Affording YDS

Grant Aid

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. YDS has no application form specifically for merit scholarships; all students applying for admission to the MDIV and MAR programs are considered for merit awards.

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. In 2023–2024, all merit awards cover 100% of tuition costs and provide an additional $8,000–$12,000 annual scholarship amount for other educational and living expenses.

Students are notified in their admission letter if the Admissions Committee has selected them as merit scholars. Students who are offered merit awards must complete a full financial aid application to receive the scholarship.

Receipt of merit scholarships requires full-time enrollment (9 credits or more per semester). The additional scholarship amount for educational and living expenses is limited to six semesters for MDIV students and four semesters 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. For more information on satisfactory academic progress, see the Divinity School Bulletin.

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.

YDS Need-Based Scholarships

Yale Divinity School awards need-based scholarships with a commitment toward funding students from a wide variety of backgrounds.

All YDS degree students with demonstrated financial need receive a YDS scholarship that covers 100% of tuition costs. In 2023–2024, 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 $4,000 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: six semesters for incoming MDIV students and four semesters for incoming MAR students. Continuing students with questions about their remaining eligibility should contact the YDS financial aid office.

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.

Scholarships are renewable annually, provided the student maintains satisfactory academic progress and completes a YDS financial aid application each year. For more information on satisfactory academic progress, see the Divinity School Bulletin.

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.

Grant Aid from Other Sources

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.

General Resources

Yale University’s financial aid website includes:

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.

YDS Dining Benefits

All YDS degree students, regardless of financial aid status, 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.

Other Financial Options

Campus Employment

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. Matriculated students can find job listings, applications, and other resources 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.

Education Loans

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 apply for federal loans using the YDS Federal Student Loan form.

Students may also choose to apply for “alternative” or “private” loans offered by private lenders such as banks and credit unions. For alternative/private loans, students apply directly to lenders. Those lenders, in turn, contact Yale, and the two parties work together to issue the loan funds through the university.

For more information on U.S. federal and private loans available to graduate and professional students, please visit the University’s financial aid website.

Yale Payment Plan

The Yale Payment Plan (YPP) spreads payment of billed expenses out over a period of months without interest charges. Enrollment in YPP is optional and begins in May; the cost is $50 per semester. For more information, visit the Student Accounts website.

The Yale Payment Plan is not recommended for students receiving a YDS scholarship that covers their Yale-billed expenses or for students living in on-campus Yale apartments (with rent charged monthly). Students living in Yale dormitories (with rent charged by semester), STM and part-time students who do not waive Yale Health, and students who do not receive YDS aid may consider YPP a helpful option for managing their Yale term bills.

Budgeting

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.

Resources

Contact

Office of Financial Aid

(203) 432-5026
(203) 432-7475
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