We know that financial stress can affect individual well-being and academic success. MIT can provide some assistance to graduate students experiencing financial hardships arising from a variety of circumstances. The following awards are not a loan, and do not need to be repaid. Funds awarded are tax-reportable income and may reduce eligibility for educational loans. If you want to explore how this would impact you, you may talk to Student Financial Services.
Graduate students may be eligible for the following assistance programs:
- Guaranteed Transitional Support (for students who wish to change research advisors or groups)
- MIT Grant for Graduate Students with Children
- Graduate Student Short-Term Emergency Fund
- Doctoral Long-term Financial Hardship Funding
Guaranteed Transitional Support
As of Spring 2021, MIT is implementing Guaranteed Transitional Support for students who wish to change advisors or research groups. In Phase I, the focus is on unhealthy advising situations in which students experience bias, harassment, or discrimination. The guarantee of transitional support is intended to empower students to more freely exercise autonomy over decisions that will deeply impact their health and wellbeing, research progress and productivity, and future career after leaving MIT. The Institute is also dedicated to helping students transition research groups for other reasons, such as an evolution in research interest, changing research approaches, or a mismatch in early group choice.
MIT Grant for Graduate Students with Children
The MIT Grant for Graduate Students with Children is a need-blind pilot that MIT is launching for the 2020-2021 academic year. All Ph.D. students whose children live with them are eligible for this grant. In addition, Master’s students enrolled in most programs that award the Master of Science, and in programs awarding the Master of Architecture or Master in City Planning, are eligible if their children live with them (see eligibility details below).
The grant may be used to cover expenses such as child care, health care, and housing. While it does not cover the bulk of child care expenses, the grant is intended to help alleviate some of the financial hardship our student parents face while allowing them flexibility to tailor child care to their needs.
Grant amounts for the 2020-2021 academic year are:
- $2,000 for one dependent child
- $3,000 for two dependent children
- $4,000 for three or more dependent children
2020-2021 application (opens next on February 1, 2021)
Graduate Student Short-Term Emergency Fund
Graduate Student Short-Term Emergency Funding is intended to be a resource for students who are experiencing one-time, non-recurring financial emergencies, including unexpected and unavoidable expenses, when they have exhausted all other resources. Each request will be considered individually and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Graduate students who have financial challenges related to a return to the U.S. for the Spring 2021 term may apply here.
Please note: this fund is not intended to cover program costs such as tuition, stipend, and student health insurance. If you have gaps in funding, please speak first with your academic department or program. Faculty officers and staff in your program office will contact the OGE as needed to discuss funding gaps.
Please note: Students in MIT Sloan masters programs who are experiencing financial challenges related to Covid-19 should apply for the Sloan Immediate Needs Fund, accessible via the MySloan portal.
If Graduate Student Short-Term Emergency Fund disbursements are granted, they do not have to be repaid. Graduate Student Short-Term Emergency Fund disbursements may be subject to taxation based on withholding rates set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Doctoral Long-Term Financial Hardship Funding
Doctoral Student Long-Term Hardship Funding is intended to be a resource for 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 term.
Current application (open now)
Eligibility and application requirements on SFS site