(from The New York Times, 6/30; via the Drudge Report.)

The billionaire David Geffen is giving $150 million to Yale School of Drama, allowing one of the nation’s most prestigious programs to stop charging tuition.

The graduate school, which enrolls about 200 students in programs that include acting, design, directing and playwriting, announced the gift on Wednesday, and said it would rename itself the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University.

The gift, Yale said, is the largest in the history of American theater.

The school said that, starting in August, it would eliminate tuition for all returning and future students in its masters, doctoral and certificate programs. Tuition at the school had been $32,800 per year.

The move should remove a barrier to entry for low-income students and those worried about incurring high student debt before entering an often low-paying field.

The drama school is home to the Yale Repertory Theater, and its graduates include Meryl Streep, Lynn Nottage and Lupita Nyong’o.

It will become the second program at Yale to eliminate tuition; in 2005 the Yale School of Music did so. There are a handful of other tuition-free graduate programs around the country, including N.Y.U.’s medical school.

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