MIT giving cash to students

<p>Is it true that some students at MIT not only get a full ride but also money from the university to spend?</p>

<p>What is this type of financial aid called?</p>

<p>A stipend. Usually this is part of an independent award, but universities also award packages that include stipends. They are usually sufficient to partially cover living costs not taken care of by financial aid.</p>

<p>AFAIK, MIT doesn't offer stipends in its financial packages (for undergraduates). And a "full-ride" to MIT would consist solely of need-based financial aid that covers all costs due to your family's income being below a certain threshold.</p>

<p>Some students are awarded work-study in their financial aid packages, which means they (or anyone else on campus) can find a campus job and get paid for it. Campus minimum wage is currently $9 an hour.</p>

<p>Graduate students at MIT are commonly awarded stipends, but undergraduates are awarded work-study or sometimes travel money.</p>

<p>So, it is impossible to get a stipend as an undergrad, or it is possible and you have to be extremely lucky?</p>

<p>I'm fairly certain it is impossible, not only at MIT, but at other top US universities as well (e.g., I have never heard of any Ivy League school offering such a "stipend" to undergraduates). At best, you attend a university for free.</p>

<p>I'm actually interested to know what university DOES give out such stipends.</p>

<p>I'd like to confirm that, because if you're right, somebody I know is lying.</p>

<p>It's possible in some places to get merit scholarships that exceed the cost of tuition and living expenses. In that case they send you a check every semester. However, MIT doesn't give out merit scholarships, so I don't think that's possible there.</p>

<p>It all sounds too antithesis to the ideology of higher education to me. Making a profit just by attending college sounds like an incentive not to take advantage of all the scholarly opportunities available to you there. Top schools like Duke and Caltech give merit scholarships, but I'll be damned to learn that this can result in a NEGATIVE cost of enrollment. I have heard of some schools that give, say, free laptops as part of a scholarship offer, but never payment.</p>

<p>I disagree. Schools use merit scholarships to encourage good students to attend, to improve their scores, their reputation, and their learning environment. MIT, of course, doesn't have to do that, but some schools choose to. I don't see how getting paid to go to class would discourage a student from taking advantage of all the available scholarly opportunities. On the contrary, such a student might see school as a sort of job, a responsibility, especially because merit scholarships almost always come with a minimum gpa. Also, a student who managed to collect enough merit scholarships for a more-than-free ride likely turned down a school with a better reputation because of financial reasons, and thus has to work very hard to maintain a 4.0 gpa and also publish several papers in order to get into grad school.</p>

<p>Here's a scenario, at a large state school, which can--and does--happen:
Sometimes, a student might pick up multiple merit scholarships. Said student might also have discounted in-state tuition. (In some places, in-state students get to attend at half the cost.) Said student might also have an additional discount because his/her parents work at this school. (In some places, professors' kids get to attend at 25% the cost of in-state tuition.) In fact, said student might live at home, and therefore not have to pay for housing and meals. If some or all of these factors coalesce, said student might be getting paid to go to college, often more than he/she would get paid for a part-time job. Is this scenario rare? Yes. Is it good? I'm not sure. It's wonderful financially, but the student gives up the "fit" that top schools seem to provide through their admissions processes.</p>

<p>I'm not going to argue for or against this scenario ("a more-than-free ride"), since I'm not convinced yet that it actually happens.</p>

<p>All I'm saying is that merit scholarships -- especially those from the school itself -- are usually specified to be usable only for the payment of academic fees, never for unrelated personal expenses (I do not know an example to the contrary). I had enough merit scholarship money that, had I attended my in-state public, I would have scholarship funds left over after graduation, but I wouldn't have access to a single cent of it, so it didn't factor into my college decision.</p>

<p>University of Delaware gives full rides + spending money. It says it on their website.</p>

<p>@kryptonsa36: Usually, but not always. "A refund will be issued to the student if the student has financial aid that exceeds his or her tuition and fees charges." Penn</a> State Office of the Bursar</p>

<p>I'm not sure how, except through the Vulcan mind meld, to show you that it does happen.</p>

<p>These are not examples of colleges providing unrestricted spending money...</p>

<p>The refund issued when financial aid exceeds costs is either in the form of a check or "electronically deposited directly into your bank account." Penn</a> State Office of the Bursar</p>

<p>Like the rest of the money in your bank account, you control what it's spent on.</p>

<p>The unfortunate thing about such an undergraduate stipend -- scholarship money which could be used to pay for non-academic expenses -- is that it would be taxable. Scholarship money is only untaxed if it's used to pay tuition and other necessary school-related expenses. Non-restricted stipend money is taxed at normal income rates.</p>

<p>I think some schools give traveling stipends to help cover airfare for international students that demonstrate significant financial need.</p>

<p>I don't have evidence of this, however. Just anecdotal references.</p>

<p>I know someone who went to my state flagship and has a full ride and on TOP of that he is getting an $8000 check every year to attend. He was a NMF and pretty high up there in ranking. I'm not sure about his other test scores.</p>

<p>I know 2 students accepted to Ivy League schools who are "lucky" enough to have such low family incomes that they received a small amount for travel and personal expenses in their financial aid packages, in addition to tuition, room, and board. They can spend the money as they wish, but will need to use it for travel, books, and personal items (like toiletries). I believe Harvard also has a fund to buy coats for students coming from warm climates who cannot afford them. These students also are expected to contribute some money themselves, although their families are not.</p>