Financial Aid FAQs
Understanding Your Financial Aid Award
What kind of financial aid does MIT offer, and what costs are covered in my financial aid award?
The most common type of financial aid is the MIT Scholarship and it is based solely upon your family’s need. If you receive an MIT Scholarship, it is considered a grant and does not need to be repaid.
The cost of attendance, or annual student budget as we call it, is used to determine aid for every student who applies for financial aid. The budget includes both billed expenses, like tuition and housing, and unbilled expenses such transportation and books. A full breakdown of budget items can be found on your financial aid award letter and the Student Financial Services (SFS) website. The thing to remember is that few students pay the full cost of attendance.
Is the calculation of financial aid different for a student who is not eligible for federal financial aid?
No. Financial aid is not calculated differently for students who are not eligible for federal financial aid. Families will see their parent contribution and student contribution on their award letter, along with other information about financial aid eligibility. Students who are not eligible for federal financial aid may be able to borrow an MIT Technology Loan. More information about loans is available on the SFS website.
How will I know how much my family needs to pay?
The amount that your family can expect to pay directly to MIT, as well as what you may need for personal expenses, will be estimated on your financial aid award letter. You can also use the budgeting worksheet on the SFS website to get a more personalized estimate of your expenses. If you have questions about your award, financial aid counselors are happy to help. You can reach out to your counselor directly by looking them up on the SFS website, if you don’t know them already.
Applying for Financial Aid
What requirements do I need to apply for financial aid?
Undocumented students have the same requirements as other non-U.S. Citizens and do not need to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You must, however, complete the CSS Profile and provide tax or other income documentation via IDOC.
What is the financial aid timeline?
Students and families must apply for financial aid each year, and the application becomes available each fall. For incoming first-year students, you should apply for aid as soon as possible. The deadline to apply for aid is February 15, however, MIT will accept your application even after that date. You should reach out to your financial aid counselor as soon as possible if you have yet to apply.
For returning students, the deadline to apply for aid is April 15, but again MIT will accept applications after the deadline. After receiving a financial aid award, students should review their award letter for instructions and next steps.
My parents do not file tax returns, what information should they submit instead?
Anyone who does not file a tax return should complete and submit a Non-Tax Filer Statement to IDOC instead. Any income documentation should be uploaded to IDOC as well. If you have questions about what documentation should be provided, you may contact your financial aid counselor directly for assistance. Please know that we keep all information confidential.
I am unable to pursue student employment. What are my other options?
Most students are responsible for a student contribution of $5400 as part of their financial aid award. This is comprised of a summer earnings expectation and student employment during the academic year. However, you are not required to work. Instead, you may be eligible to borrow an MIT Technology Loan, or cover this amount with an outside scholarship. Another option is careful budgeting, as students may reduce the amount they need to contribute by making less expensive choices than the amounts estimated in the cost of attendance. Financial aid is not reduced if a student makes less expensive choices, nor is it increased for more expensive choices.
I have questions about repaying a student loan, whom can I contact?
The SFS website has information about repaying your loans, including MIT Technology Loan. You will also be required to complete loan exit counseling before leaving or graduating from MIT. This counseling will provide you with information about loan repayment. You may also contact a counselor in Student Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have received a financial aid award but my family feels like they can’t afford MIT, or I have received a better financial aid award from another institution. What can I do?
While MIT does not negotiate or match financial aid awards from other institutions, you can appeal your financial aid award if you believe it is unreasonable given your family’s circumstances. To appeal your award, contact your financial aid officer who can help you with the appeal process. Students and families may be asked to provide additional information or documentation for a possible appeal after speaking with their financial aid officer. Financial aid officers can also discuss other financing options such as careful budgeting, educational loans, and the payment plan.