Financial Aid Terminology

Charges that are billed from Yale. This includes tuition, room, and board, as well as the Yale Hospitalization and Specialty Care insurance premium (unless a student waives this coverage). Billed expenses are split evenly between two bills—one for each academic term. Also called Direct costs.

This financial aid form is required of all financial aid applicants and is more extensive than the FAFSA for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. We recommend gathering as much personal financial information as possible before beginning. The Profile must be completed on line on the College Board's website; Yale's CSS code is 3987. If applicable, families should complete all required CSS supplements as well.

For more information, see CSS Profile in the Forms section or visit the College Board's website.

Note: The CSS Profile has a submission fee. Fee waivers are available for eligible students to prevent this cost from being a barrier to financial aid.

The amount of gift aid a family needs to be able to afford one year of Yale. Yale financial aid packages meet this amount dollar for dollar with a Yale Scholarship and any available outside resources such as a Pell Grant. This represents the difference between Yale's Estimated Cost of Attendance and the Expected Family Contribution.

Entitlement grants are awarded by the federal government, state agencies, or other agencies not affiliated with Yale. The criteria for receiving entitlements are based on federal need, city or state of residence, or affiliation with an employer. An entitlement grant may have a merit component, but if the student would not receive the resource without need, the resource is generally considered an entitlement.

Examples of entitlement grants include:

Entitlement grants reduce Yale Scholarship dollar for dollar.

The total estimated cost of one academic year at Yale. This includes both direct costs and indirect costs. A family's Demonstrated Financial Need is calculated on the basis of this figure.

2024–2025 estimated Cost of Attendance for Yale Undergraduates
 Tuition and Fees
books/course material/supplies/equipment
personal expenses
Student Activities Fee


2023–2024 estimated cost of attendance for yale undergraduates
tuition and fees
books/course material/supplies/equipment
personal expenses
student activity fee

The total amount a family is asked to contribute toward a student's Yale education. It is used to cover both billed expenses and unbilled expenses. The EFC includes:

The Expected Family Contribution is not the amount that will appear on a Yale term bill. Rather, it is an estimate of the total Net Cost a family will pay to cover a student's estimated expenses for one year, including Unbilled Expenses.

Yale calculates the Expected Family Contribution through a holistic review process. As part of this process, we use a formula that considers the following:

  • parents' income
  • parents' assets (cash, savings, home equity, other real estate and investments)
  • family size
  • number of children attending college
  • student's expected income from summer and term-time jobs
  • student's assets (cash, savings, trusts, and other investments)

Yale also evaluates other circumstances, such as exceptional medical expenses, on a case-by-case basis.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is required for all financial aid applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Most of the required information can be gathered from your federal tax returns. The FAFSA can be completed on line on the U.S. Federal Student Aid website; Yale's FAFSA code is 001426.

For more information, see FAFSA in the Forms section or visit the Federal Student Aid website.

A designation made by the U.S. federal government when students with financial need complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). With the exception of a small number of service-related jobs, FWS status makes no difference for a student's eligibility for term-time employment at Yale. It does not affect a student's wages, hours, or chances of being employed.

Through the Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC), the College Board collects families' tax returns and other documents on behalf of participating colleges and programs, including Yale College. Tax returns sent to IDOC are used to verify a student's eligibility for financial aid.

  • All prospective and continuing students should submit tax returns to IDOC, which is the most efficient way for Student Financial Services to access and analyze information on tax returns.
  • Prior to using IDOC, you must complete the CSS Profile. Within a few business days of completing the Profile, you will receive an e-mail with an IDOC ID and instructions for uploading documents.
  • Canadian and international tax returns can now be indexed at IDOC for your Yale application.


When you submit your tax documents to IDOC, the confidentiality of your information is ensured just as if you had submitted the documents directly to Yale Student Financial Services. The College Board will electronically store your information in a secure environment, and the paper copies of your documents will not be retained. Your IDOC submission will be communicated only to Yale Student Financial Services.

Additional information

For more information on IDOC, or to view or add documents, visit the IDOC Web site.

To learn more about tax documents required for financial aid applications, see Tax Returns of Parents and Students in the Forms section.

A summer fellowship available to undergraduates receiving Yale financial aid. Students must apply for the award, which can be used for one summer of international study. For more information, visit the International Study Award (ISA) website.

Grants funded by private companies, employers, and nonprofit organizations to cover educational costs. Their award is based on criteria directly related to a student’s performance in academics, sports, music, or another field of special interest. Merit scholarships may reduce or replace the Student Share component of the Yale financial aid award. For more information, see Scholarships and Grants.

Yale does not award merit-based scholarships, but Yale students often qualify for merit awards from other organizations. Some resources for finding outside scholarships are listed under Sources for Outside Aid.

Loans available for a student's parent(s) to cover all or part of the Expected Family Contribution. Demonstrated Financial Need is not a prerequisite for these loans, but they do require a credit check. All loans charge interest and some charge fees. For more information, see Loan Options.

The amount a student's parent(s) or guardian(s) are expected to contribute toward the entire cost of attendance. The amount is dependent on a family's income and assets. Many lower-income families will have a Parent Share of $0.

Part of the Expected Family Contribution.

Yale believes that both parents have a responsibility to contribute toward their child's college education, even if they are divorced or separated. For this reason, we require financial information for both parents to generate a financial aid award. The Yale financial aid award letter lists one total Parent Share, which a student's parents may determine how best to meet.

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 n​ot guarantee that the noncustodial parent's requirements will be waived.

An entitlement grant funded by the federal government for U.S. citizens and permanent residents with financial need. For more information, see the Federal Student Aid website.

The QuestBridge National College Match is a college and scholarship application process that helps outstanding low-income high school seniors gain admission to, and scholarships and grant aid for, the nation's most selective colleges.

For more information, please visit the QuestBridge website.

An entitlement grant funded by the federal government for U.S. citizens and permanent residents with exceptional financial need. For more information, see the Federal Student Aid website.

A unique nine-digit number assigned to a student upon matriculation. The SID is used in place of a student's Social Security Number for indexing and accessing documents and information. It is also a student's account number.

The SID is located in the upper left corner above the date on the first page of the financial aid award letter. Whenever you contact Student Financial Services, please have the Student Identification Number available.

Loans available directly to students for covering the cost of education. All loans charge interest and some charge fees. Although loans are not required in Yale undergraduate financial aid packages, students may choose to cover some or all of the Student Share portion of their financial aid award with loans.

Undergraduates interested in student loan information should see Loan Options under Types of Aid. Graduate and professional students can find loan information under Loans for Graduate and Professional Students or on their school's financial aid website.

Yale’s estimate of what a student could earn from wages earned during the academic year and summer. For more information, including the amounts for different types of students, visit our page on understanding the Student Share or our Student Share FAQs.

Outside merit scholarships may be used to cover the Student Share. Students may also choose to take out loans to cover their Student Share For more information, see Scholarships and Grants and Loan Options under Types of Aid and Other Financial Resources.

Part of the Expected Family Contribution.

These are Yale's estimates for additional costs beyond tuition and room and board, including books, supplies, and personal expenses such as laundry, toiletries, and clothes. Travel expenses to and from New Haven are considered unbilled expenses and vary depending on a student's home address. Also called Indirect Costs.

A combination of resources that meets 100% of a family's Demonstrated Financial Need with gift aid. It includes the Yale Scholarship and any available outside resources, such as a Pell Grant. All Yale awards are based on financial need.

Student loans are not required as part of the Yale Financial Aid Award.

An option offered by Yale Health for meeting the University's requirement that students have medical insurance for hospitalization and specialty care. The plan provides coverage for all approved hospitalization and specialty care services, as well as for prescriptions.

Students are automatically enrolled in and will be billed for Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Coverage. If you already have valid and sufficient coverage, you may waive Yale Health specialty coverage by submitting an online waiver form by September 15 (full year and fall term) or by January 31 (spring term only). After the waiver has been processed and approved, the insurance premium charge will be removed from your bill.

Please note: If you are an enrolled student attending Yale at least half time and working toward a Yale degree, the University provides you with primary care services at the Yale Health Center at no charge, even if you waive Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Coverage.

For more information, visit the Yale Health website.

An optional ten-month payment plan available to all Yale students regardless of financial need. The payment plan divides Yale's direct costs into ten equal monthly payments. No interest is charged. A $100 fee is charged every year a family chooses to enroll. For more information, visit the Student Accounts YPP Web page.

Because financial aid awards may not be processed or finalized before the deadline to register for the Yale Payment Plan, students may register with YPP using an estimated award (new students) or financial aid figures from the previous year (continuing students).

Yale’s need-based grant aid for undergraduates, the Yale Scholarship, is a gift and thus never has to be repaid. If a student is awarded financial aid, the Yale Scholarship amount is included on the Financial Aid Award Letter.

The Yale Scholarship can vary from a few hundred dollars to over $70,000 per year; the average Yale need-based scholarship is over $50,000. For additional statistics, see Affordability. Area Yale Club awards, endowed scholarships, and other gift aid from Yale’s alumni and friends may be used as grants in place of some Yale Scholarship funds.

Yale University’s Student Financial Services electronic billing and payment system. YalePay allows students and student-designated proxies to view Student Account activity and make online payments. Students and their authorized proxies can also generate their own PDF account statements in YalePay to print or save. Yale does not mail paper bills or generate monthly statements. 

Access YalePay

The opportunity for juniors and second-term sophomores to enroll in courses outside the United States. Students with financial need who are approved for the Year or Term Abroad receive financial aid for their term(s) abroad based on their program expenses and their Expected Family Contribution.

Read more about financial aid for the Year or Term Abroad

The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) supplements the Post-9/11 GI Bill® for eligible service members and their dependents. Through this program, Yale funds a portion of its tuition and fees that exceed the maximum benefit of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and the VA matches those funds.

For more information on Yellow Ribbon eligibility and benefits, see Yellow Ribbon Program on the VA's Education and Training website.

For information on using military education benefits at Yale, see Military Benefits and Financial Aid.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website for Veterans Affairs.