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Update July 2021: Although our campus office is still closed, we are available via phone, email, and Zoom. Our hours are Monday/Wednesday from 9–5, Tuesday/Thursday from 10-5, and Friday from 9-3. If you would like to learn more about MIT’s plans for summer and fall, please visit the MIT Now website.

Budgeting worksheet

We’ve put together a helpful worksheet for you to figure out how much you’ll need for a year at MIT. Use these tools to map your costs, make your own monthly budget, and find help in managing your money.

How to prepare

The worksheet is designed to help undergraduate students build a budget and manage their finances. Please note that the worksheet is meant to help you understand what your budget will look like. Your actual bill may differ from the worksheet.

Before you begin, make sure you have a few items on hand:

  • A list of your billed charges01 Billed charges include your tuition, housing and meals, and other costs, such as health insurance and lab fees. You can find more information on the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cost of attendance</a> page.   related to MIT. If you don’t know yet, that is okay too, we can fill in the basics for you!
  • A list of your personal expenses02 Your personal expenses will include all of the other costs you’ll have during the year: This can include books and other class materials, your phone bill, food costs (beyond the meal plan) and spending money.  
  • A list of your personal resources,03 Your personal resources are the assets you and your family are able to contribute, along with any money you anticipate earning while you’re at MIT. Learn about campus jobs on the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Working at MIT</a> page.   such as savings and estimated earnings
  • Your financial aid award information04 If you’re a current student, you can access this through the MIT Online Financial Aid System. If you’re a prospective first-year student, you can access this through your application portal.   if you receive financial aid. And if you haven’t applied for aid, you can just skip that section.

The two worksheet sections: Academic and living costs

You’ll see that the worksheet below has two sections:

  1. Paying your MIT bill: First, you’ll total up the billed charges and other costs. Then, you’ll input your resources to figure out if you will need to pay MIT or if you’ll receive a refund. The costs below are for the 2021–2022 academic year.
  2. Calculating your living expenses, beyond the housing and meal plan05 All first-year students are required to live on campus, but residence halls and living groups vary in cost. Learn more at <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">MIT Housing</a>.   included in section 1: This is where you’ll make sure you have enough to cover your expenses each month, and where you’ll find resources to manage your budget.

What do I do with this information?

Once you’ve mapped out your expenses, here’s what to do next:

  1. Save your results: Save the results for your records so you know how much you will need monthly.
  2. Build a budget: Start building a monthly budget to meet your financial goals.
  3. Get help: If you have any questions, just let us know.
Two quick questions before we get started:

Do you already know all of your costs?

While returning students may already know their full financial picture, new students may find it useful to have some pre-populated numbers to work with.

I know my costs
I don't know

Do you want to plan for a semester, or the full year?

Returning students may have different costs each semester.

Full year
One semester

Part 1: Paying your MIT bill

This section will calculate the costs of being an MIT student, and help you figure out what resources you’ll need to pay your bill.

First, let’s calculate your costs:



Fees 06 Fees included here cover your student life fee (paid by all undergraduates). You can use the add another fee option to add any other fees you know you’ll have during the year, such as lab charges or program-specific fees.  

Student life fee $
+ Add another fee


Please note: Pi Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta are considered a part of MIT housing and appear in this section. Other FSILGs handle their charges independently.

Housing option (select one)
I don't know
Off campus
Pi Phi
Baker House
East Campus
Kappa Alpha Theta
Maseeh Hall
McCormick Hall
New House
Random Hall
Simmons Hall
Next House
New Vassar
Select cultural house
Chocolate City
French House
German House
Spanish House
+ Add another housing cost


Meal plan (select one)
No meal plan
19 meals/week
225 meals + $150 dining dollars
190 meals
125 meals
90 meals
60 meals

Health insurance 07 Massachusetts state law requires full health coverage for MIT students, so you will be automatically enrolled in the MIT Student Extended Insurance Plan. However, if you already have full coverage (through your parents, for example) then you won’t need anything more. <strong>But you will have to file a waiver each semester!</strong> Learn more at <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a>.  

Health insurance (select one)
Insurance waived
Individual and dependent(s)
Individual and partner



Costs subtotal

Next, let’s total up your aid:

Financial aid: Scholarships and grants

Please note: If you are budgeting for one semester only, you need to divide your financial aid (grants, scholarships, or loans) in half for this section. Financial aid is distributed evenly between the fall and spring semesters. Meaning if you receive a $10,000 MIT Scholarship, $5,000 is applied to your fall semester, and $5,000 to the spring semester.

MIT Scholarship $
Pell Grant $
Outside Scholarships $
+ Add another grant


Federal Subsidized Loan $
amount received after fee $
Federal Unsubsidized Loan $
amount received after fee $
PLUS Loan $
amount received after fee $
MIT Technology Loan $
+ Add another loan

Aid subtotal

Money owed to MIT (your balance due)


Monthly payment, if using the Monthly Payment Plan

What do I do with this number?

This is the amount that you will need to pay—and we have a bunch of resources to help with this process:


How to pay → Payment options → Monthly payment plan →


What do I do with this number?

Based on the numbers you put in, it looks like you would have a credit on your account. This means that your aid and loans exceed the costs you have to pay. If this happens, you can apply the credit toward future bills, or request a refund.


Learn more about credits → How to request a refund →

Save your results

Save your results now or wait until the end of Section 2 and save both on one spreadsheet. You can download an Excel spreadsheet so that you can manage your budget on your own, or save it as a PDF for your records.

Download as PDF
Download as XLSX

Part 2: Living expenses

This section will help you identify how much money you’ll need to cover your expenses each month, beyond what’s on your bill in the section above.

Let’s first total up what you’ll need each month:

Housing (off campus)

If you’re not living in MIT housing08 Costs for living off-campus can vary dramatically based on the situation you choose.   use this section to add up your monthly costs for rent and other bills, such as cell phone, internet, and utilities. 

Monthly costs $
+ Add another housing cost


If you’ve got a meal plan and you know that’s all you need, you can leave this section blank—or you can use this area to include additional monthly food costs, such as coffee, eating out, and groceries.

Monthly meal costs $
+ Add another dining cost


Use this section to include other monthly bills, such as your cell phone, public transit or commuting costs, or anything else you know you’ll be paying each month.

Monthly bills $
+ Add another monthly bill

Monthly subtotal

Now let’s add up the other big costs you’re likely to encounter. These are one-time costs that do not recur monthly:

One-time expenses

Use this section to include one-time costs that you’ll need to cover in addition to your monthly bills, such as books, a new laptop, or other life requirements.

$830 is the amount we budget for books and supplies. You can adjust this if you have a better sense of what you’ll need.

Books & Supplies $
+ Add another one-time expense

Travel expenses

If you’re going to be traveling to and from MIT over the course of the year, you can use this section to total up those costs.

Travel Expenses $
+ Add another travel expense

Expenses subtotal

Next, let’s gather the resources you’ll have to cover these costs:

Refund from MIT bill

Refund amount $


TechCash $

Earnings (monthly)

If you’re going to have a job, you can use this section to track your monthly income. Additionally, if you’ll be getting a monthly allowance or other support, you can track that here.

Income (monthly) $
+ Add another income

Savings and other one-time resources

Use this section to account for any one-time contributions you’ll be receiving such as family savings or gifts. This is a one-time amount, and will not repeat monthly.

Family contribution (one-time) $
+ Add another contribution

Resources subtotal


Monthly amount needed



What do I do with this number?

This is the amount that you’ll need to cover your expenses and bills. Here are a few tips and resources that can help. And you are always welcome to reach out with any questions—we are here to help!


How to pay → Payment options → Monthly payment plan →


What do I do with this number?

Based on the numbers you put in, it looks like you might have some money left over each month. This means that your aid and loans exceed the costs you have to pay. If this happens, you can apply the credit toward future bills, or request a refund and have it transferred to your bank account.


Learn more about credits → How to request a refund →

Save Your Results

Download a PDF for your records, or an Excel file to build a budgeting spreadsheet of your own.

Download as PDF
Download as XLSX

Still have questions? We’re here to help!

Contact Us