Yale ups tuition by $1.5k

As of July, Yale will no longer be the cheapest school in the Ivy League.

Tuition, room and board expenses for Yale College students will increase 3.3 percent, to $47,500 from $46,000, for the next academic year, University officials announced Tuesday. The moderate rise is in line with Yale’s recent cost hikes and also with those announced by its peer schools so far this year. But the cost of attending Princeton will undercut Yale’s bill by $480 in 2009-’10.

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For many Yale students, though, the cost of attending Yale will actually decrease as families seek financial aid in the midst of a recession. As a result, the increase in tuition is not designed to provide a major boost to Yale’s revenue.

“Yes, in a downturn we maybe need the revenue more,” University President Richard Levin explained in a recent interview. “But we’re also an institution that depends upon public trust and confidence.”

First and foremost in that effort to maintain trust, Yale officials have said, is the University’s continued commitment to financial aid. Even as budgets are slashed across the University, aid will be made available to all students who qualify next year, even if they have never before requested assistance.

The increases in financial aid instituted last year will remain in place, meaning that families earning less than $60,000 will continue to make no payments toward the cost of a Yale education. Families with higher incomes caught breaks last year, too, as Yale expanded the financial aid available to families earning up to $200,000 annually.

In total, the average cost for students on financial aid this year is $14,021. The self-help contribution for the academic term from students on financial aid will rise to about $2,600 next year.

Over 50 percent of students currently receive financial aid, though that number is expected to rise in the fall. As a result, the tuition increase only affects the families who pay full freight. But, in this recession, Levin said a steeper-than-usual cost hike might have hurt the University more.

After all, if Yale had increased tuition by a higher rate — like the 5.5 percent hike for the 2005-’06 academic year — the additional funds would do little to close Yale’s $100 million budget gap for the coming year. Tuition accounted for just 15 percent of Yale’s revenue in the current fiscal year’s budget, compared to 44 percent that comes from endowment income. (Though the value of Yale’s endowment has dropped around 25 percent during this fiscal year, next year’s payout will only fall around 10 percent because endowment spending is averaged over multiple years.)

Yale is not alone in keeping its cost increase for next year below 4 percent. Stanford University recently announced a 3.5 percent increase in tuition, room and board, bringing the total undergraduate fees for students there to $48,843. The 3.5 percent increase for undergraduates at Harvard University brings the total cost of attendance there to $48,868. Princeton students will pay just $47,020, up 2.9 percent from this year’s costs.

Tuition in Yale College next year will be $36,500, up from $35,300 this year. Room and board, which together cost $10,700 this year, will rise to $11,000.


  • T.R

    I guess there getting ready for the increase in Pell Grants and other Federal payments comming from the Obama Administration. College pricing is worse then anything the "Big Oil" companies have everdone.

  • francine (alum)

    This is outrageous to hike the tuition on working parents in this economy.
    Maybe we should just all go on the dole and file for finanacial aid
    Isn't that what obama"s policies support?

  • Anonymous

    nothing like yale fleecing its students for more.

  • yale'11

    I really don't think this is that unreasonable. Yale's financial aid policy is the only think allowing me to be here, and this shouldn't affect that much if at all. And 3.3%? Could be worse, and it's hardly unexpected.

  • Ben

    Yale should only increase tuition on future students. It seems grossly unfair to change tuition in the middle of a degree program almost akin to a breach of contract.

  • Hieronymus

    Wow: psychedelic! You're all for redistro of income in Obamaworld, but not here?

    FYI: Yale still offers "needs based" assistance, and AFAIK, has not changed its free-ish ride policy for #2's "working parents."

    It mostly socks it to the much-hated uber-wealthy (which includes, to a high degree, non-U.S. citizens).

    What's good for the goose…

  • alum

    Tuition (along with aid payments) should be raised to the level that the market will bear.

    It's better to have wealthy families have to pay a bit more to Yale (as Yale will use the money for fin aid or AIDS research), than to have those wealthy families have that extra $1.5K to spend on their teenager's SUV insurance or Whole Foods bagged lunches.

    Raise tuition to $50K or more and expand financial aid for lower-income students even more dramatically. People will still send their kids here because, if you haven't noticed, Yale is still by far the best college in the world.

    Yale is already much cheaper than a state school for the average family. The administration should raise tuition and increase aid so that it is even more affordable, and so existing programs can be maintained.

  • yaylie

    Before the newest aid policies my family barely made 6 figures yet I only got a few thousand dollars in "aid." When I got into Yale, the aid package was the worst in the Ivy League. If the new aid policy eliminated all that, y'all financial aid students don't know how lucky you are.

  • YLS '07

    @7 gets it. @1-3 sound like unhinged, pathetic children of privilege.

    Look -- nobody who pays full tuition at Yale is poor or even middle class. Yale's financial aid policy is so generous that if your parents make the median U.S. household income -- $50k/year -- or even 20% more than that, then they and you pay NOTHING. A full ride. For families making much, much more than the middle income, there are very large amounts of financial aid available, much of it in grant form rather than loans. That's as it should be. Indeed, Yale should continue to expand its financial aid system, and should offer some aid to people even higher up in what is quaintly called the "upper middle class" (i.e. the rich but not ultra-rich) than it currently does.

    Raising tuition AND raising financial aid is the way to keep Yale within reach of everyone -- both those who can pay full tuition, and those who can't. This is the only hope Yale has for attracting the students it wants from all class backgrounds, and remaining the great national university it has been since the days of Kingman Brewster, rather than reverting completely to its previous status as a bastion of inherited wealth.

  • Recent Alum

    One would have thought that with 1% of Americans paying 40% in taxes, the purpose of a university wouldn't be to redistribute wealth even further. Or maybe we can have 1% pay 40% of the tuition too?


    There are NO free rides at Yale! Your parents could make NOTHING per year and the student would still be responsible for the student contribution of $2500. That's fairly hefty if you are broke silly! It is in this scenario that the middle class are helped by the financial aid, and the lower class are hurt by it. A family making 60K has the ability to dish out $2500 while one making 10K does not.