MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Decisions

Dec 15, 2008

Not Admitted

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Admitting such a small percentage of the applicant pool means that we unfortunately have to turn away many, many incredible students. For those of you who fall into this category, this is an open forum for you to talk.

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What did I do wrong? My four years of high school have gone to waste!

Posted by: LSK on December 15, 2008

Here's where you say, "Just kidding."

Posted by: LSK on December 15, 2008

just kidding

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

I failed.

Posted by: mtp on December 15, 2008

which one is more selective? being accepted or deferred?

Posted by: Anonymous on December 15, 2008

which one is more selective? being accepted or rejected?

Posted by: Anonymous on December 15, 2008

Oh well i guess thats just how it goes lol

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

mrrph.

Posted by: Errina on December 15, 2008

Seriously... I built my own watch. I folded 1000 paper boats as a prank. I got a 35 on the ACT. I led my school's debate team in its first year; we sent two squads, got 1st and 2nd place. I won my school's history fair my sophomore year. I got a 5 on AP Calc BC, independently studied. I recorded three CDs of experimental music. I was the third highest scorer in the city in Academic Decathlon, and the highest in math, economics, and essay. I'm currently leading Chicago's CCML (City of Chicago Math League) senior standings by 7 full points. I went to the Ross mathematics camp. I even snuck into MIT's freshman orientation for the class of '12 and pretended to be a freshman.

WHERE DID I GO WRONG?!?!?

Posted by: LSK on December 15, 2008

@LSK

ACT

Posted by: that guy on December 15, 2008

Attitude?

Posted by: Anonymous on December 15, 2008

Ah, crap.

Oh well. Maybe I can transfer here for my graduate degree later on.

Posted by: Kevin on December 15, 2008

@LSK:
Colleges don't like to see that you can't accept a little bit of failure.

The admish process is so shrouded in mystery.

Posted by: Alan on December 15, 2008

so if you get rejected you can't apply again?

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

Oh, and I'm in NHS, have a GPA above 4, scored 6 on IB Math Studies, got 1st and 2nd place in several Magic: the Gathering tournaments, designed several board and card games, got 4th place in an invite-only debate tournament, was in school plays (elementary, middle-school, and high school) for eight years, have a textbook collection spanning three shelves, showed up early to school every day my junior year to help the librarian set up the library, and a member of the Tri-M music honor society.

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

@LSK

too nerdy. clearly.

Posted by: hal '12 on December 15, 2008

I don't know where I went wrong either - I just want to crawl into a ball and cry.
It seems like all of my high school career was for nothing... I don't know what I could've done better or differently?

Posted by: LMM on December 15, 2008

if you applied early action, can you apply normal action also?and if so, how?

Posted by: BML on December 15, 2008

"1st and 2nd place in several Magic: the Gathering tournaments"

This is relevant.

Posted by: that guy on December 15, 2008

Further, I got 2nd place in a PTA art contest, played french horn in my school's marching band, took two college courses at Northwestern in my spare time, and APPLIED TO MIT MY JUNIOR YEAR BECAUSE I WAS BORED WITH MY CURRENT SCHOOL.

Posted by: LSK on December 15, 2008

Now we get to learn about failure, the hardest and most worthwhile lesson MIT can teach us.

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

can you apply again if you got rejected

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

@LSK - How was your essay and Interview? I got deferred( :( ), but I feel for you man. Seems you are more intelligent than me, but it might have been the essay or interview. Anyway I'm sorry for you, hopefully you get into the rest of your colleges. Wish me luck in Regular Decision.

Posted by: Helping on December 15, 2008

@Anonymous Magic Player

[trolling censored]

Posted by: hal '12 on December 15, 2008

Whoops accidentally put this on admitted... anyways:

I got rejected!
This means no huge undergraduate loan!

I WILL HAVE MONEY!

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

@ LSK:

You couldn't even get FIRST in the PTA art contest? FAIL!

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

@Helping

gl

Posted by: hal '12 on December 15, 2008

(The anonymous ranting was me, I forgot to add my name.)

@Helping: My interviewer said that she thought I was an exceptionally strong candidate. My essay discussed my hometown at various levels of "zoom", from my room to my house to my street to my neighborhood to the surrounding suburbs.

Posted by: LSK on December 15, 2008

Woah man it's like powers of ten...but an essay.

Posted by: RWJ on December 15, 2008

I suppose the point to all this ranting is - I don't know where I went wrong, or at least what made me outright rejected instead of deferred. U of C rejected me today as well, again instead of a deferral, and I'm just distraught.

Posted by: LSK on December 15, 2008

Wait, how do you know if you were "deferred" or not? I'm assuming since my admission didn't specifically state "deferred" that I got rejected. Yes? raspberry ... probably yeah.

Posted by: Mark on December 15, 2008

"'zoom',"

Blame the commas and quotes!

Posted by: that guy on December 15, 2008

@LSK

yeah, suburbs, fascinating stuff.

Posted by: hal '12 on December 15, 2008

That looks an awful lot like one of the UChicago prompts. How was that decision?

Posted by: @LSK on December 15, 2008

@ LSK:
Apply next year. You got denied. They didn't like you. Cry. Scream. Talk about all you did. No one will read it and you will only suffer more.
Go on.

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

MIT is not trying to judge you individually. They are just building a good enough class. http://www.paulgraham.com/judgement.html

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

so if you got rejected can you apply again

Posted by: =( on December 15, 2008

Best of luck to everyone in their future endeavors...everything happens for a reason smile

Posted by: Nic on December 15, 2008

guys.. just remember that this really isn't the end. Think of all the times when you thought that you couldn't bear losing something, but did it anyways and learned from it. remember "the end of the world" essay?
I really truly hope that through this experience, maybe you've gotten to know what MIT is really about and that at least you haven't come out empty handed. There's always something else in the future.
so cry now and wake up again tomorrow knowing that there was a reason you were not accepted. happiness is elsewhere for you.
good luck ^_^

Posted by: deng on December 15, 2008

So I got rejected....:[

To everyone else who got this news:
We still have grad school

Anyways, I believe everything happens for a reason so I guess it wasn't meant to be :'[

Posted by: dgg on December 15, 2008

... and get over it.

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

@LSK

THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Your world. Any world.

Also, I think that posting your stats on the "not admitted" forum not only tells a lot about yourself, but will change nothing.

You're obviously a smart kid--you will succeed in life. You will. Pick yourself up from this; you will move on.

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

"THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Your world. Any world."

WHAT IF HE'S HARUHI

AHHHHH

Posted by: that guy on December 15, 2008

Oh well. My future, tainted by my past. It was so predictable, how did I not see it?

Posted by: matto on December 15, 2008

The one rose in the manure here- one dream dying means I can focus on the others all the more.


glhf

Posted by: Celegron on December 15, 2008

LSK I don't know if you've ever listened to Justice but they have some real words of wisdom for you.

Sometimes you work day and night, getting better all the time, and you're still rejected. All you can do is a little dance.

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

I just wish colleges can look at what you can become rather than what you have done.

Posted by: sigh on December 15, 2008

think your life sucks? at least you're not here right now studying for finals...

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

@Anon talking to LSK

Sorry, but the name of the college matters so much to many employers. I'm sorry they didn't like the two pages they got to read about you and your essay. Must suck, I feel for you :(

Posted by: Tyler A on December 15, 2008

Hey, you kids,
please feel proud of your accomplishments to date. You are only 17 or 18 years of age and your lives are far from over. You have many years to prove how fabulous you all are, and I know that you will avail yourselves of all opportunities that present themselves. Good luck to you all, and go easy on yourselves.

Posted by: parent on December 15, 2008

ok so if you got rejected can you still apply

Posted by: answer my queston please on December 15, 2008

@LSK
I wouldn't tell too many people about that debate team...That's just embarassing...

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

@answer my question please
You cannot apply for RD, but you can next year. Luck!

Posted by: hal '12 on December 15, 2008

No, if you get rejected you can't apply to MIT again.

If you get deferred, you get automatically reconsidered, though.

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

"got 1st and 2nd place in several Magic: the Gathering tournaments"
How is this relevant at all to anything that is academic?

Posted by: lol on December 15, 2008

@LSK
Wait, so you're a Junior now?
If you're a Junior now you can always stay at High School a year longer and apply next year, can't you?

And if not, it's all right. MIT isn't the only good place in the Universe, and if they rejected you it's probably because you wouldn't have been happy there anyway. If you're really in love with MIT you can always apply for Grad school, which is even better on a job application.

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

Wonderful, this is what being caucasian has given me - joy....
I don't even know what to do now, I was set on MIT :-(

To everyone else, just keep your heads high.
I'm sure you'll all find your calling and get into another great uni.
Best of luck.

Posted by: Derek M on December 15, 2008

Ah well. Ambition comes to an end. I'm not sure whether to feel completely disappointed since I was anticipating this but it's still a little bit upsetting.

Posted by: deets on December 15, 2008

*sigh* alas, friends, it was not meant to be. Like all of you, I'd tried my hardest at everything, taken the most demanding classes offered at my school (which is rated one of the best in the country), led the robotics team, worked with college professors on experiments I designed to learn about microbiology, etc. etc. etc...

I'm applying to Caltech, too, so if somehow I get in there you can bet your soul I'll prank the Dome off of this impossibly selective school.

Peace out, my fellow forlorn rejectees.

Posted by: Jerry, not '13 on December 15, 2008

To those above: I'm a senior now. I applied last year as well.

Posted by: LSK on December 15, 2008

rejection is a part of life. some of you need to calm down and chill instead of ranting on about how your "4 years of hg have been a waste" because thats simply not true.

Posted by: chel on December 15, 2008

Although I always knew that i had a high chance of not getting in, it really was a surprise to see the outright rejection. I was hoping for at least a deferral.
Like derek, although I'm not a Caucasian male, I feel at a loss of what to do now. MIT was pretty much the only school I really considered and truly wanted to go to.

Posted by: disappointed on December 15, 2008

I'm Native American. I have my own photography business. I'm captain of my school's scholastic bowl team. What is this?

Posted by: Serious? on December 15, 2008

Wow... academiclly you guys have more things than me and I got deffered. Did you do community service LSK?

Posted by: Alex on December 15, 2008

Jerry -- if I get into Caltech, I'll join you.

Posted by: matto on December 15, 2008

@ LSK
maybe it has something o do with that fact that you don't do any sports/are too focused on typical "nerd" stuff, if you plan on applying for grad school i would suggest a couple sports to round you off, anyone who actually put a magic the gathering card tournament on their application probably doesn't go outside very much...

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

@LSK:
'6 on IB Math Studies'
Maths Studies? Why did you take that class? That was pretty much the cop-out maths course. You should have taken SL, if not HL or Advanced, or at least gotten a 7 in Studies.

Posted by: IB Grad '12 on December 15, 2008

From a deferred student right here...

A lot of you are listing your achievements and all, which are very impressive but...

I think a huge part of what MIT is looking for is also your personality. Not saying that you don't have a good personality, but if you dont show it on paper or in your interview, they will even deny 2400s.

Posted by: Alex on December 15, 2008

Guys... stop trying to game it. All the things you're telling are wrong with LSK's application... well, they were wrong with mine as well. I really don't know what to tell you. There's no formula to getting in. They didn't look at his app and be like "oh, no sport, not in" or "oh, too geeky, not in". I have no idea what it was, and the admissions officers or anyone probably couldn't pinpoint a reason either. I'm really sorry it didn't work out. I hope you all find amazing places that you will grow to love over the next 4 years. Good luck, everyone.

Posted by: Katie '13 on December 15, 2008

"MIT is not trying to judge you individually. They are just building a good enough class. http://www.paulgraham.com/judgement.html"

That's one of the worst things I've ever read. If the judging has to occur like that, isn't it blatantly obvious that something is wrong with the system?

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

Oh Asher Ö

Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2008

LSK...Read your BLOGs and that will explain why you did not get in...

Posted by: DP on December 15, 2008

@ lsk

at northwestern, did you do advance perchance?

Posted by: lizzio on December 16, 2008

@LSK
You tried too hard to be a person that MIT wanted, instead of being yourself-who they actually want. And you do a TON of activities, sometimes you just gotta relax, man.

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

lsk, one of the places where you could have gone wrong is that you seem to be missing an important piece of the puzzle. you see you dont seem to have a life, and that counts for something.
best wishes, and please email me when you gain some apparation of a normal life so i may respond with a slow clap.
sincerely,
someone who has a life

Posted by: lsk lover on December 16, 2008

"I just wish colleges can look at what you can become rather than what you have done."
>> believe me, they do.

Posted by: Vivi '12 on December 16, 2008

I don't get it, I've published a paper done well on the ACT play an exotic instrument which I composed a piece of my own and sent it for admissions and it was critiqued by one of the greatest musicians on the planet. And to make the admissions even worse, their are people that were above me in class rank and below me in class rank that got into MIT or got differed. I did everything I could and even wrote essays on diverse topics and for what? Nothing, to be rejected not even differed. I hate this!

Posted by: uraniumfreeze on December 16, 2008

I don't get it, I've published a paper done well on the ACT play an exotic instrument which I composed a piece of my own and sent it for admissions and it was critiqued by one of the greatest musicians on the planet. And to make the admissions even worse, their are people that were above me in class rank and below me in class rank that got into MIT or got differed. I did everything I could and even wrote essays on diverse topics and for what? Nothing, to be rejected not even differed. I hate this!

Posted by: uraniumfreeze on December 16, 2008

My heart goes out to you guys. In another year, I'll probably be in your place.. I know it sucks. No denying it. But it's not the end of the world. And in another year there will be someone telling me that. That's just how it is.

Vivi: How?

Posted by: Aditya on December 16, 2008

All of you talking about your accomplishments:

Hopefully you did those things not because you wanted to get into MIT, but because you enjoyed doing all of those things, and hopefully they should all be good enough in and of themselves. I know it's not much consolation now, but you'll go on to other perfectly good colleges and do extraordinary things (I can tell by all of your accomplishments). And anyway, you will always have the journey to remember. Because if it were only about the destination, the end would be anticlimactic, wouldn't it?

Posted by: Anonymous on December 16, 2008

well this sucks... I really wanted to blog for the admissions page, looked like fun...

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

Reading about your guys' accomplishments and the lack of acceptance depresses me and makes me second guess submitting my RD application. o.o

Posted by: Halli on December 16, 2008

@LSK
Which ap tests did you take and what scores did you get?

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

I don't know why I managed to venture into here--maybe I miss the excitement of college admissions--but either way, this makes me think of what Sadoway of 3.091 told us in his last lecture right before finals--

"What's the worst that can happen? You fail one class, you fail two, three classes, you fail ten classes, and then you leave this place. It's no big deal. I went to the University of Toronto, and look at me--I'm still here."

(btw, Sadoway is a super accomplished materials scientist. Look him up.)

I wouldn't have wanted to hear this, but after being here a semester, this place is NOT the best place in the world, it's NOT candyland for knowledge and nerds, and it's certainly NOT what I thought it would be. There are tons of good schools, even better than here. I love MIT, but don't sweat it. (Also, there's always grad school!)

Posted by: '12er on December 16, 2008

The thing about being rejected that disapoints me the most is that they told us about the size of the applicant pool as if it were a comfort. That just makes us all feel medeocre. But, to whoever writes those things, rejected applicants would much rather here what made them an inadequit fit for MIT. I want to know the real reason why. I want to know why I wasn't good enough to at least get deffered. I don't want to be told that MIT is sorry, I just want an answer as to why I got rejected.

To all of you talking about you're accomplishments. I bet you'll do great things. If you got rejected, their loss.

Posted by: Lindsey on December 16, 2008

Hey, guys.....c'mon....there's nothing like one single point or two got you rejected...i understand your emotions but.....it was you as an integration of the infinitesimally small qualities you possess and MiT didn't think you'd fit on the campus....that's it! accepting it has a beauty of it's own.....I'm RA and I know deep inside that when I get rejected, I'm just gonna wink at the screen and say "See you back at Grad, MiT".... wink

Posted by: Pranav Dave on December 16, 2008

@LSK: I may be biased but your achievements don't really stand out from the crowd. You have plenty of them, but remember that you're going against many people with many accomplishments too.

My friend got accepted because she's one of the best pianists in the world (won 5 international compos this year). Now that's something that truly stands out.

Posted by: Anon on December 16, 2008

No offense to some of you guys who have listed your laundry lists of "accomplishments", but MIT IS a competitive school to get admitted into; however, that doesn't mean you guys are competing against each other. You are competing against yourself. And I'm pretty certain that most of the applicants are extraordinary students, however, just because you didn't get admitted doesn't mean you are dumb or not capable of achieving success in your life. It just means that, based on the things you said in your apps, you wouldn't be able to match the lifestyle, resiliency, and hard work that is needed here. Also, if you tried to be or sounds like someone else on the application, that might have been the reason for your rejection.

That's just my 2 cents here.

Nevertheless, I'm really sorry to hear that you guys didn't make it. It sucks, yes. But this is not the end of the world. Pick it up and move on.

To all of you who got in, congrats!! I hope I'll join the celebration once the rest of the decisions start rolling out in March.

Posted by: 13' Hopeful on December 16, 2008

Trust me, it could be worse. You could have a 5.112 test in 3 hours.

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

@ LSK
you seem to be taking things a little too hard. Take life easy and believe me things will get better

Posted by: Shravani on December 16, 2008

@LSK
no philosphical talk!
you may have been regected because you may have wandered into forbidden land of arrogance;no complains but the border between telling the reality and arogance is very fine.

Posted by: saad on December 16, 2008

*sigh* Asher...

Posted by: Anonymous on December 16, 2008

LSK, MIT is looking for people who are well rounded. You don't have to be one of the top 5 pianists in the world either. That helps but its not necessary. Your math/academic creditials sound awesome, but the problem is that somebody else might be just as good as you at math and they also do sports/community service/boy scouts/student government too. Being a prodigy in one area will not get you in.
Good Luck.

Posted by: Chris on December 16, 2008

You've got to be kidding me. Straight A's, 5's on all my AP tests, dirty SAT's plus signifigant medical experience in Africa. I performed cleft pallete surgery, without anesthesia, on 16 child soldier refugees in Congo. This is total shivako

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

I don't think a lot of people understand what goes into this admissions process.

It's not necessarily whether you're "better" than the next guy, or even more "well-rounded". Literally (and every college I've ever visited says this), they just are trying to make a well-rounded CLASS.

Maybe they need a good musician. They get to your application, and music is the one thing you don't do. So they defer you, and accept the guy with worse grades but who is also a musical prodigy.

Also, remember that if you're Caucasian (this might even apply to Asians), the Affirmative Action program might have been the reason you got denied; whether you think it's "ethical" is a discussion for a different time, but just know that MIT does promote its Affirmative Action program and so that could very well have been a factor.

The point is, there are so many factors that go into admissions. It literally is the luck of the draw. Everyone who was smart enough to apply to MIT in the first place will get accepted to another top-tier school. Maybe Harvard or Princeton isn't looking for that musician right now, so you're the next great candidate. You weren't denied because you weren't smarter or more well-rounded than the other guy. You were denied because you probably just weren't what they still had a need for when they read your application.

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

Also, remember that if you're Caucasian (this might even apply to Asians), the Affirmative Action program might have been the reason you got denied; whether you think it's "ethical" is a discussion for a different time, but just know that MIT does promote its Affirmative Action program and so that could very well have been a factor.

Untrue.

I'm not saying that MIT doesn't have policies in place for minority admissions, but Affirmative Action is not one of them. Even if it were, that wouldn't mean that a less-qualified minority candidate were accepted in your place; at colleges practicing Affirmative Action, given the choice between two candicates with near-identical credentials in their application - one of whom is a minority - you accept the minority candidate.

Don't play the race card. It doesn't get you anywhere.

Posted by: Keri on December 16, 2008

@LSK: one of my best friends applied as a junior in HS and was flat-out rejected. he got in early the next year.

calm down.

Posted by: hoppzor on December 16, 2008

@Anon: You performed surgery? That's not even legal.

Posted by: Aditya on December 16, 2008

"I'm not saying that MIT doesn't have policies in place for minority admissions, but Affirmative Action is not one of them."

http://mitadmissions.org/topics/apply/affirmative_action/index.shtml

Also, Affirmative Action is whatever a school wants it to be. Usually, for college, there is a set percentage range of certain minorities that they hope to accept, and they try to fit those guidelines. I'm not complaining or whining or anything, this is just a fact which is true of most high-end colleges.

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

Hey guys,

Ok. I am applying RD, and haven't failed yet. I don't expect to get in...But I'm not letting that stop me.

My friend Brit last year was dead-set on going to Georgetown. She had spent her whole childhood dreaming of that school-- When we met, it was at a GU summer program. Last year she applied ED and got rejected. She is amazing; she has braces on her legs, but is the most independent and loving person I know. She is an amazing poet and has won many national contests, in addition to perfect grades. Safe to say, she was heartbroken. Then she gor accepted to Howard RD, and got a full-ride scholarship. She is so happy now, and relieved that she is where she should be. She knows that.

So, this probably feels like the end of the world, but you know what? Everything works out for the best (Voltaire would have a hay-day right now raspberry). When you resign yourself to accepting the things you can't change, and pick yourself up, good things happen and you find yourself where you should be. Call it karma, Fate, God, whatever.

I know you'll all find yourselves somewhere, even if it isn't at MIT. smile

Posted by: Miller_Miller on December 16, 2008

Maybe it's that you rejected MIT, not the other way around. Maybe by reading your essay, evaluating your interests, and exploring your interview, they found that you wouldn't be happiest there. It's all for the best.

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

It just hurts because you look at a school like this, you read the blogs, and you know that this is where people like you belong. Then you're just told to "move along," you are not the droid they're looking for.

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

Anonymous...what a bitter statement...First it is the place you belong, then you are not a droid that goes to MIT...

Posted by: Dude on December 16, 2008

@'12er good stuff.

If MIT didn't take you it's their loss. You're probably better off without it.

Posted by: Tristam on December 16, 2008

@Anonymous
It's cleft PALATE surgery; misspelling words in an application can hurt!

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

Hey 12er...Then why don't you transfer...

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

Hey guys,

Just a few random thoughts for ya'll:

First off, for those of you who are saying your high school years were a waste, PLEASE take a step back for a moment. You all sound as if you have done so many things in high school...think of all the experiences you have had, both in and out of the classroom! Your high school years were not a waste...they were just the prelude to all of the awesomeness that awaits you in college! (And yes, other colleges are full of awesome, too! Just give them a chance!)

I know it seems tough now, but with all of your acheivements (and I am certain you all have tons of them), you are going to have a lot of ACCEPTANCES as well. Don't view this as a failure, because a failure implies you've done something wrong. And, unless you tried to be someone that you are not on your application, this simply isn't the case!

You are all going to accomplish so much over the course of the next four years, whatever college you decide to attend. Best of luck to all of you!

Posted by: '12er on December 16, 2008

In answer to Aditya's question:
It is often said at MIT that the admissions comittee selects you "based on how strange you are" rather than how smart you are. Now, I'm not sure how much I buy this argument, but it does reveal something about the way these things work: MIT looks for a certain type of person, for a "potential", not for a certain list of accomplishments. I came from a high school that didn't have a very strong math/science program, so I hadn't worked in a college chemistry lab, marketed my own product, or won a national science competition. But I wrote about- and the things that I did in high school demonstrated- how much I like to learn. Yeah, I might not have taken AP Chem and I might not have been captain of the robotics team, but I'd be willing to learn those things if I had the chance!

Anyway, the point of all this is that there is no "formula," no list of things you "should" do to get in. Just be you. If you fit, you might get in. If you don't get in, it doesn't mean you don't fit here- it just means that you have the oppurtunity to "fit" and be excellent somewhere else!

Keep your chin up, guys. In a year from now, you'll be in college and this won't even matter in the big scheme of things...

Posted by: Another '12er on December 16, 2008

For every accepted student, there's eight more who aren't. The students that aren't are all academically and socially as well qualified. At this level of competition it's almost like trying to find the best water bottle in a Poland Spring case. And every single last water bottle has a unsatiable infatuation with MIT... doesn't seem fair.

Do the accepted kids want four more years of intense schooling? All nighters, poolfulls of homework, confusion, desperation, condescending concrete in every hallway. State school is tempting; I can sleep in class, have Junior standing going in and get the Bachelor's in two years; I'd get my master's by the time MIT's class of 2013 graduates. Enough money saved to buy a Bentley. See what happens when you think you've reached the "green dock light"?

MIT's truly is an infatuation, and until you have closure it's difficult to see the price you have to pay (spiritually, financially, and from your health)to be able to put three letters on a piece of paper you send to a company. Happiness and satisfaction come from inside, and I'd be a fool to say that what school you go to influence it.

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

@LSK ... I am sorry to hear that you didn't get admitted into MIT. It seems that you were numerically a very strong candidate. Unfortunately, the admissions process is contingent on more than test scores and extra-curricular activities. I would suggest that you ask your teachers about the recommendations. You will succeed at any school. I wish you the best of luck throughout your academic career.

Posted by: CEP on December 16, 2008

I can't believe this. this is so incredibly ridiculous!!!!!! i'm leader of the debate team, the robotics team, the medical team, the card team, the literary magazine team, the church team, the basketball team, the football team, the science team, the math team, the environmental team, the foot lover's team, the stripper team, the alcoholics anonymous team, the science Olympiad team, the cross country team(i run a 13:30 5k and have placed first in states for the past 3 years),

i speak 13 different languages fluently including Klingon, python, c++, d--, oracle, I knit enough blankets for all the homeless people in quebec, in one night last winter, my stomach can digest grass, i've played multiple concerts in carnegie hall, i found the square of the circle, i have lots of friends(im incredibly popular), my painting of mother teresa's exhumed body is on display in MOMA, i communicate telepathically with my dog, my aunt the queen of england keeps my photo-realistic paintings on her refrigerator,

i've actually attended classes at MIT for the past 5 years even though i live in milwaukee, i tame unicorns on weekends, i worked for NASA for the past 13 summers, i've gone into outer-space, i got a 2600 on my SAT's, 5's on all the AP tests, i have 6.0 grade point average, and i'm black, hawaiian, hispanic, inuit, and native-american!

AND I RIDE A UNICYCLE!!!

i spent three years writing and perfecting my essays for mit: my interview went well, my resume is perfect, i am perfect, i just don't get it!

how didn't i get since i'm obviously so wonderful????? why doesn't mit want robots like me????

Posted by: Hugh Jazh on December 16, 2008

dont feed the trolls

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

@Hugh Jazh

Wasn't going to comment on these 3 posts, but that was truly hilarious. Keep up the hope guys, I know your dreams have shattered, but they'll find solace in a different and equally deserving institution.

Posted by: Ahana Datta on December 16, 2008

@ Hugh Jazh
You ride a unicycle? FAIL!

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

@Hugh Jazh
I'm pretty sure it was the unicycle, I agree with anonymous. Maybe if you'd conquered gravity instead? A no-cycle would have been cooler.

Also, should have knit for Alaska instead of Canada (jk, jk)

Posted by: Snively on December 16, 2008

@Everybody,

I'm sorry for each of you that you received the tragic communication that the Institute simply does not have enough space to admit all of the imminently well qualified students who apply for admission each year.

For better or worse, the Institute operates as a meritocracy -- meaning that the Admissions Office seeks to admit the most highly qualified applicants from a very talented pool. IIRC, the number of applicants for Early Action this year exceeded the number of total applicants for my freshman class by a significant number, with the consequence that the bar for admission is much higher now than it was even two or three years ago and the margin between successful and unsuccessful applicants is often quite small. In such close contests, the difference may well hinge on factors over which you have little control such as your teachers' skill in the use of superlatives in your recommendations. It's also plausible that negative information that would result in denial -- deceitfulness, cheating on tests, criminal actions, inability to function on a team, habitually taking credit for the work of others when on a team, etc. -- surfaced in a some application packages. And it's possible that some of the applications indicated a tendency to coast by applicants who could have achieved much more. But who knows?

Last year, four (4) of my applicants were valedictorians in their high schools, and all four had an impressive resume of extracurricular activities and involvement. All four seemed to be very bright, and all four interviewed very well. The Admissions Office admitted only one of the four. Thus, I can tell you with certainty that those of you who did not gain admission have a lot of very talented company.

Now, let me address a few specific points in some of the posts above.

>> First, you cannot reapply at the Institute for the "Regular Action" cycle THIS YEAR. You may, however, apply to transfer to the Institute as a student NEXT year.

>> Second, the Institute's "Affirmative Action" program seeks to recruit HIGHLY QUALIFIED applicants from disadvantaged segments of the population. There is NEVER a lowering of standards for admission. Also, note that "disadvantaged" does NOT carry a racial or ethnic connotation in this context. Rather, students of any race from from impoverished areas ("inner city" neighborhoods, areas such as Appalacia, etc.) would fall within this category regardless of their race or ethnicity.

There are many other outstanding institutes of science and technology and colleges/universities with solid programs in technical areas to which you might consider applying. Here are several that come to mind off the top of my head, listed alphabetically.

>> California Institute of Technology

>> Carnegie-Mellon University

>> Colorado School of Mines

>> Duke University

>> Olin College

>> Northeastern University

>> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

>> Rice University

>> Stanford University

>> Worcester Polytechnic Institute

My best wishes for the best of success to each of you on your second choice of college and your future career!

Norm.

Posted by: EC Norm on December 16, 2008

I'm an Educational Councilor (alumni interviewer, Class of '73, which makes me 57 years old). I'm posting on this site because:

1. I want LSK to be proud of his accomplishments, rather than thinking he somehow "went wrong" by leading his school's debate team to a major victory, getting a "5" on AP Calculus, etc. The only possible "mistake" here was doing all of this for resume-stuffing purposes, rather than as ends in themselves. Even then, the mistake is VERY minor, compared with the much worse mistake of not taking advantage of such opportunities.

2. I want to apologize for how crazy the whole thing has become. It is the adults in this process who have "gone wrong" by letting talented young people like LSK doubt themselves simply because they were not admitted to MIT. We adults should know better. Unfortunately, many of us who have graduated from elite schools want to pretend that merely passing through them was an accomplishment, as opposed to actually DOING SOMETHING with the education that we obtained.
Having accomplished relatively little after graduating from MIT, I assure you that there is a difference, and I became an EC to emphasize this fact.

3. I want to say to LSK and all others who think like him, "OK, you are a championship high school debater, but have you successfully argued a case before the Supreme Court? You got a "5" on the AP Calculus test, but have you discovered any important NEW mathematical theorems, or, for that matter, important new applications for old ones?" MIT is only one of many places where you can "take your game to the next level", but the first step is to realize that you are not already there.
Furthermore, the smug self-congratulation that all too often stems from an elite education may actually hinder you in the process of getting there.

4. When I was in your situation, I was also totally depressed --- because I didn't get into Harvard.

Posted by: Edward Weinberger on December 16, 2008

Oh, one more thing. MIT, like all educational institutions, chooses its students based in its institutional imperatives. I don't know what this means in detail, except that I had an email exchange with the Admissions Office about how I would be looking to admit students who would benefit the most from an MIT education. Admissions wholeheartedly agreed. Note that neither of us said that these admitted students should be the smartest or the hardest working, though that these qualities might be good predictors of an optimum outcome here. So that's one imperative.

Other imperatives might be the need for, say, a good bassoon player for MIT's prized symphony orchestra, or people more likely to be interested in, say, energy studies, as opposed to yet more computer science majors.

PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT SPEAK FOR THE ADMISSIONS DEPARTMENT, AND THEY MIGHT EVEN BE ANNOYED WITH ME FOR POSTING THE ABOVE.

Posted by: Edward Weinberger on December 16, 2008

don't worry about not getting in: mit sucks the life out of you.

no. really. it does.

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

@ Edward
According to the MIT Admissions website, "We're asking about your preferred field of study because we're curious about what interests you right now - not because we have any quotas. .... approximately half of our students ultimately major in something entirely different from what they wrote on their application, so we couldn't use this date to predict anything even if we wanted to." Maybe you need to become more familiar with the application/admission process.

If I had accomplished very little after graduating from MIT, I don't think I would be telling the world about it. MIT has nothing to do with what you did or didn't do with your education following graduation. Certainly there are people who graduated from community colleges who have gone on to make a significant difference in this world. What one does with one's education and talent is completely up to the individual. It is not a reflection on the college or university.

Posted by: anonymous on December 16, 2008

@anon-I think think you missed edward's point, that's exactly what he said that where you go to school does not predict what you do with your education afterwards. I would say the latter really is more important.

I happened to wander to this site after meeting one of the bloggers. This is an interesting forum that most schools don't provide. I'm sure it's all been said about you are gonna do amazing things at other schools and rest assured this isn't being said just to make you feel better. The truth is, in a country as amazing as America, you CAN do whatever you want and guess what you don't need MIT on your resume to do it. I mean, really, MIT needs you more than you need it. If success was measured by what school you went to, it wouldn't be america. College apps aren't a test of potential success. It's just a process like anything in life (relationships, job, etc.)

Trust me in 10 years, it's unlikely that you will be blaming your success/failure on what college you went to but rather what you have done to get where you are.

It's hard (I can't say I understand since I wasn't as courageous as you guys to apply to competitive schools when I was in high school) but be sad for a bit and then move on cause tomorrow is unwritten and only you can decide how it will read!

and honestly rejection and failures in life make you stronger. we all fail once in our life (hopefully more) and we learn. Learn that you don't always get what you want and thinking too much about it prevents you from enjoying other things in life.

and is LSK and the other people listing their credentials for real? I can't help but feel a hint of sarcasm in such posts cause honestly a person is not defined by what is on paper (That's why you have to interview to get that job or campaign to be president). Honors and awards mean nothing if you aren't approachable (I hope that's the point of LSK's list...if you are serious, I don't know what to say).

College is ALL what you make of it, so get to it!

Posted by: Bostonian on December 16, 2008

You know guys, Bostonian made such a good point with MIT needing us (as in EVERYONE, not admitted students) more than we need them. A college's reputation depends on the graduates... not the other way round. What would MIT be without the amazing people coming out of it?
So I think MIT probably admitted the students they thought would have a good shot at making a difference in the world... but there are SO many of us who could make a difference in the world that it's a crap shoot. Go ahead and make a difference in the world, and you'll be ahead of anyone who went to MIT but did nothing. The only difference is you'll be boosting the prestige of your school, not MIT.
Does that make any sense at all? Anyway, good luck with everything. You guys are going to do great things. We all are. Good job - you have so much to be proud for.
Just so you know, I've been looking at the deferred and rejected boards... I swear I have no idea why I got in over you. I'm no more qualified than you... it really is a crap shoot. So please don't let this hurt your self worth, because after this process, I really really do believe that a lot of it is random. Good job, guys.

Posted by: Anon '13 on December 16, 2008

this forum makes me sad :(

Posted by: 0 on December 16, 2008

Wow, this is like fandom wank.

If I had accomplished very little after graduating from MIT, I don't think I would be telling the world about it. MIT has nothing to do with what you did or didn't do with your education following graduation. Certainly there are people who graduated from community colleges who have gone on to make a significant difference in this world. What one does with one's education and talent is completely up to the individual. It is not a reflection on the college or university.

Er, you managed to say everything he said, but rudely and with a negative spin?

@Bostonian: Ditto! You sound like a guy I know.

@Everyone: This forum is definitely something I have never seen another school provide. Seriously, has any other school done this? I can't think of any.

The only negative aspect of this forum, however, is that it is making the people who have not been admitted even more bitter. Well, if it were me, I know I'd either a) feel more bitter or b) just avoid this place completely.

This forum not only gives 14-ers and beyond a very clear reality of the admissions process, but it offers a small instruction on "what not to do".

Posted by: 0 on December 17, 2008

But somehow, it often feels like colleges expect us to do just that-- argue cases before the Supreme Court, discover new mathematical theorems, play our instruments professionally in Carnegie Hall, create our own several-million-dollar business, create a nationwide charity organization, cure cancer, etc., etc.-- in order to be competitive.

:|

It seems like an exaggeration, but it's becoming more and more of a reality for those of us who learned about these expectations too late in our high school careers.

Still-- a friend of mine was in the "Not Admitted" category, and I feel like had he been admitted, he would have definitely made the most of his education. However, I have no doubt that he, along with the rest of you brilliant people, will go on to be admitted and succeed at equally amazing schools. smile

Posted by: @Edward Weinberger on December 17, 2008

YAY for tube!

yeah smile Mommy, what's a tube?

A Special Message

Congrats to all Class of 2013. For those deferred and rejected, This has been a long journey EA suspense. Remember [Risk Taking] --never back down, never give up, never be afraid to fail. You have fallen, but you can get back up again. So, Keep on fighting--Keep on moving. I hope you will find your place in life. You hear that? Someone's knocking.

As for myself and many others, we are still applying, Regular Action.

"And so, the the baton is passed on from EA to RA; life goes on, another day passes. Here it comes--the final lap."

Posted by: Tube, himself, in person on December 17, 2008

yea I'm definitely gonna apply next year as a transfer because I really love MIT, but it sucks that we (those who transfer) won't get that freshman experience at MIT and have to take another year to get used to everything while everyone else is somewhat prepared

Posted by: 0 on December 17, 2008

I applied MIT so I can get the MIT letter for the lulz. sSo in the future when I'm successful I can do the in your face look smile

Posted by: Mgccl on December 17, 2008

o yea.. $60 is totally worth that

Posted by: 0 on December 17, 2008

When I was posting about arguing cases before the Supreme Court or discovering new mathematical theorems, I did not want to imply that colleges expect that. I, as an EC, certainly don't. All I was trying to do was to remind ALL MIT applicants, whether they are admitted or not, that there is a big difference between the "small pond" of high school and the "ocean" of adult life.

My thanks to Anonymous, who I suspect is a member of the admissions office. First of all, I was reminded of my own experience that MIT had a pretty good idea of the range of things that could happen to students there. The administration knows better than to try to predict majors from admissions applications, and I should not have implied otherwise. Nor did I mean to blame MIT for the subsequent course of my life. It was, after all, MY decision, and my decision alone, to opt for "smug self-congratulation", regardless of where I went to school.

Nevertheless, assuming that Anonymous IS a member of the admissions department, they are proving my point about institutional imperatives by posting what they posted. This is not at all a bad thing; in fact, it is their JOB to preserve the brand. One of the things that I look for as an EC is whether an applicant is enough of a grown-up to understand these sorts of things (Unfortunately, out of the 15 or so applicants I've interviewed, I met only one who MIGHT have understood. He didn't expect to be admitted --- and he wasn't --- because his grades weren't very good. But he did realize that he was probably too lazy to make a good candidate. He knew that an MIT education just isn't worth the trouble if you don't have a "fire in your belly", or at least a tummy ache.).

As for not accomplishing very much after MIT, my father, also an MIT grad, accomplished even less than I have professionally, but he was a wonderful father and husband. That's more, apparently, than Einstein's children would have said about their father. Oh, and my dad wasn't smug, either.

Posted by: Edward Weinberger on December 17, 2008

@ Edward
I'm the anonymous that posted and I'm not a member of the admissions office, I'm a parent of an MIT '12. I can truly say that being a wonderful parent and spouse are important accomplishments. Sometimes it is great parenting that ignites the "fire in your belly" for the student. To whom much is given, much is expected - has been the attitude in our home. Regardless of where students go to college, one can hope that they eventually use their talents to make the world a better place.

Posted by: anonymous on December 17, 2008

@LSK,

my teacher told me yesterday how a student was admitted from my school a very long time ago (she's old). And the next year a student with the EXACT same GPA was turned down.

She e-mailed an MIT official and they replied that because a student was admitted last year, another would not be admitted from the same school this year. Well that's fair. not.

She's a philosophy teacher and that being said, replied back to the MIT official...

Posted by: @LSK on December 17, 2008

FROM ALL THE BLOGS I JUZ READ IN ABOUT 25 MINUTES, I HAVE CONCLUDED THAT GETTING INTO MIT IS NOT A JOKE... WHICH I THINK MOST OF U GUYS KNOW.. I GUESS THERES NO TRICK TO GET INTO THE INSTITUTE.... ITS ALL ON UR LUCK.. WELL, I M APPLYLING RA 4RM INDIA... IF ITS SOOOOOO ..(INFINITE TIMES) DIFFICULT FOR U HIGHLY QUALIFIED GUYS TO GET IN THINK ABT THE COMPETITION AMONG ALL D INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS..??? I'M DAMN SURE DAT WOULD BE 100 TIMES MORE THAN US APPLICANTS..
I UNDERSTAND UR EMOTIONS AND I HAVE A DEEP SENSE OF GRATITUDE TOWARDS ALL OF U...
BUT, LET ME TELL IT IS NOT THE DEAD END OF THE WORLD!!!.. U HAVE GOT PLENTY MORE THINGS AWAITING U.. THE ONLY REASON IT WASN'T POSSIBLE WAS DAT DERE JUZ ISN'T MUCH SPACE 2 ACCOMODATE PPL...PROLLY DEY HAVE CHOSEN DA CREAM LAYER AMONG ALL OF U... WORLD'S NO 1 INSITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY CANT BE MORE THAN 1..SO BE CHEERFUL AND GOOD LUCK FOR OTHER DECISIONS...!!!

Posted by: Mohit Dhagat on December 17, 2008

Ed...you sound like a total downer as an EC and an alumnus. I am certain (and glad) that you were not my daughter's EC.

Posted by: Parent '13 on December 17, 2008

LSK (and your teacher), you still have not figured it out. It is not just about accomplishments or GPA. Time for you to move on.

Posted by: 0 on December 17, 2008

MIT has told you that you can realize your full potential someplace else that is why they didn't accept you.

And those of the people who say MIT isn't the best place in the world please add more details and make your story realistic. People who have never visited the place or know nothing about it can't imagine what it is like.

Posted by: Tristam on December 17, 2008

Tristam - MIT isn't the best place in the world.

Am I happy here? Sometimes

Do I have days, weeks, where I wish I wasn't here? Definitely

MIT is the most stressful, intense, challenging place I've ever been. I don't think I know anyone who hasn't freaked out at least a few times over MIT things.

Getting into MIT doesn't magically make your life happy, you're in charge of that. I have many friends from high school who were rejected from MIT last year and were absolutely devastated. And guess what, they're all just as happy as me right now and they love their schools, maybe even more so than me.

If you take anything from this let it be that no place, including MIT, is perfect.

Posted by: anon '12 on December 17, 2008

All you LUCKY guys who couldn't make it. Here is some Real world truth..
http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/20081208_hedges_best_brightest

Posted by: Resurgent on December 17, 2008

anon '12...I don't get it. With a comment like that, why do you stay?

Posted by: 0 on December 17, 2008

Though I share perhaps many political philosophies of Hedges, people like him excel at whining while not providing any solutions themselves.

Posted by: Dude on December 17, 2008

@Edward Weinberger:

You wrote: But somehow, it often feels like colleges expect us to do just that-- argue cases before the Supreme Court, discover new mathematical theorems, play our instruments professionally in Carnegie Hall, create our own several-million-dollar business, create a nationwide charity organization, cure cancer, etc., etc.-- in order to be competitive.

:|

It seems like an exaggeration, but it's becoming more and more of a reality for those of us who learned about these expectations too late in our high school careers.

I don't get the sense that the Admissions Office expects applicants to have done any of these things.

OTOH, given a choice between an applicant who has done two or three of them and an applicant who has not, all else being equal or nearly so... well, need I say more? If only ten percent of, say, 15,000 applicants rise above the pack with such unexpected distinctions, they will fill about five out of every six slots for admission.

For the record, I have interviewed an applicant who had done the several extraordinary things of the sort that you describe. (Okay, her performance at Carnegie Hall was the final round of a national competition and not for pay, but she also had presented papers on her own original research at two separate professional conferences on counterterrorism.) And yes, she was admitted to the Class of 2012 in the "Early Action" cycle.

Norm.

Posted by: EC Norm on December 17, 2008

@Resurgent:

Your link is an interesting perspective, but it's no surprise to me that its author specifically does not mention the Institute. In fact, the Institute is a place where people are expected to keep asking questions until they find answers that make sense and solutions that really will work. This sets the Institute apart from the institutions named in that piece.

EC Norm.

Posted by: EC Norm on December 17, 2008

Sorry for all you guys.btw i am applying for ra.can i get some help on essay and things.

Posted by: Varun on December 17, 2008

I'm sorry if this sounds out of line, but I'm tired of people complaining about their own race, saying that they didn't get admitted because of being white or asian. There's a few things wrong with that
1. You became suddenly ashamed of who you are simply because you didn't get into college
2. Underrepresented minorities are just that-people who have to work much harder in order to be presented with the same options in life as a white person. MIT is simply saying that they are doing their part to help minorities improve their lives. I live on Long Island, a predominantly white area. When my parents tried to get me into an honors program in 6th grade at Dawnwood Middle school, they said I had to PROVE my worth by taking a test, while my previous grades clearly showed that I would perform fine. I agreed to take the test, but they ended up simply throwing it out and I was put in a regular program for the rest of junior high school. At Dawnwood, just by looking at your skin tone they magically know that you fail at life despite all evidence pointing in the opposite direction. Thankfully my high school Sachem North asks YOU what YOU want to do instead of judging you. And of course MIT is the same way. If you have shown that you are MIT material, you will be admitted. And you won't have to take a fake test to get in.
3. You can check the ethnicity box labeled "African American" as long as you live in America. If you don't live in America, check your ethnicity as African. The human race originated in Africa. When they admit you as being a person of ANY RACE with an African background, they can't simply say "you're not black, you can't attend." Because that would just be racist, and besides, you didn't lie. You are African just like all of us. Being black does not equal being African.

Posted by: 0 on December 17, 2008

@ Everyone Rejected this year:

Following along the LSK conversation, I myself got deferred this year. I think that MIT doesn't really look for one or another personality other than eclectic. You CAN be too nerdy, but at least do something meaningful when you do those things. A lot of hobbies is great, but there's nothing beneficial from folding 1000 paper boats or winning Magic card competitions.

Being someone who only does community service isn't quite enough either. All colleges, not just MIT, seek versatility and benevolence. You can't be all booksmarts and have no after-school activities. You can't be all activities and have no good grades. You just gotta balance it all out, and have a grand time with your interviewer like I did. We joked about MIT hacks. My interviewer said he switched out all his roommate's albums and then switched the albums out of order (his roommate kept them in alphabetical order and there was an entire wall of them).

Have some personality! Don't be a slave trying to be a certain way, be YOU. Be an interesting person, not what you THINK is an interesting person. If you got rejected, it's not the end of the world, wait for the other colleges or apply next year! Learn from your mistakes.

Good luck to you all!

Posted by: Isabel Wen on December 17, 2008

My daughter just got accepted to the class of '13. She is in right in the middle of the overall SAT (at the top in math). She is not quite a 4.0 (but close). She attends a public high school. She doesn't play concert piano (or any instrument for that matter), or write and present original research, or create a special robots or computer algorithms.

She happens to love math and has some special knack for it that allows her to grasp the subject quickly and easily. But she is also a voracious reader of English literature, who spends her free time watching MASH reruns and going to the movies. Still, as one teacher wrote in his evaluation, "she excels in a humble and confident manner...and is a well rounded student with a spunky and upbeat personality... she has a powerful combination of intellectual ability, instinctive curiosity, and an unrelenting work ethic...included is an engaging personality with a heart of gold."

In addition to her teacher's comments she has a number of activities outside of school that were never intended to be a part of a high level application solely to impress an admissions officer. She is a competitive swimmer who spends 20 hours a week in the pool getting herself up at 5:00 am for morning workouts. She does this for the love of swimming, not as I mentioned, as another way to pad a college application.

Did her mother and I expect her to get accepted to MIT? I would like to think the answer is yes, but stepping back, who knows. What goes into a the admissions decision? I don't know, and I am not sure that these EC interviewers really do as well. What I can tell you, that you should all go back and read this, and pay close attention to the last point.

http://www.mitadmissions.org/topics/pulse/the_match_between_you_and_mit/index.shtml

Posted by: Proud Dad '13 on December 17, 2008

Thanks to Resurgent for posting the URL
http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/20081208_hedges_best_brightest
because it does an excellent job of explaining my remark about "smug self-congratulation". It should be required reading for every MIT freshman. To be fair, MIT seems to try harder than most to avoid this trap, but they seem to accept too many of their undergraduates into their graduate school and too many MIT PhD's are on the faculty. Most schools, in my opinion, wisely, actively discriminate against their own graduates in the faculty hiring process.

Posted by: Edward D. (Ed) Weinberger on December 17, 2008

If MIT is truly your dream school, then you could either go to a local college for a year, get great grades and apply for freshman or transfer admission (depending upon whether or not you want to go a full 4 years or can do with just 3, and of course depending upon what you can pay for), or you can enter the workforce in some occupation that would put to use skills that you've learned in AP classes, such as a guest researcher. A few kids at my high school are guest researchers at NIST. You could do that for a year and reapply the next round.

Just a few suggestions. Honestly, you must do what you feel best.

Posted by: @LSK on December 17, 2008

Sorry, that was me in the post above not LSK.

Posted by: 0 on December 17, 2008

Don't worry, kids... we accepted students already hate each other so much we got in a fight on the accepted board and an EC had to come in and yell at us.
...definitely not the proudest moment in my life.

Posted by: Anon '13 on December 17, 2008

@all
That's truly impressive, surgeon. I can't imagine what goes through their heads when they have to decide: it must be one of the toughest jobs to have because all the applicants are so great in their own ways and they get crap for every decision they make.

Posted by: Justagirl on December 18, 2008

@all
That's truly impressive, surgeon. I can't imagine what goes through their heads when they have to decide: it must be one of the toughest jobs to have because all the applicants are so great in their own ways and they get crap for every decision they make.

Posted by: Justagirl on December 18, 2008

my intention is not to be harsh, but to point something out. Maybe the reason some of the above didn't get in is because they are too full of themselves and don't care enough about what really matters in life. I wasn't accepted, but am okay with it because there are more important things in life and life will, indeed, go on, whether that involves MIT or not. I'm sure all who even considered applying to MIT are extremely talented individuals that will be sucessful in life: MIT or not.

Posted by: Not admitted and okay with it on December 18, 2008

Guys with all of this v can only say dat it is all abt. competition n nuin else..!!!...

Posted by: its all abt competition!! on December 18, 2008

i'm applying for regular action and i seriously hope i get admitted. any way for those rejected its time to move on. goodluck

Posted by: hst on December 18, 2008

Frankly, I have a few things to say.

When everyone applied to MIT, there was no fine print at the bottom saying that if you meet *insert arbitrary criteria here* you are guaranteed acceptance. THERE WERE NEVER GUARANTEES! You knew that when you applied, and now you have seen that. Degrading people with extraordinary accomplishments and research will never elevate yours.

You played the admissions game. Some got in, Some didnt. Its not game over. Apply to another college and start over.

Posted by: 0 on December 18, 2008

Btw...if you werent willing to accept any possible outcome, you might have been better not playing the admissions game at this college.

Posted by: 0 on December 18, 2008

I think that a resume overloaded with too many activities doesn't get into the admit pile as easily as the kid who does very very well in fewer activities and shows genuine commitment. And without essays and recommendations to look at we have an incomplete picture in this forum.

Posted by: Anonymous on December 18, 2008

they dont want uptight (freaky, psycho, obsessive compulsive, anal retentive, etc) people who cant take it easy and one day end up blowing up the whole school.

RELAXXXX PEOPLE

especially LSK.

I LOVED THE GUY THATS HAPPY BECAUSE HE GETS TO KEEP HIS MONEY. haha

Posted by: cll - mount holyoke ! on December 18, 2008

I've done varsity basketball, soccer, football, track, field, volleyball, and wrestling for the high school. I am currently ranked 2nd in my graduating class. I have a 4.0 and I am an outgoing individual who is willing to strive for excellence. I even won homecoming king as a senior. Not to brag, but this shows that I am a well rounded individual. I am talented with the piano, trumpet, and violin, as well. I've also won numerous competitions and attended many leadership institutes. Does it look like I am a prospective student who has a high chance of getting accepted to MIT?

Posted by: annonymous on December 18, 2008

I got rejected from MIT a few years ago, and again for graduate school (I go to Stanford now). What I've learned is while grades/test scores/etc are necessary, all they get you is a chance to play admissions lottery. I got rejected from George Washington as an undergrad and went to Georgetown; I got rejected from UMass Amherst and UMD for grad school and got into Stanford. If you got rejected with a good app, it's entirely possible that you did nothing wrong...admissions are just irrational sometimes.

Posted by: Rich on December 18, 2008

I've done varsity basketball, soccer, football, track, field, volleyball, and wrestling for the high school. I am currently ranked 2nd in my graduating class. I have a 4.0 and I am an outgoing individual who is willing to strive for excellence. I even won homecoming king as a senior. Not to brag, but this shows that I am a well rounded individual. I am talented with the piano, trumpet, and violin, as well. I've also won numerous competitions and attended many leadership institutes. Does it look like I am a prospective student who has a high chance of getting accepted to MIT?

Posted by: mike on December 18, 2008

Anonymous: Actually, it looks like you have a gift for fiction

Posted by: 0 on December 18, 2008

as do you Mike

Posted by: 0 on December 18, 2008

Do you honestly think I'm making my story up?

I'm looking for helpful information. Not "gift of fiction" information or anything that is negative.

Posted by: mike on December 18, 2008

Not being negative, but those are a lot of sports to play, and all simultaneously...

If you are looking for the type of student MIT is looking for, read this: http://www.mitadmissions.org/topics/pulse/the_match_between_you_and_mit/index.shtml

Posted by: 0 on December 18, 2008

Actually, I didnt play them all in one year. I would play 4 sports one year and then change to totally different sports the next school year. It was similar to a pattern. I wanted to be diverse.

Posted by: mike on December 18, 2008

Man, I sure am glad I got accepted to MIT a decade ago and didn't have to compete with the likes of all of you. You kids are freaking nuts. A teenager is not the sum of their yearbook entries.

Here is a pro tip for the jilted: the real value of MIT is the people, not the classes. The people are free.

Posted by: peeto on December 18, 2008

Seriously don't whine. Remember if everything fails there is always suicide! Remember to leave a note explaining that it was MIT's fault. In time this will force them to lower standards and MIT will rot from the inside out. Then you can have a great laugh and rise from the dead and attack MIT as zombies!

Posted by: LOL on December 18, 2008

Recorded 3 CDs of independent music? Captain of the debate club? 36 on your ACT? Captain of the yacht club? Declined?

Here's why:

How are you making the world a better place by doing these things? You aren't. You're overachieving. How are these applicable to your chemical engineering major, your computer science major? They aren't.

Don't set out with the goal a goal of getting into MIT. That makes you a tool. Set out with a goal to do something beneficial. Set out with the goal to accomplish something that is only attainable with the right facilities and environment.

MIT wants people who are passionate about real things, not about their egotistical, self-masturbatory fantasies where MIT is on their resume.

Posted by: hypoxide on December 18, 2008

I didn't apply yet, but it sounds like I'll have to be very convincing on my application.

Posted by: Stanley on December 18, 2008

Congratulations on those who got accepted.
I feel sorry for you guys who have been rejected but I really sympathize with you.
I'am applying regular decision and I'm not as competitive as LSK. I just had my interview and honestly, I don't expect to be admitted but this blog really freaks me out.
The admission officers must have regretted that they had to reject such good students. It's not the end of the world. I'm sure that you(the rejected applicants) can succeed in your life even without studying in MIT. So cheer up!

Posted by: Belinda on December 19, 2008

@all

that sucks. clearly you love something and have passion. now go through with it and change the world.

Posted by: omarish on December 19, 2008

Hey LSK,

I am an MIT Junior. Listen to what I will tell you:
1. Although you listed 1000 things, none of them is actually that good. If you have one thing at which you are really good then it counts much more towards describing you. But by really good I mean: REALLY good- top at world. I know tons of people that get focused at one thing (mathematics, mountain biking, name anything you want) but show something extraordinary. So my first point is: Do you really thing you deserved to get in?

2. That's not the end of the world. You never know what you win when you lose and what you lose when you win. I bet that one day you will look back and you would be happy that things unfolded that way. You are a smart person, and I'm sure you'll get some pretty good opportunities.

3. relax, dude! don't take yourself seriously. grow up. and throw your current attitude away. MIT is not for posers.

Peace

P.S. People, why do you want to go to MIT so much? For 3 years here I accumulated so much stress that probably my life has shortened with 10 years. WTF am I doing giving words of wisdom to entusiastic pre-frosh.

forget it, it doesn't matter

Posted by: Ziggy on December 19, 2008

I'm posting anonymously because this will seem too self-aggrandizing otherwise. I got into MIT back in the day but chose not to go there. Instead I went to a state school on a full scholarship. Got out with a lot less stress and no student debt. Ended up working for NASA and then an early employee at a very successful silicon valley startup. So everything turned out OK. Point is: if you're smart enough to even a be a contender to get in to MIT then you don't need MIT to be successful. You can get a good education anywhere. You attitude and work habits matter a lot more in the long run than which college you attended.

Posted by: Anonymous on December 19, 2008

btw forgot to advertise this Facebook group I made 1 year ago
MIT current and future rejectees
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=11913686803

Posted by: Mgccl on December 19, 2008

The lengths ppl go to get into this place...
Since I'm applying RD undergrad intl, I have less than 5% chance of getting in. To be competitive enough, I must create 20 fake IDs with 20 different sets of achievements, personality, character, etc etc...
ID #1: All-Out Nerd
ID #2: All-Out Sportsperson
ID #3: All-Out Simple, homely guy
ID #4: All-Out Overachiever
ID #5: All-Out Underachiever with hidden potential
ID #6: 50% Nerd + 50% Sportsperson
ID #7: 50% Nerd + 50% simple guy
ID #8: 50% Sportsperson + 50% Simple guy
ID #9: 50% Nerd + 50% Overachiever
ID #10: 50% Underachiever + 25% Sportsperson + 25% Simple guy.....
......
......
ID #20: Myself
Cumulative Application Cost: $ 1200
Time Required for each ID : 4 years X 20 = your entire life
Best Solution: Apply Once. Be Yourself. Get In. Good. Deferred. Think Over It. Rejected. Excellent - MITs not for you.

Posted by: HAT on December 19, 2008

About 10 years ago I was deferred from MIT early but got in regular decision. I went on to graduate with a 5.0, work in industry for a few years, and now I'm back in grad school for the PhD. The admissions process is sometimes very random, but in the end you'll get into where you're meant to go.

Posted by: MIT Alumn on December 19, 2008

MIT is nothing special, and college in general is a big pile of steaming BS. Save yourself thousands of dollars and several years of your life. Buy the books, and learn to teach yourself.

Posted by: steve on December 19, 2008

4 steve
errrrrrrrrrr.................. sorry 2 say but you write like a sore loser who MIT rejected. God willing I won't write like you when Regular decision is out, I pray.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO RETHINK NOT GOING TO COLLEGE

Posted by: Alaba on December 19, 2008

Thanks so much for all these fascinating, pitiful, informative, pathetic, uplifting and downright depressing comments....such is life, no? My son has applied to RD MIT and his best friend/competitor was just deferred...the battle rages on...but I digress. I've been compiling a "best of" list of the comments here so that when my son is either rejected or accepted he can be comforted by the knowledge that it's all a crapshoot and that expectations will sometimes break your heart and spirit no matter what you do. And, hopefully he will say yes to Stanford (accepted EA!!!)

Posted by: Vee on December 19, 2008

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh all the way to March when RD admissions are awarded. Or not.

Posted by: Generic Bob on December 20, 2008

OH NO! Rejected from MIT!

Now I only have a 95% chance of reaching the 98th percentile of wealth instead of the 99th. LIFE IS SO UNFAIR :(

Posted by: mikeb on December 20, 2008

Well, hopefully you all have a wonderful essay idea to write to the "end of the world" prompt.
Optimism is often misconstrued as sarcasm...

Posted by: 0 on December 21, 2008

@ LSK

Is it at all possible that one of your teachers said "yes" in the "any reservations about the applicant's character" section of the recs?

Posted by: 0 on December 27, 2008

Ziggy,

I is smawter then u. I shuld be at MIT insted of u rite now.

-LSK

Posted by: LSK impersonator on January 2, 2009

I don't think I have a right to blog here since I applied RA but I don't have my hopes high for MIT though I love this place. a lot.

But yeah, to LSK and others who are upset, it's not the end of the world. Sometimes, you may tihnk you love MIT and you might think it's the only school for you and at the time you get 'rejected' it seems so bad, but hey, it'll be over sometime. You got to move on and just keep going, right? And it's not the end of the world!

MIT has so many applicants and I bet each and everyone who applies are brilliant in their own way and have their own talents, and there's nothing with what went wrong or anything.. it's just that MIT can't take everyone. And if you didn't get in, it might have been just a minor glitch.

Not everyone can be satisfied in life and we can't have everything we want in life. But that's what makes what we have even more precious. If you think you've done many great things and stuff and you're not admitted to MIT, don't be upset or tihnk that you did all this stuff in high school for nothing. We should be doing these things not because we have to in order to get into post-secondary.. we should be doing these things because we want to, because of passion because of will.

Anyways, I think I'm done my say. To everyone reading and that have commented. good luck to your future journeys and pathways.

Posted by: Anon. on January 4, 2009

Dear LSK,

I'm sorry to hear about the rejection, but I think you will be just fine with the other colleges. Best of luck to ya.

Dear Anon,

You and your accomplishments ARE so hot. I know the school you debate for, and there are a lot of very attractive debaters there. Charm goes a long way, and you seem to have a lot of it.

Posted by: Anonymous on January 8, 2009

Ed, If you're claiming to be an "Educational Councilor," of which "council" are you claiming to be a member? Did you perhaps mean that you're an "Educational Counselor"?

Posted by: Da Spella on January 10, 2009

woooah. i had my post deleted from this forum. let's have a round of applause for first amendment rights and MIT!

Posted by: anon on January 11, 2009

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