In the wake of the University's announcement of a larger financial aid package effective for freshmen next fall, Yale University announced last week that it too will expand its financial aid initiatives. This makes Yale the second Ivy League school in the past month to make its $30,000-per-year education more accessible to lower-income families.
"It's a good thing that at least one other school changed its policy and hopefully others will follow, too," said Vice President of Finance and Administration Dick Spies GS '72.
Even with Yale's recent increase, Princeton will dedicate more money to financial aid. By 2002 Yale plans to have added $3 million to its financial aid while Princeton's will have added about $6 million.
The Yale Daily News reported last week that "dollar for dollar, Yale will eventually top Princeton's latest financial aid plan by a projected $9 million."
YDN editors could not be reached for comment and Yale officials would not support such speculation.
Princeton v. Yale
Princeton's new financial policy begins with the Class of 2002, while Yale's begins next year for all undergraduates.
"Ours is just so much more expensive so we have to do it one year at a time," Provost Jeremiah Ostriker said.
Spies said another primary difference between Yale and Princeton's plans is that the New Haven university will not turn loans into grants for families earning less than $40,000 a year. In Princeton's new plan loans will turn into grants for those families.
Yale's expanded financial package patches up three financial aid sore spots: family assets, foreign student aid and students' summer contributions.
Yale's first initiative will allow families $150 worth of assets when creating a student's aid package.
For its second initiative, Yale will increase the international student aid budget by 50 percent, enlarging it to $450,000.
Its third initiative introduces a plan to give students a one summer break from the required student contribution, most likely to occur during the upperclass years. This way, a Yale student on financial aid can hold a public service job or an internship that does not pay well.
About 40 percent of the Yale student body is on some form of financial aid, according to the university's financial aid office.
Yale officials contend their new initiatives are in no way a response to Princeton's. Under scrutiny for a couple years from trustees and the administration, the Yale financial aid policy changed because they found students entrenched in overdue bills.
"It's not like Princeton made an announcement and we decided to do something about it," said B.J. Cooper, a Yale spokesman.
In addition to Yale's new four-part financial initiative – that once instated like Princeton will affect the entire student body – Yale President Richard Levin also announced that Yale's tuition increase of 2.9 percent will be the lowest in the Ivy League in two decades.
Even with its comparably low increase, however, Yale's tuition for the 1998-99 academic year will still hover above Princeton's by a few hundred dollars. Yale's 1998-99 academic year price tag will be $30,830. Ostriker said Princeton's tuition will be approximately $30,500.