4 minute read

Guide to Financial Aid & Scholarships for MIT Students

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

There are many financial aid options available for students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Whether you are a freshman, a transfer student, an undergraduate student, a graduate student, or an international student, there is MIT financial aid for you.

MIT financial aid includes grants, scholarships, work-study programs, loans, fellowships, and graduate assistantships. Students can also seek outside scholarships and private loans. Most aid is offered based on financial need, while scholarships are typically awarded based on merit.

MIT Financial Aid Options for Students

Students at MIT are offered several financial aid options. These include federal and state grants; state, outside, and MIT scholarships; federal and state loans; and federal work-study programs.

Grants and scholarships are free money. These do not have to be repaid. Loans, on the other hand, have to be repaid. However, depending on the type of loan and the repayment option you choose, some do not have to be repaid until after graduation. The federal work-study program allows students to be employed and use those earnings to help pay for school expenses.

Other financial assistance is available to graduate students, and students with special circumstances. When applying to graduate school, MIT students can seek scholarships, fellowships, and graduate assistantships which help pay for educational expenses. If a student is interested in studying abroad or taking summer classes, financial aid is also available for those situations.

Federal and State Grants for MIT Students

Grants are one way to defray the cost of higher education. To be considered, students must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Award options include:

Federal Pell Grant —awarded to undergraduates with great financial need.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Award (FSEOG) —awarded to undergraduates with great financial need in the amount of up to $4,000.
Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) —awarded to freshmen or sophomores who receive a Pell Grant in the same award year.
National SMART Grant —awarded to students in their junior or senior year who are majoring in technology, science, and some foreign languages.

The State of Massachusetts can also be of financial assistance to MIT students. The MASSGrant is a need-based grant awarded to undergraduate students who live in Massachusetts and enroll in an approved educational institution. Award amounts vary based on the type of institution and the student’s status (whether they are attending half-time or full-time).

MIT Scholarships and Fellowships

At MIT students can obtain MIT scholarships. These scholarships are awarded based on financial need. They are funded through charitable donations and by the institution. Students are automatically considered for MIT scholarships once they apply for MIT undergraduate financial aid.

To obtain state scholarships, students are required to apply separately. An example of a state scholarship is the Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate a financial need and come from rural areas of Massachusetts. Recipients must attend a Massachusetts public educational institution. Award amounts vary by student.

Another example of an outside scholarship is an Engineering Scholarship administered by the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers (PSPE). PSPE awards $2,000 to undergraduate engineering students in their junior or senior year of college. Students are selected based on academic standing, personal merit, community involvement, and character.

Graduate students can also seek graduate assistantships and fellowships to help defray the costs of graduate school. Like scholarships, fellowships don’t have to be paid back. The National Science Foundation is one of many outside organizations that offer fellowships to MIT graduate students.

An example of a fellowship for graduate students is the Ida M. Green Fellowship. One MIT senior-level woman entering graduate school qualifies for this award. The student receives health insurance and a $2,520 per month stipend.

Loans Available to MIT Students

And finally, if you still need financial assistance, federal and state loans are available. Although loans have to be repaid, there are several repayment plans to choose. It is important to learn about all plans to determine which one suits your needs.

The state of Massachusetts offers a loan— Massachusetts No Interest Loan (NIL). This loan is awarded to needy residents attending post-secondary institutions. The NIL is available for over a period of 10 years. There is a minimal amount of $1,000 and a maximum of $4,000 per academic year that is awarded. This loan is strictly awarded based on great financial need.

Federal loans are available by filling out and submitting a FAFSA. These loans are typically low-interest loans with no interest charges while you are still attending school. Some examples of federal loans are Perkins Loan, Direct PLUS Loan, and Stafford Loans.

Private loans are also available; however, students must handle these on their own. MIT does not work with any financial institutions to provide private loans, other than the MIT Federal Credit Union for graduate students in the Sloan School of Management.

Key Points about MIT Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Be sure to apply for financial aid when applying for admission to MIT. This will open the door to many aid opportunities.
  • Know your options. And, educate yourself on all possibilities whether they are grants, work-study programs, scholarships, or loans.
  • If you are taking out a loan, learn about ALL repayment plans before deciding on the one for you.
  • If you want to study abroad, or take summer classes and don’t think you can afford it, look into financial aid. There are special circumstances in which financial aid is offered.

Additional topics

Financial-Aid Articles