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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.

On my financial aid award, there is $12,000 listed for Room & Board as a direct cost. Is this for both semesters, including the indirect charge for my off-campus semester?

Yes. The $12,000 listed for Room & Board is a combined number. Under normal circumstances your award would not be split this way, and we understand this is confusing.

Unfortunately, due to limitations in our system, we had to display the room and board as a combined number (and as a direct cost) on your award letter. The breakdown for the $12,000 follows the cost of attendance.

$5,500 On-campus housing allowance (direct cost)
$2,750 Off-campus housing allowance (indirect cost)
$2,500 On-campus meal allowance (direct cost)
$1,250 Off-campus meal allowance (indirect cost)
$12,000 Total as appears on your award
REMEMBER: Your award is not meant to map directly to the actual charges that will appear on your August bill. The award reflects the allowances for each potential charge, and your actual fall housing will determine the charges that appear on your bill.

For example: Let’s take the on-campus housing allowance. You are being allotted $5,500 for the semester in your financial aid award. However, you will live in East Campus which costs $3,577. You will only be billed for $3,577 on the August bill—not $5,500—and you will be able to apply the extra $1,923 to another use.

Please see the next question to learn how to estimate your charges in advance of the August bill.

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