YDS to cover full tuition cost for aided students

January 14, 2022
Yale Divinity School Dean Greg Sterling announced today that fundraising success and endowment performance now make it possible for YDS to meet the full tuition need of all aided students, beginning next year.

Full transcript:

There are moments in life that we need to mark. Today is one of those moments for Yale Divinity School. In 2015, we collectively established a strategic plan that made our first priority financial assistance for students. More specifically, we said that we wanted to provide full tuition for all students with demonstrated need by 2022. I am thrilled—and I mean thrilled—to inform you that we have reached this goal. When we send offer letters out to accepted students this spring, they will include full tuition scholarships for everyone who has demonstrated need. But the offers will include more: we will roll the comprehensive fee and the board fee into tuition and cover them as well. These two fees total an additional seventeen hundred seventy dollars. We are still not through. We will offer small stipends to all. This new policy will include not only new, but returning students.

There is yet one additional wrinkle. In addition to the ten scholarships for social justice that I announced in late December, we are establishing 10 new ministerial leadership scholarships. These will include full tuition—which now includes the comprehensive and board fees—plus a $6,000 stipend to assist with expenses. We are taking this step to encourage those interested in ministerial careers to make the commitment that it takes to enter a lifetime of service to churches.

How is all of this possible? Because of our donors. I want to thank every donor who has given to the Annual Fund or to an endowed scholarship. This has not happened overnight. My predecessor, Harry Attridge, made financial aid a priority; some of you have given for many years. Over the last ten years we have raised forty million dollars. for student scholarships. Andover Newton Seminary and Berkeley Divinity School have assisted and made noteworthy contributions. I hope that all feel as great as I do about what we have accomplished together. I would be remiss if we did not add that we have been the beneficiaries of the Yale endowment. I want to thank my friend of blessed memory, David Swenson, for all that he and his team did to make this possible.

We are not done yet. Our goal was to relieve student indebtedness. The single greatest source of student debt is living expenses. We need you to continue to support our efforts as we raise funds to help offset those expenses. Our Annual Fund will continue to go directly to students and will remain an essential component of our budget for financial aid. Our small stipends next year are but a step; we need to grow these appreciably through new funds. We will communicate more about these plans in time.

But now, it is time to celebrate. To everyone who has given, I express my deepest appreciation. We did it! We did what many considered impossible just a few years ago! I wish that I could look each of you in the eye and shake your hand. Please know that this thank you comes from the bottom of my heart. Raise a glass at your dinner table tonight. I will in your honor.

January 14, 2022