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Cost and affordability: Computer purchases

Computers and the cost of attendance

MIT does not include a computer in the cost of attendance. However, if you plan to purchase a computer while at MIT and need financial assistance, we can help in the following ways:

Outside scholarships

If you have any outside scholarships or resources (including Pell grants) that exceeded your original student contribution on your financial aid award, you may be able to use a portion of your outside scholarships toward the one-time purchase of a computer.

If you’d like to explore this option, you should reach out to your financial aid counselor. Email them with your full name and MIT ID number, and let them know you would like to use outside scholarship funds to purchase a computer. Please attach a screenshot and price of the computer you want to purchase, or the receipt if you’ve recently purchased one.

Please note: Cost of attendance allowances for a computer are limited to the most expensive computer that IS&T recommends.

Taking out a loan

Although we don’t encourage students to take out loans, we recognize that sometimes this may be helpful. If you need a loan to purchase a computer, we can help.

A Federal Direct Loan or an MIT Tech loan may be good options depending upon eligibility, and we can help you figure that out. Email us at with your full name and MIT ID number, and let us know you’d like to take out a loan for a computer and include the amount you are looking to borrow. Also, please attach a screenshot of the computer you’d like to purchase, or a receipt if you’ve already purchased one.

Please keep in mind that your loan is divided between the fall and spring semesters, so the full amount you borrow will not be immediately available on your student account.

A credit on your account

If you have a credit on your student account, you may request a refund to use toward your computer or to reimburse yourself if you already bought one.

Loaner laptops

If you need a laptop while your computer order is being processed/shipped, IS&T01 MIT's Information Systems and Technology group   has a Computer Equipment Loan Program where you can request a short-term loaner laptop.

  1. MIT's Information Systems and Technology group back to text