MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Ben Jones

Dec 14, 2005

What’s Up With The Mail?!?

Posted in: Process & Statistics

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. But I'll tell you everything I know.

I know that many of you haven't heard yet, and that it's enormously frustrating. For this I wholeheartedly apologize. Please hang in there for us; your decision should arrive any day. I know that your frustration is compounded by the fact that people in Alaska have received their decisions while people in Cambridge have not. I can't explain this, other than to say that (1) the Post Office is dealing with insane amounts of mail due to the holiday season, and (2) we had a major blizzard the day we mailed. Oh, and (3) the post office infrastructure seems to have its own reality, which doesn't always match up to ours.

Some things I can actually clarify:

  1. We mailed all decisions (admitted, deferred, rejected) at the exact same time on Friday afternoon, 12/9/05. If someone received a piece of mail that was postmarked on 12/8/05, this was a postal error - I can promise you that nothing left our office until 12/9.
  2. Based on a variety of factors, I can confidently say that as of this morning, not every admit has received his or her tube. So if you haven't received anything yet, it does not mean automatic deferral or rejection.
  3. Applicants from the same school often receive their decisions on different days. This happens every year and rarely correlates with a specific type of decision (i.e. all admitted on monday, all deferred on tuesday, etc.) There is no rhyme or reason to the ways of the post office.

Again, I know this is very frustrating for you all, and I'm thinking about you guys. Hoping you all get your decisions today.


Marty O'Brien, the manager of MIT's Mail Services, just checked in via a comment and I thought it would be best to paraphrase his comment here where more would see it.

When the tubes and letters left our office on Friday afternoon, we in admissions expected that everything was going to be processed via first class mail. Unfortunately, the folks who handle the logistics of processing and inputting MIT mail into the Postal Service were able to process the tubes on Friday but not able to process the letters until Monday. This explains why so many more tubes have been received than letters at this juncture.

I promise you that we were not made aware of this fact until one hour ago; otherwise I would have let you know before now. I feel terrible about this guys. We all do.

I'll post further updates if they arise.

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

Thank you so much. I feel much better as I wait. smile

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

hey ben,

IT rocks. period.

...still waiting lol

Posted by: Merudh on December 14, 2005

Thanks Ben for clearing up that issue.

Posted by: Brian McDermott on December 14, 2005

thanks soo much...maybe i still have a chance ^_^

Posted by: April on December 14, 2005

thank you for the clarification. It was fun contemplating about the theory behind the delays / weird schedule though.

Posted by: DJ on December 14, 2005

Thanks Ben.

Could you please also give us some information regarding decisions to places outside the States, like by USPS or DHL?

Posted by: Elsie on December 14, 2005

Thanks, maybe then there's still hope for the rest of us.

Posted by: Laura on December 14, 2005


Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 14, 2005

Thanks for clarifying that much, but can you say whether or not everything was mailed the same priority? I've heard lots of rumors, but I'd rather hear it from someone who actually knows.

Posted by: me? on December 14, 2005

Both Harvard and Penn early applicants will get their desicions today through email, and MIT still nothing in most places. Can the MIT staff tell us our desicions if we call tomorrow Dec 15, because of the mail problems. Pleaaaaaaase and thanks...

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

No matter what the odd mailing trends mean, I'm still a nervous wreck. Each day I go through inexplicable anxiety waiting, and then...nothing. Hearing that we can make phone calls about decisions starting Friday brings some relief; at least I know where the end of this waiting will be if the mail does not arrive.

I know that you guys could not develop an online notification system this year. However, for the sanity and emotional well-being of next year's applicants, please make it a priority for them.

Posted by: Mike W on December 14, 2005

Is there a possibility that these so called "tubes" will not fit in our mailbox?

Posted by: James on December 14, 2005


I'm going to move Marty's post to the front page so more people see it...


Posted by: Marty O'Brien MIT Mail Services on December 14, 2005

I'm checking in here because I wrote a recommendation for a student who applied EA and I'm wondering when she might be hearing.

I do really sympathize, guys, but it could be worse. MIT has really made big efforts to move their time-line up while preserving the integrity of the system.

Two years ago, Harvard and several other places emailed results on 12/11. MIT had originally planned to mail out on 12/12, but a snowstorm fouled up the schedule. On 12/15, MIT's website finally announced that letters had been mailed.

I know at least one student (less than 200 miles away) who didn't receive her letter until 12/19. (Interestingly, the letter was actually dated 12/16 and postmarked 12/17, despite the MIT website's claim that all letters had gone out 12/15. It was an acceptance, by the way. Who knows what gremlins are in the system.)

Students were told not to call unless their letter didn't arrive by 12/22. There were some students in that position who still hadn't heard by then and who had to call (and, no, there were no tubes that year--just big and small envelopes.)

So relax, you guys have it much better this year. Letters went out earlier and you can call earlier too.

Waiting is hard...I still remember the disappointment every day the mail didn't bring news.

I sympathize...good luck to all who are still waiting.

(And to those who say that MIT should have an electronic system, other schools have had some real disasters with those---in some cases, they've accidentally sent the wrong message and had to straighten things out afterwards. In the most painful situations at some of those other schools, students who received electronic notificaton that they'd been admitted later learned that no, they really hadn't been admitted.)

It is hard to be sure you're doing electronic notification really right. And schools that have done it wrong have had some really sad stories. (Not to mention the possibilities for some practical joker to send forged fabricated notifications.)

It is hard to wait, but I respect that MIT is doing the best it can, vicissitudes of the Post Office, the weather, and the holiday season notwithstanding.

Posted by: rec-writer on December 14, 2005

Oh well, here I am, still waiting... will it be deffered? decline? oh well, maybe accepted! So I'll keep waiting and praying for an acceptance!

thanks for your compassion with us and making me feel like things are normal in here!

Posted by: Omar Fernandez on December 14, 2005

Wow, so based on Marty's post it means that all the acceptances were mailed out earlier. Thus people still waiting have gotten deferred or rejected.

I cannot express how angry I am at MIT right now.

This is absolutely ridiculous.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

So if I'm 20 miles from Boston, and have not received anything as of today (Wednesday), is it safe to assume the worst (letter instead of tube)?

Posted by: Brian McDermott on December 14, 2005

So basically, we don't really have a chance if we haven't received ours yet and are very close to MIT.

If tubes were sent out earlier, then why haven't ALL tubes been received? Also, what explains the irregular mailing pattern--people in the west received theirs before some in the Boston?

Posted by: Adnan Esmail on December 14, 2005

Wow, Marty's post makes everything make a lot more sense, but I am still disappointed that until now you guys never released this information.

Posted by: Dan on December 14, 2005

I want my tube.

I want my TUBE.


I had to get that out. Thanks for clearing everything up BEn, there's still hope for me. Buy the way did anyone get anything in Brooklyn yet??

Posted by: Sam on December 14, 2005

Well, my friend got his tube yesterday (This is central florida btw). I waited for the mail today for a couple of hours.... it finally came about 10 minutes ago... nothing. This isnt very healthy.. I think my heart is going to explode. =(

Posted by: Bryan on December 14, 2005

Yea, I just wish the admissions office would let us call today...

Posted by: Dan on December 14, 2005

Wouldn't this sort of thing be released EARLIER!!!

Posted by: Adnan Esmail on December 14, 2005

I can't think of a worse way of finding out I have been defered/denied. This is absolutely terrible. Waiting has made this week hell for me and now I know I stand no chance of getting in. Possibly the worst day I have ever experienced....

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005












Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Where is Marty's post? I cant find it anywhere.

Posted by: Bryan on December 14, 2005

Yeah I wish I could have known this earlier so I could have moved on from thinking about MIT to my CALTECH application, an amazing school that seems to get their mailing correct.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Wow. I pretty much want to die.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

nevermind... it just showed up

Posted by: Bryan on December 14, 2005

they probably kept it underwraps.... it seems unlikely that the director of mail services would make this public through an admissions officers blog. Most likely the admissions official was already aware of this screwup

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Oh wow, that's nice. So after almost a week of assuring us that "1. We mailed all decisions (admitted, deferred, rejected) at the exact same time on Friday afternoon" it turns out that it wasn't true. We were right in assuming that the tubes were being received first, and it wasn't just that people were posting their deferrals/rejections. We post here so much, we would even post if we got rejected. Great, Thanks a lot MIT, those 5 days of stress were so worth it.

Posted by: Dave on December 14, 2005

mit probably didn't want to pay for first-class postage for us unimportant deferrals. this is a cheap way for us to find out about it. i wonder how much they are saving.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

um... having been in the same position as your son *above* it's no ones fault, and it's hardly fair to blame mit, i'm pretty sure i got deferred, and yes it's a big deal, but will 2 extra days change the decision? no...

Posted by: cujoe cc member extraordinaire on December 14, 2005

well... I will just have to assume...

How much time do we have to send things in to add to our application?

Posted by: Bryan on December 14, 2005

Shoot me...Marty's post gives me no hope anymore. Although thank you for making me go through 5 days of torture before telling me indirectly and online that I have been defered or denied. I can't believe this. Why would you ever do this to someone, not to mention some thousands?

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Admissions didn't know. We really didn't know. I don't expect you to believe me, and certainly we're the most likely targets for your anger. I can take that. But please believe me when I say we didn't know.

Posted by: Ben on December 14, 2005

Wow. I came home went to this page, saw Ben's post but Marty's was not up. I told my mom what Ben said and told her there was still hope. Now she is downstairs and I can hear her and she is so happy. Unfortunately, I've now learned the truth and there have been few times in my life where I have felt this horrible. Thank you MIT.

Posted by: Anonymous on December 14, 2005

If I get in regular, I'm not going.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

But Anonymous, there *IS* still hope!

Only 377 students were admitted EA. There will be hundreds more admitted RD. There *IS* still hope!

Posted by: leftcoast mom on December 14, 2005

If you get in regular, you're not going?? Way to shoot yourself in the foot.

Posted by: huh? on December 14, 2005


If we can send in extra things for our application, when does it need to be postmarked? I want to make sure I get in.


Posted by: Bryan on December 14, 2005

Exactly...I'm going to have to go through this hell all over again. Maybe MIT can figure out how to mail letters for the RD kids. I wouldn't wish this upon anyone.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Wow, you're really overreacting.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Ben, if I get deferred and I email you privately, can I have our correspondance added to my admissions folder for review? I feel more comfortable writing a letter to an individual rather than "the Admissions Office." It lets me be more open and candid about myself.

Posted by: Brian McDermott on December 14, 2005

If we get defered, are we allowed to edit our application? Can we change our essays and updates ECs?

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

all right. i applied EA like most of the people posting, and i'm pretty upset that i haven't receieved a tube yet. and yeah, i'm a little disappointed about the whole mail situation, but you know what, that doesn't change anything. admissions didn't know what happened. and now they're being criticized for only taking 377 people EA. what the hell? they make the rules, we apply, and we deal with whatever the decision is. Whoever the anonymous is that posted saying he was an admissions officer from another school: MIT is not trying to "play with kids dreams" or anything...they're just doing their job. Yeah, i wish they could take more people early, but that's how it's been every year. that's what we get for applying to such a selective school. what'd you expect? everyone who's devoted to MIT would get in? yes, many would, but there's a limit, and unfortunately, life is not fair. I'm sorry if i've been harsh but this really irritates me when people completely change their opinion on something when things don't go their way.

read that ought to put a LOT of things into perspective, and hopefully help applicants who are, like me, waiting each day.

good luck everyone...we all deserve to go to MIT, but unfortunately, only a lucky* few will end up there.

*Note that i said lucky and not select. We're all great students, its just luck of the draw after a while.

Posted by: Sharat Alankar on December 14, 2005

While we are all very angry and upset about this, just think of the poor people that will have to answer hundreds of phone calls Friday and in many cases tell hardworking students all over the country that they were rejected. That may be in the top ten worst jobs I could ever imagine.

So, thanks for the all the enormously hard work reviewing all of our applications.

Posted by: BSH on December 14, 2005

so i live in CT and if i had not received a tube yet does that mean that i am deferred/rejected? i live in a small town... i do not know if this plays a part with the mail but i have been waiting...and waiting... checking the mail and feel even more dismal when nothing is in.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

I'm not blaming the admissions officers, but you have to admit it's a pretty messed up way of finding out.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

So is there still a chance that I can get a tube?

Posted by: Sam on December 14, 2005

yea exactly, i don't imagine telling kids they were deferred/rejected is the easiest thing to do... but to echo what others have said, when should we send stuff in?

Posted by: cujoe cc member extraordinaire on December 14, 2005

is there a chance of still receiving the tube? i live in ct in a small town.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

You (the people who work at MIT admissions) should all be ashamed. You should all be punished for this. I hate you all.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

there's always a chance of receiving the tube. it's still the same chance...12%. but guys, start planning like cujoe and others have, and instead of wasting your time and energy hating the admissions staff, try and figure out what to do to get in. go easy on the staff..they already feel bad enough. keep in mind that they dont have to keep blogs or anything like that, and if we were applying to another school, yeah we might have found out online or something, but we would have no idea how any of the process works.

Posted by: Sharat Alankar on December 14, 2005

At least I can stop waiting now, my letter should get here eventually. Time to start getting ready for the enxt deadline. 01/01 will come pretty soon everyone.

Posted by: Dan on December 14, 2005

Hey guys...seriously calm down. Marty said that a couple of the letters were misplaced. I'm pretty sure they are all still in the same spot they would be if the letters were shipped out correctly. I mean. MIT is a wonderful institution, they have some of the best (if not THE BEST) engineering and comp sci. courses in the world. It's not the end of the world. Yes the wait is agonizing but most of you are overreacting as if you will die if you do not get accepted. What is done is done, accept the fact. I'm still waiting out here on the west coast. You have to learn to accept that people make mistakes. Move on, there are other great colleges out there. Don't bet your life on this one. The only reason you are freaking out is because you are placing too much on the line for this. Well thats all I have to say. Hope you all receive acceptances though! =)

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

It was preety obvious that all this happened by this point. I think it might have been for the best if Marty O'Brien didn't post anything at all. Is there any chance the phone service will be made available tommorow?

Posted by: yuriy on December 14, 2005

People who are criticizing the "CRUEL CRUEL" admissions officers need to be a little more fair and a little less CAPITAL... cough cough.

For your information, Admissions Officer From Another School, I am one of these kids to whom MIT has not sent a letter or a tube as of yet. I too have waited five days and checked for four. And I think that is is *appalling* that you, as an admissions officer, would come onto this site and claim that simply because of a screw-up the admissions officers are "HORRIBLE". MIT did not "TOY" with anyone.

I understand your frustration. Believe me. I think I just might be going through it a lot more than you are. But your post was uncalled for. And it likely made the attitudes of the kids who are still waiting worse. Think about that for a while.

Posted by: Jacob on December 14, 2005

and to Ben, Matt, Nance, and all the other admissions officers. Thank you for making this a worthwhile experience. You guys are all truly wonderful and I know you care about us. Waiting is hard, but I'll get over it. Just pretend I never applied =P

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Wow Ben,

I'm sorry certain people would leave such bitter, hateful comments as they have. You and the rest of MIT Admissions have shown nothing but genuine compassion for each applicant, regardless of decisions, and to think that you all are "up to something" is completely insane. You guys are worlds beyond any other admissions team in terms of accessability (everyone should be honored that we even have the opportunity to correspond with you), and it's obvious (to me) that this situation was completely out of your hands.

Thanks for all you do and have done.

Posted by: Kristin R on December 14, 2005

The big question is do all of us still have a chance of getting a tube if we haven't received it yet?

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Ben, thanks for posting that. I was wondering if deferred applicants (am hoping for deferral) are allowed to supplement their application in any way, between now and when we get reviewed for regular action, and if so, what the process would be for that. Thanks smile

Guys, I know we're all upset but it really wasn't their fault, don't yell at them - just think, some schools wouldn't open their admissions process to us, let alone admit that something happened not according to plan. And yeah, I'm as disappointed as the rest of you - I haven't been able to think about anything else since I came home friday... but I think that we are all great kids and we're better than that... applying to mit we knew that we weren't all going to get in, and even if we hear a few days late, it doesn't change the decision made.

anyway, cheer up, things could be worse. personally, i think i am just going to stop worrying, and call friday morning. i've already convinced my math teacher that at 9:01 he should let us take a time out from class to call... wink

Posted by: Raksha on December 14, 2005

Where there is a will....there is a way....

I am not a writer in any sense of the word. I am the mother of an applicant and I have been reading this blog, Matt's, Nance's and the CC forum for the last 2 weeks or so. Kudos to the admissions folks and the amazing job that they have done communicating the process. I especially was impressed by the kindness, empathy, and words of Marilee.

This mailing error is really a rather horrible situation. My son has come home each day asking me if there is anything from MIT. Zippo. Nada still. There is true pain there. However, having read these blogs as long as I have I believe Ben when he says that the admissions people just found out. Apology accepted. This stuff does just happen in life sometimes and I am sure they feel awful.

I'd like to talk about something else though. Something I wish to get off my chest.

I am dismayed that this year and next apparently represent the largest college applicant pool ever nationwide. As I understand the situation this is somewhat a result of more people going to college, a lack of additional colleges having been built, students taking longer than 4 years to graduate, but mostly I hear the problem is due to the baby boom generation's offspring. This last thing I cited is an anomaly. What I don't quite understand is the lack of preparedness by the colleges nationwide to accommodate this aberration.

I entitled this post "Where there is a will....there is a way" for a reason. All the wonderful words spoken in these blogs will not help these brilliant young students. I don't understand why colleges don't offer up more triples. Yes, it will be cramped. However, offering this up in advance gives people the opportunity to just say "No" if they are not interested. Allot a certain number of rooms as triples. I did read somewhere where someone said triples were awful. The gist of the post was that people need space. I don't know how horrible that kind of situation really is when you consider perspective on things. A horrible situation is what happened in New Orleans. How is living in Africa these days? or living in Baghdad? Allot a certain number of rooms and allow the individuals to decide for themselves. I also would suggest that you require people who wish to accept under these conditions to actually visually see what these conditions look like.

Another possibility is allowing for some off campus students.

Another possibility is requiring a semester co-op for a certain percentage of students alleviating the numbers on campus at any one given semester.

Yet another possibility is sending some students to Tulane for a semester, helping New Orleans rebuild. Now that would be a REAL education.

I am of the opinion that a premier college education to each additional student is a gift to us all. Add x% more acceptances this year (and next year). This is MIT. I am going to be rather blunt. "Figure out a way".

One other thing. Challenge the other colleges nationwide to do so as well.

Venting completed.

Posted by: Concerned Parent on December 14, 2005

I think this whole thing is rather disgusting. MIT, the most reputed techonology school, couldnt do online decisions? Now look what has happened, kids across the country know they are not in, not by letters, but rather by realizing that if they didnt get a tube by now, they wont get one....really, for a top 10 school, this is pitiful

Posted by: disgruntledstudent on December 14, 2005

exactly i want to know the answer to the above question is there a chance of still getting the tube? i live in ct

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005


Don't worry, I'm not angry at you. This certainly was not your fault at all. I haven't received anything yet in St. Louis, Missouri, but I haven't lost all hope. Even if the letters were processed by Monday, chances are any letters should have arrived by Wednesday. That means there's a large chance of some sort of discrepancy in the postal service, which could be either good or bad.

Posted by: Mike W on December 14, 2005

i meant the question if there was a chance of still getting the tube

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Early Action Applicants:

I know that this time is especially stressful, and based on the recent news handed down to you, I can understand why you are further stressed out. However, the reactions some of you are giving (which seem to come mostly from anonymous sources) are truly unfair.

The admissions office has done all it can to make this run as smooth as possible, but like all else, it isn't perfect. The snowstorm that hit Friday was terrible and it led to everything in the city to be slowed down. The fact that the mail was treated as it was has nothing to do with the admissions office becuase they want nothing but the best for you.

The reason why decisions aren't posted online has been stated by Ben in a previous post. One day, they will have the technology that will make it safe to post the decisions so that no one except you, the applicant, can see it. However, until that point comes, you all have to wait by the mailbox like many others, including myself, did for months waiting for decisions.

Posted by: Alberto on December 14, 2005

"One day, they will have the technology that will make it safe to post the decisions so that no one except you, the applicant, can see it."

Not to beat a dead horse, but that technology's already here. It's been here for quite a few years now. A lot of the other colleges have it. (It's called secure web pages and/or email!) And if *MIT* hasn't gotten around to discovering this technology, well...

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

As for having a technologically better admissions notification program, it's not just a matter of having technology, but having reliable technology. Microsoft has technology to do a lot, but given their history of bugs and problems, I would not trust their technology in certain instances. So what really matters is if MIT can implement this technology with no screw-ups at all.

Posted by: Mike W on December 14, 2005

For those of you posting anonymous comments attacking MIT Admissions/MIT's post office/USPS...

Would you say these things to Ben's face?

I didn't think so.

For the one who claims to be an admissions officer at another college? If I were dean of admissions at any college, I'd fire any officer who did something like that, on the spot. Besides, your claim of being an admissions officer is weakened by the fact that you posted anonymously, in all capitals, with spelling and grammar errors.

So in general - take it easy on MIT. It wasn't their fault that this mistake happened. The decision was already made. You'll find out when you get the mail tomorrow, or you can call Friday. It's only one more day. I think everyone here will survive.

And if you STILL want to post such caustic comments, grow a pair and SIGN YOUR NAME TO IT.

To Ben and the rest of MIT admissions:

I understand that what happened was in no way your fault. I'm a little disappointed that I should probably expect an envelope instead of a tube at this point, but that's life. You guys have one of the toughest jobs in the world, and I'm in awe that you have dealt with this responsibility so well. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Sam K on December 14, 2005

I respectfully disagree with the anonymous admissions officer.

I applied EA to MIT. MIT has basically been my dream school for the past 12-13 years, ever since I started caring about colleges. In fourth grade, when I was flipping through my teacher's college guide, she asked me, "What are you looking for? Harvard?" I had no idea what Harvard was, nor do I have any intention of applying there during the RD round. In all likelihood, I have been deferred. Do I think I deserve to be deferred? Of course not. I don't think any applicant thinks he/she should be deferred.

However, I don't think MIT admissions should get so much blame. First, although I most certainly don't want to get deferred, I respect MIT's decision to admit a relatively small group during the EA round, as it gives the RD applicants at least *some* chance of getting in. Plus, the overall admission rate for EA applicants was over 20% last year, which is really high. At all of the

Posted by: Frank F on December 14, 2005

'Admissions officer from another school',

I would have expected any admissions officer from any school to be calm, courteous, and most of all, to think about their actions. The way you accuse MIT's admissions officers of 'playing with kids' dreams', or being cruel, is ridiculous. I would expect you more than the students posting on this blog to control your anger, but you don't seem to be able to. As an adult, an admissions officer, you should be responsible, and not jump to conclusions.

Posted by: Jeena on December 14, 2005

hey Ben,

Thanks for clarifying and opening up the issue. Again, I really appreciate how you guys tell us what's going on with full sincerity and integrity.

As an EA applicant with no reply yet, I can fully empathize with the empty and horrible feeling of seeing nothing in the mailbox. No news is sometimes worse than bad news. It pushes some of our barely-kept patience out of control. :]

But this post helps me be determined and move on. I still love MIT way too much, and an error from the mailing services isn't going to falsely change the institute's image. And I trust things will work out what's right for me during RD.

Lastly, just for clarity's sake, does the information in your edit section officially make statements #1 and #2 no longer true?

Thanks again. Don't beat yourself over it. :]

Posted by: Phil on December 14, 2005

Hey guys, isn't it terrible that MIT only accepted 377 EA applicants and the "Admissions Officer's" son may not have been one of them?

Did anyone else notice the absurd number of grammatical errors in that person's post? I find it unlikely that any Admissions Officer- at ANY school- would have such atrocious linguistic skills. This person is obviously an MIT reject who feels compelled to whine on the public comment board. Now I think I'm fully vented grin

Ben and all- keep up the GOOD WORK.

Posted by: Zach (NOT "Anonymous") on December 14, 2005

It was something of a disappointment to read Marty's post after yours, ben. But I guess, the decisions are well, decided anyway at this point. As time drags on, the probability of my receiving a tube dwindles to nothing (it's already pretty low). Even, so, I hope against hope that there'll be something in my mail tomorrow, be it acceptance, rejection, or deferral. I die a little on the inside every day. Hehe anticlimactic!

Well, I hope its just USPS, although the reasonable me says otherwise.

Happy holidays, MIT smile

Posted by: ybai on December 14, 2005

doood...what in teh world is going on here??? you anon guys are being pathetically immature...after all MIT has done to make this process somewhat turn around and bash them for something that's not their fault??? i understand being frustrated...i'm in the same shoes as you are! but back on what you guys have it really justfified???? that sort of reaction makes me think maybe you don't deserve's just sick..

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 14, 2005

Could you please consider putting an extra item with our status in the Application Tracking Section?

Please? Because many people probably wouldn't want to find out over the phone.

Posted by: Konstantin on December 14, 2005

For those of you calling it torture, flipping out about the mail situation (either the wait or the difference in mailing times), saying that it means all that all the tubes have been recieved, and feel that capitalizing the whole post like a 5 year-olds handwriting all I have to say is act like you actually belong or have the ability to live in a college environment.

I'm am appalled with your posts and your attacks on people that are doing their job and more, and have all the right in the world to send the acceptances 2 weeks in advance on purpose if they so choose. They said all mail would be out by or on monday the 12th and they did that. You can not ask more of a person than to give you their word, and they have done precisely that.

I have been waiting since friday for my letter or tube as much as any other applicant here, and I'd have to say, I have no problem waiting till friday or till march to receive an acceptance. MIT is my first choice school, and as long as it arrives in time for me to attend, I won't be going anywhere else.

The mother that posted made a comment about increasing the acceptance by making rooms triples and what not. I agree that it makes sense, but at the same time the effect of that and other restrictions would not necessarily improve the quality of life of the students and that is as important if not more important than the number they take in my opinion. Going to college, like driving a car, might be a right of passage, but it is considered a privelage in this country and not a natural right.

As to the comment about technology, yes the technology is there, but is an earlier decision worth telling the thousand or so students a few days earlier, if odds are that just one of those students will be told the wrong thing? There are ways to make it work, MIT just doesn't believe that the risk involved is worth it.

My name is Drew, I am an early action applicant and I have yet to receive any news from MIT. Personally I can wait till friday to know, and for those of you who can't or have decided against attending MIT as a result of these events, I say good for you, because if that is enough of a reason, than you really did not want to attend in the first place, and need to mature before even considering college and the world.

Posted by: Drew on December 14, 2005

*sigh*, Life must go on, but will our dreams?

Posted by: Charles on December 14, 2005

Hi Ben-

Maybe it would be better to let only *registered* users post on this website. It would definitely eliminate some people maliciously venting on here because they are very bitter. Yes the wait is not fun, but it's a part of life, sometimes you just can't get instant gratification. Yes, every parent thinks their child is the most amazing and qualified applicant, but hey, this is MIT, sometimes you just have to accept that some students may have just been a tad more qualified, whether it is academically or just by their passion. So I understand you may be upset, but please do not misplace that blame. (no one should be blamed)

Also, maybe you want to have people start registering before more angry parents of rejected or deferred students don't come on here and reflect negative energy.

Posted by: Parent on December 14, 2005

Parent--did you child get into MIT?

Posted by: Charles on December 14, 2005

i agree wholeheartedly with drew.

seriously people, calm down. my two best friends have both gotten in to mit and will be going most likely without me. yeah... it's tough to think about them having fun without me and getting to go to our "dream school," but really! there are MORE schools in the world! blaming the admissions officers is not going to help in anyway. they've done their job... maybe we don't like it or wish it were different, but there's nothing to be done.

move on

Posted by: Shyang on December 14, 2005

Hey Ben,

I am applying to MITES this year, and I wanted to know how many MITES 2005 applicants got in.


Posted by: Anonymous on December 14, 2005

Furthermore, are we supposed to be happy that we didn't get in? are we supposed to reflect positive energy that we go rejected or defered? Place yourself in our position. How would you react? How would you feel if you put all your hard work into getting into your dream school, only to be shot down because your academia scores and ec's are exceptional enough? How would you feel if someone dumbed down your capabilities? Have you ever considered that Parent?

Posted by: Charles on December 14, 2005

Charles... I am in your position. And I have none of your negative energy. Just thought I might let you know. Sorry about the circumstances, but...

Posted by: Jacob on December 14, 2005

Oh wow, you people are insane. I thought I was overly pissed (see earlier angry entry), but saying that the whole thing is a giant conspiracy? You're nuts. I agree with "Parent," not allowing anon's to post would save us all a lot of annoyences. Waiting sucks, and it really sucks about the misinformation regarding the letters, but there's only so much you can do. Ben, you've been boys throoughout the whole process, so you're still ok in my book.

Posted by: Dave on December 14, 2005

I haven't receieved anything yet. I was just placing myself in others shoes. And it's not negative energy. It's just my disappointment in how a parent could be so out of tune with the working's of a child's mind.

Posted by: Charles on December 14, 2005

so does the thing ben said about not all admittances being recieved yet still hold?

can i retain at least a smalllllllllllllllllllllllll tidbit of hope?

Posted by: Shyang on December 14, 2005

Yeah... this is certainly a killer wait. Anyway, I've given up on the mail... If it comes tomorrow, it comes tomorrow. If not, my guidance counselor has already calmed me down a few times during the day and has offered to let me use the phone in her office to make the call during the school day. (No cell phones allowed on school grounds... yeah it sucks... especially when waiting for such dramatic news).

Anyway... just my thoughts on the subject. I'm starting RD applications now because with everything that's been going on I'm expecting a deferral.

Posted by: Evan on December 14, 2005

For god's sake, y'all. Calm down.

Posted by: Christine on December 14, 2005

I'm crushed.. It's official.. there's no chance.

Posted by: Applicant on December 14, 2005

crushed is an understatement

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Hey Charles,

We are still waiting for the decision just like you. Maybe she will get in, maybe she wont, but regardless, it doesn't mean her dreams are being shot down or deferred. She is who she is no matter where she goes or does not go.

Please people, if you even applied to MIT, you must have been pretty damn amazing yourself. Don't let ANYONE ELSE tell you how good you are, that's for you to decide.

Posted by: Parent on December 14, 2005

Firstly- Ben says above that he knows some tubes have not been recieved yet. He also said that people in Cambridge have not recieved theirs while people in Alaska have.

That means that just because you haven't recieved one yet doesn't mean you won't. It doesn't matter when the tubes were sent in relation to the letters- the US postal system isn't the most reliable thing in the world. Letters have turned up from WWII.

Secondly- Stop blaming the admissions officers. They did their work, when the post office processed the notices has nothing to do with them.

Thirdly- People are talking about how they want MIT to expand, to allow a lot more applicants. Well it wouldn't be so special then, would it?

Last- For all of you sending out hate mail, well its no wonder you haven't gotten a tube if that is your reaction to a setback. If you want to have success in your lives, learn to cope.

Ben, Matt, Nance- Whatever happens, thanks for putting all of your time and effort into the decissions. I may be admitted, I may be rejected; but at least I know that you gave me a decent hearing.

Keep up the good the work, and don't let the jerks get you down.

Posted by: Chris on December 14, 2005

BEN! (since im posting on yours, but actually, this is to the whole admissions committee)

I must say, MIT is absolutely amazing and I love you guys. You work so hard, and you made the whole process a TON better and more fun. I know a lot of my friends who applied to other top schools, and MIT just seems so much more caring and friendly and personal with their admissions process. Even though I know people have written about his, but i'd like to tell all the people with their dumb angry comments to back off... CHILL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!

It really, obviously isnt MIT's fault. Yes, the mail isn't being delivered. Thats called teh post office, not MIT. And Ben siad, they meant to send the letters all priority. Honestly, why would he lie?

My best friend hasnt gotten anything yet, and Im freaking out with her, but she's not blaming anyone except her mailman (who is evil anyway... shes had a lot of porblems with him raspberry ). MIT is AMAZING and so are the admissions officers, and they deserve all the credit for their hard work and more.

And whoever said that MIT should bring up their early acceptances to please people - thats ridiculous. Even though it casues a lot more nerves, the end is the important thing, and i think its great that you guys discourage people from applying early if they're not ready. And DUH Ivies have a high early acceptance - they're DECISION, or at least single choice EA, which means they care about their stupid yield more about the students they admit. And its really sad that there arent more spots, but there ARE more schools, and I havent met a single person who worked hard in high school and isnt having a blast in college. EVERYONE WILL BE FINE!!!!!!!

And, once again, I LOVE YOU GUYS and THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HARD WORK. It really makes me feel so much better about all the work I put in on my application.

Posted by: Masha on December 14, 2005

Wow. Anonymous truly does not forgive.

I'm still hoping beyond hope that I get a tube. If not, well MIT isn't the only college in the world. Though it's been my first choice since I was a little kid, I can still live if I don't get in. Besides, there's always graduate school.

Posted by: dyzzy on December 14, 2005

"If I get in regular, I'm not going.

Posted by: Anonymous on December 14, 2005 03:52 PM"

That's ridiculous. You're so full of yourself.

Posted by: laughing at anonymous on December 14, 2005

It's not over...

I won't let it be...

And you all sholdn't either smile

Posted by: Jeff on December 14, 2005

Sam -

Of course there's still the chance that you will get your tube.

I, however, live in Brooklyn and got mine yesterday. I also know others that live in Brooklyn and got theirs yeterday.

Then again, Brooklyn post offices == sketchy. And extremely random.

Seriously, good luck with that.

Posted by: from brooklyn. on December 14, 2005

When would the west coast people get it?

Posted by: Aki on December 14, 2005

He's full of himself? I guess all of the people who got accepted to MIT who won't go are, too, then?

Anyway, I have to finish my other applications and send them out. I live in New England, and that means no hope.

The people who are pissed have the right to be. Don't go off on them because they're pissed, it's normal. In fact, I would not be angry if I got deferred or rejected ON TIME. I don't necessarily blame MIT, but something was up. (No, I'm not suggesting conspiracy so don't jump on me.) These past days have been brutal. Considering everything I've done wrong, etc, etc. Wondering why I couldn't have been born as an underrepresented minority. HEY! Maybe I should have played the single parent card! These are the things I've been considering. Playing what I should have done over and over again in my head, and I know for SURE I am not the only one.

YES, I have been going crazy, and YES, I am angry. I have the right to be both. None of you can take that right away from me. I knew from the beginning that I was taking a risk and that I didn't invent anything and that I wasn't an underrepresented minority. But I still hoped I could be part of that 8% (8% because I'm not an underrepresented minority) that got in.

No such luck. I sincerely congratulate those who got in. I honestly and firmly believe that they deserve it. I also believe that the admissions officers had nothing to do with it. Someone is to blame or something. Some system. I am angry at that. Don't even try to say that some things just "happen." Things don't just happen.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Jeff: I'm afraid it really is over. At least we know now. And even a ridiculous error such as this is hardly the fault of the admissions officer.

Best of luck the second time around!


Posted by: Alexandre on December 14, 2005

I completely agree with the post above.

I am pissed at how everything went down, but have decided to work on my Stanford application and accept that I've been deferred.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

To all those writing anonymous hate letters. Really mature guys. Honestly anyone who applied could have been in this situation. The MIT website plainly stated that everything was to be mailed on or before Monday December 12. Which it was. In fact they got everything in earlier. Tubes and letters all went in and it was the Post office's decision to mail the tubes first. They are harder to process and larger so naturally that's the way it worked. Also realize that MIT is not the only place in the world mailing letters and packages two weeks before christmas. So really, it sucks if you don't get in/get deferred but everyone knew their shot would be 14% or less(this year 12%)and the admissions officers have a difficult enough job choosing only that many out of an amazing applicant pool. You knew how scary those statistics are when you applied and if it isn't going your way, then yes, that hurts. Please show a little more character and a little more maturity. Everyone will find out in the next day or so and everyone will go to a great college. Don't make the people in admissions or other blog-readers feel worse about the situation. Lastly, Thank you MIT(Ben, Nance, Matt, Marilee..etc). Your site and process are all wonderful. This felt so personal and having the blogs here takes so much of the edge off. The tubes were a great idea and a pleasant surprise. I'm sorry some people can't see past a blip that was in no way your fault and appreciate how wonderful, thorough and devoted your office really is. See you all soon!


(not afraid to write my name)

Posted by: Jenn T on December 14, 2005

I just realized something. Who cares when we get the letters or tubes. The decisions have already been made people. The amount of time they send in the US postal system won't change the decision. If you got accepted you're gonna get a tube regardless of when you actually get it. On the other hand if you got rejected you got rejected. A few days won't change the decision. Remember that before you bash the people that helped you throughout this long and painstaking process.

I didn't get anything yet but I know whining about won't do anything to help. Ben, Matt, Nace, and all the students have been very helpful during this tough process. They answered every question I've ever asked. It's just wrong how some of you guys are just lashing out at the MIT admissions officer because you didn't get in. Just take the loss and move on.

P.S.-If you are gonna actaully bash the admssions officers have some guts and sign your name to it.

Posted by: Sam on December 14, 2005

Anyways weren't we supposed to get our decisions on December 15. How can you be mad that you didn't get your decision before you actually were supposed to. It just doesn't make any sense.

P.S. I want my tube!!!

Posted by: Sam on December 14, 2005

I'm sorry, Sam and Jenn.

But you seem to be missing the way people found out. That is why people are angry. I would have been perfectly happy with a white envelope in my mailbox, but instead I agonized over it - thinking there was still hope. That's what people are angry about. The agony. Nobody who has been waiting and had MIT as their #1 decision can say that they did not feel the agony.

Just to help clarify why people are angry. Another thing, who said they were angry at the admissions officers or even MIT? They are just angry. They have the right to be like that one anonymous said! GIVE THEM A BREAK!

Posted by: Rose on December 14, 2005

Like everyone else I'm getting tired of waiting for the mail... but its less than 48 hours away and its time for exams..... you should seriously work on other apps and then you can think of this decision less.... I applied early to another school and got their decision yesterday... & they didn't notify us or anything... in fact throughout the process we had no clue what was going on until we finally got the letter in the mail! So compared to that..... this is much better because at least we know exactly when it was mailed....

So.... does anyone know if the mail's reached TX yet?

Posted by: Texas girl on December 14, 2005

I have to agree with Sharat Alankar and say that we all applied knowing that only a select few of us would make it in EA.

I'm starting to believe that I am probably going to get deferred, but good luck to the rest of you all.

There's still hope for everyone who didn't get anything yet. The mail can be incredibly slow.


Posted by: sarah on December 14, 2005

I still don't get why decisions cannot be emailed, every other higher education institution does. Right now anticipation is around my neck and constantly constricting me. Oh... Does living in California help?

Posted by: Anon on December 14, 2005

Obviously, it isn't the fault of the Admissions Officers. and if USPS screws ups then we know what we learn in AP Government is true: the Bureaucracy sucks. The only thing I do regret is that I can't help but believing that I was deferred or rejected not by individual notification, but by hearing that defer/reject mail was processed slower.

I thank you for this announcement Ben; it might have been better for all applicants if we knew to expect this earlier. But still, great job this admissions cycle and best of luck to all applicants.

Posted by: Lipei on December 14, 2005

I agree, Texas girl. I think that a lot of people don't realize how impersonal other colleges are and how great the MIT admission officers are.

I think people are just angry that they were misled. Now, in this situation, the officers did not know themselves. I think people are just upset. They'll cool off.

Posted by: Rose on December 14, 2005

Will MIT use technologically superior email on Thursday to supplement the post office with it's delays?

But why not just use email in the beginning??? It would be more equitable for everyone.

Let the snail mail follow the email!

Posted by: Anonymous on December 14, 2005


Our student hasn't received word here in West Michigan. If he still doesn't know by Friday, the only time he will be able to call to learn of the decision will be over lunch hour. I can't imagine he will be alone in that situation.

Will the MIT Admission phones be staffed over lunch hour on Friday?

Thanks, Ben

Posted by: Third coast mom on December 14, 2005

I'm just angry that I was expected by everyone (including people who DID get in) to get accepted and I'm still deferred.

Posted by: applicant on December 14, 2005

Ganesh and Yi, where are you now that we need you? grin

Posted by: Konstantin on December 14, 2005

You guys are too emotional. The decision is already made. All we have to do is wait. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel the pain and sorrow of looking into an empty mailbox. But sometimes you just gotta remember that the decision is out of your hands. Just calm down watch some TV, go outside, do some other apps, or anything you can think of to help pass time. The rest of the tubes will eventually reach their rightful owners. Goodluck to everyone still waiting. There's still hope.

P.S. I want my tube!!!

Posted by: Sam on December 14, 2005

Sam, I doubt there are any hope left.

Posted by: applicant on December 14, 2005

I feel like I do about Bush... don't think it was an outright lie, but we've all been misled and I'm dissapointed nonetheless. At least you said not all the accepts had been recieved... I don't know how you know this, but whatever. I don't imagine a tube coming my way, and I can't say I ever should have. Ahh but this is but a blink in eternity. I should go watch powers of 10.

Posted by: David on December 14, 2005

so... I'm not mad, more stunned/sad, which can obviously be expected. The problem is, EA pretty much was my last hope. MIT has taken 1 person from my school 4 of the last 5 years (maybe longer), the 1 exception being that one of the 2 had two legacies and connections to the admissions board. My friend, i should admit is incredibly more qualified than I am, which is sad to say. He applied to Harvard EA and he'll most likely get in, but he has already started his MIT app. Is there any way to take into consideration more than 1 person from my school (assuming i did get deferred), especially since it's not his first choice (i dont mean reject him, because i wanted to go to school with him, whether it be MIT-Harvard or MIT-MIT). I just have no faith that MIT will take two from our school (once again to clarify, that's based on track record as mentioned, not on anything done within the last 4 months)

Posted by: Jon on December 14, 2005

All the people still saying something like "I want my tube" and "It isn't MIT's fault" in the same comments are irreversibly confused. Did you just miss the post that says deferrals/rejections were processed slower, while the tubes were processed earlier? You aren't getting tubes; its just a matter of whether you will now be deferred or rejected. Good luck to all of you waiting and thanks a lot to those who organized the mailings. You did a great job of informing everyone personally!

Posted by: Anonymous on December 14, 2005

I'm disappointed, but that's how life is.

Posted by: Nam on December 14, 2005

Ben-Thanks for being honest with us about the mail situation as it would have been much easier for you to ignore it and applicants' questions. We're still waiting(and hoping and praying) in rural WI!

Posted by: SoccerChick on December 14, 2005

That's so RUDE! These admissions officers having been working their butt off for the past MONTH and a half! And, early decisions are supposed to come out by DEC. 15!! They're doing you a favor and e-mailing it early. It's so easy to say bad stuff anonymously.

And those of you who make snide comments about Ben making you "stress out for 5 days for nothing." YOU STRESSED YOURSELF OUT! SO GET OVER IT

Posted by: Kim on December 14, 2005

"Player: Pirates could happen to anyone. Just deliver the letter. They'll send ambassadors from England to explain...

Guildenstern: (worked up) Can't you see - the pirates left us home and high- dry and home - drome- (Furiously.) The pirates left us high and dry!

Player: (comforting.) There...

Guil.: (near tears.) Nothing will be resolved without him...

Player: There...!

Guil.: We need Hamlet for our release!

Player: There!

Guil.: What are we supposed to do?

Player: This.

(He turns away, lies down...)" -John Stoppard 'Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead'

Mistakes happen, feel the anger, lie down, and then realize (when ready to) that there are many different ways to achieve our dreams of curing cancer, being a fantastic engineer, inventing something revolutionary, being happy, etc. Yes, it's difficult, and I'm girly and I've cried about it. Still, we can get through this and understand that there is more to life than the letter and the tube, that there will be many more opportunities.

Hey, I'm not perfect, I'm still awaiting a decision, and I don't think I have fully come to terms with it. Still, posting something mildly inspirational helps. Humor me.

Posted by: Mia on December 14, 2005

Oh, (almost) forgot...Thanks Ben for being a trooper through all the hate posts. That's stinky. MIT should buy them journals and FedEx them highest priority. smile

Posted by: Mia on December 14, 2005

For everyone freaking out about not getting a response yet: I didn't get mine either, but it hit me today how incredibly irrelevant it is. I was at the funeral of a soldier from my town in my church who died in Iraq(he was 29) and everything else besides the difference between life and death started to seem so incredibly unimportant.

Posted by: Anonymous on December 14, 2005

Mid-December is mid-december. And I really don't care that an envelope wasn't my way of finding out that I have been deferred or rejected. How shallow do you have to be to be freaking out over the medium of information? We have been given all the information that is available and that's something I really respect the admissions people for because they did everything they could to make this easier. I still have hope for regular action assuming I am deferred, and MIT ROCKS no matter what sore losers say.

Posted by: Nabil Kleinhenz on December 14, 2005

My GOD..with all the YES'es and the NOs's..we transfers are beginning to get stomach aches. Just to get my dates straight, when are the transfer students going to be informed about their decisions?(for the Spring '06 that is)

Waiting anxiousley with a stomach ache....mmmm


Posted by: Shaheer on December 14, 2005

I have not posted on this blog before, but after reading all the above comments, I feel compelled. I am not sure why everyone is venting at MIT about the decisions process. First of all, MIT DID mail out everything on Friday, as in they gave it all to the post office. When you or I mails out a letter, we say we mailed it out the day that we put it in our mail box, not the day that the post office processed it. MIT could not have known anything earlier than they did, and we should all be thankful that they are giving us all the information that they have. Secondly, for all the people who are saying that they have had their hopes destroyed through looking at these posts - mail is WEIRD!! You really have no idea what is going to happen. Deal with it. You will get your letter/tube when you get it. Finally, as for online notification, I believe that MIT had a problem in the past with someone hacking into the system (after all, these people are applying to MIT). Mail may be frusterating, but it is much more secure than the internet. My heart goes out to all of those people who have not heard yet, I know waiting is agonizing, but don't worry and go on with your wonderful life until you hear within the next couple days. Good luck!

Posted by: Karen on December 14, 2005

This blog needs some humor.....

Posted by: Shaheer on December 14, 2005

I know Karen meant to make us feel better. But after learning that acceptance letters were sent out before the rest (of course, not MIT's fault), I don't know how the rest of us can feel better. Not to mention some of us know people who got in who are less qualified. But, that's life. I hope regular decision will work out for us.

Posted by: Bob on December 14, 2005

I checked my mail this morning looking for a tube, guess what i mailbox was missing, it turned out that someone had run over my mail box with their car and covered thier trackes by discarding the reamins.....

Top that for a frutration, smart ppl...!


Posted by: Shaheer on December 14, 2005

Time heals all...

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Indeed it does....

Posted by: Shaheer on December 14, 2005

Bob, "less qualified" is hard to define. In ways, admissions is an undeniably random process, and I'm not talking in particular about MIT.

Whatever, good luck to all. There's always the remaining chance of tubes, and if it's not a tube, wait for RD.

Posted by: BT on December 14, 2005

Hahaha, Shaheer...I'm sorry, it's horrible that someone ran over your mailbox with their car, but I also happen to find it hilarious. It's so incredibly random and odd and, honestly, who takes the time to cover their tracks and discard the remains of a mailbox? Sorry, I know it must be frustrating...I'm waiting too. However, I do find all of this kinda a little letter can have so much sway over so many people's lives. Lately, I've been stressed out to the if brain ulcers existed, I would have one. But in the end, regardless of the decision, life goes on. MIT still rocks my socks, and there's always RD. Plus, I am confident that you wonderful and talented (though neurotic)applicants will shine and do amazing things regardless of where you end up going.

Posted by: Tracy on December 14, 2005

GANESH??? YI???? WE NEED YOU!!!!!!!

Can someone PLEASE explain to me the logic behind bashin MIT??? It makes absolutely no sense to me

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 14, 2005

PEOPLE, CALM DOWN. I applied early, MIT's my first choice like the rest of you, I've been checking my mail, CONSTANTLY, for a tube like the rest of you. But it's not there fault, the admissions office did a spectacular job, they narrowed down 3,098 to 377 in a month and a half, give them some credit, and stop blaming MIT. Plus to those anonymous bloggers who say they should let in more, if you want to go to a school where they let everyone in why are you applying to MIT? The Admissions office did a great job getting this done and the post office screwed up, deal with it, stuff happens, you'll get your notice, and be happy they told you whats going on instead of just leaving you in the dark. And you anonymous whiners sign your name, when I say something I tell people, dont hide behind annonomity.

Posted by: Reeve on December 14, 2005

and if they made MIT like 3 times bigger i for one wouldn't apply as much as i love MIT..that would be just to going to a huge state school or something..i liek the size it is now..even if it means i won't get in

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 14, 2005

Deferred by deduction. I can understand the basis behind not wanting to release results online, but, I would rather have a cold, heartless computer tell me that I was not accepted than have my own logic slowly drown out whatever hope I had left and tell me the truth.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

is there really any hope of being accepted RD if I've been deffered. If so can I suppliment my app. in any way before that time arrives.

Thanks and seriously guys, its not the end of the world. The life is random and rather unfair. I'm not happy I got deffered but im not going to attack the admissions staff. Seriously, grow up.

Posted by: queensman on December 14, 2005

"Seriously, grow up."

Damn right queensman.

Posted by: Reeve on December 14, 2005

Aki, Victoria, and Lisa -

I'm from Bellevue, WA - and I haven't gotten anything yet either. No tube. *frown* But thankfully, no deferral or rejection letters either! Since we're on the opposite end of the country, I guess we ought to expect our decision letters later than east-coasters. Good luck to all who haven't yet heard. smile

Posted by: Ankita on December 14, 2005

I'm not sure what to think, other than that a package mailed first class from Cambridge to PA doesn't take 6 days. Sorry, I've ran an E-Bay business since I was 12, and first class mail takes 5 days across the country, tops.

Whatever, I just want to know for sure.

Posted by: That Guy on December 14, 2005

Dude, we're all pissed off and impatient, but that doesn't amount up to anything. The kid with the babysitter made a point, he probably got in because he's so persistent. If you really need to know that badly whether you got in or not, go track down the letter and hijack the plane with it. Complaining here, and bitching at the admissions officers won't do anything. (I guess you can harass them enough so they would go look up the files to check your status, but seriously.) But I do agree that MIT should use some form of current technology to deal with this stuff, it is the leading technology institute... I mean I'm surprised no one had come up with a way to like send pulses right into our brains telling us our admissions statuses. O I do hope CA means really really long time for UPS from MA.

Posted by: Anon on December 14, 2005

life is indeed unfair...

my brother has a heart problem...he's had it since he was born

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 14, 2005

I just wanted to help with some additional insight into the USPS system:

While selling on eBay, I sent products across the country and I noticed that mailtime can vary considerably across the nation.

The West Coast, especially CA is significantly slower. Even prior to the hurricane, mail was slow to AL and other central southern states. Add in the holiday rush and you don't have reliable arrival times.

Only when your tube/letter arrives will you really know. I know it is very difficult, but try to be patient.

As others have posted, let's keep this all in perspective. If you have health, safety, food, happiness, family and friends, you have a great deal more to celebrate than many others around the world. I know I have seen some of them when I lived overseas...

Posted by: MIT App Mom on December 14, 2005

I think the fact that MIT is not releasing scores online may be related to the fact that a couple of years ago, graduate admissions were leaked via an insecure site (change the url or something) iirc. Yeah...the people that found out their status back then through the leak were automatically rejected if my memory serves. Anyway...the school probably wants to avoid another slip up. So...turn to the way we used to do things in the old day. =] Better know later than get rejected for knowing before I guess.

Posted by: Henry on December 14, 2005

but reading all the joyfilled comments of the accepted makes the rest of us feel like the world is ending...if we all find out at the same time... the suspense would be so much less severe... its the whole idea about, "we know that the decision is made, but what was the decision about me?"

Posted by: Anon on December 14, 2005

LOL! yes..i'd rather wait for knowing then be out for knowing that way

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 14, 2005

I think there was recently an incident in which someone messed around with Cornell's online notification system. Not cool. I think that's why MIT isn't doing the online notification. These kids *are* applying to MIT; many of them probably know how to do this sort of mischief.

Posted by: 0 on December 14, 2005

Everyone who's slamming the admissions staff right now needs to take a big step back and look around. Ben, Nance, and Matt have been nothing but professional, coureous, obliging, and candid. They have spent countless hours ensuring that the process was as transparent and fair as possible, and you respond by haranguing them about events beyond their control. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

True, it's difficult waiting, and difficult being a little less hopeful every day. But you're asking miracles of these people. The postal system handles millions upon millions of pieces of mail a day. They don't care about your MIT admission, all they care about is that the mail gets through in a timely manner. From their point of view, one or two days difference is a small price to pay of efficiency. Please, stop blaming USPS or MIT admissions, or whatever, and give a sincere and profound thank you to Ben, Matt, and Nance.

Posted by: George Burgess on December 14, 2005

Thanks to everyone for your comments - really, thank you. I've answered many of your questions in a new front-page-post.

Posted by: Ben on December 15, 2005

First of all - don't you just love CAPITAL punishment?

I just read this whole comment thread, and that stands out as exceptionally cruel.

It's not fair to you, Ben. Nor is it fair to Matt, Nance, or any of the admissions officers.

Unfortunately, what can you do about people who react the way they do?

I, however, shouldn't be one to say anything. As I was reading this, I couldn't help but wonder, "If I hadn't gotten a tube and I was still waiting for any word from MIT, and I read this, what would I do?"

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't lash out at you the way some people have, but I'm also unsure of what I would do.

My point?

Some of the responses to your post are uncalled for. That much is obvious. You and all of the admissions officers are such awesome people who have been there for us nearly every step of the way, and you don't deserve this at all.

On some level, though, I can understand why some of these replies say what they do. I don't like them, but I understand them. Which is - to put it lightly - really, really depressing.

I hope you get through this, though, and that everything works out somehow.

Posted by: thekeri on December 15, 2005

YEAH thekeri!

you got it right on the money!

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005




Posted by: 0 on December 15, 2005


capital punishment

Posted by: ybai on December 15, 2005

If MIT chooses not to use email for communicating decisions, perhaps they should give stuents the option of adding $20 to the application fee for overnight Fedex. As much as MIT wants to make the letter special for the admitted students, it just doesn't work with USPS with the inherent unpredictability in their delivery.

Has anyone in california got a tube yet?

Posted by: renuka on December 15, 2005

anyone call yet?

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005

yes. and i got owned. i seriously screwed up my application. i think i took risks cause i was not confidant in my stats and my extras. so now i'm at a loss. how did u do april?

Posted by: Jeremy on December 15, 2005

im sry!

i didn't call yet..i'm waiting to see if it comes in the mail today..:(

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005

lol we're following each other around

Posted by: Jeremy on December 15, 2005

o and good luck of course.

Posted by: Jeremy on December 15, 2005

3 hrs til my mail lady comes

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005

thanks...right now im just parying for a deferral...

lol...that we do

where do u live?

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005

im in good ol NJ...right next to princeton ^_^

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005

2.5 hrs

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005

2 hrs


Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005

1.75 hrs

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005

the mail lady is COMING!

i hear her!

15 MINS!!

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005


Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005


now i hope it's a referral and not a reject

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005

no tube :(

Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005



Posted by: April (still waiting) on December 15, 2005

If some of you can't handle "5 days of stress" and become bitter during this "stressful situation", then you'd better not attend MIT for college.

Posted by: an MIT alum on December 15, 2005

Good luck to you all. Please vent your frustrations here, but live and let live.

Posted by: a nonie moose on December 16, 2005

I got in through the waitlist in April. Its not the end of the world if you dont get in. Getting into college isnt the biggest thing on earth once you hit 30.

Many of you will feel like you're not wanted, but thats not true. It's difficult for anyone to scan thousands or applications and say yes or no. I would say 1/2 the EA's are MIT material and may even be in the top 1/2 of MIT had they been admitted. Yes, thats a bold statement I just made. But many things in life are coin flips. Life isn't 100% fair and it might be difficult for you to reconcile that fact. The staff does a great job as making it as fair as possible. They are human and make mistakes. Your not getting into MIT may have been a "mistake" to you, but its ok. It really is.

For example, my close HS friend went to a second tier school because it was cheap. He did well and got into MIT graduate school (sloan) after working for a few years. He's now one of the youngest vp's at a top tier investment bank.

My point is - make the most of the situation. You're young and have all the time on earth to deal with minor setbacks.

As you get older, you'll realize that having class during tough situations is what defines an individual.

G-luck out there.

Posted by: alumn on December 16, 2005

Anyone notice that it's Christmastime, and mail service is NEVER that dependable this time of year? Hasn't anyone ever sent a card out on Dec 10 that didn't arrive til after the holidays? It seems just a tad immature to blame the admissions office for the vagaries of the mail system.

I agree with the above alum, if you can't handle the stress of waiting for your letter, DO NOT GO TO MIT. Seriously. It will be very, very bad for your mental health. You will not be happy there. Only people who will be happy there should go to MIT.

Posted by: Another Alum on December 16, 2005

merry christmas everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: April (no longer waiting but deferred) on December 16, 2005

I'm responding to the admissions officer from another school. I've interviewed applicants for about 4 years. In only one year did ANY of the kids I interviewed get admitted. The three kids I interviewed in 2003 were all EA applicants; two got in EA, and one regular. If MIT took more kids EA, then it's possible that my third interviewee might not have been admitted, but, from my POV, the third applicant was the best.

Some GREAT kids don't apply EA, so why should MIT penalize them for being willing to wait? It's like picking apples in the fall; why pick only from the first tree, when the best of the crop may be in the middle of the orchard?

Posted by: David on December 16, 2005

I'm an Ed Councillor. I suggest that the effect of a few applicants being severely anxious or even angry can be avoided in the future by the following procedure (say the planned mail date is 12/9):

1) Announce (in the app packet) the mail date for decisions (Accept, Defer, Decline) as 12/15

2) Say right there that some applicants might receive notifications as much as a week earlier.

3) And say right there that the selection of who receives earlier notificiation is completely up to MIT and the fates, and will probably have no correlation with whether you are accepted or not.

That way, the expectations are normalized to reality. And I would assess that this "less favorable" procedure statement would decrease the number of applicants by zero.

Posted by: Mark on December 16, 2005

I'm an Educational Councilor also and an Early Action admit for the Class of 1981. I don't remember knowing when the EA results were even to be posted - it was a complete surprise to recieve my acceptance letter (no tubes then) a week before Christmas.

I know there are more EA's now, but why all the pressure on the results and result timing? I can understand some of the angst, but the level of vitriol about not getting either the tube or letter seems over the top. The applicants I interview don't seem to be so highly wound, perhaps that's the Minnesota nice at work.

I really like seeing the interaction with Admissions that the technology has brought to the table.

Posted by: David T Williams on December 16, 2005

Whoa... everyone needs to take a few deep breaths, I think.

Mostly, I need to say this: "Being Deferred" != "Being Rejected." That is why it is not called "Being Rejected." All it means is that you got your application in early; good for you, you don't have to add it to your to-do list for the end of December!

I haven't got my MIT mail, of whatever stripe, yet. I'm not going to waste time and emotional energy speculating. It's Schroedinger's cat, assuming that Schroedinger's cat had three states... alive, dead, asleep? Any philospher will tell you there's no point trying to guess until the box is opened. :}

And I can't really see why ya'll are taking one probability question as absolutely certain. It's called probability for a reason. I will die of laughter if anybody angsting about not getting their mail yet but "knowing" they got an envelope actually gets in EA.

Posted by: Kith on December 17, 2005


I would like to say hallo to Carina, Thank a lot for everything you did. I will never disappointed you, and I will do the best. See you there...

Posted by: Fajrul on December 19, 2005

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