The YDN joins the call for progressive financial aid reform:
Yale should not just catch up to its peer institutions when it comes to financial aid, but surpass them. To do so, the University must commit to reducing and eventually eliminating both the family and student contributions from its neediest students. This next step will be an expensive endeavor, but it is one Yale should make a priority. In part, the issue is one of fairness: As it currently stands, the system is inherently inequitable. If your parents can afford a Yale education, congratulations — you can spend your time at Yale however you choose. If not, you must balance your classes and your life outside of school with a job or else take on debt. But reducing the burden on students who receive financial aid does far more than help those recipients. It makes Yale a better place. If ever a student chooses Princeton or Harvard because he believes those schools are more affordable, we all lose. We lose those students who were admitted precisely because they could make a contribution to life on campus that goes well beyond what they could earn in a summer job. We lose the opportunity to create a more diverse campus, one where students from prep schools and underfunded public schools are more equally represented. And we lose the chance to create a University that definitively states that students of modest means will be treated the same as those who grow up amidst privilege. Eliminating required contributions from Yale’s neediest students and their families would be a bold statement. But when it comes to financial aid, it may well be Yale’s turn to be bold.