Financial Aid and Employment

Financial Aid

Full-tuition scholarships are available to ISM students to support fulfillment of their degree requirements. Additional annual merit awards of $4,000-12,000 are available to eligible ISM students. Depending on the resources of the Institute, these scholarships and awards are renewable for students who remain in good academic standing. These scholarships and awards require no application or service to the Institute.

By the beginning of their final term, students must have completed all ISM curricular requirements or be enrolled in the remaining required courses. Failure to do so will result in termination of all ISM financial aid in the final term.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations mandate that an institution establish a reasonable SAP policy for determining whether an otherwise eligible student is making satisfactory academic progress in his or her educational program and may receive assistance under the Title IV, HEA programs, and institutional financial aid (referred to as financial aid).

The time limits for the degree programs pursued by ISM students are published in the bulletins of the respective schools. Student grades are reviewed each term to determine whether each student is making SAP. Failure to make SAP may affect the continuing of ISM financial aid.

U.S.Citizens and Permanent Residents

U.S. citizens and permanent residents may also apply for federal loans and work-study, which are awarded on the basis of need as determined by federal methodology. The Institute of Sacred Music participates in the Federal Direct Loan program. To apply for a federal student loan or federal work study, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

A Federal Direct Student Loan is available as an unsubsidized loan only for graduate and professional students. Loan fees may change based on funding uncertainty at the federal level. The maximum the student can borrow through a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is $20,500. The student bears the responsibility for interest on the unsubsidized loan, which may be paid as it accrues or capitalized (added to principal). Additional eligibility requirements: (1) the student must be enrolled at least half-time; (2) he or she must maintain satisfactory academic progress; and (3) he or she cannot be in default on a federal student loan.

A Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is for students who need to borrow more than the maximum unsubsidized loan amount, not to exceed the cost of education. Loan fees may change based on funding uncertainty at the federal level. The interest, which accrues while the student is in school, may either be paid monthly or capitalized. Additional eligibility requirements: (1) the student must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education loan or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs; and (2) the student must not have an adverse credit history, as determined by a credit check.

Updated information about current interest rates and origination fees can be found at

An application must be made each year to renew the Federal Direct Loan. Laws governing these loans are under frequent review by the U.S. Congress. Applicants should be aware that awards might need to be revised if major change is mandated by government regulations.

Federal eligibility may also be reviewed during the academic year if a student’s financial circumstances change substantially; additional scholarship or award support from the ISM is not available. Students must notify the Financial Aid Office of all additional awards or sources of support, such as that received from denominational agencies, outside grants and scholarships, and parental contributions.

International Students

International students also receive full-tuition scholarship awards and may be eligible for merit awards through the Institute of Sacred Music. No application is needed, nor is service to the Institute required to receive the scholarship or award. International students are not eligible to participate in U.S. government-funded loan programs unless they are permanent residents; therefore, every effort should be made to obtain financial assistance from the applicant’s government. Such assistance should be reported to the Institute’s Financial Aid Office. The Institute cannot subsidize transportation to and from the United States.

For detailed information about all aspects of financial aid, please contact the Ben Geertz in the Financial Aid Office.


Yale Institute of Sacred Music is a professional environment and, as such, encourages professional work. For example, Institute students are hired as musicians or in other areas of ministry in Yale’s chapels or area churches. Part-time positions abound in the libraries, dining halls, and various offices of the University. Nonetheless, the Institute does not encourage students to pursue outside work at the expense of their obligations to the Institute or their respective Schools. Students generally work between ten and fifteen hours a week (not to exceed nineteen hours per week). The Institute demands that students prepare for classes and rehearsals, attend them, and participate fully in the life of the Institute. Students shall submit requests to work outside the Institute (both for pay and not for pay) to their adviser with sufficient time to be reviewed by the director. This requirement includes any work in performances on and off campus. Forms can be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs.

Leave of Absence

For the policies regarding leaves of absence, including the U.S. military leave readmissions policy, Institute students should consult the bulletin of the professional School, Music or Divinity, in which they are enrolled, as well as the Director of the Institute.