Attention prospective students! With admissions applications in, it’s time for the next step – applying for financial aid. For most graduate students, finances play a big role in deciding where to apply, and ultimately attend. Sometimes the process can seem daunting, but as someone who’s navigated the process and made it out alive, I hope I can provide some helpful insights.

Most importantly, the deadline to apply for financial aid is February 15 at midnight. Make sure you submit your Financial Aid Application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by that date to be considered for financial aid. Yale F&ES’s financial aid application is a relatively simple, one page form you can fill out anytime. You’ll be asked about employment history, assets, and any outside funding you may receive. The FAFSA form is now available, too. It’s helpful, but not necessary, to file you taxes before filling out the FAFSA. Links to both forms are available on the FES Financial Aid website. Don’t worry – applying for financial aid will never affect your admission decision!

So what if you don’t receive as much financial aid as you were hoping? About three-quarters of F&ES students receive financial aid, but because funds are limited, not all students will receive a scholarship that covers their full financial need. That’s where outside scholarships and loans come in. F&ES maintains a huge database of outside scholarships. After submitting your admissions application, you should have received the username and password needed to access this database. That means you can start applying for outside funding early and often. You can find the Outside Scholarships database here.

In addition, check out the loans page for information on federal, international student, and private loans. The loans table gives you everything you need to know to figure out which option is best for you, including interest rates, fees, and forms. Having applied for federal loans myself, I can tell you that the process was surprisingly simple – and the financial aid staff was quick to answer any questions I had.

Finally, many Yale F&ES students choose to work to earn extra money. Students can work up to 19 hours a week on campus. Some choose to work with one of Yale’s many centers on campus, such as the Yale Center for Business and the Environment or the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. Others work as faculty research assistants or find something outside of their academic interests – like working in the admissions office!

The financial aid application process may seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help! Feel free to contact me about my own financial aid experience ( or our financial aid office at