The budget we use to determine your financial need approximates the price of attending MIT for one year. Your actual costs will depend on a number of personal factors, including your housing and dining options as well as other individual expenses. The majority of the expenses you incur are billed through MIT. These expenses include tuition, the student life fee, health insurance (if you remain on the MIT plan), on-campus housing, any dining plan, and the optional TechCASH account. The remaining expenses are not billed through MIT, but are out-of-pocket purchases you make for books and supplies, personal expenses and travel.
We do not change a student’s budget based on your individual expenses. Whether you end up spending more or less than our allowances, your financial need and financial aid award stay the same.
Today, six out of every ten students receive MIT need-based aid, so the actual price they pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board and other expenses is about $23,000 – considerably lower than our published price of $65,478.
Expected family contribution
The amount that parents and the student are expected to contribute toward the student’s college expenses. We use a variation of the College Board's methodology to determine eligibility for MIT undergraduate scholarships. We use Federal Methodology to determine eligibility for federal student financial assistance for undergraduate students.
The expected parental contribution
We assess a parental contribution based on your family’s financial circumstances. We carefully review each application individually to make sure you receive the award that is right for you.
Part of each family’s expected family contribution is a student contribution from income and assets. For most undergraduates, the student contribution is the minimum summer earnings expectation of $2,000.
As a student, part of your financial aid award is an expectation to contribute over and above the contribution from summer earnings. The first $3,400 of your financial need is designated as self-help because you are expected to meet this amount through a combination of outside scholarships or grants (including Pell Grants), student loans, or term-time work earnings. If your need is greater than $3,400, we award an MIT scholarship to you.
Although we encourage MIT students to consider term-time work as the primary way to meet their self-help, some students prefer maximizing their student loan eligibility.