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Update March 18: Learn more about the current academic year by visiting our FAQ page, financial support page for undergrads, or MIT’s COVID-19 response site.

2020–2021 Financial support for undergrads

We’ve compiled key information that we hope will help you make a plan that is best for you. It all starts with the student budget or what we call the cost of attendance.

Cost of attendance

The annual student budget, or cost of attendance, is the total amount we estimate it will cost a student to attend MIT for one year. It includes costs that are billed by MIT, such as tuition, housing, and dining, and estimates for other expenses, such as books, supplies, and personal expenses. We use this budget to determine financial aid for every student.

Adjusting your award for the 2020–2021 academic year

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the estimated cost of attendance is adjusted and your award has been revised with new numbers. Your adjusted award also incorporates a $5,000 grant, provided to all enrolled undergraduates in the fall, in recognition of the burdens facing students and families due to the pandemic.

Your cost of attendance will vary by semester, depending upon your expenses and whether you are living on or off campus.

2020–2021 Cost of attendance

Because we expect that most students will live on-campus for one semester and off-campus for the other, your budget will look like this, by semester:


2020–21 Academic Year On-campus semester cost of attendance Off-campus semester cost of attendance
Tuition $26,725 $26,725
Student life fee $0 $0
Housing $5,500 $2,750
Dining $2,500 $1,250
Books & supplies $415 $415
Personal expenses $1,091 $1,091
Travel Varies $0
Total $36,231 + travel

We do, however, understand that some students may not follow this structure and we have a response on our FAQ page.

We have broken down each budget category to outline the changes for the academic year.

  • Tuition: Tuition will remain at the 2019–2020 rate. There will not be a 3.8% increase this year as initially planned.
  • Student life fee: No one will be charged a student life fee for the coming academic year, regardless if you are on campus or not.
  • Housing allowance: Typically, our housing allowance is tied to the most expensive double room on campus. That remains true this year for students living on campus.
    • For students living off campus, we expect that many will be living at home and will not have housing expenses. However, in recognition that there may be other costs, MIT has provided students half of the on-campus allowance for the semester that they are not slated to live on campus.
  • Dining allowance: Typically, the dining allowance is tied to the most expensive meal plan, originally set at $3,160 per semester for the 2020–2021 academic year.
    • This year, however, there is only one meal plan, a 14 meal/week plan that costs $1,900. MIT is subsidizing the actual cost of this meal plan to help with your expenses.
    • In addition, the dining allowance in the cost of attendance is $2,500 per semester, so that students can supplement their weekly meals.
    • We expect that students living at home will have reduced food costs, and we are offering an allowance of half of the on-campus rate.
  • Books, supplies, and personal expenses: These are standard allowances for books, supplies, and personal expenses, set at $1,506 per semester, for both on-campus and off-campus students.
  • Travel: For the on-campus semester, we are offering students an allowance to support one round trip to and from campus. We are not offering an allowance for travel during the semester off-campus.

Additional support

  • Covid-era grant: In recognition that there are financial uncertainties for many families, we are providing a one-time grant of $5,000 to all undergraduates enrolled for the full academic year of 2020-2021.
    • Based on feedback from students, we provided every student with the full benefit of the $5,000.
    • We will apply the full $5,000 in the fall semester for all enrolled students, and it will appear as a credit on your student account. This means that if you have an outstanding balance of $5,000 or more, your bill will be reduced by that amount. If your bill is greater than $0 but less than $5,000, your bill will be zeroed out and you will receive the remainder as a refund. If your bill is already $0, you will receive the full $5,000 as a refund.
    • The grant will appear in your financial aid award letter (for those receiving financial aid) and on the fall bill (for everyone), which are scheduled to go out respectively on July 20 and August 10.
  • Guaranteed employment or research opportunity: All undergraduates, remote or on-campus, will have the opportunity for a paid UROP, teaching opportunity, or public service opportunity through the PKG Center.
    • These experiential learning opportunities will be available to every undergraduate student, whether remote or in-person, through programs such as UROP, MISTI, PKG, Open Learning, or Sandbox, and will offer a stipend of up to $1,900.
    • The guarantee is for one semester but does not prevent students from earning more in that semester or engaging in more than one experiential learning opportunity.
  • Technology: To promote collaboration and small group problem solving for our enrolled students, whether remote or on-campus, MIT will loan a cellular-enabled Apple iPad and Apple Pencil to any undergraduate student who does not already have one, or who wishes to upgrade relative to what they own.
    • MIT will also loan WiFi hotspots and computing equipment, including laptops, to those who need them. Visit for more information.
    • 24/7 technical support by phone or email will also be available to all.


Explore our expanded 2020–2021 FAQ page to see answers to some of the questions we’ve been getting from students and parents about the upcoming semester.

2020–2021 FAQs →