MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Stu Schmill '86

Apr 30 2012

Stephen, I’m Putting You On Notice!

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Believe it or not, admissions officers occasionally try to do things besides reading applications to MIT. One of the things I enjoy doing in my downtime (besides playing with Legos) is watching the Colbert Report, which is one of my favorite television shows. 

During one recent episode, Stephen Colbert interviewed Richard Hersh, a former university president who recently coauthored a book on how higher education is failing in America. During that interview Hersh - who I think it is fair to say is somewhat down on education in America today - had some very kind words to say about MIT. (Thanks Richard. The check from Tim Beaver is in the mail). 

Stephen, though, had some unkind words about MIT, and moreover didn't seem to really "get" what makes this such a special place. Now, I know such complex concepts may be difficult for him to grasp (after all, truthiness will only get you so far), but, as someone who cares deeply about education, I felt compelled to try. 

So Stephen, a... read the post »


Apr 23 2012

A Few Lessons from FLL

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Spring is the season when students across the country are making choices: high school seniors are choosing where they are going to college (we just finished hosting Campus Preview Weekend to help our admitted students make their decision), high school juniors are choosing where they might want to apply to college, and high school freshmen and sophomores (and even my sixth grade daughter!) are choosing what classes to take next year. So this time of year I am asked all the time for advice on what choices students should make to help their chances of coming to MIT.

As I recently wrote in an op-ed piece for the higher ed website Inside Higher Ed, the best thing a student can do is whatever will advance his or her personal growth and genuine enthusiasm for learning.

In the piece I cite the FIRST robotics competition as one of many excellent and worthwhile activities a student might do. While many MIT students have participated in FIRST, last year I had the good fortune of... read the post »


Mar 29 2009

Some reflections

Posted in: Process & Statistics

It has been almost two weeks since we released our admissions decisions, and I wanted to take a moment to offer a few thoughts, and to thank you for being engaged with MIT and our admissions process.

This year has certainly been different from any we’ve seen before. The economic crisis has affected many, here at home and around the world. I know that many of you — students and parents — are concerned about the future: about jobs, about your ability to pay for college, and more generally about the economic, social, and environmental stability of the world.

For those who will come here to study, despite the difficult times — indeed, because of the difficult times — I hope you will come here with the realization that MIT offers the type of education that the leaders of our world need today, and the determination to take full advantage of it.

Through our commitment to a science and technology centered education integrated with a strong humanities program that offers appropriate... read the post »

Comments (14)

Mar 28 2008


Posted in: Process & Statistics

I know that it's been a long year, and now that you've had a week to process the decisions, I thought I'd offer some thoughts on the process, both to those who were admitted and those who were not.

From reading your applications, I know how much energy and care you put into them. For the last several months, as you have been waiting to find out your decisions, we have been reading and discussing your applications with the great care and thoroughness that they deserve. On behalf of the entire staff, I want to say thank you for your interest in MIT, and for sharing your stories with us. We have all been truly inspired by them.

Many of your applications brought back some memories for me. When I was in high school more than 25 years ago, I played Ultimate Frisbee and attended the Saturday morning Columbia science program. I took the city bus to my public high school every day and had a job all through my high school years.

Of course, there are many other experiences that I read about... read the post »

Comments (58)

May 4 2007

Moving Forward

Posted in: MIT Facts

We were all saddened by the news of Marilee Jones' resignation. In reacting, we must recognize and learn from two elements that may seem to be at odds with one another: Marilee's contributions over the years and her mistakes. And we must move forward.

Marilee's influence was widely felt. The message of "being" vs. "doing," quality over quantity, and injecting sanity into the way parents and students approach college admissions, came at an important time for our culture, and is one that resonated deeply with many. At the same time, what Marilee did was wrong. While we don't expect our applicants to be perfect, we do require them to be truthful. And we must hold ourselves to that standard.

I want to reassure everyone - especially those in the MIT community (and that includes you, members of the class of 2011) - that our admissions process is, and always has been, extremely rigorous and fair. Before any applicant is accepted, that person's application passes through five stages of... read the post »

Comments (166)