YDS Merit Scholarships
Yale Divinity School awards merit scholarships to selected Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Religion degree applicants each year. Merit awards are determined by the Admissions Committee based on students’ Admissions applications only. There are no separate application forms for merit-based scholarships; all students applying for admission to the MDIV and MAR programs are considered for merit awards. Students are notified in their admission letter if the committee has selected them as merit scholars.
YDS merit scholarships are awarded based on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) applicants’ talents and achievements, exceptional academic excellence, evidence of commitment to social justice work, demonstrated leadership ability, and promise for ministerial leadership and service to churches. All merit awards cover 100% of tuition costs and provide an additional $6,000-$10,000 annual scholarship amount for other educational and living expenses.
Receipt of merit scholarships requires full-time enrollment (9 credits or more per term). The additional scholarship amount for educational and living expenses is limited to six terms for MDIV students and four terms for MAR students. Changes in a student’s enrollment status or degree may result in a change to the scholarship amount or may render a student ineligible for the merit award. Scholarships are renewable annually, provided the student maintains satisfactory academic progress and completes a YDS financial aid application each year.
International students should be aware that scholarships from Yale Divinity School may have U.S. tax implications as determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States. For more information, please see our webpage International Students and U.S. Taxes.
Yale Divinity School awards need-based scholarships with a commitment toward funding students from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Beginning in 2022–2023, all YDS degree students with demonstrated financial need will receive a YDS scholarship that covers 100% of tuition costs. All full-time Master of Divinity (MDIV) and Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) degree students with demonstrated financial need will also receive an additional $3,000 annual scholarship amount for other educational and living expenses.
The additional scholarship amount for educational and living expenses is offered for a limited number of semesters based on a student’s degree program; students’ individual financial aid award notices will specify semesters of eligibility.
Students enrolled part time (fewer than 9 credits per semester) and students in the traditional Master of Sacred Theology (STM) degree program are eligible for full tuition scholarships only; they are not eligible for the additional scholarship for educational and living expenses. Nondegree students and students in the STM for Ministry Professionals program are not eligible for YDS financial aid.
International students are eligible for the same level of YDS scholarship aid as U.S. citizens are. They should be aware that scholarships from Yale Divinity School may have U.S. tax implications as determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States. For more information, please see our webpage International Students and U.S. Taxes.
Students are encouraged to seek outside scholarships and grants to supplement their financial aid awards from YDS. Such funding may include support from students’ home churches, dioceses, or local foundations, as well as from government or private organizations.
Outside awards are used first to reduce a student’s unmet need and/or loans. However, if the total amount of a student’s YDS and non–YDS grants exceeds the Cost of Attendance, the YDS scholarship may be reduced to eliminate the excess.
Resources listed below can assist with a search for outside scholarships.
Yale University’s financial aid website includes:
- Lists of government and private sites for scholarship searches. Although other information on the webpage is intended for undergraduates, the scholarship search links are useful for graduate students, too.
- Information about U.S. military benefits and graduate financial aid.
Scholarships for Episcopal Students
The Berkeley Divinity School’s financial aid website offers a curated list of outside scholarships, many of which are specific to Episcopal students.
Beginning in 2022–2023 all YDS degree students, regardless of financial aid status, will receive free dining credits of up to $1,250 per year for use in the Divinity School Refectory. There are no cash equivalents or reimbursements for the free dining credits, and the credits cannot be used at other dining locations on campus.
The YDS Refectory offers breakfast and lunch options Monday through Friday and provides an inviting place for members of the YDS community to eat, talk, and spend time together. For more information on the Refectory, visit the Yale Hospitality website.
Degree students who want a declining balance to use at other Yale Dining locations on campus may purchase Eli Bucks on the Yale Hospitality website. Students who have used all of their free dining credits may use purchased Eli Bucks at the YDS Refectory as well. Nondegree students may also purchase Eli Bucks.
Many students use earnings from a campus job to help with their expenses. Wages from campus jobs are paid directly to the student each week. Job listings, applications, and other resources can be found on the Student Employment website.
International students with F-1 visa status are eligible for most jobs listed through Yale’s Student Employment Office. For more information, visit the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) website.
Students may use a Yale Payment Plan (YPP) to spread payment of tuition and other billed expenses out over a period of months without incurring interest charges. Enrollment in YPP is optional and begins in May; the cost is $50 per term. For more information, visit the Student Accounts website.
Some students choose to borrow education loans for costs not covered by their scholarship awards or other resources. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who complete the FAFSA and enroll at least half time at YDS (6 credits or more per semester) are eligible for federal education loans. Students may also choose to apply for “alternative” or “private” loans offered by private lenders such as banks and credit unions. For more information on loans available to graduate and professional students, please visit the University’s financial aid website.
Most YDS students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are offered a federal Direct unsubsidized student loan as part of their financial aid. Eligible students may request this loan by indicating an amount on the signed financial aid letter they submit to accept their financial aid award each year.
Creating a budget can help students understand what financial resources they have and determine what others they will need at YDS. A budget can also help students decide whether to borrow and, if they borrow, the amount of loan funds to request.