The changes, which follow a similar decision by Princeton University in late January, will offer students more grants instead of loans to cover tuition and other expenses, cutting the price of college.
Financial aid officials said some other schools also might tweak their financial aid programs, but UNC and Duke universities likely will not.
Betsy Hicks, MIT director of student financial services, said their change in the financial aid system was not a result of the similar programs at Princeton and Harvard.
"We were already discussing (the possibility) last summer, and we were already at that point (to make an announcement)," Hicks said.
"We are in a fortunate position that we have more opportunities to do this."
Hicks said the new aid program would allow students to concentrate more on school work because they would be able to work less and not worry about paying back thousands of dollars in student loans.
The grants will be funded through the schools' endowments.
Don Betterton, director of undergraduate financial aid at Princeton, also said he believes their decision will benefit students.
Both Hicks and Betterton said they think that a few more universities may follow Princeton, Harvard and MIT's lead but that a nationwide trend will not begin.