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About: About MIT Admissions

Our Office

The MIT Office of Undergraduate Admissions01 MIT Admissions for short. oversees the recruitment and selection of all undergraduate applicants to the Institute, including both prospective first-year and transfer students. We also coordinate the Educational Council, an international network of more than 5,000 alumni who serve as local ambassadors and conduct interviews, and host more than 70,000 visitors a year who attend our information sessions and campus tours.

MIT Admissions was established in 1929, and is currently led by Stu Schmill ’86, Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services. Our team of admissions officers, support staff, admissions bloggers, tour guides, and student workers take pride in the mission, vision, tradition, and integrity of our work on behalf of the Institute and those who aspire to attend it. As one of our colleagues once wrote, we believe that working at MIT Admissions is more than a job: it is a privilege, an honor, and a responsibility, and requires a public and institutional trust that we do not take for granted and work very hard to keep.

Our Mission

The MIT Office of Undergraduate Admissions enrolls a talented and diverse undergraduate student body composed of some of the world’s most intelligent and creative individuals interested in an education centered on science and technology.

The students we enroll add to a vibrant campus community and will become the leaders and innovators of our global society. We uphold a commitment to meritocracy and fair access to our admissions process for students from all backgrounds.

Our Principles

In pursuing our mission, and realizing our vision, we are guided by several principles that help us do the right thing by our applicants and our institution.

We are egalitarian

For us, egalitarian means that we evaluate all students on equal terms, and on the basis of their own individual interests and aptitudes as opposed to their resources or connections. All admitted students pass through the same demanding process02 Before any applicant is accepted, that person’s application passes through at least five distinct stages of review and is evaluated by several different committees composed of admissions officers and faculty reviewers. This <a href="https://mitadmissions.org/apply/process/selection/">process</a>, which is unique in its particular design and has held fast for more than fifty years, guards against an individual’s biases, preferences, or familiarity with a given applicant swaying a decision unfairly. and meet the same demanding standard, regardless of legacy status, donor affiliation, or athletic recruitment. We have no quotas by school, state, region, or socioeconomic background, but we also value diversity and believe that it contributes to the merit of each class. We are fortunate to be able to consider all applicants without regard for their ability to pay for the MIT education, and meet their full financial need with our generous aid

We acknowledge that there are many ways to define the “the best” students, and that it’s very difficult to disentangle privilege from opportunity and act not only equally but equitably on every applicant.  However, we do the best we possibly can to consider each student’s achievements and potential relative to their context, and to allocate scarce seats in the class where they will have the highest impact: for the student, for the Institute, and for the world. 

We are accessible

For us, accessible means that anyone should be able to understand how to apply to MIT, be able to complete an application,03 For example, we routinely <a href="https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/for-those-impacted-by-hurricane-michael-and-other-disasters/">extend deadlines on account of disasters</a>, and routinely <a href="https://mitadmissions.org/help/faq/application-fee-fee-waiver/">waive fees</a> if they might present any hardship. and, if admitted, be able to afford to attend.04 Our <a href="https://mitadmissions.org/afford/cost-aid-basics/">full-need financial aid</a> meets 100% of all students’ demonstrated financial need. Over 70% of our undergraduates graduate debt-free, and more than 30% don’t pay any tuition. And, while the cost of college appears to keep rising, the cost of MIT, after financial aid, has actually gone down in constant dollars over the last few decades. These are some of the commitments we make to being financially accessible. To do this, describe our admissions process, in print and online, in as comprehensive and comprehensible a manner as we can.05 Including annotations where necessary. We are as transparent about our work as possible: we tell you what we are looking forpublish admissions statistics, and avoid any unnecessary complexities or hidden preferences06 For example, we don't care if you apply Early or Regular, we don't consider demonstrated interest, we're need-blind, and so on. that could give some applicants an unfair advantage through access to ‘insider’ knowledge. We also believe in truth-in-advertising and try to present MIT accurately: good, bad, and otherwise. When we travel, we try to recruit from the broadest possible public, and our Educational Council offers interviews to as many students as it can to help demystify MIT. We are easy to contact, and try to respond to all 70,000+ emails we receive per year as quickly and personally as we can.

We acknowledge that that there is an ironic tension between our goal of being accessible and the reality that the vast majority of our applicants will not be offered admission. However, we believe that our work to demystify both MIT and the admissions process, as well as our commitment to a level playing field, contributes to the well-being of our applicants, their families, and the broader ‘system’ in which we collectively have a stake.

We are responsible

For us, being responsible means acknowledging that we have a moral obligation to act ethically, on behalf of our institution and the public we serve. To that end, we routinely reconsider, and reflect upon, our programs and processes to ask ourselves if they are student-centered, institutionally aligned, and in the public interest. We understand that our actions and expectations influence the behavior of students, parents, and others with a stake in our work, and try to support initiatives and affirm principles that we hope will positively influence the conversation around college admissions. We encourage students to be their best selves rather than conform to what they imagine might get them into MIT, and we try to remind them that their application is not the end, but the beginning, of a set of choices that will cumulatively determine their life.

 

  1. MIT Admissions for short. back to text
  2. Before any applicant is accepted, that person’s application passes through at least five distinct stages of review and is evaluated by several different committees composed of admissions officers and faculty reviewers. This process, which is unique in its particular design and has held fast for more than fifty years, guards against an individual’s biases, preferences, or familiarity with a given applicant swaying a decision unfairly. back to text
  3. For example, we routinely extend deadlines on account of disasters, and routinely waive fees if they might present any hardship. back to text
  4. Our full-need financial aid meets 100% of all students’ demonstrated financial need. Over 70% of our undergraduates graduate debt-free, and more than 30% don’t pay any tuition. And, while the cost of college appears to keep rising, the cost of MIT, after financial aid, has actually gone down in constant dollars over the last few decades. These are some of the commitments we make to being financially accessible. back to text
  5. Including annotations where necessary. back to text
  6. For example, we don't care if you apply Early or Regular, we don't consider demonstrated interest, we're need-blind, and so on. back to text