Mar 16, 2005
The Burning Question
Posted in: Miscellaneous
The burning question in my in-box is "Can you tell me why I didn't get in? Will you look at my app and tell me what I did wrong? Why was I not good enough?"
Certainly an honest and worthy question, and you have every right to be asking it. I certainly would be.
I wish I could get this question from someone with a 2.0 GPA, or some similar blatant app-destroyer, so I could just say "you have C's and D's, what more can I tell you?"
But I'm only getting it from intelligent, accomplished, creative, passionate people. Go figure - I just described the vast majority of the applicant pool.
So the simple answer is - you didn't do anything wrong, and most likely, you are absolutely qualified to be here. Can I look at your app and tell you individually why you didn't get in? Unfortunately, no. With ~10,500 apps, it is likely that I never personally crossed paths with your app in committee, and I can't recreate or try to determine the how/why decisions of other admissions officers - it would be impossible.
Some of you seem determined to make this personal. I don't know how to help you with that. We've made it clear that this was the most competitive applicant pool in the history of MIT, which is arguably the hardest school in the world to get into to begin with. I can use that fact to try to "proove" to you that it's not a reflection on you, rather it's an issue of class size versus # of applicants - but in the end you have to come to that conclusion on your own.
As you know from some of my previous posts, I was heartbroken at some of the people we couldn't take. All of us in admissions were. But at the end of the day, we have x number of spots for roughly 8x qualified people, and decisions are made. We do the best we can. There's really not much else to say.