Is it possible for MIT or Caltech financial aid to cover all tuition?

Edit: you are probably asking about application fee waivers, not financial aid for the cost of attendance. (It's been a while since I applied to colleges!)

Both MIT and Caltech accept fee waivers from the College Board. These are based on financial need, not how well you do on the SAT. Four fee waivers are given to each student who takes "at least one SAT or SAT Subject Test with a fee waiver, or has taken an SAT that was paid for by his or her state or school district." SeeCollege Application Fee Waiversfor details. You can request an SAT fee waiver from your high school counselor (or the counselor at your local public high school, if you are homeschooled) or an "authorized community-based organization," as explained on theSAT Fee Waiverspage.

Caltech uses the Common Application, so you can also request aCommon App Fee Waiver . For graduate students, according to theCaltech Graduate Studies Office , "Fee waivers will be granted to a limited number of students who can demonstrate financial need, or are affiliated with organizations that have made special arrangements with our office."

MIT also offers fee waivers. You can use one of the College Board fee waivers described above, or you can write to MIT with a letter from your school counselor. SeeDoes MIT Offer Application Fee


It wasn't a fee waiver, but when I was an undergraduate student, Caltech gave very good need-based financial aid, with essentially no merit-based component. (The philosophy was that everyone who is accepted should be able to attend.) I imagine it hasn't changed a lot since then. Caltech's basic procedure was to estimate the total cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, textbooks, housing, meals, and transportation), then pay everyone the difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution (EFC) from the financial aid application process.  They offered loans and work study to make up the rest of the costs.For example, I received a grant for something like $29,000 per year, which covered all of tuition and part of room and board. (This was higher than the starting teacher salary in the school district where I went to high school.)

See theApplying For Aidpage for the procedure for applying--it varies depending on whether you are a domestic or international student, an undergraduate or graduate student, etc. Basically, it involves filling out some forms (such as the FAFSA and/or CSS PROFILE) that ask you to describe your family's finances, mostly using information from your and your parents' tax returns. (If you are "financially independent" according to some definition, your parents' finances are not taken into account.)

Category: Financial aid

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