MIT Student Financial Services How will I afford an MIT education


You’ve filled out all the financial aid forms and gotten a financial aid award package from MIT, and you know what your expected family contribution is going to be. What’s the best way to pay your EFC?


How much should your family borrow and how much should they pay out of pocket? There are two main sources of funds:

1. Savings and cash

Your family may be able to contribute toward your share from money already on hand. This can take many forms, including:

  • Cash in bank accounts
  • 529 plans (tuition savings and/or prepaid tuition plans) offered by all 50 states and the District of Columbia. MIT is also one of the universities participating in the Independent 529 Plan.
  • Treasury bonds
  • Gifts from relatives or others

2. Private loans

You or your parents can take out private loans, which are education loans that have no requirements based on financial need. We also have charts with side-by-side comparisons of various education loans for undergraduates and graduate students.

If your family opts for the MIT Monthly Payment Plan, they’ll have to decide how much to borrow and how much to pay each month out of pocket. To help you find a balance that makes long-term financial sense, try the payment options calculator, which shows your monthly total payment based on a different combinations of borrowing (using the Federal PLUS Loan as an example) and paying during the academic year with the MIT Monthly Payment Plan.

Graduate students

Graduate and professional students typically get their funding from one or more of these sources:

  • Research assistantships or teaching assistantships (RAs and TAs)  from individual academic departments
  • Fellowships, grants or scholarships
  • Loans (both need-based and non-need-based)
  • Hourly term-time work obtained through SFS Student Employment or another source

To qualify for need-based education loans, you must apply for financial aid from MIT.

For more information about RA and TA appointments and fellowships, consult the Office of the Dean for Graduate Students.

Student Stories Fausto Morales
Class of '12

Fausto is one of thousands of students who are paying much less than MIT's "sticker price" - because we meet every student's full financial need.

Outside scholarships

There are hundreds of outside private scholarships for every type of student.