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Our approach to aid: What we consider

At MIT, our philosophy is that paying for college is the responsibility of a student and their family to the extent that they are able, and our role in SFS is to assess and meet their demonstrated need so they can afford to attend.

A lot of time and effort goes into reviewing an undergraduate financial aid application, because we need to understand your family’s financial situation in order to assess need and award aid equitably.

Here is some basic information about what we are looking at when we review someone for financial aid.

Factors used to calculate your aid

  • Number of people in the family
  • Number of children currently attending college as an undergraduate
  • Permanent address
  • Total parent income from all sources, whether taxed or untaxed
  • Taxes paid
  • Unreimbursed medical expenses
  • Private school tuition for younger siblings
  • Total assets01 Cash, non-retirement investments, real estate other than your primary home, value of businesses, etc.  

Factors not in the calculation but considered

  • How your parents have prepared so far02 This includes balances of retirement accounts and/or pensions in relation to their retirement age.   for retirement
  • Equity in your primary home
  • Monthly mortgage payment or rent, if any
  • Financial support given to grandparents or other relatives
  • Any other compulsory financial obligations, whether one-time or ongoing

Need analysis is more of an art than a science and reasonable people will disagree on some need analysis practices. However, our goal remains a constant: to construct a well-founded measure of ability to pay, regardless of the availability of resources, so that our financial aid can meet your full need and allow you to afford to attend MIT if you choose.

  1. Cash, non-retirement investments, real estate other than your primary home, value of businesses, etc. back to text
  2. This includes balances of retirement accounts and/or pensions in relation to their retirement age. back to text