Financial Aid Policy

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 2020–2021.

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 scholarship. As of 2020, the average student with demonstrated high financial need receives from the School work-study employment, tuition scholarships, 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 scholarships, providing 72 percent of the cost of attendance over three years. The average student with demonstrated low financial need receives work-study employment and scholarships, providing 53 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 2020–2021 academic year. It may differ from year to year depending on changes in federal regulations, the cost of living, and available financial resources.

Statement on Confidentiality

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.

Determination of Need and Financial Aid Award

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. In the event that a student earns an outside scholarship, or other resource, the School of Drama’s policy is to first apply the scholarship toward the reduction of the first-year loan, then toward the parental contribution, and then toward the student contribution if applicable. In rare circumstances, if an outside scholarship results in aid above the cost of attendance, our need-based scholarship may need to be reduced since students cannot receive financial aid above the total cost of attendance.

Components of the Financial Aid Award

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 2020–2021 academic year, the first portion of a student’s need was met through work-study employment in the amount of $525, which represents thirty hours of work-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 scholarships.

Sample Awards for 2020–2021 Based on Demonstrated High Financial Need*

Type of award first-year student second-year student third-year student
Average Work-Study $525 $525 $525
Educational Loans $9,500 0 0
Average Scholarship $28,848 $38,348 $38,348
Average Living Expense Scholarship $9,420 $9,420 $9,420

*Students with demonstrated high financial need have an average combined student and parent contribution of $5,000 or less, per year.

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 eliminate the required loan from the need-based calculation after the first year. For many students this will result in an increase in scholarship after the first year. In other cases, students may not see a significant increase, due to their demonstrated financial need.

Work-study The work-study component of the financial aid award consists of a combination of assigned and/or elective work-study jobs within Yale School of Drama, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Yale Cabaret. All students and technical interns (excluding special students and special research fellows) are expected to complete work-study jobs totaling thirty hours in the 2020–2021 academic year. Work-study earnings are paid weekly or semi-monthly. Students and technical interns on financial aid who fall short of earning thirty hours of work-study as a result of conflicting assigned commitments to the School of Drama or Yale Repertory Theatre, or other extenuating circumstance such as illness or injury, are eligible to request a conversion of their remaining unearned hours (up to thirty) 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 borrow the expected student contribution and any expected parental contribution 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. Students in a Certificate program should contact the Financial Aid Office for information on federal loan guidelines and restrictions that apply to Certificate programs.

Tuition scholarships If a 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 tuition scholarship do not meet a student’s full financial need, a living expense scholarship is awarded. This scholarship assists with living expenses and is 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.

U.S. Citizens/Permanent Residents


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 2021–2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 22, 2021, 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 2021–2022 College Board CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® application by March 22, 2021, at

    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’ 2019 federal income tax returns by March 22, 2021. Please include copies of all W-2s and any schedules.

International Students

College Board Application and International Student Certification of Finances

All international students requesting financial assistance are expected to file the College Board application and the International Student Certification of Finances. Both forms are essential for establishing eligibility for work-study employment, loan, tuition scholarship, and living expense scholarship.

  1. Complete the College Board CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® application by March 22, 2021, at
  2. Mail the International Student Certification of Finances by March 22, 2021. The International Student Certification of Finances can be printed from the School of Drama’s online financial aid page, at

    Federal Tax Returns and/or Income Statements

  3. Mail signed copies of your (the student’s) and your parents’ 2019 tax documents and income and bank statements (U.S. and home country) by March 22, 2021. 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.

Financial Aid Application Deadlines and Mailing Address

The deadline for submitting all financial aid applications and mailing tax returns/income information is March 22, 2021.

Returning students whose financial aid applications are submitted after the March 22, 2021, 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.

Student Responsibilities under Federal Programs

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.

Veterans’ Education Benefits

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.

Emergency Loans and Grants

Sometimes an emergency situation arises in which a small amount of money is needed for a short length of time. The Financial Aid Office may be able to assist any student, whether receiving financial aid or not, in such a situation by providing an emergency loan in an amount up to $350. Such loans are available for a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed sixty days. Students facing genuine emergency situations should apply to the Financial Aid Office for such an emergency loan. In rare cases, a student on financial aid may apply to the Financial Aid Committee for an emergency grant, typically not to exceed $1,000. Emergency grants are most commonly used for sudden travel related to a family emergency or bereavement. Emergency grants may also be used for sudden repair of technology that is necessary for a student’s academic program. Documentation of expenses (i.e., estimates and/or receipts) is required for all grant requests.

Computer loan In accordance with federal regulations for Title IV funds, a student’s cost of attendance budget may be increased for a computer purchase, one time only, during their attendance at Yale School of Drama. Students must submit an estimate to the Financial Aid Office for pre-approval of the loan prior to the purchase, and also a receipt for documentation after the purchase is completed. The computer loan cannot exceed $3,500.

Students Who Do Not Qualify for Financial Aid

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.