For the first time, Yale-sponsored fellowship recipients and Yale-in-London summer participants will be eligible for grants this summer through the International Summer Award Program, University officials announced Monday.
Students are eligible for the summer program if they received financial aid from the University during the spring semester. The grant covers part or all of the costs of qualifying summer programs, as well as participants’ student income contribution for the 2006-07 academic year. Last year, 142 students received ISA grants to go abroad as participants in Yale Summer Session classes, other study abroad programs endorsed by the International Education and Fellowship Programs, and international internships arranged by University Career Services.
The ISA, created last year to encourage study abroad for students on financial aid, funds expenses abroad for students in Yale-endorsed programs as well as students’ required summer contributions to their Yale tuition. Administrators and financial aid officials said this week’s expansion of the program represents an effort to make foreign travel more accessible to all undergraduates.
Financial Aid Director Caesar Storlazzi said students receive summer awards proportional to the amount of aid they receive during the semester, but the qualifying programs are not open exclusively to students who receive financial aid.
“The basic premise is that financial aid students and non-financial aid students have the same access to ISA programs,” Storlazzi said. “The change is basically adding additional programs to this ISA set-up.”
Yale fellowship recipients will not receive additional program funding, but they can apply to have their student contributions waived for the following year under the new rules, Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said in an e-mail sent to students Monday evening.
The expansion of the ISA program to include Yale-in-London, a study abroad program run by the British Art Center and the Paul Mellon Centre in London, comes after the summer program’s application deadline of Jan. 20.
David Mills, associate director of the BAC, said he thinks the extended program may be too late to encourage more participation in Yale-in-London this summer because students did not know they could receive a Summer Income Contribution grant before applying. But Mills said it is typical for some admitted students to withdraw each year, and the new grant could make it possible for more of those students to accept admission.
“It could be that they were financial aid students who sat down with their parents and said, ‘Can I really afford to do this?'” Mills said.
Historically, Mills said, a higher percentage of the applicants to the spring semester Yale-in-London program have been financial aid recipients compared to the applicant pool for the summer program, which suggests that cost was an issue for students considering a summer in London. In the spring, Yale financial aid covers tuition for the program.
Mills said the idea to include Yale-in-London in the ISA program came from the Yale College Dean’s Office.
“We’re just glad that more students who are on financial aid will really have the opportunity because of this,” Mills said.
In the past, some students have received tuition scholarships for the summer program through the Paul Mellon Centre, but they have not received compensation for the summer earnings component of their financial aid packages, Mills said.
Several students said they were enthusiastic about the expanded opportunities.
Sarah Kellner ’08 said she thinks the program will open international experience opportunities to a wider swath of the student body.
“I think it’s fabulous,” she said. “I think everybody should have the opportunity to go abroad if they want to, and this makes it much easier for some students.”
But Christine Slaughter ’07, a member of the Undergraduate Organizing Committee, said the expanded opportunities should be coupled with term-time financial aid reforms.
“I’m enthusiastic about any expanded aid, but I do believe that at the same time as we’re expanding these international opportunities … we still need to pay attention to the fact that there is an inequality of experience right here at home,” she said.
Students are generally eligible for only one ISA grant during their four years at Yale, although a second grant may be given for students who want to spend the second summer in an internship using a language they studied with an earlier ISA grant, according to the ISA Web site.