Most forms of financial support for graduate students are granted by the individual academic departments. Graduate students apply through SFS for student loans from federal and private sources and for student employment under the Federal Work-Study Program. If you have an outside sponsor, we assist you by billing your sponsor.
Graduate students who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for all federal and private loan programs. International students may borrow from private sources, but not from federal programs. View our Graduate Student Loans chart for current interest rates and information.
Non-need-based Student Loans
You have to apply for these loans, but there are no financial need guidelines to qualify. Please keep in mind that the total of all of your funding cannot exceed the price of attending MIT.
Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan (U.S. grad students)
A federal low-interest student loan available to graduate and professional students who do not qualify for a maximum Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan. You must be enrolled at least half-time and not in default on prior education loans to be eligible. The maximum annual loan limit is $20,500 and the aggregate limit is $138,500 including undergraduate Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Visit Direct Loans for current interest rates and fees. Interest that accumulates before repayment begins can be paid as it is charged (capitalized). Repayment begins 6 months after graduation and you generally have 10 to 30 years to repay, depending on the plan. Five repayment plans including standard, extended, graduated, income contingent and the income based repayment plan.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan (U.S. grad students)
A federal low-interest loan for U.S. graduate and professional students. You must be enrolled at least half-time, pass a standard credit check, and may not be in default on a prior education loan to be eligible. The maximum annual loan limit is the cost of education minus financial aid received. There is no aggregate limit. Visit Direct Loans for current interest rates and fees. Interest begins accumulating after the loan's first disbursement. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan’s second disbursement unless eligible for deferment. Generally you have 10 to 30 years to repay your loan, depending on the plan you select. Three repayment plans include standard, extended and graduated. In order to defer your payments, you must complete a deferment form, complete your section of the form, and (if appropriate) bring it in to the Student Services Center, 11-120, to have the school section completed. Please note that deferments under the Federal Direct PLUS Loan defers your payment but not the accrual of interest.
These are student and parent loans made from third party lenders. Ordinarily, you should not consider a private education loan unless all of your federal eligibility is exhausted because the terms and conditions of private loans, including the interest rates, are often less favorable.
Read our guide on private loans and please contact us if you have questions. Before certifying any private loan we will connect with you directly.
Please see our page on Graduate Student Veterans Benefits for comprehensive information on how to apply.