MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Ben Jones

Jan 18, 2006

Regarding The Tech Article

Posted in: Process & Statistics

The Tech published an article today that contains some significant factual errors. In particular this statement:

"Although MIT limits the number of international applicants admitted to 10 percent of the total number of admits, this year the number of early international admits doubled, decreasing the number of spaces remaining for international students who submit regular applications."

This is completely wrong. First of all, we don't consider international applicants in Early Action. They are considered in Regular Action only. Second, international applicants are limited to 8% of the class, not 10%.

There's other weird stuff in there (like only Harvard beat us in yield of mutual admits, not Yale!), but that's the really significant error. So please don't worry, and please spread the word so others don't worry!


[Edit] My bad, Yale actually did beat us last year. I was looking at data from previous years. *Furrows brow in direction of New Haven*

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

hi Ben

Im a US citizen educated abroad. I know that Im not considered international, but wont u still put me in the international pool? because its kind of unfair to compare me with domestic applicants who have millions of opportunities, while I have to create my own path in a very poor country!

Posted by: 0 on January 18, 2006

Ah, I was wondering about that. Thanks for clearing that up.

Phew. Competition, gotta love it.

Posted by: Teck Lee on January 18, 2006

Regarding that article...

Eight words.

"I think of MIT as a samurai school."

I think I love you, Marilee Jones.

Posted by: Sam on January 19, 2006

She does have a point though- once you get past the MIT name... you should know that the school isn't for everyone.

Posted by: Alex M on January 19, 2006


While you will be treated as domestic, seeing as how you are a US citizen, the fact that you live abroad will definitely be part of how they look at your application. Admissions looks at every applicant within their OWN context, so they'll understand where that particular applicant is coming from.

Don't worry.


Posted by: Michael Borohovski on January 19, 2006

thnx michael

Posted by: 0 on January 19, 2006

To all of you who are - rightly - worried about your chances of getting into MIT (or, for that matter, any top schools you're considering or applying to), think of your application experience and all the hard work that you (AND your parents, yes many kids get their parents' help in the form of either nagging / reminders or actual help in filling out the application) have put in as a life adventure. Your application outcome is important but won't make or break your life or career. At the end of the day, a person's success is not determined by which school he or she graduates from but by how much a'better' person he or she has become after four years. In 10 years or 20, when you look back, you'll wonder why you allowed yourself to lose sleep over your college admission matter.

PS: Someone elsewhere suggested that an admissions officer would stop reading your application if he or she spots a grammmatical or typing error. If that's true, ask yourself: do you want to study at a school where perfection is not a means to an end but the end itself? You should consider yourself lucky not going to a place where they think 'to err is not human.'

Posted by: Old-timer on January 19, 2006

By the way, I have had years of recruiting people - not students - at the managerial level. I have never once failed a job candidate for the reason of seeing his or her first grammatical or typing error. Of course, if you make lots of errors - of any kind, you aren't deemed a reliable person and chances are you'll be considered inferior to those who watch their crosses and dots.

Posted by: Old-timer on January 19, 2006

Does anyone know what a "mutual admit" is ("as in only Harvard beat us in mutual admits, not Yale!")?


Posted by: Alexandre on January 19, 2006

A "mutual admit" is a student who is admitted to two schools (e.g. Harvard and MIT). In terms of "beating us", this means that of those students who were admitted to both, a higher percentage chose to matriculate at Harvard than chose MIT. Hope this helps.

Posted by: leftcoast mom on January 19, 2006

I applied to both MIT and Yale this year, and if I am admitted to both, i'll be heading to MIT. That makes one more possible check in the MIT column.

Posted by: Drew on January 19, 2006

Ben, I've read your Q&As; and it seems you always say things like "don't worry about your poor SAT score because it's only part of the application".

I wonder if MIT can be equally forgiving when it comes to a couple of poor grades. But later the students showed drammatic improvement.

Posted by: Tom on January 19, 2006

If I don't get through this year and apply next year, will you guys see my application from this year? Will the fact that I couldn't get through this year be a negative factor?

Posted by: U3 on January 20, 2006

If I get into Harvard and Yale, that will help MIT's mutual admit percentage. :D

Posted by: Colin on January 20, 2006

sorry but,

......please answer the questions of prospectives, Please.......

Posted by: 0 on January 20, 2006

To Anonymous:

Commenting on the blogs isn't exclusive to the year's applicants. As you may have noticed in the comments section of previous entries, we've had the student bloggers, current students, parents of students, alumni, and other kids attending other colleges respond. Just ask your questions, and I'm sure somebody will answer. What I would first recommend is browsing through the archives of all the admissions officers' blogs--especially Matt's and Ben's, because these blogs have been around a couple of years and so have seen several rounds of applications. Good luck!

Posted by: shen on January 20, 2006

well, good luck guys. The competition is higher this year

Posted by: MJ Kamalov on January 20, 2006

Is anyone up to form a Hey,-MIT,-If-You-Accept-Me-And-Everyone-Else -In-This-Club-Harvard-Will-Not-Beat-You-This-Year Club?


Posted by: zoogies on January 20, 2006


MIT can be forgiving of grades too, especially if there's an improvement. We'll always look at context and circumstance too, so if there was a special reason for the bad grades - illness, family issues, etc., that will also be taken into consideration. While it may be rare for us to take someone with C's on his/her transcript, it does happen sometimes, especially if the C's are from freshman year and the grades have steadily improved throughout HS. Hope that helps.

Posted by: MikeyYang on January 21, 2006


I am so down for that. raspberry

Posted by: Sohaib Raihan on January 21, 2006

They're showing the OC in India. Somebody tell me why it gives me a sense of deja vu?

Posted by: s on January 21, 2006

Hi Ben,

Is it true about international students getting in only if they have a regional,national or international certificate in any field.

Posted by: usha on January 21, 2006

usha, this is from the "International Students" pull-down on the right side of the MIT Undergraduate Admissions website:

"International admission to MIT is very competitive. Each year, more than 2,000 international students apply, and approximately 100 are admitted. Almost all international students admitted to MIT have earned some form of regional, national or international distinction in areas from leadership, music and art, to scientific research, academic competition and athletics."

It does not mention *certificates* but does mention *distinction*, which might be measured or realized in many ways.

Posted by: leftcoast mom on January 21, 2006


Posted by: April (no longer waiting but deferred) on January 21, 2006

thanx leftcoast mom .Another question .Do you think any of the regional inter school competition will be considered.

Posted by: usha on January 22, 2006

Hey April (no longer waiting but deferred), whats up with "STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

also Ben, thnx 4 clearing things out. I was just wondering, how long do you guys read files everyday (and how many)?

Posted by: uren on January 22, 2006

I'll join you, zoogies!

Posted by: Victoria on January 22, 2006

accepting to join ::)))

Posted by: M on January 22, 2006

No one to join the club

Respond respond!!!

Posted by: 0 on January 23, 2006

sorry uren,

i'm a huge steelers fan...

btw, they're gonna win the Super Bowl ^^

Posted by: April (no longer waiting but deferred) on January 23, 2006

Hi Ben,

I have a question. What exactly is the purpose of the mid-year report? Is it to make sure that students aren't slacking, or to cut people based on lower grades, or what? I was concerned because, as a senior, pretty much all my classes are APs, and with all of the work that's gone into applications, and with all my EC's, my grades are, to some extent, bending under the weight. In addition, I'm exhausted from so much work and winter break was no reprieve. I'm just concerned that after all the work that's gone into 3+ years of HS and my applications, that a B+ or two on my mid-year report might give MIT cause to reject me, whether I be a border-line applicant or better or worse. Is this true? Would you consider this slacking, because I'm not...

Posted by: Worried on January 23, 2006

Hey, I have a question. One of my teachers messed up my grade when he submitted grades. I talked to him and he'll correct it, but it will take a few weeks. Should I send mid-year report now, or wait until this is fixed?

Posted by: AVY on January 23, 2006

April, you know the steelers are going all the way!

Posted by: norm on January 24, 2006

ooh yes they will!

one for the bus and the chin!

10 days, 20 hrs and 28 mins

Posted by: April (no longer waiting but deferred) on January 25, 2006

sir,do you know the number of kenyans applying to mitthisyear and their addresses.Theres no harm in sharing the stress.

Posted by: KIM on January 26, 2006

Comments have been closed.