Fellowships, Scholarships, and Financial Assistance
Every effort is made within the Department's financial resources to provide help, if necessary, to students who are making satisfactory progress. While the Department offers a number of fellowships and assistantships, it is not possible for the Department to meet all requests for financial aid. Students should therefore explore alternative sources of assistance.
Entering students who wish to be considered for financial aid from MIT should so indicate in the appropriate box on the application form, due December 15. Awards are made by April 15, and generally cover the first two years of study.
The sources of financial support are varied. Many students hold fellowships for which there is national competition, such as those given by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Jacob K. Javits Program, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC), as well as by international and foreign agencies. Applications for such fellowships must be made directly to the appropriate foundation or agency, and an application for admission must also be made to MIT. NSF Fellowships have been a major source of support for students who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Interested students should apply online at https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/grfp/.
A small number of scholarships or fellowships are awarded to entering students by the Department from MIT funds or endowments. These include the Hicks Fellowship in Industrial Relations, the Castle Krob Fellowship, the John Castle International Fellowship, the Paul A. Samuelson Fellowship, the Robert M. Solow Endowment Fellowship, the Robert L. Bishop Fellowship, the Howard Head Fellowship, the Zesiger Endowment, the Jameel Fellowship in Poverty Alleviation & Development Economics, the Jaffee (1968) Fellowship, Graduate Economics Alumni Fellowships and endowed Institute scholarships. Many students are supported after their second year by teaching and research assistantships. Students are encouraged to apply for dissertation support from outside sources as well. U.S. citizens should check with their banking institution about a guaranteed loan.
It may be possible for international students to borrow through the Technology Loan Fund after the first year. Further information is available from the Student Financial Aid Office. It is appropriate for students to apply for both national awards and MIT for financial aid. MIT scholarships cover all or a portion of tuition. MIT fellowships may also provide a contribution toward living expenses. In offering scholarships and fellowships, the Department takes into account need as well as professional promise. Students who have not asked for financial assistance when applying for admission will not be considered eligible for such assistance in their second year, except in special circumstances.
Remuneration for assistantships varies. A full-time teaching or research assistantship will cover tuition, health insurance, and depending upon the student’s degree progress and type of assignment, will pay a stipend of up to $26,500 for the 2015-2016 academic year. Summer stipends are sometimes available for pre-dissertation students.
Teaching assistants in Economic Principles I and II (14.01 and 14.02) must enroll in a seminar, Teaching Introductory Economics (14.198 through 14.199), which meets on a weekly basis. Fluency in English is a requirement for appointment as a teaching assistant. Institute rules require every holder of a graduate scholarship or fellowship to pursue a full-time program of graduate study. As a supplement to the appointments during the academic year, research projects within and outside the Department are possible sources of summer employment.