Dear Students & Colleagues,
We write to share decisions about a stipend increase, holding health insurance rates flat, and other financial enhancements set for Academic Year 2022-23 (AY2023). Building on MIT’s commitments in recent years to provide all graduate students with greater financial security, these new measures are an outcome of our annual stipend-setting process and respond to the unique burdens students are facing in today’s high inflation environment.
Our longstanding approach to stipend-setting begins with rigorous analysis carried out by the Graduate Student Council (GSC) Stipends Committee. The committee’s work helps to shape the final stipend rates and assists MIT with addressing broader priorities that matter to the graduate student community.
The following is a summary of the outcomes from this year’s process:
Effective June 1, stipends will increase by 5.5% over current levels: This is equal to the stipend increase calculated by the GSC Stipends Committee using their “Standard GSC Method” of analysis, which has served as our benchmark for the past several years. And it represents the largest stipend increase in more than a decade.
When combined with the special 3% stipend increase MIT provided last December, graduate student stipends will be 8.67% higher than they were at the start of this academic year.
It’s important to remember that these new standard stipend rates will serve as a floor, because we give departments discretion to provide higher stipends. More than half of our students currently get paid above the standard rate.
Health insurance rates will not increase: The cost of MIT Medical’s student health insurance will remain unchanged in the coming academic year. Last year, graduate students’ insurance costs decreased by approximately $180.
We note that MIT’s on-campus housing rates will go up by a weighted 3% average in AY2023. Students’ on-campus housing rates were not increased in the current academic year.
Students with the most pressing financial needs will receive additional resources: For the second consecutive year, MIT will advance the GSC Stipends Committee’s recommendation to strengthen the need-blind Grant for Graduate Students with Children program, increasing the base level grant from $5,000 per year to $6,500 per year. As a result, the award levels will move from $5,000, $6,000, and $7,000 for one, two, and three or more dependent children to $6,500, $7,500, and $8,500, respectively. We will work with student leaders to design the needs-based supplement program the GSC recommended to provide aid over and above these amounts.
We also look forward to exploring ways to mitigate the initial financial pressures some students face when moving to the Cambridge area. More generally, we encourage any students facing short- or long-term financial hardship to access the funds that were set up for this purpose several years ago.
We are grateful to the members of the GSC Stipends Committee for their rigorous analysis and responsiveness to graduate students’ needs. Their advocacy and expertise strengthens the quality of graduate student life, and enables us to effectively respond in this period of unique financial and economic uncertainty.
Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education
Brian Schuetz, Executive Director, MIT Medical
Maria Zuber, Vice President for Research