Expenses and Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

Full-tuition scholarships are available to ISM students to support fulfillment of their degree requirements. The amount is based on tuition established by the two affiliated schools. In 2023–2024, tuition for full-time students enrolled at the School of Music and the Institute will be $38,000. The total cost of attendance for ISM music students, including room and board, is estimated at $63,722. Tuition for full-time students enrolled at the Divinity School and the Institute will be $29,386. The total cost of attendance for full-time ISM divinity students, including room and board, is estimated at $51,618. The tuition charge for students enrolled part time at the Divinity School is $14,693, and ISM scholarships will be adjusted accordingly. 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

All ISM students are eligible for full-tuition scholarships, plus annual merit awards ranging from $6,000–$12,000. Students who remain in good academic standing are eligible for renewed awards in subsequent years. The maximum tuition support an ISM student can receive from the Institute of Sacred Music is 50 percent of the total tuition costs for their degree. In certain circumstances, the Institute will provide limited financial support to ISM students electing the YDS Summer Intern program. The Music School or Divinity School provide the additional 50 percent support. Music School students in the ISM must enroll full time in consecutive years. Divinity School students must enroll either half time (6 credits) or full time (12 credits). They are not permitted to enroll one-quarter or three-quarters time.

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.

The ISM does not support financial aid for students enrolled in other professional schools at Yale. For joint-degree students in the ISM, financial aid is applied only in the terms the student is enrolled in either YSM or YDS.

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 Dominique de 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, Colloquium presentation expenses, and collaborative projects. Interested students should first consult the ISM Director’s Office to ascertain the specific grants for which they are eligible. All requests must be made in advance, using the appropriate ISM Student Grant Request form, and approved by the director and administrator of the Institute.

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 Billing

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

The Student Account is a record of all the direct charges for a student’s Yale education such as tuition, room, board, fees, and other academically related items assessed by offices throughout the University. It is also a record of all payments, financial aid, and other credits applied toward these charges.

Students and student-designated proxies can view all activity posted to their Student Account in real time through the University’s online billing and payment system, YalePay (https://student-accounts.yale.edu/yalepay). At the beginning of each month, email reminders to log in to YalePay to review the Student Account activity are sent to all students at their official Yale email address and to all student-designated YalePay proxies. Payment is due by 4 p.m. Eastern Time on the last day of the month.

Yale does not mail paper bills or generate monthly statements. Students and their authorized proxies can generate their own account statements in YalePay in pdf form to print or save. The statements can be generated by term or for a date range and can be submitted to employers, 401K plans, 529/College Savings Plans, scholarship agencies, or other organizations for documentation of the charges.

Students can grant others proxy access to YalePay to view student account activity, set up payment plans, and make online payments. For more information, see Proxy Access and Authorization (https://student-accounts.yale.edu/understanding-your-bill/your-student-account).

The Office of Student Accounts 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. Students who have not paid their student account term charges by the due date will also be placed on Financial Hold. The hold will remain until the term charges have been paid in full. While on Financial Hold, the University will not fulfill requests for transcripts or provide diplomas and reserves the right to withhold registration or withdraw the student for financial reasons.

Payment Options

There are a variety of options offered for making payments toward a student’s Student Account. Please note:

  • All bills must be paid in U.S. currency.
  • Yale does not accept credit or debit cards for Student Account payments.
  • Payments made to a Student Account in excess of the balance due (net of pending financial aid credits) are not allowed on the Student Account. Yale reserves the right to return any overpayments.

Online Payments through YalePay

Yale’s recommended method of payment is online through YalePay (https://student-accounts.yale.edu/yalepay). Online payments are easy and convenient and can be made by anyone with a U.S. checking or savings account. There is no charge to use this service. Bank information is password-protected and secure, and there is a printable confirmation receipt. Payments are immediately posted to the Student Account, which allows students to make payments at any time up to 4 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date of the bill, from any location, and avoid late fees.

For those who choose to pay by check, a remittance advice and mailing instructions are available on YalePay. Checks should be made payable to Yale University, in U.S. dollars, and drawn on a U.S. bank. To avoid late fees, please allow for adequate mailing time to ensure that payment is received by 4 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date.

Cash and check payments are also accepted at the Office of Student Accounts, located at 246 Church Street and open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Yale University partners with Flywire, a leading provider of international payment solutions, to provide a fast and secure way to make international payments to a Student Account within YalePay. Students and authorized proxies can initiate international payments from the Make Payment tab in YalePay by selecting “International Payment via Flywire” as the payment method, and then selecting the country from which payment will be made to see available payment methods. International payment via Flywire allows students and authorized proxies to save on bank fees and exchange rates, track the payment online from start to finish, and have access to 24/7 multilingual customer support. For more information on making international payments via Flywire, see International Payments Made Easy at https://student-accounts.yale.edu/yalepay.

A processing charge of $25 will be assessed for payments rejected for any reason by the bank on which they were drawn. In addition, for every returned ACH payment due to insufficient funds made through YalePay, Flywire will charge a penalty fee of $30 per occurrence. Furthermore, 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

A Yale Payment Plan provides parents and students with the option to pay education expenses monthly. It is designed to relieve the pressure of lump-sum payments by allowing families to spread payments over a period of months without incurring any interest charges. Participation is optional and elected on a term basis. The cost to sign up is $50 per term.

Depending on the date of enrollment, students may be eligible for up to five installments for the fall and spring terms. Payment Plan installments will be automatically deducted on the 5th of each month from the bank account specified when enrolling in the plan. For enrollment deadlines and additional details concerning the Yale Payment Plan, see https://student-accounts.yale.edu/ypp.

Bill Payment and Pending Military Benefits

Yale will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other facilities, or the requirement that a student borrow additional funds, on any student because of the student’s inability to meet their financial obligations to the institution, when the delay is due to the delayed disbursement of funding from VA under chapter 31 or 33.

Yale will permit a student to attend or participate in their course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the student provides to Yale a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under chapter 31 or 33 and ending on the earlier of the following dates: (1) the date on which payment from VA is made to Yale; (2) ninety days after the date Yale certifies tuition and fees following the receipt of the certificate of eligibility.

Interruption or Temporary Suspension of University Services or Programs

Certain events that are beyond the University’s control may cause or require the interruption or temporary suspension of some or all services and programs customarily furnished by the University. These events include, but are not limited to, epidemics or other public health emergencies; storms, floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters; war, terrorism, rioting, or other acts of violence; loss of power, water, or other utility services; and strikes, work stoppages, or job actions. In the face of such events, the University may, at its sole discretion, provide substitute services and programs, suspend services and programs, or issue appropriate refunds. Such decisions shall be made at the sole discretion of the University.

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.