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What Does it Really Cost to Attend Yale University?

There’s no question that college is becoming a more and more expensive endeavor. In fact, by 2016 the average family was paying $56,840 for a four-year degree from a public institution or $104,400 for a four-year degree from a private university. It’s no surprise, then, that many families are becoming increasingly concerned with footing the bill.


One reason that planning for college expenses is exceptionally difficult is because they are highly variable. It’s nearly impossible to predict how much you’ll need to pay out of pocket, yet anticipating the cost of college is important. In order to save, budget, and plan for college, families should have some idea of what they will be paying. That’s why, in this series of posts, we analyze the costs of attending over 1,000 schools. If you’re interested in learning more about what you can expect to pay to attend Yale University, you won’t want to miss this post.  


Want to learn what Yale University will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering Yale University needs to know.

Why Are College Costs So Variable?


No two people are the same, and no two colleges are the same either. These facts combined make variations in the costs of college extremely broad. How much a family pays for college depends partly on the college, partly on the student, and partly on the student’s family.


The biggest factor in college costs is a college’s list price. This is also sometimes referred to as a sticker price and it is generally the all-in amount that a family would expect to pay before any aid was applied. Usually the list price includes tuition, room and board, and any fees that a student would be expected to cover, like a library or registration fee. Some schools that cater largely to commuters might not include room and board in their sticker price, so always check ahead to ascertain what’s included.


While the list price of a college is important, few students actually pay list price. It can be more helpful to look at net price when trying to gauge how much you’ll spend. Net price is the cost of college after aid is applied and it generally depends on three factors. These are federal, state, and local government aid, institutional financial aid, and merit scholarships. Aid and scholarships will vary a lot depending on each family and each student, so even net costs are variably, but they do give you a better idea of how much an average family pays at each school.


What Is the List Price at Yale?


In 2016-2017, the list price to attend Yale University was $68,950. Yale is a private institution, so the list price is the same for every student regardless of state of residence.


That being said, few students actually pay list price. Those who should expect to pay list price are students whose families have a combined annual income of $175k or higher.  


What Is the Average Net Cost of Attending Yale?


At Yale, the average net cost for students who receive financial aid is $56,428. Again, its status as a private university means that this figure is the same whether a students comes from in-state or out-of-state. For students who are not eligible for financial aid, the average net cost of attending Yale is $68,950, or the sticker price.


What is the Cost Based on Income of Attending Yale University?


The amount of financial aid that a family receives is dependent on their income. For this reason, breaking down net costs even further to reflect different income levels can be very insightful.


The breakdown of net cost at Yale depending on income level is as follows:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $5,171
$30,001-$48,000 $7,929
$48,001-$75,000 $6,551*
$75,001-$110,000 $16,229
$110,000+ $36,367

*Yale actually offers more aid on average to students in the $48-75k range than in the $30-48K range.

How Much Merit Aid is Awarded at Yale?


Yale is an Ivy League school. This means that it receives a highly competitive pool of applicants and that those who are admitted are all exceptional in some way. Getting into Yale isn’t easy, but as is the case at most other highly selective schools, merit aid is not awarded

How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend Yale?


Yale is a no-loan school, meaning no student (or no student under a certain income level) is routinely expected to take out student loans, government or private, in order to help pay for their education.


Student Outcomes


A college degree represents opportunity. Generally, people who have a college degree have a much higher earning potential than those who do not, so the initial high cost of college can be thought of as a longterm investment in the future. In this way, looking at student outcomes can give you an idea of what kind of return you can expect from your investment.


At Yale, 96% of students graduate within six years of starting a degree, and ten years after graduation, their average salary is $83,200.


Local Area Cost Considerations


While tuition, fees, and room and board are the most significant costs associated with going to college, they are not the only ones. Groceries, transportation, and off campus housing costs can all add up also, so looking at local area cost of living can be an important consideration.


Yale is located in New Haven, CT. Connecticut generally has a higher cost of living than many places due to its location as a NYC suburb. New Haven, though, is a more affordable area. The cost of living index in New Haven is 109.7, which makes it just about 10% above the national average.


Healthcare and transportation costs drive up the cost of living in New Haven, but housing is generally affordable and falls 13% below the national average. Should a student choose to live off campus, he or she could expect to spend just over $1000/month for a studio apartment or around $1800/month for a three bedroom apartment.


The job market in New Haven isn’t great. The unemployment rate of 5.2% is well above the national average of 3.9%, and job growth has been negative in recent years. Projected growth is also below the national average. The minimum wage in Connecticut is currently $10.10/hr, but it is slated to increase to $15/hr over the next five years. The median hourly wage in Connecticut is $22.05.


Other Ways to Pay for College


Federal, state, and institutional aid or loans are just two of the options to help cover the expense of a college education. Many students are also able to apply for scholarships to help defray these costs.


One of the most widely recognized scholarship programs in the country is the National Merit Scholarship Program. It is through this program that high school juniors who take the PSAT are able to qualify for monetary awards based on their scores. Other students are also recognized under the umbrella of this program through awards sponsored by the National Hispanic Recognition Program or specific corporations or individual colleges. You can find more information about the program in our post How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.


Scholarships exist in many shapes and sizes. Some cast a national net and recognize only the most successful students within specific fields and others exist on a smaller scale, recognizing local students or those who fit into a unique niche. You can learn more about some scholarship possibilities in these CollegeVine posts:


15 College Scholarships for High School Juniors

15 College Scholarship Resources for High School Students

A Guide to STEM Scholarships

Scholarships and Competitions for students in the Performing Arts


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.