MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Ben Jones

Mar 18, 2005

Online Decisions, Sortof

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Well, let's open the can of worms.

Looks like MyMIT changed for admitted students as of midnight (EST) on the 18th. Waitlisted and rejected applicants won't see any difference.

So, to be blunt - if you haven't received your decision yet and you don't wish to find out online, DO NOT LOG IN TO YOUR MYMIT ACCOUNT...

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

I was wondering what would be done for rejected and waitlisted students on MyMIT. Now I know.

Posted by: Phil on March 18, 2005

Sorry about that Phil. We're hoping to change that for next year. If you have ideas on what we could do better in those departments, I'd love to hear them.

Posted by: Ben on March 18, 2005

Ben, could you tell me what sort of changes were made to MyMIT for admitted students?

Posted by: N on March 18, 2005

If my mymit has not changed,how'll i know if i am waitlisted or rejcted??

Posted by: sreraman on March 18, 2005

Rejected from MIT

Posted by: sreraman on March 18, 2005

I have just confirmed that I was rejected (since I'm an international applicant from Mexico and didn't receive anything from DHL). Now, the waitlist is my only hope, but for some reason I feel that I'm not even there.

Ben, is there a way for me to know how many applicants there were from Mexico, and how many got accepted? This is just out of curiosity.

As a side note, Ben, thank you very much for this website. Although I just discovered it like a week ago (along with Matt's and Mitra's), I am already a fan of MIT's blogs. Thank you for taking the time to share your valuable perspective of the admission process with us.

As for my rejection, I really can't say anything. I don't feel sad at all. I just didn't expect anything when applying (as an international!) to such a competitive and wonderful institution with my modest credentials. Still, I am happy of having applied, and I would definitely do it again (grad school, perhaps?).

Now I will stop this nonsense and go to sleep. Good night to you all.

Posted by: Agust on March 18, 2005

Hey ben you 'do' realise that to read your warning we have to sign into MyMIT?


Posted by: waiting on March 18, 2005

there could be the warning site:

"WARNING! If you do not want to find out your decision now - click 'log out'."

Posted by: jpsi on March 18, 2005

MyMIT should say if we got outright rejected, or are offered a place on the waitlist...

Posted by: Prashant on March 18, 2005

Hey Ben, are you planning to change MyMIT for the wait-listed like you did for the deffered ones earlier?
Also thank you for this website: the discussion going on is a very interesting one.

Posted by: Niraj on March 18, 2005

waitlisted. =)

Posted by: Joel on March 18, 2005

N - admitted student guestbook + CPW info, mostly.

Sreraman - that is a good point, and we'll try to make changes for everyone (admitted, waitlisted, rejected) next year.

Agustin - I think the stats will be released at some point, but I haven't heard yet.

Waiting - true in some cases, but so many just have my blog bookmarked...

Prashant - you are right and we will work on that for next year. I apologize that it wasn't available this year...

Niraj - we don't have the backend in place to do that this year, I am sorry.

Posted by: Ben on March 18, 2005

itz prolly a dumb ques but since i am rejected, when will my access to MyMIT stop and how will i locate ur's, matt's and the other's blogs??
cos i will sure continue reading them smile

Posted by: neha on March 19, 2005

Well, after the initial rejection blues, I am up again like a zombie. Ben, I was thinking of applying as a transfer student next year (yes, its once bitten, twice try for me). I am a student from India who would be completing his twelvth this year, and plan to enrol for college this year itself.

I know that the transfer admissions are extremely competitive and I'll need something really strong in my application to even be considered. Can you tell me the number of kids MIT admits as transfer students each year and approximately, the number of international students who are admitted? Also, are there any quotas for countries etc. Since I was rejected this year, will the adcomm be considering my application with a fresh perspective? I mean, if they are already convinced that I am not the right 'match' for MIT, and I have no way of knowing that; there seems to be little point in applying next year.

Finally, something which I wished to say to all the applicants is that after regularly frequenting these blogs over the past few months, I realize that you guys are simply awesome. Really, applying to MIT was a humbling experience. The admission officers must surely have had a trying time selecting just a handful of applicants. Wishing you all a great journey ahead and do continue to dream.

Posted by: Neeraj on March 19, 2005

Neeraj... not to let you down but the # transfers last year was 7 ... SEVEN!

hehe I was thinking of applying as transfer too, guess that won't be possible. You have a better chance of winning a jackpot than getting in via transfer.

neha - ben's blog is -
matt's blog is -
barkowitz is
same for mitra and kevlar..

Posted by: Prashant on March 19, 2005

Ben why does this blog look different from Matt's?

When someone posts a message, does it go into a database at MIT from which the web page gets recreated each time a new message comes in? Is this how blogging works?

What else do you log for each message in the database - the IP address, browser info, etc? What do you do with it?

For mymit perusals, do you log all the accessess the student/applicant makes for various data analysis later - like what information at MIT was most accessed or what most interested the applicant, etc?

Can any message presumably posted annonymously to a blog at MIT, or information perused through mymit, or accessed "legitimately" through mit internal networks by mit students/employees/faculty, get them into trouble? Not the "illegal activity" kinda trouble. But the "big brother" kinda trouble that is brewing on the horizan ala Campus Watch or Patriot Acts or expression of dissent or the new Macarthyism and witch hunting coming into vogue in America?

Many corporations check out potential employee profiles these days on the internet - what have they posted/what positions have they taken on controversial issues etc. Does MIT do that? Recently a congressional aide in Washington was fired for blogging her sex life on the Internet, and an airline hostess was fired for posting some pictures of herself (full clothed in airline uniform but making a pose) on the Internet. The respective supervisors found out, for all sort of rationales, the door!

What would prevent any one at MIT in position of power - say a professor before he employs a student in UROP or accepts for a thesis, or MIT faculty looking for a new assistant professor to hire, or MIT admissions looking for a new staff member, from generating such a profile and then using it according to their own biases?

Has MIT formulated any official policy on these issues? I guess mainly two basic issues: data collection on legitimate information access/generation by the MIT community, and how to use such data.

What are the boundary conditions - okay to hand it to the justice department searching for the terrorist dujour; not okay to discriminate based on it (and what happens when such discrimination is found, what penalties/remedies are in place without the plaintiff resorting to engthy court battles); limits on protection of free-thinking/free-expression of opinion if it goes against the grain; no limits on academic freedom of expression even if it does go against the grain, etc.

In case you aren't already, I hope you would become familiar with all sides of the issues facing Columbia univeristy in this regard. How doess MIT intend to keep the legacy of its greatness intact under such a prevailing mood in the entire country when more and more academic instutions are under its onslought?

For the sake of keeping alive in young memory this MIT greatness, here is an anecdotal piece of evidence. Distinguished MIT Institute professor and national treasure (according to many), Noam Chomsky noted recently while discussing his life with journalist Amy Goodman: observing that in the 50s and 60s there were few if any Jewish professors at Harvard because of deep rooted antisemitism, he had no hope of entering Harvard as faculty after his PhD., so, "I went to the technical school down the street".

Many questions killed the curious cat? I hope not!


Posted by: curious cat on March 19, 2005

Just 7 transfer students last year! I think I'll have to think of something else.

You'll be surprised that my EC told me that it is easier to get in as a transfer student, if you are transferring from say IIT Delhi to MIT. But then, in India, I guess everything begins and ends with JEE.

Anyways, thanks Prashant for that bit of info.

Posted by: Neeraj on March 19, 2005

curious cat --

I'm not Ben, but this blog looks like it's based off of the Movable Type blogging engine on a standard hosting service. Usually, to update the blog, you go to a certain site where you log in using a certain username and password. There, you type in your message and submit it, and the Movable Type engine rebuilds the website to match the inclusion of the message.

By default, MT logs comment IPs, story/post IPs, and login attempt IPs. And I don't think that MT allows for anonymous posting of stories/blog entries. Also, this doesn't look like Matt's blog because this is based off of MT while Matt's seems to be running on other blogging engine using .ASP, so yeah. Hope that helps,


Posted by: [p] on March 20, 2005

I suppose half of those 6-7 transfers are from IIT. Sad, eh? I heard if you get AIR 1 in the JEE, MIT invites you to transfer. Might be a rumour though...

Posted by: Prashant on March 20, 2005

Curious - [p] has it right. I use the Movable Type system because it is a lot easier to use and has a lot more organizational functionality than the other options I've tried. The other bloggers will likely be moving their blogs over to the MT system for the next cycle for the same reasons.

In terms of things related to my blog being stored in a database at MIT, no - I host my blog with an external host. No one sees the backend stuff but me.

The MyMIT portal is obviously different - it is hosted at MIT and we do track popular pages therein to help guide us in terms of content and other needs of the community.

Posted by: Ben on March 20, 2005

thanks for explaining how the blog works in general.

I hope you might be able to discover the answers to the other questions about MIT I asked and post them.
Thanks again.

Posted by: curious cat on March 20, 2005

I know you guys tried, but it doesn't lessen the disappointment any.

All I can say is: "MIT's loss, not mine." All I can do is spend my college years doing my best and showing that this was MIT's loss, not mine. And that's what I plan to do. Take heart my fellow rejectees.

And Ben, while I am disappointed, please understand that I bear no ill-will to MIT (though my statements above may make it seem that way).

Posted by: Reject on March 20, 2005

If you frame everything in terms of "MIT will wish they accepted me," you're still telling yourself that MIT is where you "should" go, and that not going there sucks.

Realize that the MIT admissions office has been selecting students for as long as MIT has been around. They are very, very good at determining who would fit best at MIT and who wouldn't. Also realize that even though you may have looked at MIT extensively, you have not lived the life of an MIT student and therefore cannot know that you would have not hated it once the euphoria wears off. Chances are, assuming you're a well-qualified applicant, the judgement from the admissions office is not one on your qualifications. Rather, it is a judgement on whether you would perform and grow as much as you could in MIT's environment.

This goes both ways. In applying to MIT, I was not entirely convinced that I would be happy with the workload everyone at MIT complains about. (at one point, I was pondering not applying at all due to this "pressure cooker" aspect.) Having recieved the "fat envelope," I am forced to reconsider -- perhaps the work is of a quality that is entirely different from the odious and boring homework of high-school.

Posted by: Eric Schmiedl on March 21, 2005

You'll note I used my full info for this post. I do that kind of thing.

"What would prevent any one at MIT in position of power - say a professor before he employs a student in UROP or accepts for a thesis, or MIT faculty looking for a new assistant professor to hire, or MIT admissions looking for a new staff member, from generating such a profile and then using it according to their own biases?"

I wouldn't want to work for them, period.


I would hope they'd be punished, but if I was accepted for the job and found out what they were doing, It would have to be one hell of a job for me to still take it.

Posted by: Greg Perkins on March 21, 2005

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