submit proof that income from all sources will be sufficient to meet expenses for one year of study. Evidence of funds may come from a combination of the following sources: affidavit from a bank, copy of a financial aid award letter stating that financial assistance has been offered, certification by parents of their ability and intention to provide the necessary funds, or certification by employer of anticipated income.

The deadline for submitting all financial aid applications is February 15, 2019. The deadline for mailing in tax returns/income information is April 15, 2019.

Although Yale School of Drama is committed to meeting a student’s need with an appropriate financial aid package, a delay in the application may negatively impact the amount and nature of a prospective student’s award and the School of Drama’s ability to assist the student.

The mailing address to which all forms should be sent is: Yale School of Drama Financial Aid Office, PO Box 208325, New Haven CT 06520-8325.

All students who receive funds through a federal program must certify to the following: that any funds received will be used solely for expenses related to attendance at Yale School of Drama; that they will repay funds that cannot reasonably be attributed to meeting those expenses; that they are not in default on any student loan nor owe a repayment on a federal grant. Continued eligibility for financial aid requires that students maintain satisfactory progress in their courses of study according to the policies and practices of the School of Drama.

Students seeking general information about veterans’ education benefits should contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs via the web at for eligibility information.

The School of Drama participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which allows it to enter into an agreement with the Veterans Administration to fund tuition expenses to eligible individuals who apply to the program. Students should contact Yale School of Drama’s registrar for enrollment certification.

No prior course credits are accepted for the successful completion of the program of study in any of the nine theatrical disciplines offered at the School of Drama. This includes the Master of Fine Arts, Certificate in Drama, one-year special student and one-year Technical Internship Certificate. However, veterans who leave the School of Drama, and are later readmitted to the School of Drama pursuant to the U.S. Military Leave Readmissions Policy (discussed in the chapter Living at Yale School of Drama), will receive credit for all Yale School of Drama course work completed prior to their leave, and these veterans will return to Yale with the same enrolled status last held and same academic status. The School of Drama maintains written records of course work completed by eligible veterans before their leave to ensure that appropriate credit is granted upon their return to the School of Drama.

Eligibility for receipt of Yale School of Drama assistance or most forms of federal financial aid is limited to students who are enrolled in programs that yield either a degree or a certificate. At present, certain students, including those attending the School of Drama as special students and special research fellows on a full-time basis, are not eligible for financial aid according to the federal guidelines but may be eligible to apply for assistance under various supplemental loan programs through their individual banks. Although special students and special research fellows are eligible for and may choose to accept work-study employment, they are not required to work. For more information, please contact the School of Drama Financial Aid Office.