New Online Financial Aid System Improves Tracking and Eliminates Paper-based Award Letters

Published in MIT News on Dec 7, 2012 by Student Financial Services

Each spring, thousands of undergraduate and graduate students apply for financial aid at MIT. Student Financial Services (SFS) recently introduced the MIT Online Financial Aid System, which provides enhanced visibility and tracking of application requirements and eliminates paper-based award letters. The new system makes it easier for students to both apply for aid and monitor the status of their application.

Screen shote of online financial aid system

An improved interface provides specific, real-time status updates on required documentation. With this information, students can clearly understand what additional steps need to be taken to complete their application. At the same time, when SFS receives and processes new or updated documentation, the system immediately reflects the revised status. Anytime students access the Online Financial Aid System, they can be assured of seeing an accurate, real-time status of their application.

In the past, notification of the award, or any subsequent revision, was communicated via a paper-based letter. In the new system, students receive an email, including a link, indicating the award information is available. Students can immediately view the details of the award online, along with individualized messages describing the specifics of the aid. Award details from current and prior years are also available. Through this paperless notification system, students receive award details sooner and SFS eliminates a time-consuming, costly paper-based system.

Currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students have access to the new Online Financial Aid System and will utilize it going forward. Access to the system requires a valid MIT certificate or Kerberos. As such, incoming freshmen as well as incoming graduate students will not have access to the system until their Kerberos IDs have been activated. The system serves as a counterpart to the recently announced application which helps facilitate the financial aid process for admitted freshmen.