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How graduate funding works: Graduate loan appeals

If your actual living expenses are significantly higher than the budget estimates used for your loan eligibility, you can submit an appeal to have your costs adjusted.

We use our graduate cost of attendance budget to determine your loan eligibility, or the maximum amount that you are able to borrow. However, sometimes students have expenses that exceed our estimates, and therefore require higher loan eligibility than their initial amount.

For living expenses, we use the monthly amounts below to determine how much you can borrow. If your expenses are significantly higher than the typical living expenses outlined below, then you can submit an appeal and we may be able to adjust your budget and increase your loan eligibility.

We will consider appeals for higher expenses in three categories: housing, childcare, and health insurance premiums.

Monthly living expense estimates

Expense Monthly cost
Housing01 We want to give applicants a realistic assessment of the costs associated with a graduate education. Living costs in the Cambridge and Greater Boston area are among the highest in the United States. To see a further breakdown of possible living expenses, please visit our <a href="https://gradadmissions.mit.edu/costs-funding/estimated-living-expenses" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Graduate Admissions website</a>.   $1,750
Food02 Food budgets vary depending on the individual, but we use the following numbers to calculate your loan eligibility.   $692
Personal03 This out-of-pocket expense varies a lot depending on the student, but we use these numbers to calculate your loan eligibility. This covers things like clothes, laundry, phone, Internet, and personal care.   $692
Transportation04 This includes your transportation around the city (MIT subsidizes 50% of the cost of <a href="https://web.mit.edu/facilities/transportation/tpass/students.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">MBTA T-passes</a>), as well as money used to travel to and from campus.   $250
Total05 This is the amount that you should expect to budget for living expenses on a monthly basis.   $3,384

How to submit an appeal

Appeals can be submitted by emailing getaloan@mit.edu. All appeals must include the information below:

  1. Reason why you are appealing your amount
  2. What category your appeal falls under (see below)
  3. Documentation supporting your appeal claim
    • All supporting documentation must be uploaded via NetPartner.

Appeal categories

There are three categories that most appeals fall under: childcare, rent/mortgage, and health insurance.

  • Childcare:  Appeals must include documentation of formal enrollment and cost.
  • Rent or mortgage: Appeals must include documentation, such as a copy of the lease agreement or mortgage statement.
    • If you are renting with roommates that are not family, only your individual rent amount will be considered.
    • If you live with roommates and are paying different rental amounts, please provide documentation showing your specific rental amount, such as a cashed rent check or a written agreement.
  • Health insurance:  There is no documentation required. You must already have the charge on your student account to include the additional costs of family insurance or spouse/partner insurance.

Additional appeals

If you submit an appeal for any reason other than those specified above, you will need to include a full budget with documentation such as food receipts and utility bills, showing that your total educational budget exceeds the standard cost of attendance. In addition you will need to include an explanation as to why you need to spend more on these expenses than the budgeted amount.

  1. We want to give applicants a realistic assessment of the costs associated with a graduate education. Living costs in the Cambridge and Greater Boston area are among the highest in the United States. To see a further breakdown of possible living expenses, please visit our Graduate Admissions website. back to text
  2. Food budgets vary depending on the individual, but we use the following numbers to calculate your loan eligibility. back to text
  3. This out-of-pocket expense varies a lot depending on the student, but we use these numbers to calculate your loan eligibility. This covers things like clothes, laundry, phone, Internet, and personal care. back to text
  4. This includes your transportation around the city (MIT subsidizes 50% of the cost of MBTA T-passes), as well as money used to travel to and from campus. back to text
  5. This is the amount that you should expect to budget for living expenses on a monthly basis. back to text