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Research Funding, Extended Study and Financial Aid

For those of you considering a 5th year or pursuing research funding in any year of your program, we encourage you to read through the impact these funds may have on your financial aid. Research funding is not considered extra money. Research money is intended for living expenses, which are already accounted for in the standard financial aid budget. Your total aid from all sources cannot exceed the estimated expenses on your financial aid letter, so we are required to take it into account when determining your eligibility for aid.

Any research funding first replaces loans and/or family contribution, just like an outside scholarship. Yale Scholarship will be reduced ONLY if research money exceeds your loans AND combined student/parent (family) contribution. You are still considered a full-time student and do not go into loan repayment. The University Registrar reports your enrollment to loan servicers just like any other year. Each student’s financial situation is unique, so if you still have questions after reviewing the information below, we encourage you to contact us regarding your specific financial aid package.

Fifth Year Tuition Payment Options

Yale allows for more than one option when paying your tuition for the 5th or Research year. How you pay your tuition affects the type of aid for which you can be considered during your final two years of enrollment.

You can only be considered for scholarship if you are being charged tuition. Students who are charged the continuing enrollment fee can only apply for loans. Once you decide how you’d like to pay your tuition, you must inform Student Affairs when you apply for extended study.

Research year (5) Final Year (4) Pros Cons
Option 1 Pay full tuition Pay full continuing registration fee Save tuition % increase from years 4 to 5 Only eligible to apply for loans 4th year
May qualify for tax benefit in research year Not eligible for YSM scholarship 4th year
Option 2 Pay ½ tuition + ½ continuing registration fee Pay ½ tuition + ½ continuing registration fee Spread the tuition costs over 2 years Ultimately, pay more in tuition due to increase from research year to 4th year
May qualify for tax benefits Students with higher family contributions may not qualify for scholarship either year due to lower costs when splitting tuition
Can be considered for need based scholarship both years

Fully Funded Research

For a fully funded research year, the funds are usually paid on July 1. Make sure to confirm with the Office of Student Research for your particular source of funding. If you do not choose to apply for financial aid for the research year, your research money may need to last from July 1, 2024 – September 1, 2025.

You may benefit from splitting tuition if the student or the parent is receiving a tax deduction, as you may then qualify for the deduction in two years vs. one year. If you do apply for financial aid when splitting tuition, you may be eligible for institutional funding for both 4th and 5th chronological years.

Short Term Research

Short-term research funding is intended to cover living expenses while doing research. Since living expenses are included in the standard financial aid budget, we are required to count the money as a resource.

Just as with outside scholarships and fully funded research grants, short-term funding first replaces your loans and/or family contribution. Yale need-based scholarship is only reduced if your research funding exceeds both.

The Office of Student Research awards short-term funding four times a year: September, December, February, and May. If you apply for multiple rounds of funding, this can result in multiple revisions of your financial aid award, so you should plan and budget accordingly. Before accepting a refund, be sure to confirm whether your financial aid award has taken your research funding into account.

Joint and Dual Degree Students

If you take a 5th year to pursue a dual degree at another institution, you will be charged the continuing registration fee. If you are pursuing a joint degree at another Yale school, you will be charged tuition by that school.

If you need financial aid for this period of enrollment, you must arrange it through the other school. This applies whether it’s another graduate school within Yale, or if you will be attending another institution.

MD/MHS Students

Tuition funding for the MHS year is supported by a medical student research fellowship. Please contact the Office of Student Research for more information