AY2024 Graduate Student Fellows Stipend Levels, Insurance Rates, & Additional Support
We hope the final weeks of the semester are going well for you.
We are writing to share information on stipend levels, health insurance and housing rates, and additional support for graduate student fellows for academic year 2023-2024.
Note that while we are sending this email to all graduate students, the information below pertains only to those of you who will have fellowship awards on or after June 1, 2023 (and this will apply only to the fellowship award component for those who have partial fellowship awards combined with RA, TA, and Instructor-G appointments).
It is unusual for us to announce these details for fellowship awards separately from RA, TA, and Instructor-G appointments. However, because MIT is still in negotiations with the Graduate Student Union (GSU) over compensation and other terms and conditions of employment for RA, TA, and Instructor-Gs, we cannot address their salary increases at this time.
Moreover, since the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has determined fellows are not included in the bargaining unit, we did not want to delay these increases and benefits, and accordingly, are notifying you now.
5.25% Stipend Increase for Academic Year 2023-2024 (AY2024)
Effective June 1, stipend rates for fellowship awards will increase by 5.25% over current levels. Combined with the 8.7% increase in the prior year, this amounts to a 14.4% increase over two years.
This 5.25% increase also compares favorably against falling rates of inflation: Just this week, the federal government reported that prices are now 4.9% higher than they were a year ago.
This new stipend rate increase will provide additional and immediate support for our graduate students, is fair and sustainable, and upholds the responsibility MIT has to provide support for all students and staff — both today and into the future.
Additional Financial Resources & New Grant
The stipend increase is coupled with MIT’s ongoing work to provide targeted cash assistance to students with the most pressing needs. Over the past three years, MIT established new programs for graduate students with dependent children and doctoral students who need longer-term support. Combined with a short-term emergency assistance program, MIT has directed $2 million in grants that help to address these students’ unique needs.
We are pleased to share that, beginning in the August 2023 application period, fellows will be eligible for a new annual needs-based supplemental grant of up to $10,000 for students with dependent children.
This is in addition to the need-blind Grant for Graduate Students with Children, with award levels for one, two, and three or more dependent children of $6,500, $7,500, and $8,500, respectively. Students who meet the eligibility requirements for the needs-blind grant and who are on fellowships during the fall or spring award periods may apply for the supplemental grant.
We committed to develop this supplemental program last year, and also look forward to making it available to RAs, TAs, and Instructor-Gs if the package MIT’s bargaining team has put forward is approved in next week’s GSU vote.
This new program builds on MIT’s other financial assistance programs for students in need:
- Short-Term Emergency Funds (for one-time, non-recurring emergencies); and
- Doctoral Long-Term Hardship Funding (a resource for doctoral students who are experiencing recurring financial distress).
A list of key financial support programs is available on the Office of Graduate Education website.
Health Insurance & Housing Rates
Health insurance costs, which are typically covered by a full fellowship award, will increase by 4.8%, after remaining flat for AY2023. MIT’s comprehensive health insurance premiums remain among the best-in-class and are very competitive with those of peer institutions.
We note that MIT’s on-campus housing rates will go up by a modest weighted average of 3.5% for AY2024. Last year housing rates went up by a weighted average of 3%, and in the prior year, on-campus housing rates were held flat. This approach allows MIT to position its rates at approximately 10% below market, on average. The Graduate Student Housing Working Group has also worked to support license arrangements and policies that make living at MIT more attractive. Building on an effort begun in 2017, MIT is now well on its way to adding over 1,000 new beds on campus for graduate students and anticipates completion for AY2025.
Additional information can be found in this related FAQ. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us or to the Office of Graduate Education if you have any questions.
Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education
Brian Schuetz, Executive Director, MIT Medical
Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research