What is a tuition shortfall?
According to IRS regulations, the money that graduate students make as a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant cannot be paid solely in the form of tuition funding. Therefore, MIT makes up the difference (plus the amount students are taxed) with a stipend or salary.
This of course leaves graduate students with an amount due (or shortfall) for tuition and fees—and they then need to pay MIT for this outstanding amount. This is explained in more detail on our tuition shortfall page.