Advice for Students
Places to Get Support
CASE is an MIT student group dedicated to raising awareness about class inequality, and the experiences of financial hardship on campus. It offers lists of resources, hosts campus events to foster community and meaningful dialogue, and sponsors initiatives (like the Commencement Host Family program) that alleviate financial challenges for MIT students.
Learn more about CASE and it is events and initiatives here.
Student Support Services (S3)
Primarily serving undergraduates, Student Support Services can help students cover unforeseen, essential expenses, or obtain enough food for regular meals. S3 can help students cover or subsidize urgent costs such as winter clothing or an emergency trip home. S3 can also connect students with free donated meals in dining halls through SwipeShare. We can also help you connect with Financial Aid around appeals based on significant changes in your family’s circumstances. Learn more about S3 here.
Graduate Student Emergency Resources
The Office of Graduate Education Graduate Personal Support staff is available to assist graduate students when emergencies come up while they're at MIT, and may be able to assist with unforeseen expenses. To get assistance, e-mail Graduate Personal Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. In your e-mail, just include your name, ID number, academic department, and a brief summary of your situation that requires assistance.
For Single Graduate Students needing Food Assistance, send an email using address to email@example.com for information about obtaining free meal swipes for the dining halls through the SwipeShare program. Just provide your name and MIT ID number in the email and a staff member from Graduate Residential Life will be in touch with you.
For Graduate Students with Families needing Food Assistance: If you are a graduate student with a spouse or family click below to access a form to request a Family Food Grant through the Graduate Residential Life office:
Your Department Administrators
Every department has an academic administrator who holds a wealth of knowledge about department resources. Don’t be shy, get to know your department administrator and find out who in your department might be able to help (whether it is with books, employments, or free tutoring).
The WILY Network
The Wily Network is a non-profit organization that has been partnering with MIT since 2016 to support students navigating college on their own. The WILY Network provides an array of resources to students who have experienced life challenges such as aging out of foster care, homelessness, or a lack of family support due to parental addiction, incarceration or mental health issues. The WILY Network provides free academic counseling; helps students to develop personal networks, helps to secure supplemental financial assistance; and ensures that they have year-round housing, food security, and health care commensurate to that of their college peers.
To learn more about the WILY Network, contact WILY’s MIT liaison, Miri Skolnik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Aid - Talk with them about 'Special Circumstances'
Financial obstacles and complicated situations can feel overwhelming, but they do not need to be permanent roadblocks. With some self-advocacy and a willingness to openly voice your needs and concerns with Student Financial services, help is available. Special circumstances can include a variety of things, such as problems applying for financial aid, appealing for financial aid award revisions, taking a break from school, and unforeseen personal and family difficulties. Learn more about Special Circumstances here:
Be an effective advocate for yourself. Talk to your financial aid counselor about your circumstances. Speak with Student Support Services (for undergraduates) or the Deans in Office of Graduate Education to discuss your needs. Being open about your circumstances can lead to possible options and solutions.
A message from the MIT Director of Financial Aid…
“Our counselors are here to work with you. We can partner with you on all sorts of things, like helping you to understand your financial aid award, walking you through managing your budget as a student here at MIT, or explaining different types of on-campus job opportunities. I know that sometimes talking about finances and life can be difficult because it’s all so personal, but we’re here to help. So make sure you’re up front and honest with your counselor about your situation and we will work with you to connect you to the right resources.”- Leslie Bridson, Director of Financial Aid
1 Week of Meals for $8: How-To’s and Tricks
Don’t get taken advantage of by stores designed to make you buy more than you came in to get. Make a list beforehand and save food so you're ready for rough days.Read the Full Blog
On Tortillas and Community
But acquiring a sense of happiness, sense of belonging and community requires more than just material things...Read the Full Blog
Caroline Mak '18
Caroline Mak '18