William R. Dickson Education Fund

Basket weaving image

About the Dickson Fund

MIT established an endowment fund to honor William R. Dickson '56, Senior Vice President of the Institute, upon his retirement in 1998. Access to the William R. Dickson Education Fund is one of the many benefits awarded to members of MIT's Quarter Century Club (QCC). The Dickson Fund awards grants to assist QCC members in the pursuit of their health, wellness, fitness, and educational goals. A few examples of educational classes taken include languages, music lessons, arts and crafts, computer programming, cultural enrichment, memoir writing, health and fitness classes.

Please promote this benefit to your QCC colleagues and friends, and if you're thinking about taking a class or workshop, we encourage you to go for it! – Board of Directors, Quarter Century Club

Types of courses funded

Courses may be eligible for funding when they include professional instruction, training, or tuition in the pursuit of health, wellness, fitness, or educational goals. Courses may be held at accredited institutions, or non-accredited organizations, or with a private instructor. If the course is not held at an accredited institution, the course must be taken with a professional instructor who maintains certified credentials.

Generally, these types of courses are eligible for consideration:

  • Educational tuition at an accredited institution
  • Adult and continuing education classes and lifelong learning programs
  • Educational lessons/workshops with a professional instructor with certified credentials
  • Fitness class/lesson or personal trainer with professional certification
  • Hobby workshop with professionally certified instructor
  • Conferences with documented workshops and/or instruction

The following categories do not meet the fund’s guidelines:

  • Membership dues at fitness clubs or organizations
  • MIT athletic card
  • Medical or medical-related care (i.e., chiropractor, acupuncture, physical therapy)
  • Counseling or treatment programs
  • Alumni travel programs
  • Insurance premiums

Dickson Fund awards

Approved applications are funded at 75% of the course fee. The grant recipient is responsible for 25% of the course fee. A grant recipient may receive up to $1,000 per 12-month period for one or more classes. For example, if you take a course that is held September December 2021 and receive the maximum grant of $1,000, you will next be eligible to receive a grant for a course that begins in September 2022.

There is no minimum course fee and courses may be held worldwide. The maximum amount that a recipient can receive in his or her lifetime is $7,500. The lifetime maximum was increased from $5,000 to $7,500 in September 2019.

In an effort to ensure broad-based access and award grants to as many eligible and interested members as possible, a maximum total of $30,000 will be awarded annually for approved applications. Grant priority will be given to first-time applicants.

The Board may act with discretion to distribute the funds as equitably as possible.

Applying for a grant

Applications will be reviewed quarterly. The 2021 application deadlines are:

• March 31 (applicant notified by April 30)

• June 30 (applicant notified by July 31)

• September 30 (applicant notified by Oct. 31)

• December 31 (applicant notified by Jan. 31, 2022)

Submit your application online and our board will review your application at the next QCC Board meeting. Please note that the name you list on your application is used for fund disbursement only. Your application will be anonymized when it comes before the Board for approval.

Receiving a grant

Applicants will be notified in writing if their application has been approved and the amount of the grant will be noted.

Since grants are awarded in the form of a tuition reimbursement check, checks only will be issued with proof of original payment and/or registration. Sufficient proof can be demonstrated with any of the following: a cancelled check, credit card bill statement, cash receipt, or billing statement from the educational institution.

Grants are awarded as a tuition reimbursement check and only will be issued with proof of original payment, registration, and course completion.

Applicants will be required to provide a summary of the course experience and what was learned, what skills were gained, and what results achieved from taking the course.

It is the responsibility of the grant recipient to determine whether or not any taxes need to be paid on the grant.

Please send payment/registration documentation and course summary to:

William R. Dickson Fund
c/o MIT Community Services Office
77 Massachusetts Ave., Bldg. E19-711
Cambridge, MA 02139