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Loans: Graduate loans

We assist you with applying for graduate student loans from federal and private sources.

Most forms of financial support for graduate students are granted by individual academic departments. 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 U.S. federal programs.

How to apply

  1. All students who wish to take out an education loan need to complete the Graduate Information Finance Form on the MIT Online Financial Aid System.
  2. To apply for federal loans, you will need to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The 2024–2025 FAFSA is now available. Students applying for federal loans should submit it as soon as they are able. MIT will not receive your FAFSA from the Department of Education until mid-March. Until that time, your FAFSA will display as not received, even if you already completed it.

Federal loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loan (U.S. graduate students)

A federal loan available to graduate and professional students. You must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible. The federally-set limit for this unsubsidized loan is $20,500 per year. Visit the Federal Student Aid site for detailed information about interest rates.

Direct Grad PLUS Loan (U.S. graduate students)

A federal loan available to 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 attendance minus any other financial assistance you receive. Visit the Federal Student Aid site for detailed information about interest rates or to apply.

Private loans

These are student and parent loans from third-party lenders. Only consider a private education loan if your federal eligibility is exhausted. The terms and conditions of private loans, including interest rates, are often less favorable. We have put together a short guide with basic information that may be helpful as you consider whether private loans are right for you.

Contact us if you have questions. Before certifying any private loan that you may take out, our loan counselors will connect with you directly to discuss the implications and terms of the loan.

Computer purchases

When you take out a loan for your educational expenses, the amount you can borrow is based on the cost of attendance. For first year graduate students, MIT includes a $2,300 allowance for a computer. This allows you to take out a bit more in order to purchase a computer if you need one.

If taking out a loan creates a credit on your student account, you may request a refund and put it towards your computer.

Loaner laptops

If you need to borrow a laptop while your computer order is being processed/shipped, please visit the IS&T website to request a short-term loaner laptop.