Years 1 & 2

Each PAOC student is eligible to receive up to $2000 once they enroll in the graduate program to help defray educational expenses over the first two years of study; the cost will be met from the Houghton Fund. Students should apply to the Fund for each such expense. The following rules and procedures will apply:

  1. Advisers will be required to confirm that claims are for legitimate expenses related to the student’s PAOC education. Examples of such expenses are: travel to meetings relevant to the student’s area of specialization (but not for field work); purchase of textbooks and professional journals (but see item 2). The fund may be used to purchase textbooks required for a course in which the student is enrolled for credit.    It may also be used for additional textbooks up to a limit of $400 total over the first two years as students. Such additional books may be purchased for classes in which the student may be a listener, to prepare for generals, or for their research work, but not for other purposes. Computers and hardware are no longer covered. The Houghton Fund Committee will be the sole arbiter of what constitutes a legitimate educational expense. 
  2. Each year, for each PAOC student, the Houghton Fund will pay for up to two memberships in a professional society at the eligible student rate; membership expenses are outside of the $2000. This is available to all PAOC students, including those in their first two years.
  3. Approval must be obtained before the expense is incurred. Funds will be reimbursed for expenses actually incurred.
  4. Requests for approval should be made using the process detailed below. 
  5. Sales tax cannot be reimbursed. Students should obtain a “Sales Tax Exempt Purchaser Certificate” from Kayla Bauer before making any purchases. If the tax-exempt form is not accepted by the vendor, then the student can make arrangements with their advisor or Kayla Bauer to charge the expense to an MIT purchasing card, which is a tax-exempt card.
  6. Multiple requests in any one year are permitted within the overall budget.



  1. Fill out and have your advisor sign the linked faculty advisor approval form
  2. Fill out the linked application form; within the form, you will upload the advisor approval form (above). 
  3. The application form will automatically be sent to the Houghton Committee and Kayla. You will be informed of your application status within one week from your application date. After approval, make the purchases, and bring/send the receipts to Kayla for reimbursement.

**Please note that reimbursements for travel cannot be made until the travel has occurred. 


Updated: March 21st, 2023