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 PhD 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 One dependent child
$3,000 Two dependent child
$4,000 Three or more dependent children

Additional information

Grant timeline and process

  • Applications open July 1, 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Application deadline is September 30, 2020. Eligible students will receive their grant in two payments: one in mid-October and one in mid-March.
  • Students who enroll in the spring term can apply by February 28, 2021 for a prorated grant in the form of a half award. 
  • Students who become newly eligible due to birth, adoption or legal guardianship during the academic year can apply for a prorated grant. Awards will be processed within one month after an application is received and approved.
  • Students must reapply annually.

Eligibility 

  • All PhD 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.
    • Students in the following programs identified by the Office of the Provost as “professional programs” do not qualify: System Design and Management/Integrated Design and Management, Supply Chain Management, all Master of Engineering programs (multiple departments), Masters in Real Estate Development, Sloan MBA, Sloan Master of Finance, Sloan Master of Science in Management Studies, Sloan Master of Business Analytics, Leaders for Global Operations, and the Advanced Studies Program.
    • If you are not eligible for the Grant for Graduate Students with Children but are experiencing financial challenges with the expense categories the grant is meant to assist with (e.g. child care, health care, or housing), please contact your degree program office so that an individualized assessment of your needs can be conducted.
  • Students must have a dependent child or children under the age of 18 living with them.
  • Students on childbirth accommodation, parental leave, and approved reduced course load are eligible to receive the grant.

Required documentation

Eligible graduate students must submit the following documentation as part of their application to the Office of Graduate Education. If you are unable to provide a required document you must provide a written explanation of its absence. 

Domestic students should include one of the following with their application:

  • A copy of the child(ren)’s birth certificate(s) or U.S. passport(s);
  • Health insurance documents
  • Court documents showing proof of legal guardianship
  • Your federal or state tax returns if you’ve claimed the child(ren) as dependents

International students should provide copies of all of the following documents:

  • MIT Form I-20 or DS-2019;
  • MIT Dependent Forms I-20 or DS-2019; or U.S. passport or birth certificate for children born in the United States;
  • I-94 for student and child(ren), confirming F-1 student status or J-1 student status and F-2 or J-2 status of their children

By submitting an application, you acknowledge and agree that MIT may use the personal information contained within the application, including any private financial information or any information the student provides about others (e.g., family members, significant others), and any subsequent related correspondence with you, for the purposes of evaluating eligibility for benefits of the MIT Grant for Graduate Students with Children including by sharing it with other MIT officials involved in administering the program.

Grant considerations

Before you apply, you should know:

  • Students are eligible for one grant per academic year (September 1 – August 31).
  • Grants are awarded annually, and students must reapply each year.
  • Students should submit only one application per family if both parents are MIT graduate students.
  • Students must submit direct deposit information in Atlas to receive the grant, if it has not been entered  already. 
  • International students have to maintain their F-1 or J-1 student status in the United States, and their children F-2 or J-2 status in order to be eligible for and receive the grant.
  • International students who plan to bring spouses and children in F-2 or J-2 status must submit proof of full funding for their dependents exclusive of the MIT Grant for Graduate Students with Children. International students are required to submit proof of full funding for the program when they submit a request for the Form I-20 or DS-2019. Any Graduate Family Grant eligibility is NOT considered when issuing initial visa documents for dependents. Information regarding funding for International students is available from the International Students Office website
  • International students in F-1 student status on post-completion Optional Practical Training or STEM Optional Practical Training Extension, as well as students in J-1 student status on post-completion Academic Training are not eligible to apply for and receive the Grant.

If you are approved to receive a grant, you should know:

  • Funds will be processed through the student payroll system.
  • Grants are taxable. You are responsible for reporting the grant income and paying applicable taxes. Depending on your tax status, taxes may be withheld prior to the grant disbursement.
  • If you are currently borrowing student loans (particularly Direct Loans) this grant could reduce your loan eligibility for this academic year. Please contact Student Financial Services with any questions.
  • If you have falsified information or supporting documentation on the grant application form, the grant funds will be rescinded, and you may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

Other considerations:
Once they have received the Grant, international students in F-1 or J-1 student status must request a new Form I-20 or DS-2019 from the MIT International Students Office with updated funding information.  To do so, they should log on to imit.mit.edu and submit a request for a new I-20 form. Students will need an official letter confirming the amount of the grant received and the semester when the grant is distributed.

FAQs 

1. I am enrolled less than full time due to an academic accommodation. Am I still eligible for the grant?

If you are approved for reduced course load, you will still be entitled to receive the grant. Students on an approved Leave of Absence or not currently enrolled will not be eligible, unless they are on an approved family leave (Childbirth Accommodation or Parental Leave). 

International students must maintain their F-1 or J-1 student status while studying in the United States  and therefore, they have to maintain full-time enrollment during their program.

2. When and how do I sign up for the Grant for Graduate Students with Children?

The Grant for Graduate Students with Children application is located on the Office of Graduate Education Engage website. In the 2020-2021 Academic Year, you can submit your application between July 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020. If you enroll in the 2021 spring term, you can apply by February 28, 2021 for a prorated grant in the form of a half award.

3. I am currently on nonresident doctoral thesis research status, can I still receive the grant?

Yes, students who are currently on nonresidential doctoral thesis research status are eligible for the grant.

4. Where can I get more information about taxes related to this grant?

U.S. Citizen and Permanent Resident students who receive a scholarship, fellowship or grant from MIT will not receive a tax document reporting this income. However, students may need to self-report a portion of this income on their tax returns.  

International students who are classified as non-resident for tax purposes may receive a 1042-S reporting this income for use in filing their federal tax returns, if the student has claimed the tax treaty benefit with MIT or had a fellowship payment without a treaty.

See information on tax withholding and reporting provided by the MIT Office of the Vice President for Finance.

5. If I receive this grant, will any of my current funding be impacted?

When federal student aid (student loans or Federal Work Study) or private student loans are involved, the total of the funds you receive may not exceed your individual cost of attendance. Loan eligibility, in particular, may be reduced in favor of the grant. Please discuss the situation with your financial aid counselor. Eligibility for MIT fellowships or assistantships will not be impacted.

6. My costs are higher than the grant I received. What other resources are available to me?

We do not expect the grant to meet the full costs of supporting dependents. There are other programs that can help. For example, the MIT Work-Life Center subsidizes the cost of backup childcare up to 10 days per year for graduate students. 

If you need additional resources while you are a student, federal student loan programs are available for US citizens and permanent residents, and private loans are a possibility for international students. You can find more information from Student Financial Services.

7. I’m a postdoc. Can I apply?

No. Postdocs are not eligible for this program. The Office of the Vice President for Research can recommend resources for you.

8. I still have questions. Who can I talk to?

The Office of Graduate Education manages this program. You may contact grad-ed@mit.edu with additional questions.