The Advanced Study Program is a way for those with an undergraduate degree to take a course at MIT. The Special Student Program is a way for those who do not have an undergraduate degree to take a course at MIT.
An Advanced Study Program Student or a Special Student is an individual enrolled in coursework at MIT but not registered as a degree candidate. Learn more about these programs:
Tuition Assistance for These Programs
MIT employees who take these courses are eligible for tuition assistance provided that they meet the Tuition Assistance Plan’s eligibility criteria and follow the Plan’s rules.
If you are being reimbursed for a course taken as an MIT Advanced Study Program Student or an MIT Special Student, you may not be reimbursed for courses taken in any other capacity during the same term. Employees receive 100% reimbursement (prorated for part-time employees) for the successful completion of one MIT Advanced Study Program course or MIT Special Student course during the fall and spring terms. Reimbursements for these courses do not count against the $5,250 (prorated for part-time employees) calendar year limit.
The following steps need to be completed in order:
- Apply for acceptance.
- If you have a bachelor's degree, apply to the Advanced Study Program (ASP). Complete the online application and submit it along with the required materials by the application deadline.
- If you don't have a bachelor's degree, apply as a Special Student. Complete the online application and submit it along with the required materials by the application deadline.
- Application deadlines are:
- May 1 for the fall term (ASP and Special Students)
- October 1 for the spring term (Special Students Only)
- December 1 for the spring term (ASP only)
- Request to postpone your tuition.
- If you are accepted as an ASP student or a Special Student, log on to your Tuition Assistance Account (Atlas) and enter your course information (except for the grade). With this step, you are creating a request to postpone your tuition under the Tuition Assistance Plan so that you do not have to pay up front for the course.
- Choose an area of study for the course. If your area of study is Career-Related, you must also submit an online Career Development Proposal and receive approval from Human Resources.
- Wait for approval of your tuition postponement request.
- If HR approves your request, you and the ASP office or your student account counselor in the Student Financial Services office will be notified by e-mail.
- If your tuition postponement request has been approved:
- Advanced Study Program students, contact the ASP office directly.
- Special Students, go to the Student Financial Services office in building 11-120 and meet with your student account counselor. Bring your acceptance letter. You’ll complete an Address Biographic Information form and receive a financial clearance.
- Take the course.
- Take the course for credit. Auditing a course, which is referred to at MIT as a Listener status, is not permitted under the Tuition Assistance Plan.
- Tuition reimbursement will be credited to your student account in agreement with the requirements of the Tuition Assistance Plan.
- While you are taking a course, your student account will show a balance due.
- If you successfully complete your course by earning a final grade of C- or better and if you remain eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Plan through the last day of your course, your student account will be credited with the tuition amount (a prorated amount for part-time employees) by an internal transfer of funds.
- Important: If you drop or withdraw from your course, if you do not earn the minimum final grade, or if you do not remain eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Plan through the last day of your course, you will be responsible for the cost of the tuition.
- Request a reimbursement for the application fee, if applicable.
- If you paid an application fee when you submitted your ASP or Special Student application, and if you are eligible for a reimbursement for your course, you must submit proof of payment to HR to be reimbursed.
Important note about taxes
According to the Internal Revenue Service, an employee who receives employer-provided tuition assistance above $5,250 during a calendar year is subject to taxes on the amount above $5,250 unless certain requirements are met. This applies, for example, to an MIT employee who takes graduate-level courses at MIT or graduate-level courses at another institution along with these MIT courses and receives MIT-provided tuition assistance. If the working condition fringe benefits requirements under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 132 are met, employer-provided tuition assistance in excess of the $5,250 limit may be excluded from your taxable wages. However, if the working condition fringe benefits requirements are not met, but you continue to meet the eligibility requirements of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Tuition Assistance Plan, any tuition assistance amount up to the $5,250 limit may be excluded from your income as an educational assistance benefit under IRC Section 127.
In order for MIT to determine the taxability of the tuition, you must complete the “MIT Non-Degree Program Tuition Waiver Taxation Form” and submit it to MIT Benefits prior to the start of your course.The form will be provided to employees when it is applicable. Your responses on the form will be reviewed by legal counsel to determine whether your situation meets the working condition fringe benefits criteria for a tax exclusion in excess of $5,250, and MIT Benefits will notify you of the outcome of this review.
If you do not meet the working condition fringe benefits criteria but you do meet the requirements of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Tuition Assistance Plan, for courses taken in the fall term, any tax owed on the amount above $5,250 will be withheld from your pay in the following year; for courses taken in the spring term, any tax owed will be withheld from your pay later that year.