Think twice about Yale

Hi All, I am a Yale 2020 parent. I want people to really think hard about sending their children to Yale. For middle class families from the Northeast or California it will be very very expensive and simply not worth it. For our family, Yale basically took every last dime making it impossible for us to help our child with law school. The financial aid models really make no sense and you will find yourself wondering how the kid from across town who went to an expensive private school and belongs to a country club gets financial aid. The resources aren’t great. Classes are taught mostly by adjuncts. Only at Yale they don’t call them adjuncts, they call them lecturers. Tuition goes up religiously 4% and the dining hall quality goes down each year. There is absolutely no advising. Your kid will have to figure it out themselves. Deans and Heads of Colleges help the kids whose parents have the big bucks. The Student Income Contribution is nonsense and hurts everyone especially low income students.

Define middle class.
This runs contrary to my family’s experience.

My family has an income of $200K but we live in a super expensive area. We only got a few thousand $ when we had 3 kids in college.

We are at the lower end of middle class if you feel $200,000 is middle class, live in a town with high property taxes in NJ. Financial aid has been terrific.
Two years in, my kid has had one class not taught by a professor.
Her advisor takes a class with her, they go to lunch together occasionally.
The Dean of her college knows her and is available to her if she needs her.
Kid advises me you are right about the food.
I’m sorry you kid has had a bad experience. Did they ever think of transferring?

So sorry that this was your/your child’s experience. As a parent who is still awaiting decisions, i’m curious as to what was it about Yale that made you allow your child to remain there for 4 years? I guess I would expect that tuition would go up every year. With 3 children in college that must have been difficult financially as i’m thinking about how tight it may be to have my 1 in college come fall.

My kid didn’t want to transfer. They were happy with friends and extra curricular activities. But they realize now how much debt they will need to incur with Law School. I’m glad your daughter had a good Dean. My kid’s doesn’t know their name. It’s not because they are a wallflower. Yale has the resources to do better for all its students. The kids that pay full freight and don’t have unlimited sums of money are definitely cheated. They didn’t pay for my kid to home during this mess but they did pay for the financial aid kids. I’m glad you think $200K is a lot of money and maybe it is but I live as modestly as possible. No vacations, old cars, small precariously maintained house. We reached the point were the unexpected expense of COVID was really too much. Not to mention that our jobs are precarious now and our income is going to go down significantly. Maybe I am being unfair, but I didn’t know after Yale literally got the last $ from us possible, it would look like we might lose everything. Also, their decision to cancel graduation sucked but we probably couldn’t have afforded to get back there anyway. I really want people to learn from our mistake.

Which classes / which major are classes taught mostly by adjuncts ?

What were / are your law school options ?

$200,000 can be a lot or not that much, depending on where you live and how many kids you have, etc. I don’t know if Yale and other schools take cost of living into consideration but think likely they do not, so the same school could be a lot more expensive for people with the same income depending on where they live.

I’m sorry you had this experience. Thank you for taking the time to post about it here.

I think all your points are fair, you can only go on your experience. And I understand fully how what looks like a fantastic income doesn’t go as far in some parts of the world as in others.
We are the same, no vacations, an old car, small house in a ‘good town,’ with good schools. I’m not sure how the Coronavirus pandemic will impact my employment also but that is an outside issue separate from any college or university.
I don’t think Yale are alone in cancelling graduation. My understanding is they are going to arrange a ceremony at a later date.

I think tuition goes up at most colleges at a similar rate.
It makes me sad to read of someone having a less than great experience at Yale

A $200k income has to be in the top 10%, if not higher. The US median is about $65k. People who insist high incomes are middle class set themselves up for disappointment because colleges apparently don’t agree with you.

I’m sorry Yale didn’t have the money to give you, but I don’t understand why you sent your kid there if you could only afford Yale or law school, but not both. Is this your eldest child? Some people assume they’ll get more aid with more kids in college, but it’s not always true. It’s important to run their net price calculator with multiple kids to see if aid changes.

Colleges couldn’t have foreseen the current impact to the economy anymore than you could. Are all your kids through college yet? If you have a change in financial circumstances you can try filing an appeal. It may not work, but it can’t hurt to try. Good luck.

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I wish colleges took cost of living into account. As an example, a family of 4 could live handsomely on $110,000/year in Little Rock Arkansas but would be considered low income and qualify for subsidized housing in San Francisco, CA, where two bedroom apartments cost $4000-7000/month!

If OP or OP’s son or daughter chose Yale at nearly full pay, then that was their choice.

Anyone admitted to Yale should have merit scholarship options at other schools.

I appreciate OP’s candor, but it is very different than what I have been told by families with students at Yale.

From students I know that attended Yale and other ivies, they are pretty generous with financial aid compared to other top private universities. Curious if you had saved any money for college for your kids over the past 18-21 years to “cushion the blow”?

Families in the “donut hole” are a concern everywhere. Frankly, I was under the impression that Yale was one of the exceptions, i.e., one of the handful of elite colleges that practiced upper-middle class tuition discounting like that reportedly by Amherst, Harvard and a few other places. Apparently not.

You know you all have great points. But $200K where I live is really not a high income and we are looking at a financial ruin with COVID. I can guarantee that someone in middle America making 50% of what my family did in the past is living better. (I’ve watched my share of home improvement shows to know that, haha). My kids experience wasn’t great and I hope your child’s is wonderful. The truth is, I thought it would be worth it but I am now really questioning that. I am admittedly bitter. I didn’t know that my kid wouldn’t have a great Dean after their first year. (The first year Dean was a gem). I didn’t know their first semester would involve the national media writing about her Econ class and everyone feeling free to call the kids in the class snowflakes. I really didn’t know how much my kid wasn’t a snowflake until they endured all she did at Yale. I didn’t know advising was so random. I didn’t know we wouldn’t even have graduation. I didn’t know my families income would collapse. My kid has options after graduation but they were almost all her doing and it was exhausting. No appeals being accepted at least not for our family. Good luck to everyone. I hope your kids college career is great. Just sad for our family. My other kids got good merit money at their schools and honestly more opportunities.

I think the savings was the real issue. I would advise people not to save. We did and they took everything. People around me who didn’t save and lived really well get financial aid. I think the whole financial aid model is ripe for being unfair. We need to help fgli students get great educations. But the whole financial aid model is nuts. Why should I pay more cause I saved?

Hearing a story like this out of Yale is really disappointing. Yale and others like it are entrusted with the best and the brightest. They have an enormous responsibility to bring out the best in these kids, to help them maximize their potential. And they get paid handsomely to accomplish that.

Every time a kid comes out of 4 years at a school like Yale with a story of disappointment and unfulfilled dreams, it is a failure on the part of the university. They should be ashamed.

If your family couldn’t afford it you should have sent your child to your state school or a private college with merit aid. It was your choice to have your child attend Yale, can’t have remorse after the fact. Not being heartless, just being honest.

I don’t get the impression the OP begrudged paying for Yale going in, rather that they feel they got very little for their money. If that’s your experience I think those are fair and valid points.

I think we all need to cut one another some slack right now. It’s a stressful time for many people with financial insecurity a very real possibility as a consequence of the pandemic.

I hope your daughter goes on to the law school of her choice and has a long and prosperous and productive career. Creating her own opportunities, as you mentioned, bodes well for future endeavours.

OP: Was your daughter’s Yale education reflected in her LSAT scores ?

Your comment: “Yale basically took every last dime making it impossible for us to help our child with law school.”

This comment suggests that you may make the same mistake again with selecting an unaffordable law school option.