Jan 7, 2011
Admissions Bulletin - RA News, EA Results
Posted in: Process & Statistics
Happy New Year!
Early Action has concluded, Regular Action has begun, and the office is revving back up. And with that, it's time for a few admissions process updates, and a note about Early Action.
In no particular order:
- Don't worry. We have your mail. We've been getting a lot of calls and emails from students concerned that their mailed documents haven't shown up on the application tracker. Here's why: we're getting one or two dozen buckets of mail every day. I have built a small igloo of them and am posting from inside it right now in fact.
This morning's shipment of mail. We will get a few more like it throughout the day.
Opening, identifying, processing, and filing these documents is straightforward enough, but it takes a lot of time! It is completely normal for things that arrive today to not appear on the tracker for another week or two. But neither snow nor rain nor heat nor flood of mail stays our office from the reliable completion of our appointed rounds, and we will not evaluate your application until we have everything we need. So don't stress!
- Midyear Report. Though it is not yet available on MyMIT, you should be keeping the Midyear Report in the back of your mind. All Early Action deferred and Regular Action applicants must fill out the Midyear Report. If you have something important you would like to update us on, you will have space to do so here. This is the best place to update the Admissions staff with new and exciting things in your life.
- How to send us updates (if you must). First of all, you do not need to send us anything extra. But if, for some reason, you want to send us something - like an extra letter from a coach / teacher / mentor / president of your fan club - the best way to do it is via fax. Saves on postage, trees, and carrier pigeons.
You should send your faxes to 617-687-9184.
As always, if you have additional questions, you can email us at admissions [at] mit [dot] edu.
EARLY ACTION STATISTICS
Now that the dust has finally settled on the Early Action period, we can release some statistics - and, even more importantly, some context in which to understand them.
This year was our biggest Early Action cycle ever. We received just over 6400 applications during Early Action, and we admitted 772 students - both record highs. And while it is impossible to know at this time exactly how many complete applications we will receive during Regular Action, we expect the final total (Early + Regular) to exceed 17,800!
Let's put these numbers in some historical context.
Just a few cycles ago, in 2007, around 3300 students applied during Early Action, and we admitted 390. About 12,400 students combined between Early and Regular Action applied that year - far less than the 17,000+ we expect for this year.
So what changed?
Well, for one, more students are applying to MIT every year - which makes me extra happy that we're expanding undergraduate enrollment with the opening of Maseeh Hall.
But the most striking shift, in terms of our process, has been in the proportion of students who apply Early Action vs Regular Action.
For a very long time, the application proportion was stable: about 1/3rd of domestic students applied Early Action, and about 2/3rds applied Regular Action. And, because we don't have any preference for students applying Early, our admit rate followed our applicant rate: we accepted about 1/3rd of our students Early and about 2/3rds of them Regular.
Today, however, almost half of our domestic applicants chose to apply during Early Action! So the number of students whom we accepted in Early rose accordingly. To do anything else would be unfair to those students who merited acceptance during Early Action.
One byproduct of this is that we were able to offer a final decision (admitted or not admitted) to many more students than last year. For those of you who were deferred: nothing has changed in our policy or practice from last year. Your application will be reconsidered without prejudice during Regular Action. We take many deferred students every year during Regular: our deferral constitutes neither a 'delayed acceptance' or a 'polite rejection', just an opportunity for reconsideration.
Another byproduct is that the number of students we accepted in Early Action rose quite a bit. However, it’s important to remember that we don't have any sort of preference for applying Early, nor do we give any 'bump', of any kind, for applying during either cycle. If you are a student that we want to bring to MIT, we will admit you. It does not matter when you apply.
I'm hammering this point home because, as with everything else in the college admissions process (SAT scores, GPAs, etc), raw numbers can be deceptive without the context in which to understand them. And what we don't want people to think is that they get any sort of edge by applying to MIT Early. If you want to apply to us Early, then great! But if you would rather apply Regular, you're all set. You're going to receive the same, fair, unprejudiced evaluation either way.
So here's the bullet points version of everything I've written above:
- More students now apply during Early Action, so we now admit more students during Early Action
- We still have no preference between Early Action and Regular Action applicants, so we will evaluate your application fairly no matter the cycle during which you apply.
Finally, I can tell you that the only thing that excites me more than the 772 students we accepted during Early Action are the remaining students we will accept during Regular Action. That means I've got mail to open and applications to read! TTFN!