Financial concerns

Graduate student life can be expensive, and financial strain can show up in a lot of different ways.

If you have urgent financial needs at MIT, staff members are available to speak with you to offer problem-solving, resources, or potentially direct assistance. Please send a message to In your email, please include your name, academic department, and a brief summary of your situation that requires assistance.

ARM Coalition

Accessing Resources at MIT (ARM) has compiled some resources that MIT offers to make life as a student more affordable. At their site, you can read personal stories and advice for students. For graduate student-specific resources, see the student resources site and make sure the orange “graduate” tab is highlighted.

Food insecurity

In the 2017 MIT Quality of Life Survey, between 2-8% of graduate and up to 13% of undergraduate respondents indicated that they did not have consistent access to food. The Food Insecurity Solutions Working Group (FISWG) was formed in the fall of 2017 to study this problem and to come up with potential solutions. Learn more about the FISWG and read a report of their findings.

Some ongoing campus initiatives to address food insecurity include:

  • Family Food Grants are available for students with families who are experiencing food insecurity
  • SwipeShare is a program for students who experience food insecurity to access dining hall meal swipes; students who wish to support SwipeShare can also donate their swipes.
  • TechMART is an on-campus, at-cost grocery store.
  • Grocery shuttles to Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods
  • Graduate Student Council’s Costco Card is a shared Costco membership card that can be “checked out” by any graduate student
  • MIT CASE “Class Awareness Support and Equality” is a student group that works on raising awareness of socioeconomic disparities within the MIT community

These campus initiatives are centered around making food options more convenient, accessible, and affordable. In addition to these services, education about financial literacy can go a long way in helping to reduce food insecurity. Having the skills and knowledge to budget or cook more meals at home can help students save money and eat healthier.

Some MIT graduate students have written about eating on a budget in the MIT Graduate Admissions Blog:

Additional resources