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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I give back when I already pay full tuition—or I have student loans to repay when I graduate?
Tuition does not represent the true cost of a Yale Law School education. In fact, because of the continued generosity of all YLS alumni, tuition is only one-third of the actual cost of educating a YLS student. Therefore, even when you pay full tuition—now or by repaying student loans after graduation, YLS significantly subsidizes your education. This subsidy can only be offered through the generosity of past and present donors. YLS was founded on philanthropy and has stayed true to its mission only through the tradition of philanthropic support from alumni. Your gift during to the 2014 3L and Advanced Degree Students Gift Campaign makes you a part of the long tradition of giving, and initiates your journey as a YLS alumnus.

How does my comparatively small gift make a difference when some alumni are giving thousands or even millions of dollars?
Do not underestimate the impact of your support and the importance of your participation. Every gift to Yale Law School made by members of the Class of 2013 represents your class’ commitment to the future of the Law School. Last year, Yale Law School received 1,635 gifts from alumni of $100 or less, which totaled $133,654 and 3,103 alumni contributed $500 or less for a total of $683,107.
Collectively, alumni and student gifts of all amounts add up quickly to make a real and defining impact each year. Without the continued loyalty of our 10,000 alumni, Yale Law School would be forced to: reduce programming, decrease the amount of financial aid/COAP funding available, increase tuition and increase enrollment, all of which would be ruinous to the mission of YLS.
If everyone waited until they had enough money to make a major gift, donations from alumni would be sporadic at best, and daily life on campus would suffer from a shortage of funding. Your participation as a soon to be alumnus demonstrates your support for the university and your appreciation to the donors that helped make your experience what it was.  Think of your gift as a vote of confidence in Yale Law School, and a symbolic “thank you” for your experiences.

Why does Yale Law School need a Graduating Students Gift Campaign when the endowment is as large as it is?
Yale Law School is fortunate to have the endowed funds that alumni and friends have contributed. Annual giving is an important complement to restricted funds, which make up the bulk of the Law School’s endowment. The Law School is “endowment driven”, which means that there are strict spending rules in place to preserve the endowment principal and only a small portion of the endowment can be used each year to support the annual budget. Often, the endowment funds are further restricted by the donor as to how they may be spent. Annual, unrestricted support is always needed to fund the innovations required to keep Yale Law School the top legal education institution in the country.

A gift of $25 to the YLS Fund that can be spent immediately has the same impact on the University’s spending as an endowment gift of $500.

There are other causes that need my support more, and where my gift will have a greater impact. Why should I support Yale Law School?
If you are philanthropically inclined, and support other non profits, that is fantastic. Instead of giving only to Yale Law School, or only to another cause, consider making contributions to both. Giving to YLS demonstrates your pride in the Law School. Annual donors help the Law School maintain the highest standard of legal education in the country and educate future leaders in all aspects of society. Think of your annual contribution as an investment in the leaders of tomorrow.