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Update August 17:

To learn more about MIT’s changes to the fall 2020 cost of attendance as well as the Covid-era grant, please see our 2020 financial support page and our expanded FAQ page. You can also read more about the evolving policies and other key questions related to MIT’s COVID-19 response.

Financial hardship FAQs

If you have questions about long-term financial hardship assistance, browse these FAQs or contact your financial aid counselor directly. We are here to help!

General

How do you define “significant financial hardship”?

Doctoral students who are struggling financially with ongoing essential expenses such as housing, food, and childcare, may be experiencing significant financial hardship. This includes hardships related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Application process

What if I’m married, filing separately? How do I complete the application?

Students who are married but file taxes separately should add their information together in the application, unless where instructed otherwise.

Where do I list other expenses, like childcare or medical expenses?

Expenses like childcare and medical expenses should be included in the Additional Information section of the application.

What if I submit the application later? Will funding still be available? 

There is no deadline to apply for this long-term financial hardship funding. Funding is available throughout the year.

What is the maximum processing time?

We review applications as we receive them and will do our best to return your evaluation to your department within 10 working days. 

Why are you asking about my assets? 

Our goal remains a constant: to construct a well-founded measure of ability to pay. Assets that you may have are a part of the information we need to make an accurate assessment. 

What if I saved for a home purchase but haven’t bought the home yet? 

If you had significant savings established before you became a student, and you plan to use that savings for a home, please include that in the Additional Information section of the application. Should you receive an award that you feel does not represent your current situation, you are encouraged to appeal your award. 

How long does it take for my documents to be reviewed if I am selected for verification? How long do I have to submit the documents requested?

If you are selected for verification, you will be asked to submit your tax documentation. We will work with you to make sure you know what you need to submit.

While there is no deadline to submit your materials, the sooner you submit them, the sooner we can review them. Once we have all of your materials, we will review them within 10 working days and your department will notify you once the review is complete.

Special circumstances

What if my current income is different from my 2018 income?

If your income has changed due to your loss of employment income—from you, the student—we are already taking that into account. If there has been a change to your non-employment income, or to your spouse’s income of any kind, please share that with us in the Additional Information section of the application. Should you receive an award that you feel does not represent your current situation, we encourage you to appeal your award.

Do I have to pay to have my tax documents translated?

Translation is required for any fields with a nonzero number. Students can translate tax documents themselves and do not have to pay for professional translation.

What if I didn’t file a tax return?

If you didn’t file a tax return, you can submit documentation of earned income from that year with a W2 or 1099 form, for example. If neither are available, you may submit a letter from an employer.

Are there alternative financing options, like loans or a payment plan?

Should you not be eligible for additional MIT funding, we can advise you on a monthly payment plan or potential loan options. We will do our best to help you find a plan that works for your particular situation.