J.J. RAMBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A spot in this class at the Yale School of Music used to cost more than $23,000 a year. As of last week, it's free.
THOMAS DUFFY, YALE SCHOOL OF MUSIC: This is going to set the bar for music schools all over the country.
RAMBERG: An anonymous donor gave $100 million to the program, an unprecedented amounted for a school of music. Acting Dean Thomas Duffy has big plans, starting with waiving tuition fees for all the students.
KATY AMBROSE, YALE MUSIC STUDENT: I think my jaw hit the ground. It was pretty astounding. I had to count zeros. It was so much money, but it's so exciting! So exciting!
RAMBERG: Katy Ambrose came to school with debt from her undergrad and master's degree and was chalking up more each day. Unless she's lucky enough to get a job with one of the top symphonies, Ambrose, like many music students, could end up paying off student loans for 10, 20, even 30 years. AMBROSE: It's such a weight off your shoulders. At least for a year, a year and a half, two years. You don't have to worry about accruing more debt.
RAMBERG: But not everyone feels the money's going to the right place.
(on camera): One student wrote to the student paper saying she found the donation socially irresponsible given the number of humanitarian crises there are today.
(voice-over): Ambrose says it's frustrating to try to defend the gift.
AMBROSE: You want to enrich people's lives. Some people do that through medicine. Some people do that through a public service. But music is a public service. I really believe that communicating emotion and communicating your life to someone else is a beautiful thing.
RAMBERG: And Duffy hopes this sets out of a ripple effect throughout the country.
DUFFY: I'm waiting for the first colleague, for the first conservatory in this country to call up and say, because of the publicity around your gift, one of our donors said we need to do the same thing. This is going to be good for all music schools.
RAMBERG: J.J. Ramberg for CNN, New Haven, Connecticut.