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.

Applications are currently not being accepted for any Yale School of Drama program. The next application cycle will open on October 4, 2021 for admission in the fall of 2022.

- June 16, 2020 -
Our Plans for 2020–21 and Beyond

Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre will not produce seasons of plays in 2020–21, due to the ongoing incompatibility of theatrical production with best public health practices in response to COVID-19. Practical production work is a central tenet of the School’s conservatory training; the three-year M.F.A. program is being extended temporarily to a fourth year to best meet and overcome the current and inevitable future disruptions of the pandemic. Similarly, the one-year Technical Internship program will be extended by one semester. The School’s next student recruitment cycle will be for admission in the fall of 2022. Read more »

Yale School of Drama’s financial aid policy has been designed to ensure that, within the School of Drama’s resources, 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 $7 million in 2019–2020.

Financial aid at the School of Drama is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need. Financial need is calculated as the difference between the cost of attendance and assessed student and parental contributions. The financial aid award consists of a combination of work-study employment, educational loan, tuition scholarship, and living expense scholarships.

As of 2019, the average student with demonstrated high financial need receives from the School work-study employment, scholarship grants, and living expense scholarships, providing 90 percent of the cost of attendance over three years. The average student with demonstrated moderate financial need receives from the School work-study employment and scholarship grants, providing 71 percent of the cost of attendance over three years. The average student with demonstrated low financial need receives work-study employment and scholarship grants, providing 51 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.

*All information in this section is typical of the 2019–2020 academic year. It may differ from year to year depending on changes in federal regulations, the cost of living, and available financial resources. 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 March 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 for the nine-month academic year.

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. We understand that some families may have extenuating circumstances that would require an exception. Students may petition to have their noncustodial parent’s financial information waived in such cases by submitting a Noncustodial Parent Waiver Petition form with supporting documentation. Submission of a waiver petition form does not guarantee that the noncustodial parent’s financial aid application requirements will be waived. A parental contribution is not assessed from a parent who is deceased.

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 2019–2020 academic year, the first portion of a student’s need was met through work-study employment, the earnings for which ranged between $3,145 and $5,610 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 2019-20 Based on Demonstrated Financial Need*

Financial Aid Award Chart *First-year loan is eliminated and replaced with increased scholarship or living expense scholarship in the second and third year, if there are no changes in the calculation of the student's demonstrated financial need. 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 expense scholarship, based upon calculated financial need. Work-study The work-study component of the financial aid award consists of a combination of required and elective work-study jobs within Yale School of Drama, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Yale Cabaret. All students and technical interns, on financial aid, are expected to perform on-campus work-study jobs totaling 185 to 330 hours per year, of which a minimum of 150 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. Students who qualify for financial aid and who fall short of earning 150 hours of assigned work-study as a result of conflicting assigned commitments to the School of Drama or Yale Repertory Theatre are eligible to request a conversion of their remaining unearned assigned hours (up to 150) into grant. Educational loans Educational loans make up an important part of many aid awards and are only available during the nine-month academic year. 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 may also apply for loans for travel home during the winter and spring recess periods. Students interested in seeking additional loans for these purposes 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 expense scholarships 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 living expense scholarship is awarded. The scholarships 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 2020–2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 15, 2020, 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 2020–2021 College Board CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® application by March 15, 2020, at Yale's school code is 3809.

    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’ 2018 federal income tax returns by March 15, 2020. Please include copies of all W-2s and any schedules.

College Board Application

All international students requesting financial assistance are expected to file the College Board application. College Board is 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 March 15, 2020, at Yale's school code is 3809.

Federal Tax Returns and/or Income Statements

  1. Mail signed copies of your (the student’s) and your parents’ 2018 tax documents and income and bank statements (U.S. and home country) by March 15, 2020. Please note that if any documents are not in English, you must provide a notarized English translation in addition to the original documents.

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 March 15, 2020. The deadline for mailing in tax returns/income information is March 15, 2020.

Returning students whose financial aid applications are submitted after the March 15, 2020, deadline will be assessed a late fee of $125 for every thirty days that the application is delayed. The late fee charges will be taken out of the financial aid award, resulting in a reduction in aid. Financial aid applications for returning students will not be accepted after July 15.

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.