Expenses and Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

Full-tuition scholarships are available to ISM students. The amount is based on tuition established by the two affiliated schools. In 2019–2020, tuition for full-time students enrolled at the School of Music and the Institute will be $34,000. Tuition for full-time students enrolled at the Divinity School and the Institute will be $25,440. Other special fees may be assessed, depending on program (orientation, commencement, board, and activity fees, etc.). Further information is available from the Financial Aid Office.

The Institute awards financial aid only to those students who are new to degree programs in either the Yale School of Music or Yale Divinity School.

Financial Aid

In addition to tuition scholarships, merit awards are given to qualified ISM students selected by the faculty and are renewable for students who remain in good academic standing. These scholarships and awards require no application or service to the Institute.

By the beginning of their final term, students must have completed all ISM curricular requirements and expectations or be enrolled in the remaining courses. Failure to do so will result in termination of all ISM financial aid in the final term.

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply for federal loans or federal work-study by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), online at https://fafsa.ed.gov.

Graduate and professional students may borrow a maximum of $20,500 per academic year through a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Maximum eligibility amount is based on the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. The loan amount may not exceed the cost of attendance. Students bear responsibility for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during the academic year. Additional eligibility requirements: (1) students must be enrolled at least half-time; (2) they must maintain satisfactory academic progress; and (3) they cannot be in default on a federal student loan.

A Direct Grad PLUS Loan is available to eligible graduate and professional students who need to borrow more than the maximum unsubsidized loan amounts to meet their education costs, not to exceed the cost of education minus other financial aid received. A credit check will be performed during the application process.

Students must notify the Financial Aid Office of all additional awards or sources of support, such as that received from denominational agencies, outside grants and scholarships, and parental contributions.

International Students

International students also receive full-tuition scholarship awards and may be eligible for awards through the Institute of Sacred Music. International students are not eligible to participate in U.S. government-funded loan programs unless they are permanent residents; therefore, every effort should be made to obtain financial assistance from the applicant’s government. Such assistance should be reported to the Institute’s Financial Aid Office.

The Institute cannot subsidize transportation to and from the United States with additional grant aid. However, international students are eligible to apply for the Yale Graduate and Professional International Loan to help cover transportation costs. More information about the Yale GPI loan can be found at https://finaid.yale.edu/costs-affordability/types-aid/yale-graduate-and-professional-international-loan. Students may contact the Financial Aid Office for more information about the Yale GPI loan and the application process.


Yale Institute of Sacred Music is a professional environment and, as such, encourages professional work. For example, Institute students are hired as musicians or in other areas of ministry in Yale’s chapels or area churches. Part-time positions abound in the libraries, dining halls, and various offices of the University. Nonetheless, the Institute does not encourage students to pursue outside work at the expense of their obligations to the Institute or their respective Schools. Students generally work between ten and fifteen hours a week (not to exceed nineteen hours per week). The Institute demands that students prepare for classes and rehearsals, attend them, and participate fully in the life of the Institute. Students shall submit requests to work outside the Institute (both for pay and not for pay) to their adviser with sufficient time to be reviewed by the director. This requirement includes any work in performances on and off campus.

Named Scholarships

The named scholarships are part of the Institute’s pool of resources. They honor students of exceptional promise and achievement in their field of study. The overall amount of the named scholar’s financial assistance is not affected. The Porter, MacLean, and Seder scholarships had their beginnings at the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary and were transferred to the Institute of Sacred Music upon its move to Yale University.

The Mary Baker Scholarship The Mary Baker Scholarship in organ accompanying was established in 2005 to honor the memory of Mary Baker, wife of Dr. Robert Baker, founding director of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. The scholarship is awarded each year to a returning organ student who has demonstrated in the opinion of the faculty the ability and collaborative spirit necessary for a skilled organ accompanist.

The Robert Baker Scholarship Robert Baker is the former director and dean of the School of Sacred Music at Union and the first director of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. This scholarship is for an organ student completing the first year. The scholarship was established at Dr. Baker’s retirement.

The Reverend Louise H. MacLean Scholarship An ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, the Rev. Louise H. MacLean was a graduate of Union Seminary who admired the work of the School of Sacred Music at that institution. The scholarship is to be used for the benefit of worthy students.

The Menil Scholarship A scholarship designated for a student concentrating in the visual arts. Monies are given by the Menil Foundation.

The Hugh Porter Scholarship Director (1945–60), Union Seminary School of Sacred Music, Hugh Porter was a distinguished organ recitalist and organist at St. Nicholas Collegiate Church in New York and a highly respected teacher. This scholarship is undesignated.

The E. Stanley Seder Scholarship Organist and choir director at People’s Church in Chicago, E. Stanley Seder also served as organist of the Chicago Sunday Evening Club, which met in Orchestra Hall. This scholarship is undesignated.

Named Merit Awards for Music Students

The named awards will be given to first-year music students in addition to the usual scholarship awards, and will be renewable for a second year if progress is satisfactory.

The Baker Award Named in honor of Professor Emeritus Robert Baker, the award is given to one or more students deemed to be among the top 1 or 2 percent of the young organists in the country and who have elected to study at the Yale School of Music and the Institute of Sacred Music.

The French Award The award, named in honor of Professor Richard French, is given to one or more choral conducting students, deemed among the best in the country, who attend the Yale School of Music and the Institute of Sacred Music.

Fifth Semester for Church Music Certificate Course

Participants enroll as nondegree students for the fifth semester at the Yale Divinity School and receive a full-tuition scholarship. However, they are not eligible for Federal Direct or Graduate PLUS loans. They are eligible for alternative loans. Nondegree students are not eligible for deferral of loans. International students may need to apply for an extension of their student visas.

Special Awards for Divinity Students

Special awards are also available for Divinity students selected by the faculty. The Institute is especially interested in students who demonstrate a lively interest in cross-disciplinary interaction and study.

Special Support for Students

The Institute of Sacred Music may provide limited financial support in the form of grants for student participation in competitions, professional events, summer language study, and Colloquium presentation expenses. Interested students should first consult the ISM Office of Student Affairs to ascertain the specific grants for which they are eligible. All requests must be made in advance, using the ISM Student Grant Request form, and approved by the faculty and director of the Institute. Guidelines for support may be obtained from the director’s office.

The Institute also underwrites the Yale Schola Cantorum, whose members receive payment for participation except if receiving academic credit for participation. (See Performing Ensembles Sponsored by the Institute in the chapter The Institute Past and Present.)

Student Accounts and Bills

Student accounts, billing, and related services are administered through the Office of Student Financial Services, which is located at 246 Church Street. The office’s website is http://student-accounts.yale.edu.


Yale University’s official means of communicating monthly financial account statements is through the University’s Internet-based system for electronic billing and payment, Yale University eBill-ePay. Yale does not mail paper bills.

Student account statements are prepared and made available twelve times a year at the beginning of each month. Payment is due in full by 4 p.m. Eastern Time on the first business day of the following month. E-mail notifications that the account statement is available on the University eBill-ePay website (http://student-accounts.yale.edu/ebep) are sent to all students at their official Yale e-mail addresses and to all student-designated proxies. Students can grant others proxy access to the eBill-ePay system to view the monthly student account statements and make online payments. For more information, see http://sfas.yale.edu/proxy-access-and-authorization.

Bills for tuition, room, and board are available during the first week of July, due and payable by August 1 for the fall term; and during the first week of November, due and payable by December 1 for the spring term. The Office of Student Financial Services will impose late fees of $125 per month (up to a total of $375 per term) if any part of the term bill, less Yale-administered loans and scholarships that have been applied for on a timely basis, is not paid when due. Nonpayment of bills and failure to complete and submit financial aid application packages on a timely basis may result in the student’s involuntary withdrawal from the University.

No degrees will be conferred and no transcripts will be furnished until all bills due the University are paid in full. In addition, transcripts will not be furnished to any student or former student who is in default on the payment of a student loan.

The University may withhold registration and certain University privileges from students who have not paid their term bills or made satisfactory payment arrangements by the day of registration. To avoid delay at registration, students must ensure that payments reach Student Financial Services by the due dates.


There are a variety of options offered for making payments. Yale University eBill-ePay (http://student-accounts.yale.edu/ebep) is the preferred means for payment of your monthly student account bill. The ePayments are immediately posted to the student account. There is no charge to use this service. Bank information is password-protected and secure, and a printable confirmation receipt is available. On bill due dates, payments using the eBill-ePay system can be made up to 4 p.m. Eastern Time in order to avoid late fees.

For those who choose to pay the student account bill by check, a remittance advice and mailing instructions are included with the online bill available on the eBill-ePay website. All bills must be paid in U.S. currency. Checks must be payable in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank. Payments can also be made via wire transfer. Instructions for wire transfer are available on the eBill-ePay website.

Yale does not accept credit card payments.

A processing charge of $25 will be assessed for payments rejected for any reason by the bank on which they were drawn. In addition, the following penalties may apply if a payment is rejected:

  1. If the payment was for a term bill, late fees of $125 per month will be charged for the period the bill was unpaid, as noted above.
  2. If the payment was for a term bill to permit registration, the student’s registration may be revoked.
  3. If the payment was given to settle an unpaid balance in order to receive a diploma, the University may refer the account to an attorney for collection.

Yale Payment Plan

The Yale Payment Plan (YPP) is a payment service that allows students and their families to pay tuition, room, and board in ten equal monthly installments throughout the year based on individual family budget requirements. It is administered by the University’s Office of Student Financial Services. The cost to enroll in the YPP is $100 per contract. For enrollment deadlines and additional details concerning the Yale Payment Plan, see http://student-accounts.yale.edu/ypp.

Tuition Rebate and Refund Policy

Students who withdraw from the Institute for any reason are subject to the tuition rebate and refund policy of the relevant professional school in which they are jointly enrolled. See the respective bulletins of the schools for more information.

Leave of Absence

For the policies regarding leaves of absence, including the U.S. military leave readmissions policy, Institute students should consult the bulletin of the School (Music or Divinity) in which they are enrolled, as well as the director of the Institute.