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This section answers basic questions about the IRDF's Educational Operating Grants program. More detailed guidance can also be found by reviewing the IRDF policies. For information on supporting the IRDF, visit the for donors section of our site. For more information or clarification, please contact:

Scott Klemm, Executive Director, FSILG Cooperative, Inc. (FCI)
sklemm@fsilg.coop or 617.452.4053
Bob Ferrara '67, MIT Division of Student Life
rferrara@mit.edu or 617.253.7495

What is the Independent Residence Development Fund (IRDF)?

The IRDF is a special MIT endowment fund that offers targeted grants and low-interest loans to help FSILGs acquire, maintain and improve their properties, make their houses accessible to student with disabilities, and weather continuing financial challenges.

Vital to the health of the fund is the financial generosity of FSILG alumni/ae. A side benefit for donors: unlike direct gifts to an FSILG, gifts to the IRDF are tax-deductible.

The fund grows in three ways:

  • donations from FSILG alumni/ae
  • interest from existing IRDF loans to FSILGs
  • earnings from the IRDF endowment

The IRDF offers three kinds of direct funding assistance for FSILGs:

  • construction loans
  • educational project grants
  • educational operating grants

In addtition, the IRDF periodically supports FSILG community-wide initiatives such as the alumni-run Safety, Lincensing, and Inspection (SLI) program.

This FAQ section focuses on the Educational Operating Grants program.

What is the IRDF Educational Operating Grants Program?

The Educational Operating Grants Program is the newest IRDF offering, developed in response to continued financial strains on many FSILGs. The idea is to help FSILGs cover operating expenses connected to their educational facilities. (Direct gifts to FSILGs are usually not tax-deductible).

What is the difference between the IRDF Educational Operating Grants and its Educational Project Grants?

The project grants program is intended to fund education-related capital construction or renovation costs. The operating grants program is intended to fund annual operating expenses related to educational areas of a given house.

 Who applies for the grant?

As with the other IRDF programs, the grant is applied for by the house corporation and must be signed by representatives from both the house corporation and undergraduate house.

How does the Educational Operating Grants Program work?

Here is the basic idea: Over the course of a fiscal year, your house keeps track of its operating expenses. At the end of that fiscal year, with help from MIT, you then calculate what percentage of those expenses can be ascribed to the educational areas of your house (the library, computer room, etc). You then apply for grant monies to reimburse the house for that percentage of the operating expenses.

How do we apply and where can I find the form?

Applying for a grant is easy, but there are a few key steps you must take. All the forms you need can be found here.  Please note the applicable policies.

Where do we submit the application?

You must deliver your application to the FSILG Cooperative in W20-020A. We recommend you review your application with Scott Klemm (Executive Director of FCI) before submission.

How can we get a copy of the architectural drawings of our house?

Contact Scott Klemm, Executive Director, FSILG Cooperative, Inc. (FCI):
sklemm (at) fsilg.coop or 617.452.4053.

How do we go about determining the educational area percentage for our house?

Your educational area percentage is determined by applying a specific formula, using figures taken from accurate scale architectural plans of the property. The current numbers typically runs between 6-25 percent of the total square footage. All FSILGs have been measured and have had their areas calculated at MIT's expense. You can find your educational area percentage and floor plans for your house in your FCI online locker. If you have questions, please contact Scott Klemm, Executive Director, FSILG Cooperative, Inc. (FCI): sklemm@fsilg.coop or 617.452.4053.

Can we get guidance in completing the application?

Yes. We recommend that review your application with Scott Klemm (Executive Director, FSILG Cooperative, Inc.) before submission. .

 What time period does the grant cover?

The IRDF Educational Operating Grants program is retrospective grant: it covers expenses from the previous fiscal year. And it is based on each FSILG's individual fiscal year, not MIT's, and must be submitted within four months of the close of the FSILG's fiscal year. For example, if your FY2011 ended March 31, 2013, you can apply for the grant until July 31, 2013. You can apply only for the immediately preceding year, and not for previous years.

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