Financial Aid Policy and Procedures
Thanks to an extremely generous gift from the David Geffen Foundation in 2021, all full-time students in degree and certificate programs will receive 100 percent tuition support, in perpetuity. In addition to full tuition support, the School also has a need-based financial aid policy to ensure that all qualified students with demonstrated financial need will have the opportunity to attend Yale.* Each year, the School awards a substantial amount of financial aid, totaling more than $11 million in 2023–2024.
Financial aid for living expenses and books and supplies is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need. After tuition scholarship and work study are applied, financial need is calculated as the difference between the cost of attendance, and the assessed student and parental contributions. The financial aid award consists of a combination of tuition scholarship, work-study employment, and living expense scholarship for those who qualify. As of the 2023–2024 academic year, the average student with demonstrated high financial need receives full tuition scholarship, work-study employment, first-year educational loan, and living expense scholarship, providing ninety-four percent of the cost of attendance over three years. The average student with demonstrated moderate financial need receives full tuition scholarship, work-study employment, first-year educational loan, and living expense scholarship providing eighty-six percent of the cost of attendance over three years. The average student with demonstrated low financial need receives full tuition scholarship, work-study employment, first-year educational loan, and living expense scholarship providing seventy-eight percent of the cost of attendance over three years.
Students who do not qualify for need-based financial aid will receive full tuition scholarship and work-study employment and may be able to receive assistance through various supplemental loan programs as needed.
*All information in this section is typical of the 2023–2024 academic year. It may differ from year to year depending on changes in federal regulations, the cost of living, and available financial resources.
Requirements of David Geffen 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.
The School’s Financial Aid Office makes financial aid awards which, when added to full tuition scholarship, work-study employment, and any 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 for the nine-month academic year.
Student and Family Resources
Students are responsible for contributing toward their living expenses at David Geffen School of Drama. Financial aid recipients are expected to use a portion of their savings and other assets during each year of enrollment at the School. If a student’s assets increase, the expected contribution from these resources will also increase.
It is assumed that students will contribute to their own support an amount based on their annual earnings. The minimum required student contribution is $2,000. Spouses of married students who are not themselves students and are capable of working will also be expected to contribute toward the student’s support from their wages. The student can borrow the student contribution in the form of an educational loan if necessary.
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. We understand that some families may have extenuating circumstances that would require an exception. Students may petition to have their noncustodial and/or custodial parent’s financial information waived in such cases by submitting a Noncustodial or Custodial Parent Waiver Petition form with supporting documentation. Submission of a waiver petition form does not guarantee that the noncustodial or custodial parent’s financial aid application requirements will be waived. If approved, a Parent Waiver does not need to be resubmitted annually. A parental contribution is not assessed from a parent who is deceased or incarcerated.
Other resources such as outside scholarships and Veterans Administration benefits are included among a student’s resources. Students are required to report other resources to the Financial Aid Office. In the event that a student earns an outside scholarship, or other resource, David Geffen School of Drama policy is to first apply the scholarship toward the reduction of the first-year loan, then toward the parental contribution, and then toward the student contribution if applicable. In rare circumstances, if an outside scholarship results in aid above the cost of attendance, our need-based scholarship may need to be reduced since students cannot receive financial aid above the total cost of attendance. Students are also required to report any cash prizes and/or awards earned while they are enrolled at David Geffen School of Drama. Cash prizes and/or awards up to $15,000 may not result in a reduction of need-based financial aid. For cash prizes and awards above $15,000 adjustments to a student’s need-based financial award may be necessary. Students should schedule a meeting with the Director of Financial Aid to review their options for all outside resources.
A financial aid award is determined by first establishing a standard budget, or cost of attendance. Using a set of formulas 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. After tuition scholarship is applied, demonstrated financial need is calculated as the difference between a student’s cost of living expenses, books, and supplies, and the student’s personal and family contribution. Under no circumstance may financial aid exceed a student’s total cost of attendance.
Students’ financial need is reassessed annually, because personal and family circumstances may change materially from year to year. After the successful completion of the first year and assuming that there are no changes in the student’s demonstrated financial need, the School’s policy is to eliminate the first-year loan from the need-based calculation for the second and third year. For many students this will result in an increase in living expense scholarship after the first year. In other cases, students may not see a significant increase, due to their calculated demonstrated financial need.
Work-study The work-study component of the financial aid award consists of 200 assigned work-study hours from jobs within the School, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Yale Cabaret. All students and technical interns (excluding DFA students, special students and special research fellows) are expected to complete a minimum of 200 hours of work-study employment in the 2023–2024 academic year. Work-study earnings are paid weekly or semi-monthly. Students and technical interns on financial aid who fall short of earning their assigned hours of work-study as a result of conflicting commitments to the School or Yale Repertory Theatre, or other extenuating circumstance such as illness or injury, are eligible to request a conversion of their remaining unearned hours (up to 200) into grant. Work-study hours missed from an absence, tardiness, delay of I-9 completion, or conflict resolution outside of the prioritized list are not eligible for conversion, should a student otherwise be qualified. Occasionally, based on the needs of the School and Yale Rep, it is possible that some students may be assigned over 200 hours of work-study. This will be communicated to the student by the Student Labor Supervisor via the assignments tab on your.drama.yale.edu.
Educational loans Educational loans make up an important part of many first-year awards and are only available during the nine-month academic year. A student may borrow the expected student contribution and any expected parental contribution if needed. Loans for domestic students are issued through the federal student loan programs and/or various private supplemental loan programs. International students may apply for a Yale Graduate and Professional international loan and/or various private supplemental loan programs. Domestic students in a certificate program who do not have a four-year degree are only eligible for a maximum federal unsubsidized loan of $9,500 ($4,750 for technical interns) in the first year of study. Eligibility of loan amounts in subsequent years of study may vary. These students should contact the Financial Aid Office for information on federal loan guidelines and restrictions that apply to certificate programs as well as alternative and private loans that may be available to them. The deadline to apply for educational loans is ten business days before the end of the spring term, May 2, 2024.
Tuition scholarships Thanks to a generous gift from the David Geffen Foundation in 2021, all full-time students in degree and certificate programs receive 100 percent tuition support. Eligibility for tuition scholarship assistance is ordinarily limited to six terms of study for M.F.A./certificate programs; two terms of study for the Technical Internship program; and ten terms of study for the D.F.A. program; exceptions are extremely rare.
Living expense scholarships When the total amount of the student contribution, parental contribution, first-year loan (when applicable), work-study employment, and tuition scholarship do not meet a student’s full financial need, a living expense scholarship is awarded. This scholarship assists with living expenses as well as books and supplies and is paid in two installments, the first at the start of the fall term and the second at the start of the spring term. The cost for books and supplies varies by academic discipline.
Tax scholarships for international students For international students from countries that do not have a tax treaty with the United States, any scholarship above the cost of tuition will be automatically taxed at 14% (subject to change), thereby reducing the net amount of scholarship the student receives. In order to support international students who are taxed, the School will process a tax scholarship each term to ensure that these students receive the total scholarship awarded. All international students and scholars are required to file a U.S. federal tax return each year.
Financial Aid Application Procedures
Applicants must complete all the applicable requirements annually (U.S. citizen/permanent resident or international student) in order to be evaluated for need-based financial assistance for living expenses, books, and supplies.
All students requesting need-based 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.
1. File a 2024–2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 18, 2024, online at the Student Aid website. Yale’s federal school code is 001426, which is necessary to complete the FAFSA and to ensure that the School receives the processed information electronically.
All students wishing to be considered for need-based financial assistance must file a CSS application online at collegeboard.org. School code is 3809.
2. File a 2024–2025 College Board CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® application by March 18, 2024, at collegeboard.org. School code is 3809.
Federal Tax Returns
All students must submit a signed copy of their and their parents’ federal tax returns.
3. Mail signed copies of your (the student’s) and your parents’ 2022 federal income tax returns by March 18, 2024. Please include copies of all W-2s and any schedules. These documents may be emailed rather than mailed, if desired, to email@example.com.
College Board Application
All international students requesting need-based financial assistance are expected to file the College Board application. The form is essential for establishing eligibility for need-based assistance.
1. Complete the College Board CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® application by March 18, 2024, at collegeboard.org.
Federal Tax Returns and/or Income Statements
2. Mail signed copies of your (the student’s) and your parents’ 2022 tax documents and income and bank statements (U.S. and home country) by March 18, 2024. Please note that if any documents are not in English, you must provide a notarized English translation in addition to the original documents. These documents may be emailed rather than mailed, if desired, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Thanks to a bequest from Eugene O’Neill and Carlotta Monterey all Playwriting students at the David Geffen School of Drama receive living expense stipends throughout the academic year and summer months, in addition to full tuition scholarships. Therefore, a financial aid application is not required for Playwriting applicants.
The deadline for continuing students to submit all 2024-2025 financial aid applications and mail tax returns/income information is March 18, 2024.
The Financial Aid Office cannot guarantee that an award letter will be issued before August 1, 2023, if the financial aid application is submitted after the March 18 deadline.
The mailing address to which all forms should be sent is: Financial Aid Office, David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University, 149 York Street, Room 101A, 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 David Geffen 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 David Geffen School of Drama.
Students seeking general information about veterans’ education benefits should contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs via the web at benefits.va.gov/gibill for eligibility information.
David Geffen 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 education expenses to eligible individuals who apply to the program. Students should contact the School’s registrar for enrollment certification.
No prior course credits are accepted for the successful completion of the program of study in any of the eight theatrical disciplines offered at the School. This includes the Master of Fine Arts, Certificate in Drama, and one-year special student and one-year Technical Internship Certificate. However, veterans who leave the School and are later readmitted pursuant to the U.S. Military Leave Readmissions Policy (discussed in the chapter Training at David Geffen School of Drama: A Policy Overview) will receive credit for all School 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 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.
Students who face unanticipated, unforeseen, and unavoidable financial hardship during the academic year, that would likely impact or hinder academic progress may apply to the Financial Aid Office for a one-time emergency grant, typically not to exceed $1,000. An emergency grant does not cover recurring expenses; instead, it is intended for students who cannot reasonably resolve an immediate financial difficulty through other means. Examples of potentially eligible expenses include but are not limited to emergency medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance; replacement of essential personal belongings or temporary housing due to an emergency; and travel costs due to an unexpected crisis, serious illness, or death in the immediate family. Emergency grants may also be used for sudden repair of technology that is necessary for a student’s academic program. Documentation of expenses (i.e., estimates and/or receipts) is required for all grant requests. Students can submit an emergency grant request on DGSDinfo. Emergency grants are only available during the nine-month academic year. The deadline to apply for an emergency grant is May 16, 2024, the last business day of the spring term.
Computer loan In accordance with federal regulations for Title IV funds, a student’s cost of attendance budget may be increased for a computer purchase, one time only, during their attendance at the School. Students must submit an estimate to the Financial Aid Office for pre-approval of the loan prior to the purchase, as well as a receipt for documentation after the purchase is completed. The computer loan cannot exceed $3,500.
Eligibility for receipt of David Geffen 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 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’s Financial Aid Office.