Early admits to the class of 2015 are receiving their financial aid packages — and learning that Yale’s aid program is increasing by a projected $9 million.
A December 15 press release announced that Yale College has raised the income level below which parents are not asked to make any contribution to their child’s tuition by $5,000, from $60,000 to $65,000. Caesar Storlazzi, director of financial aid, said he hopes the new package will increase the socioeconomic diversity of applicants to Yale in coming years. But he and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel said the news about financial aid is unlikely to have a significant impact on the composition of the class of 2015, though — the funding comes too late to encourage students from low-income families to apply, Storlazzi said.
“The announcement was made right in the middle of December, and by that time most [college applicants] had already decided where they’re going to apply,” said Storlazzi. “I think what we’ll see is an increase in applicants from the lowest income group in the next admissions cycle.”
The changes are estimated to increase the financial aid budget by eight percent, from $108 million in 2010-2011 to an estimated $117 million in 2011-2012. The December press release also said Yale will not increase the student self-help and summer contributions from their current levels for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Storlazzi said it is hard to predict the number of students who will benefit directly from Yale’s decision to raise the income bar from $60,000 to $65,000.
“It could be as little as 20 students or as many as 100,” he said.
Two early applicants to Yale, one of whom was deferred and one of whom was accepted, said they did not have a particularly strong reaction to the change, and that it did not affect their desire to attend Yale.
Matthew Chupack, a senior at the Harvard-Westlake School in North Hollywood, Cali. who applied early and was deferred, said he thought the increase was “necessary” in light of the economic downturn.
But Jasmine Tatum, a senior at Kent Denver School in Englewood, Colo. who was accepted early, said the changes took her by surprise.
“I thought it was fantastic — I figured Yale would cut back, considering budget constraints,” Tatum said.
Brenzel said in an e-mail that the financial aid changes demonstrate Yale’s commitment to financial aid even during a time of budget woes, as well as the University’s emphasis on inclusion and recruiting the world’s best students.
The financial program may see more changes next year, Storlazzi said, but right now it is too early to tell. He said since projections announced in December are based on the class of 2014 as a model, he said, the calculations are not exact.
“At the end of the admissions cycle, we will have a sense of what the real class of 2015 looks like,” Storlazzi said. “We will be able to look at the [changes’] effect on our budget, bring issues back, and discuss whether any more changes will take place.”
In 2009-2010, 56 percent of undergraduates received financial aid.