Transitioning back to MIT

Explore the pages of this section to learn about the resources, events and advice for returning students.  You will also find a checklist of things to do following your approved request to return to help you prepare for your return to campus.

As you are planning your return to campus, you may be feeling a mix of emotions. Let us offer you some reassurances about your return.  First, you are not alone.  Each semester approximately 45 students are approved to return.  Secondly, we have your back. There are a lot of resources on campus that are there to help you as you transition back to MIT.  Lastly, you can do it!  You have been approved to return because the Institute has confidence in your ability to succeed here.  Welcome back!

Resources & Events

The information below describes supportive resources available and events specifically for students who are returning to MIT after time away.

Returning Students Group

Students returning from time away from MIT often face unique challenges. These challenges can include concerns about academics, reconnecting with friends, discomfort explaining their time away, and feeling alone. The returning students group is a powerful community where students are able to discuss these concerns and obtain support from each other and from the group leaders. The group consists of students in their first term back at MIT and meets once a week for the duration of the semester. For more information contact

Email List

All currently registered students who have returned to MIT after time away are included on the listserv. Student Support Services has set up this list as a way for us to easily communicate with you, and more importantly, as a way to facilitate communication between all of the returning students. If at any time you wish to be removed from this list please contact

Alumni and Current Returning Student Mentors

Are you interested in connecting with an MIT alum or current returning student who took a leave during their time at MIT? Are you interested offering support to students who have recently returned to MIT after time away? If so, contact


Each semester S3 hosts several events for returning students. Programming is intended to help reorient you to the MIT Community and resources as well as to provide you with opportunities to get to know your fellow returning students. Check your email for information on upcoming event dates and times. We hope to see you there!

  • Returning Student Luncheon-Welcome Back to MIT!
  • S3 Pre-Add Date Open House
  • S3 Pre-Drop Date Open House
  • Game Night Study Break

Other events include career workshops, alumni gatherings and end of the semester celebrations

Do you have an idea for a Returning Student event that you would like to see? Email


What is it like to be a returning student?  Check out some advice from previous returning students who were once in you shoes.

  • Admissions Blogger Chelsea R. '15, writes about her experience in a post titled, "Boomeranging"
  • In Lizz Albany's TIMtalk from October 2012 she explores, "Alternate Courses: Why All MIT Students Should Graduate with (at least) Two Degrees"

If you would like to speak with another student who has been through the leave and return processes, let your dean know.  Your dean will make every effort to connect you with another student who can share their experience.

Returning Student Checklist

Please see the checklist below of things to do to help you prepare for your return. Students requesting return from a Leave of Absence (LOA) should consult the Returning from Leave of Absence (LOA) page and checklist.

  1. Student Financial Services
    • Now that you are returning, a bill for your tuition will automatically be generated.  Students may check up-to-date balances and payments any time by logging onto the financial record section of WebSIS.  For more information on your student bill visit,
    • If you are planning on applying for financial aid, you should complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile applications.  Please visit, for more information or contact Student Financial Services with any questions.
    • If there is currently a registration hold on your account, please contact Eleanor Wolcott at for more information.  You should ensure that the hold is cleared before returning to campus.
  2. Athena User Account/Kerberos ID
    • As long as you have cleared any registration holds on your student account, your Athena account should already be re-activated.  If you are having any trouble accessing your MIT email or renewing your certificates, please email
  3. Housing
    • Students returning from leave that have been assigned on-campus housing will be notified of their move in date and check in information via email sent directly from the Housing office.
  4. Registration
    • Consult the academic calendar to see when online registration opens for all students. Due to the timing of the return process it is unlikely that you will be able to pre-register.  If you have not already done so, please contact your department and advisor to find out more about your specific advising and registration arrangements.
  5. Arrange an appointment with your S3 dean for when you return to campus.
  6. Other
    • Do you have other questions about returning?  If you are stuck and are not sure where to get answers to your questions, contact