Resources

FLI Campus Partner Hour Resources:

The FLI exec is collaborating with Miri Skolnik (S^3 Assistant Dean) and Taylor Pons (FGP advisor and FLI Working Group co-chair) to arrange weekly FLI Campus Partner Hours. Every week, we hope to invite guests from different campus offices to talk to our FLI community and discuss how we can be better supported. All FLI students are welcome to ask questions, learn about how to access resources, and receive overall support. This initiative is meant to increase visibility of our community and create relationships with FLI advocates throughout all programs and aspects of MIT! 

Wednesday July 22nd | 5-6 p.m. EDT  | Zoom link 

ARM Coalition Members:
Miri Skolnik - S^3 Assistant Dean, mskolnik@mit.edu 
Chanel Kiett-Williams -  S^3 Program Coordinator, Leaves & Returns, chanelkw@mit.edu
Catherine Modica - Academic Administrator for Physics Department, cmodica@mit.edu 

Topic: Financial Resources

During this hour, Miri, Chanel, and Catherine are happy to share financial resources that FLI students can access from MIT's ARM Coalition as well as information about MIT's emergency funds and ergonomic assistance. As campus members who primarily work with students to provide support, they understand the difficulties of navigating resources at MIT and are working to make this process as easy as possible. Any and all questions about financial support are welcome. Hope to see you there!

ARM Coalition/S^3 consolidated resources:

  • We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has made financial challenges even more difficult recently. The ARM Coalition at MIT has gathered a few resources to help. For any questions or concerns, or if you want to discuss your specific circumstances, please email us at arm-coalition@mit.edu.

    • ARM Coalition’s Mission: That every MIT student has the ability to participate in all MIT activities and fully experience what it's like to be a MIT student (no matter their financial status)

    • Past/Current Initiatives: Swipeshare, subsidies for brass rats, commencement housing assistance, Summer UROP assistance, etc.

    • Can connect students to S^3, SFS, for further support, etc

  • Financial Aid updates in the midst of COVID-19

  •  Uncovered Medical Expenses

    • Can I get help for uncovered medical expenses not covered by insurance? Answer: Contact S^3 and ask a dean about the Miller Fund

    • The Miller Fund is a resource available to help with medical costs not covered by insurance. For more information, undergraduates should make an appointment with a dean in Student Support Services at s3-support@mit.edu.  Graduate students should contact one of the Deans in the Office of Graduate Education at (617) 253-4860. You can meet to discuss your individual circumstance with a dean to see if you are eligible for the Miller Fund.

  • Learning and Studying Remotely

    • FREE Ergonomic help and resources for working remotely

    • Other remote learning  Tips and Strategies

    • What are some FREE technology resources?

    • IS&T loaner equipment

    • Other Loaner Technology offered during COVID: To promote collaboration and small group problem solving for our enrolled students, whether remote or on-campus, MIT will loan a cellular-enabled Apple iPad and Apple Pencil to any undergraduate student who does not already have one, or who wishes to upgrade relative to what they own. For more details and to indicate whether or not you wish to enroll, fill out this short form here. Further, as during the spring semester, MIT will once again loan WiFi hotspots and computing equipment, including laptops, to those who need them. Click here for more information

    • Academic Administrators are a great “hidden resource”: can help you with navigating faculty relationships, course requirements, but also provide financial assistance for class materials, department urops, etc.

  • Emergency Financial Support

    • Emergency Funds are available by DSL, specifically the Student Support and Well-Being (SSAW) division

    • Any registered MIT student can request funds for things that help you function as a student (especially for remote learning)

      • Ex: wi-fi bills, technology needs, eyeglasses, etc.

      • Ex: immediate emergencies such as sick family member (travel expense), winter coat, etc.

    • These funds are not there to necessarily help support students households’/emergencies for COVID (have to be MIT-related requests)

    • Students sometimes pay with a credit card and can get reimbursed

  • Student-to-Student Tips and Advice 

    • Where can I get tips from other MIT students about discounts & living affordably?

    • See “Thrifty”, created by MIT CASE (Class Awareness, Support and Equality)

Thrifty

  • Life as a student can be expensive. Every student deserves equal access to opportunities and experiences at MIT. Learn what resources MIT offers to make life as a student more affordable.

  • Financial hardships manifest in many different ways, and we urge students to check out the resources below without worrying that your need is too small, or that the needs of others may be greater. Our goal is to support all undergraduate and graduate students facing financial challenges through their MIT journey.​​

    • Learn More about the ARM coalition.

    • Sign Up to receive news and information about discounted events!

Accessing Resources at MIT (ARM) Coalition

Past Events

Come Chill & Eat with CASE

September 18, 2018

7-9PM

CoffeeHouse Lounge (W20-308)

Please join us for our kickoff event with great people, games, and great conversation! Dinner Provided (Vegan/Vegetarian Options available)!

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CASE & LCC Movie Night: Even the Rain

October 20, 2017

CASE and the Latino Cultural Center (LCC) presented a joint film screening and discussion of the film "Even the Rain" which tells a story of a director and his crew shooting a controversial film about Christopher Columbus. During the same time, local people in the area rise up against plans to privatize the water supply. The film was great in that it offered a glimpse of symbolism coming into view. The film exploits the Indians such as Columbus did where Columbus evoked Christianity as his excuse, while the modern film thinks it is denouncing him while committing the same sins. The film provides many perspectives from different narratives explaining the struggle between the local people and the corrupt government to provide political context during the production of the film. Overall, the film brought to light current class issues. In addition, students from different backgrounds had a lengthy discussion that brought upon good points providing further ideas towards ongoing class issues in society.

Undergraduate Socioeconomic Survey

September 25, 2017

In the Fall of 2016, the student group Class Awareness, Support, and Equality (CASE) developed and released a survey to the student body. The purpose was to validate the need for improved or new programs to support students who have endured or are enduring a financially difficult period during their time at MIT. CASE considered various ways in which coming from a lower socioeconomic status could influence one’s housing or major choice, reasons for working, financial literacy, professional opportunities, and a myriad of other factors.

From the results, we recommended that MIT establish a representative or office for individuals with a low income or lower socioeconomic background. There currently exists an office for minority and first generation students, but individuals may fall outside of the purview of those offices and lack the support structure necessary to have the best experience at MIT. We would like such an office to serve as a conduit for continuing the conversation about tackling low income challenges, and be a support service for students to turn to when facing difficulties. We called on MIT to create a taskforce to identify additional solutions in order to address the challenges delineated in this report. We hope the MIT administration further engages with students to discuss the challenges and methods to address these challenges lower income students face at MIT. As part of this taskforce, we urged MIT to reevaluate the requirement for meal plans for low income students in Tier 1 dorms, the requirement for students to meet qualifications for returning from leave that involve financial expenditures, and the size of the student contribution in financial aid packages. We further called on MIT to increase affordable food options on campus.

These results were used to kickstart the new Accessing Resources at MIT (ARM) Coalition for students undergoing financial hardship, and the SwipeShare program for students going through food insecurity. Much more progress still needs to be made but CASE is glad to see change happening because of the survey results.

CASE Panel Forum: Social Mobility

September 21, 2017

A panel of professors and students talked about their experiences with social mobility at MIT. Many members of the MIT community had been catapulted from neighborhoods that were of middle/low income to the forefront of scientific discovery. MIT students came to hear their journey of the panelists and learn more about their life experiences. It was truly remarkable to relate on the panelists from many different levels and understand how social mobility comes in many forms. 

Commencement Housing

June 09, 2017

One of the needs we found on campus was the increased stress of graduating seniors in bringing their families for Commencement. We looked at peer institutions for inspiration, and found that Harvard, for example, offers housing assistance for seniors' families. Realizing that many professors, staff or graduate students with larger homes would be happy to host students' families, we created an initiative where students were matched with members of the MIT community that are willing to host them for the duration of Commencement. 
Our first year doing this was for Commencement 2017. It was a real success: we managed to match more than 20 students, fully meeting demand. In addition to the housing component, we also hosted a dinner for those who participated in the program. Our hope is to expand this initiative in the coming years.

Photo Campaign: #MoneyMatters

April 03, 2017

Modeled after the photo campaign conducted by the Pomona College QuestBridge Chapter, we wanted to visually explore how students' financial situation affected their college experiences. Higher education is often supposed to "level out" the socioeconomic playing field, but the time spent there is still tinged by the economic class they come from. Oftentimes, aside from the academic rigors that students face, many also have to deal with invisible struggles such as juggling schoolwork and multiple part-time jobs, being the main family financial provider, or skimping on basic needs due to monetary restrictions. We all came to MIT for a chance at a better life and to create a better world, but for some, that simply requires more effort due to forces outside of their power.

CASE Forum: Intersectionality

November 28, 2016

How can one benefit from white privilege yet experience low-income classism? Do you 'struggle more' by being both a person of color and part of the queer community? Having to deal with different aspects of your identity and how that affects your standing in society is something that many have to grapple with for their entire lives. Intersectionality, a term coined by Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989, is a theory that attempts to dissect the affect these occasionally conflicting identities have on individuals.  With the help of facilitator Alyssa Joseph from the MIT Office of Multicultural Programs, we conducted an Identity Signs activity after a brief presentation to clarify terms. As Alyssa provided different situations, we walked to the identity sign that would most affect our choice in that case. We got to see how strongly different individuals feel about parts of their identity. 

CASE Forum: Defining Privilege

October 13, 2016

Privilege is a term that's used a lot in today's sociopolitical climate. We wanted to get together a diverse group of students in order to discuss what privilege means to them in relation to their class, race, and sexuality - to name a few. Do they feel like they benefit from privilege? If so, how? What kind? With the help of facilitator Miri Skolnik from MIT Student Support Services, we participated in a Privilege Walk. In this activity, students took a step forward or back as they agreed or disagreed with statements read out loud. At the end, we have a physical representation of just how much privilege can set is apart in society.

Introducing C.A.S.E. to Campus

September 13, 2016

As our first event on campus, we wanted to bring a handful of guest speakers from within MIT Community to come talk about how their socioeconomic status has affected their academic careers at MIT and beyond. Prof. John Belcher, Professor in Physics and Associate Chair of MIT Faculty, spoke openly about his struggle with clinical depression while pursuing a career in academia. T.L Taylor, Associate Professor in Comparative Media Studies, spoke about her battle with ongoing feelings of inadequacy and "imposter's syndrome". Joshua Maldonado, a current MIT undergrad, spoke about the burden of being the financial support system for his family. Their emotional stories serve as examples for why MIT campus could benefit from a group like C.A.S.E. 

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Join the LIMITless MIT Facebook group

  • A facebook group  a group that seeks to create a community for low income (LI) students at MIT

  • You will need to add your MIT email as a secondary email to your facebook account. Need help with that? Check out this link!

  • AFTER you have done this. Request to join here

If you don't see a resource here that fits your needs, please reach out to S^3!

© 2016 Class Awareness Support and Equality

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