Dear Graduate Students,
Thank you for your perseverance during this challenging time and for helping to keep our community safe, and most important, thriving. All of you, whether on campus or away, have helped the Institute meet its teaching and research missions with excellence and creativity.
We are pleased to let you know we have continued to enhance our support for graduate students for the 2021-2022 academic year (AY2022). In brief…
- These ranges reflect a 3.25% increase, exceeding the GSC’s Stipend Working Group estimate of the change in cost-of-living by more than 1%. An increase above the cost-of-living adjustment responds to unique competitive pressures some graduate programs are experiencing this year, and similar increases in future years may not be appropriate when balancing many different considerations.
- We have also removed the option to set stipends at 10% below the approved baseline rate.
- MIT Housing rates will remain unchanged (i.e., no increases).
- MIT Medical health insurance rates (see below) have decreased.
- We have significantly increased our baseline support levels for graduate students with dependent children (from $2K to $5K).
A few other recent accomplishments of note include:
- Expanded participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program at the graduate level for student Veterans or designated transferees, who qualify under the Post-9/11 GI bill; for information on this program and others for graduate Veterans benefits, visit SFS;
- A transitional support program for graduate students at MIT who wish to change research advisors or groups; and
- Newly developed cost of attendance information and resources for help with your planning.
As always, we welcome your advocacy, suggestions, and expertise on ways we can make the graduate student experience at MIT better.
Best wishes for a good rest of the semester.
Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education
Brian Schuetz, Executive Director, MIT Medical
Maria Zuber, Vice President for Research
2021-22 Academic Year Stipend and Health Plan Rates
We have established the new ranges for the monthly stipends of full-time research and teaching assistants for the 2021-22 Academic Year (AY2022). These ranges reflect a 3.25% increase, exceeding the GSC’s Stipend Working Group estimate of the change in cost-of-living by more than 1%. An increase above the cost-of-living adjustment responds to unique competitive pressures some graduate programs are experiencing this year, and similar increases in future years may not be appropriate when balancing many different considerations.
We have also eliminated the -10% option among the allowable stipend ranges that can be used at School/department discretion. Moreover, as announced earlier, MIT’s housing rates will not change for AY2022 and health insurance rates, see below, will go down.
MIT Health Plans
For those enrolled in MIT’s Student Extended Insurance Plan, we are pleased to share that the price will decrease by approximately $180 for AY2022.
Support for Graduate Students in Need
In addition to improving the benefits provided to all students, we are continuing to develop programs designed to deliver targeted support to members of our graduate student community most in need.
For example, over the past year, in partnership with the Schools and departments, we have worked to reduce financial insecurity for those on 9-month appointments / non-resident status. $289,000 was provided in the form of short-term emergency funding to cover pandemic related expenses and losses.
In keeping with our commitment to graduate student families with children, the new Grant for Graduate Students with Children disbursed 96 awards of $2,000 – $4,000 this fall and spring. We also hired a new Program Administrator for Graduate Student Families.
Some additional details on funding programs are below:
- Short-Term Emergency Funds. We have an ongoing fund for students who are experiencing one-time, non-recurring financial emergencies, and we want to remind those in need that the Graduate Student Short-Term Emergency Fund is a resource they can turn to right now. More information is available here.
- Need-Blind Grants for Graduate Students with Children. We are enhancing our commitment, as recommended by the GSC, to the need-blind Grants for Graduate Students Children. The base-level of the awards will be increased to $5,000. As a result, the award levels will move from $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 for 1,2, and 3 or more dependent children to $5,000, $6,000, and $7,000. Students can apply beginning August 1 and awards will be disbursed in October.
- Doctoral Long-Term Financial Hardship Funding. The School deans are keeping their commitments to putting policies and practices in place to address the long-term financial challenges that doctoral students who are not on full stipends may experience.
Note: Students in non-residency status are eligible for emergency hardship funding.
New and Expanded Efforts
Working in partnership with the GSC and others we have identified new ways to provide support and resources to the graduate student community. Two new efforts include…
- Yellow Ribbon Program. We are pleased to announce expanded participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program at the graduate level for student Veterans or designated transferees, who qualify under the Post-9/11 GI. MIT will contribute the following amounts of tuition funding for Yellow Ribbon recipients, which the VA will match as follows: $15,000 for Masters programs in the School of Science, School of Engineering, School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, School of Architecture and Planning, and the Schwarzman College of Computing; $20,000 for Masters programs in Sloan, limited to 30 students; and unlimited funding for doctoral students in all schools.
- Transitional support program for graduate students. Holding true to MIT’s deep commitment to supporting graduate students through the entirety of their academic development and degree, and in response to recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report, MIT’s NASEM Academic and Organizational Relationship (AOR) working group report, and concerns raised by the Graduate Student Council and the RISE campaign, we have created a transitional support program for graduate students at MIT who wish to change research advisors or groups.