Yale Law School's financial aid policies and programs are designed to make it possible for students to pursue their legal education at Yale regardless of their financial circumstances. Using a combination of loans and scholarship grants, the Law School makes every effort to provide students with the difference between their resources and the cost of attending Yale.
Budget and Cost of Attendance
Yale Law School, as required by federal rules, does not have a separate, fixed budget for students (married or single) with dependent children. The standard student budget is adjusted up or down in consideration of a working spouse’s income (less certain allowances) as well as additional expenses including a basic living allowance (expenses such as food, housing, utilities etc.), allowance for family health insurance, and, for single parents and students with a working partner, the Law School provides additional allowances for reasonable childcare expenses based on a survey of childcare costs in the New Haven area.
For students with dependent children, an allowance of $8,000 for each child is added to the applicable budget.
If the student has childcare expenses, the entire cost can be added to the student’s budget for additional loan borrowing as long as the student provides appropriate documentation. The amount a student borrows for childcare expenses is COAP eligible, however COAP caps the allowance at $17,500 in the COAP award calculation.
- For example, if the childcare expense totals $21,500 for the 9 month academic year, the student can borrow $21,500 in additional loan. When the student applies for COAP, the COAP award will be based on the $17,500 cap that COAP allows for childcare expenses.
Health Care Coverage
Mandatory fees include membership in the Yale Health Plan (YHP), a comprehensive pre-paid group practice plan. In addition, students who are not enrolled in a hospitalization plan must obtain hospitalization coverage either through the University or another source. For 2023-2024, Yale Health Plan membership fees are set at $2,894 for single students, $10,764 for student plus spouse, $9,686 for student plus child/children, and $18,060 for family coverage. The cost of single student coverage is automatically added to the basic budget for all students. If a student obtains outside insurance and waives this coverage, this expense will be removed from the student’s bill. If a student has dependents and will be enrolling in the two-person or family coverage plan, a Budget Revision form (with documentation of enrollment) must be completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office for a budget adjustment (available at our website in the ‘Forms’ section for download). Additional financial aid for this expense is available in the form of a student loan and is not COAP eligible.
Students who are married, or expect to be married at any point prior to September 1 of the calendar year, must report spousal (or to be spouse) income and assets. YLS will use the information provided to access the spousal (or to be spouse) contribution as it is expected that the resources of the spouse (or to be spouse) will be available to the student to help meet the students cost of attendance.
Spousal contributions are calculated based on the following parameters:
- Spouse is full time enrolled student (including a fellow YLS student): no contribution assessed
- Spouse is documented unemployed: no contribution assessed
- Spouse is a stay-at-home parent due to childcare responsibilities: no contribution assessed (a $6,000 living allowance for spouse is also added to the Cost of Attendance in this circumstance)
- Spouse is gainfully employed: a contribution based on the gross income according to the schedule below:
Spousal Contribution Table
$50,000 to $65,000
15% of income
$65,000 to $80,000
$9,750 plus 30% of income over $65,000
$14,250 plus 60% of income over $80,000
It is the student's responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office of any changes to the spouse's employment status during the academic year at which time an aid award adjustment may be made. The Financial Aid Office will also request documentation to verify the spouse's status as unemployed, full time student or primary childcare provider.
Spousal assets (whether jointly held or in separate accounts) are to be reported on the financial aid application. The financial aid calculation will assume that these assets are available and will access them based on our standard policy regarding treatment of assets.
Students may opt to borrow additional loan funds to compensate for the calculated spouse contribution up to their Cost-of-Attendance. However, any additional borrowing for this purpose will not be eligible for the COAP program.
Examples of Spousal Contribution
Below are a few examples of the impact a spouse and/or dependents could have on both the student’s budget, contribution, and aid awarded. Please note that the budget is based on a 9-month academic-year budget.
- Student Married, with no children and spouse...
- is a full-time student = No contribution assessed and no impact to student budget.
- is documented unemployed = No contribution assessed and no impact to student budget.
- is gainfully employed = a contribution based on the Spousal Contribution Table.
- Student Married with children and spouse...
- is gainfully employed = a contribution based on the Spousal Contribution Table and the budget is increased by $8,000 for each child.
- is a stay-at-home parent due to childcare responsibilities = No contribution assessed for the spouse. The budget is increased by $6,000 for a living allowance for the spouse and also increased by $8,000 for each child.
- Student is a single parent...
- Budget is increased by $8,000 for each child.
Whether you are arriving with spouse and/or children or planning to marry or have children during your time at YLS, it is important to contact the Financial Aid Office at (203) 432-1688 or email@example.com to discuss your personal circumstances as they relate to grant, loan, and COAP eligibility.