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Veterans benefits: Dependent benefits and financial aid

We encourage all students who receive VA education benefits as a dependent to apply for MIT financial aid. You may be eligible to supplement your VA benefits.

Financial aid at MIT

All students who apply for financial aid and fill out the CSS Profile01 The <a href=" https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org ">CSS Profile</a> is an online financial aid application provided by the College Board and is used by private institutions, including MIT, to award institutional financial aid.   are automatically considered for an MIT Scholarship. If you are eligible for financial aid—meaning your financial need exceeds your VA education benefits—we will award you an MIT Scholarship, which is a grant you don’t have to repay.

Our scholarships are awarded solely on financial need and come from our endowment, gifts from MIT alumni and friends, and MIT general funds. About 60% of our undergraduates receive MIT Scholarships.

We consider you a dependent student

If you receive VA education benefits as the dependent of a Veteran, we consider you a dependent for financial aid purposes. This means we consider your family’s financial situation when we determine your eligibility for financial aid.

VA education benefits are considered outside scholarships

All VA education benefits, with the exception of Yellow Ribbon funds,02 Actually, one half of your Yellow Ribbon funds are considered an outside scholarship. MIT provides $5,400 annually and the other half is matched by the VA. The half from the VA is considered an outside scholarship.   are treated like outside scholarships, including any housing and book stipends.

Funds for housing and books are sent directly to you as opposed to being sent to MIT. You are expected to use those funds to pay for your books and housing—on or off campus—during your time at MIT. Should your housing cost more than the amount we budget for you on your financial aid award, please reach out to your financial aid counselor directly, as we may be able to help.

How an outside scholarship works with your MIT Scholarship

MIT considers outside scholarships as additional money that you have available to reduce your student contribution.03 The amount that a student can reasonably be expected to contribute toward their own educational expenses. For undergraduates, the student contribution is a combination of the summer savings expectation and student employment during the academic year. The typical amount students are expected to contribute is $5,400 per year.   Any additional money from your VA education benefits, beyond the amount of your student contribution, will reduce your MIT Scholarship.

Why an outside scholarship reduces your MIT Scholarship

Remember that MIT is different from most other schools.

We are need based and full need04 <a href="https://sfs.mit.edu/glossary/#term-need-based-aid">Need based</a> means that we award financial aid based solely on what you and your family need. We do not provide scholarships based on merit, athletics, or anything else; <a href="/glossary#term-full-need">full need</a> means that we are committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need with our aid.   for all of our undergraduate students, domestic and international. Therefore, we are not able to award any student more aid than we determine their financial need to be. Any outside aid you receive must replace aid in your financial aid package,05 In other words: The total amount of aid received, including Veterans benefits, the Yellow Ribbon program, and MIT financial aid, cannot exceed the total cost of attendance at MIT.   dollar for dollar.

Why an outside scholarship doesn’t reduce the parent contribution

We believe that parents have the primary responsibility to pay for their children’s education to the extent that they are able. Outside awards are additional resources for meeting need, but do not reduce the expected parent contribution.

To summarize, your VA education benefits impact your financial aid as follows:

  1. They are treated as outside scholarships and must be accounted for in your financial aid award.
  2. They are first used to cover your student contribution, typically $5,400.
  3. If your outside award is more than the student contribution, the remainder reduces your MIT scholarship, dollar for dollar.

If you reduce your course load and your MIT charges are lower as a result, your financial aid, including your VA education benefits, will also be reduced.

Sample Award

We know all of this can be confusing, so here’s an example to help. Please note this example does not use actual cost of attendance.

Questions? Talk to us first!

We’re happy to help you understand how your MIT financial aid may change based on your VA education benefits. Contact us at va@mit.edu or call us at 617.258.8600.

Office of Student Veteran Success

MIT also has an office of Student Veteran Success (SVS), run by program administrator Liam Gale, who served in the Air Force for nearly eight years. SVS serves as a direct point of contact for students, providing support, advocacy, and programming designed to improve the experience of veterans, students currently serving in the military, and military families who are studying at MIT. To reach SVS, please email veteransuccess@mit.edu.

  1. The CSS Profile is an online financial aid application provided by the College Board and is used by private institutions, including MIT, to award institutional financial aid. back to text
  2. Actually, one half of your Yellow Ribbon funds are considered an outside scholarship. MIT provides $5,400 annually and the other half is matched by the VA. The half from the VA is considered an outside scholarship. back to text
  3. The amount that a student can reasonably be expected to contribute toward their own educational expenses. For undergraduates, the student contribution is a combination of the summer savings expectation and student employment during the academic year. The typical amount students are expected to contribute is $5,400 per year. back to text
  4. Need based means that we award financial aid based solely on what you and your family need. We do not provide scholarships based on merit, athletics, or anything else; full need means that we are committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need with our aid. back to text
  5. In other words: The total amount of aid received, including Veterans benefits, the Yellow Ribbon program, and MIT financial aid, cannot exceed the total cost of attendance at MIT. back to text