Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Scholarships for International Students

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (or more commonly known as MIT) is a university that is no stranger to any prospective student. Known for being one of the top universities in the United States, MIT is a private institution of higher education that is based in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The university’s origins date back to around 1861 but despite its relatively new inception, it has fast grown into one of the most premier institutions of higher education in the country.

Currently, the university has a student enrolment of over 12,000 students. With an admission rate of around 6%, it has been deemed to be one of the most selective universities in the country. Founded as a polytechnic university, MIT predominantly offers courses in physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, and technology, although it offers several more through university partnerships. Nevertheless, with its high standards of academia and its status as a private university, it can be concerning that funding is high. In this article, we will go over MIT scholarships that are available for international students.

How much does it cost to study at MIT?

The full price for an undergraduate to study at MIT for the academic year of 2019-20 is expected to be approximately $73,160 based on the MIT website. This includes tuition, living expenses and other costs (meals, housing, healthcare) required on an annual basis. However, funding is available and most students pay far less than this total cost which is approximately $21,900.

Does MIT offer full tuition scholarships to students?

Yes, MIT does offer full-tuition scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, international students are eligible for scholarships that cover their living expenses as well.

Is the admissions and funding process for MIT very competitive?

Admissions into MIT is a very competitive process. As mentioned previously, the university has an acceptance rate of approximately 6%. Funding for study at the university, on the other hand, is awarded to approximately 60% of all applying students.

MIT Scholarships for International Students

Undergraduate Scholarships

The most common type of financial aid offered for international students is the MIT scholarship. Based solely on financial need of the applicant, up to 60% of applying students are awarded this scholarship which can amount to an average of $50,483. The advantage of the MIT scholarship is that this is a grant that is not required to be repaid to the university.

Applicants from low-income families are also considered for a first year grant to help with the transition into university with simple living expenses (usually around $2000). This grant is available for first year students only. Furthermore, as stated in the questions previously, students are also encouraged to apply to private scholarships provided in this website which can assist with funding.

All students are further encouraged to consider part-time work during their studies, should they require additional funding. Information regarding working at MIT can be found in this link. These include opportunities such as on-campus jobs, research assistantships and teaching assistantships.

Finally, international students also have access to specific loans, granted they meet the requirements. Federal and state loans cannot be accessed by non-US citizens but certain loan programs are available for international students. This applies to specific need-based loans such as the MIT technology loan which is exclusive to international students only. This type of loan includes requirements such as the need for a co-signer (depending on the loan amount), students to be enrolled at least half time for academic courses and also for the loan to be repaid 9 months after graduation (and within 10 years). Additionally, students can also apply for private (non-MIT-affiliated) loans but to also only consider this if other options are exhausted.

Postgraduate Scholarships

In the case of graduate students, funding is more decentralized and focused through the relevant departments of study. Funding for masters students is much more limited and will depend on the department to which the student is applying. In this case, students may be entitled to receiving specific loans.

In terms of doctoral students, academic departments tend to offer funding that covers the full cost of tuition fees, stipends for living expenses as well as health insurance for the duration of their studies by providing MIT PhD scholarships. International students are eligible for departmental or private scholarships that are offered. Further information regarding graduate fellowships can be found in this page. Aside from the university fellowships, students are encouraged to explore fellowship options from outside organisations as well.

Doctoral students also have the option of applying for research and teaching assistantships. These opportunities are offered and almost guaranteed to graduate students. In addition to helping these students with the advancement and development of their careers, they also help to offer a ready income for their benefit.

In terms of graduate student loans, as is the case with any other university, international students are not eligible to apply for federal loans. Instead, the university recommends seeking private loans from third-party lenders (only once all other options have been exhausted by the student). These private loans are less desirable due to their requirements as well as other interest rates. Additionally, support for students requiring further short-term funds are available in this page.

Application Process

Undergraduate students

In the case of the MIT scholarship, students are required to apply for financial aid as well as to fill out the CSS profile in order to be considered for the scholarship. After being awarded the scholarship, the student will also have to complete a Student Information Review form that helps the university to match the student with the right scholarship from a donor.

In terms of student employment, students will be required to directly contact the Student Financial Services, the university’s employment board or by browsing through the student employment webpage for further information. As for the MIT technology loan, students are required to fill out a loan request form first by signing into the university website. Additionally, any questions can be referred to by requesting a mail about loan eligibility.

Postgraduate students

Prospective Masters students are encouraged to directly contact their relevant departments in order to source for MIT scholarship and funding opportunities. As for prospective doctoral students, the best way to source funding is via fellowships. The Office of Graduate Education maintains a database containing all the available fellowships as well as the ways in which these can be applied for within this link. In terms of research and teaching assistantships, students are advised to contact their graduate administrators regarding opportunities for these positions.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the USA Scholarships Page!