Yale College term bill raised by nearly 4 percent; cracks 80k

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By Jordan Fitzgerald
MAR 10, 2022

Tim Tai, Staff Photographer

The University will raise the Yale College term bill from $77,750 to $80,700, a four percent hike for the third time in the last three years.

The Feb. 21 update marks a 3.8 percent increase to the bill from last year. The new fee breaks down to $62,250 for tuition and $18,450 for on-campus room and board. The term bill increase is in line with that of the last two years, in which the bill swelled from $74,900 to $77,750 in April 2021 and from $72,100 to $74,900 in February 2020.

“Yale’s financial aid program is designed to make a Yale education affordable for all students by providing equitable support that meets every family’s financial need” Scott Wallace-Juedes, director of undergraduate financial aid, told the News regarding the tuition increase.

John Dysart, president of the Dysart Group and an enrollment management and finance expert, told the News that he suspects Yale continues to increase the term bill as a means to increase revenue. He explained that inflation, the pandemic and rising costs — particularly those related to faculty and staff — could have motivated the change.

According to Wallace-Juedes, Yale’s board of trustees sets the cost of tuition, on-campus housing and the dining plan for undergraduates each February. Wallace-Juedes said that this cost of attendance is used to calculate financial aid. Financial need — and therefore aid packages — grow relative to cost of attendance, so students receiving financial support from Yale will be less affected than those paying full price.

Wallace-Juedes said financial aid “is determined relative to the Estimated Cost of Attendance,” so increases in financial aid offers often follow increases to the term bill, as long as there is no change in a family’s financial situation.

Santiago Calderon ’25 said he was “incensed” when he first heard that Yale was raising tuition. Calderon, who is on financial aid, was worried that his parents would have to sacrifice more to afford his Yale education. However, his friends then explained to him that his financial aid package would rise proportionally to the tuition spike.

“They explained to me that the tuition increase would increase the needs of families, which would then increase the financial aid that Yale gives us,” Calderon wrote in an email to the News.

He added, however, that he remains unsure of why the term bill increased.

Yale meets 100 percent of demonstrated student financial need. Of the undergraduate population, 54 percent receive need-based grants from Yale. The remaining 46 percent of Yale College students paying for their full term bill will bear the brunt of the spike.

Dysart explained that most people do not understand “the extraordinary resources” necessary to ensure middle income and low-income students can obtain post-secondary education — resources that often only high-endowment colleges can afford.

“If I charge $1,000 for tuition but a student needs $500 to attend, I am simply discounting the tuition charge to provide access so I’m only netting $500 for the enrollment,” Dysart said about low-endowment colleges. “A large endowment would give me the opportunity to cover the $500 ‘scholarship’ with cash so I would still net the whole $1,000 I charged in tuition.”

Universities like Yale, whose endowment has surpassed $40 billion, can more easily secure funding and be more generous with financial aid.

Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan said his office is not beholden to a predetermined budget and instead tries to meet the needs of every Yale student.

“I am proud that Yale has greatly expanded our financial aid policies over the past decade, further demonstrating our commitment to affordability,” said Quinlan. “I am grateful to the Yale leaders who have devoted significant financial resources to helping all students thrive.”

Still, Dysart noted that many colleges and universities froze or even lowered student costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools like Princeton UniversityGeorgetown University and Williams College all lowered tuition or offered student discounts for the 2020-21 school year. Yale raised tuition instead.

Nevertheless, the three schools have since raised their prices once again. Princeton will charge $57,690 for tuition, Georgetown will charge $61,872 and Williams will charge $61,450.

Yale is currently being sued for considering financial need in admissions.

Author: Jordan Fitzgerald

Jordan Fitzgerald edits for WKND and writes about admissions, financial aid & alumni. She is a junior in Trumbull College majoring in American history. 

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