Term bill increases, but financial aid budget falls

In line with tuition hikes at universities nationwide, the cost of attending Yale will increase by roughly 4 percent for the next academic year.

The University announced a $57,500 undergraduate term bill for the 2013-’14 academic year on Tuesday, up from this year’s $55,300 bill, which includes tuition and room and board. After increasing from $114.7 million in 2011-’12 to $120 million in 2012-’13, Yale College’s financial aid budget is expected to fall slightly, dropping to $119 million next year.

University Director of Financial Aid Caesar Storlazzi said his office makes budget projections based on the previous incoming classes’ financial data, adding that the office found that last year’s $120 million budget overshot students’ financial need by roughly $1 million.

“Whenever we do our projections, we start from where we are now,” Storlazzi said. “We’ve actually come out a million or so under our projection.”

Storlazzi said the office has not adjusted its financial aid projections to take into account the sequester — a series of blunt reductions to the federal budget that are expected to slash the amount of federal financial aid given to universities nationwide — because estimations by national financial aid organizations, including the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, have predicted that Yale and most other Ivy League institutions will not be heavily hit, at least for the upcoming academic year.

Financial aid awards for Yale College students include federally funded grants, like work-study, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Pell grants. Though the federal government will maintain funding for Pell grants for at least for the upcoming year, the amount students receive through the other two types of grants may change as a result of the sequester, Storlazzi said.

President-elect Peter Salovey told the News in March that Yale will compensate for decreases in federal financial aid if students are affected.

“While I don’t expect that students will feel the effects of sequestration in their financial aid, the University will,” Salovey said.

When the federal budget has changed in the past, Storlazzi said, Yale has adjusted its institutional scholarship budget to compensate. But because Yale continues to feel the effects of the 2008 economic downturn, he added, changing the University’s scholarship budget now may be especially taxing.

Storlazzi said he does not anticipate any major changes to financial aid in the upcoming academic year. Even so, his office has taken the precaution of including a note that financial aid packages could change midyear due to “funding uncertainties at the federal level” in the award paperwork for newly accepted students.

Ron Day, national chair of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said each school is dealing with the potential effects of the sequester in different ways. For his school, Kennesaw State University, Day said campus funds and work-study funds will definitely be cut, but the situations at other schools on a national level are a “totally different matter.”

Despite the increase in the term bill and the decrease in the financial aid budget, University spokesman Tom Conroy said in a Tuesday release that Yale is still committed to meeting the “full demonstrated financial aid of all undergraduates.” Yale students’ expected self-help contributions will increase by $100 to $2,800 for freshmen and $3,300 for upperclassmen, but expected family contributions will not increase.

Yale’s undergraduate term bill has increased steadily for the last decade. The total costs for the 2003-’04 academic year were $37,000 — 35.7 percent less than the figure for next year.

This article was updated to reflect the  version published in print March 25.

Comments