Doctoral Long-Term Financial Hardship Funding

Doctoral students with long-term financial hardships may apply for additional support.

Long-term hardship assistance is intended to be a resource for doctoral students who are experiencing recurring financial distress, including unexpected and unavoidable expenses, when they have exhausted all other resources.

If MIT provides financial support, the award is in the form of a grant that does not have to be repaid. Awards are subject to taxation based on withholding rates set by the IRS. The duration of any award made is for the academic year.

Each request will be considered individually and decisions will be made in conjunction with the student’s academic department or program. While MIT will endeavor to meet an applicant’s determined need, it may not always be possible.


  • Students must be currently registered in residence and enrolled in an MIT PhD program
  • Provide evidence that satisfactory progress is being made toward the degree (consideration will be made for those beginning their graduate student career)

Cases that would generally not be eligible:

  • The Long-Term Hardship Fund is not meant to circumnavigate existing departmental policies and/or support that is well defined by current DLC policy
  • Students who are not making satisfactory progress towards the completion of their degree requirements (special consideration will be made on a case-by-case basis for those with extraordinary circumstances)
  • Students on leave from MIT

Application process

We have developed an application that will allow us to evaluate significant financial hardships that impact a student’s long-term academic progress.

The information you provide will be used by the GradSupport team to help departments and school deans determine an individualized level of support. Your award, should you receive one, will be based on your unique circumstances, including your stipend level, other income, your household’s financial situation, and number of dependents.

After you have submitted your application, the GradSupport team will review your information. Once the level of need is evaluated, that information will be reviewed and resolved by the student’s school and department or program with assistance as necessary from the Provost’s Office. Your department will notify you directly once your application has been reviewed.

Please note: If you receive an award, the level of support you receive will be based on the assumption that the standard stipend amount is meant to cover typical living expenses for a single graduate student. Individual cases where a student already receives a full stipend may be reviewed, but would only receive additional funding in extreme and extenuating circumstances.

What you need to apply

Before you begin the application, you will need to gather some information to make the process a bit easier:

  • Amount of any untaxed income that you may have such as contributions to retirement savings, child support, tax exempt interest, housing/living allowances, worker’s compensation benefits, and money received or paid on your behalf
  • Total current assets including cash, savings, checking accounts, real estate, and investments
  • Total amount of MIT funding that you receive
  • Total amount of all other sources of income that you are using to finance your MIT education and living expenses, such as employer reimbursement, loans, and sponsorships

Questions—we are here to help

Financial assistance applications can be confusing, and we want to make sure to answer any questions you may have. If you have questions about the process and eligibility, contact If you have questions about financial aid in general, contact SFS at 617.258.8600 or


We have also put together an FAQ page to help answer some of the more common questions that students have been asking.

Appeals and review

If you decide to appeal your award, you should reach out to your GradSupport dean directly. Your dean will go over your situation with you and may ask for supplemental information.

We review appeals as they come in for all students and are happy to discuss your situation in detail. We consider each financial aid appeal on a case-by-case basis within our general guidelines for awarding aid.

Why we may adjust an award

To provide some guidance, here are some of the most common reasons we may be able to adjust your financial aid award:

  • Unemployment of a spouse
  • Unusual or unexpected medical expenses
  • Care for an ailing family member