MIT works closely with all families who qualify for financial aid to develop an individual affordability plan tailored to their financial circumstances. There are no income caps, but we do take into consideration relevant factors, such as a family's assets and number of college-bound children. Even families earning above $250,000 may receive grants based on extenuating circumstances. Our Net Price Calculator provides families with a tool to estimate how affordable MIT may be for them.

Each undergraduate student's affordability plan comprises a mixture of a family contribution, scholarships and grants, student employment and loans.


Cost Versus Price

The actual cost of an MIT education is about twice the annual tuition. Even those students who pay full tuition do not pay the total cost. MIT is committed to the research-university model where all students have the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge work with faculty who are leaders in their field. In many cases this defines the MIT undergraduate experience. The cost results from the Institute's need to attract and retain the best faculty, to provide premier educational facilities and laboratories, and to provide funds that support student engagement in research.

MIT's tuition represents a significant discount to the cost of an MIT education—for all undergraduates. We further discount tuition through our need-based scholarship program. 

How financial aid from MIT helps families

The 2017–2018 price of an MIT undergraduate education for tuition and fees, and the variable costs of books, supplies, room, board and personal expenses is $67,430.

The majority of MIT undergraduates pay much less than this price. We are one of five selective colleges and universities in the United States that are fully need-blind in their undergraduate admissions policies and that meet the full financial need of every student.

To ensure affordability to our undergraduate students, we expect to award $114.2 million in MIT need-based scholarships in 2016-2017, compared to the $97.1 million we awarded in 2015-2016. On average, 56 percent of families receiving a 2015-2016 MIT scholarship benefited from having their actual net price reduced to $16,651. (For comparison, that’s less than the average full “in-state on-campus” cost of attending a public four-year institution, which was about $24,6101 before financial aid.)

For students with family incomes under $90,000 a year, the Institute continues to ensure that scholarship funding will allow them to attend MIT tuition-free, a policy put in place in 2008. In the 2016 academic year, 33% of undergraduates (1,489 students) received scholarships and grants from all sources equal to or greater than tuition, of which 1,060 students, or 24% of undergraduates, had incomes under $80,000.

Their remaining expenses were covered by their family or by the students themselves, through paid work or student loans (see below). For families in this income range, reliance on student loans averaged $867 per student.

How Work and Loans Contribute

MIT does not require any undergraduate to take out a loan, but we do require students, as the direct beneficiaries of their education, to pay for some part of it. Rather than borrow, most students opt to work during the academic year. At MIT, this work often provides students not only with a way to help pay for college, but also with world-class research experience. Through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, over 90% of MIT undergraduates work on paid research projects before they graduate.

Nationally, in 2015, only three in ten college seniors were able to graduate debt-free. At MIT in 2015–2016, seven in ten undergraduate students graduated with no debt.

When MIT students do take out student loans, their debt at graduation is considerably lower than the national average. Nationally, in 2015 graduates of public and private nonprofit colleges who borrowed owed an average of $30,100 in federal and private loans combined2. At MIT in 2015–2016, the 28% of undergraduates who took out loans graduated with an average debt of $24,698–18% less than the national average.

At current interest rates, a student loan in that amount would require payments of $255 a month for 10 years. Coupled with the higher starting salaries ($84,882 is our average starting salary), graduates are able to repay their loans in a much shorter period of time.

Return on MIT education

MIT graduates do well in the job market.

Average Starting Salary for MIT Bachelor's Degree Recipients


See where MIT students work.

1 Trends in College Pricing, The College Board, 2016
2 The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) – Project on Student Debt, 2015