Yale Financial Aid Reform 2007

  • Author:
  • Send To:
    President Levin and the Yale Corporation
  • Sponsored By:
    Group of concerned Yale students
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As students and members of the Yale community, we call on Yale to make major changes to its financial aid policies to ease the burden on students and their families, and to commit to a position of leadership among peer institutions in promoting economic diversity and equality among students.

Yale needs to reduce the burden on low and middle-income families, at a minimum matching the changes made by Harvard in the past few years, including:

1. Adopting a policy similar to Harvard's "Zero to 10 percent rule," meaning:

A. Creating a standard family contribution of 10\% of income for families whose incomes are
between $180,000 and $120,000 and who have "assets typical for these income levels."

B. Gradually decreasing the family contribution from 10\% to 0\% of income for families whose
incomes are between $120,000 and $60,000 a year.

2. Eliminating the parent contribution for families that make under $60,000 a year.

3. Not considering home equity when calculating families' ability to pay for Yale.

Yale needs to reduce the burden on students and enable financial aid students to participate fully in the opportunities and experiences of a Yale education, at a minimum matching the policies for student contribution which Princeton and Harvard have adopted, including:

1. Eliminating the expectation that students should take out loans to meet their student

2. Halving the student contribution so that students can cover it by working no more than 10 hours
a week.

3. Reinstating a full summer contribution waiver for up to 2 summers, that is applicable to a broad
range of activities, such as unpaid internships, community service, research in the U.S. or
abroad, attending the Yale summer session, or study abroad.

4. Allowing students' financial aid to fully transfer to the Yale summer session.

5. Allowing student earnings from work during high school and between high school and college to
count towards the student contribution.

6. Allowing outside scholarships over the amount of the student contribution to be applied to
decrease the family contribution.

7. Taking taxes on international student grants into account on the billing statement.

Yale needs to provide the opportunity for meaningful work for all financial aid students by:

1. Supplementing federal work study so that all students on financial aid can take any work-study
job (including Reading Corps, Math Tutors, and Dwight Hall community service jobs) regardless
of whether they qualify for US federal work-study.

2. Expanding the number of community service work-study jobs.

Yale needs to make the financial aid process more accessible, transparent, and fair for students by:

1. Creating a well-publicized appeals process with a separate body made up of students, faculty,
and administrators which would have the power to reconsider aid packages, in order to address
individual circumstances.

2. Requiring financial aid officers to meet with students, at the students' request, to explain their
packages and answer questions about any changes.

3. Creating a well-publicized and accessible emergency fund.

4. Publishing more information regarding the economic makeup of Yale College students.

5. Educating freshman counselors on issues of economic diversity and financial aid.