Scholarships and other grants are often referred to as gift aid, because they do not need to be repaid. Such gift aid falls into one of three categories in the Yale financial aid award:
U.S. veterans and service members may also choose to use their military education benefits at Yale.
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 $50,000 per year; the average Yale need-based scholarship in 2015–2016 was $43,989. 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.
While Yale does not award merit-based scholarships, Yale students often qualify for merit awards from other organizations. Criteria for receiving merit scholarships are directly linked to a student’s performance in academics, sports, music, or another field of special interest. Potential sources for merit-based awards include:
- private companies
- nonprofit organizations
You can find resources to help you search for merit-based scholarships under Sources for Outside Aid.
We encourage you to pursue outside aid awards, which can significantly reduce or eliminate your Student Effort amount (see below). All outside aid that is paid directly to Yale is included on the term bill as anticipated credits, thus reducing the amount due.
How merit scholarships affect the financial aid award
For students on financial aid, outside merit scholarships may reduce the amount a student is expected to contribute (Student Effort).
Merit scholarships first reduce Student Employment.
⇒Please note: Some merit scholarships, such as the Gates Millennium Scholarship and NCAA Grant, may also cover the cost of Yale Health hospitalization/specialty care insurance. If allowed by the awarding agency, a merit scholarship may also cover the cost of a computer for incoming students whose outside aid exceeds the Student Effort. If you have questions about whether these circumstances apply to you, contact our office.
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:
- federal Pell Grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
- state grants
- employer tuition benefits
- Yale Club or Association Scholarships
Entitlement grants reduce Yale Scholarship dollar for dollar.