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About: About

About is the official website of MIT’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. We are located on our own domain (i.e., not on for historical reasons: when we started our blogs back in 2004, we had to use external hosting and an external domain name in order to do so. Since then, we’ve built up a following and sense of home at this domain, so we’ve just stayed here.

This website is a resource about first-year and transfer admissions. We do not conduct admissions for graduate education or professional and continuing education.

We update our website regularly and strive to keep it as accurate (and accessible) as possible. As a general rule, you may consider as authoritative any static page01 Basically, any page on this website that isn't a blog post and lives somewhere in the navbar structure. , or help page. Blog posts, particularly those regarding the admissions process or financial aid, may be out of date.

About the blogs

The MIT admissions blogs are an institution we started in 2004 to help our students (and staff) speak directly to our applicants and the broader public. As Ben Jones put it:

Social media as we know it today didn’t exist when we launched our great experiment of promoting unfiltered/uncensored narratives and connecting prospective and current students directly. Facebook was only a few months old and restricted to a handful of colleges, which ruled out pretty much all of our prospective students. Twitter was still a couple of years away, as was Tumblr. The lack of third-party resources, in large part, enabled the blogs to become the epicenter of the online community we hoped to build around MIT Admissions.

We think our blogs are a little different from other sites because we don’t give our bloggers talking points: they simply get an account and can immediately begin posting directly to our homepage. The only standards we give them are:

  • be reasonably readable: we aren’t SNOOTs but avoid anything that would give a copywriter an aneurysm
  • be factually accurate: freely blog about the good, bad, and ugly parts of your life (and MIT), but just make sure it’s true
  • write for a general audience of applicants: don’t use too much impenetrable jargon, or try to advance your own ~*~influencer~*~ career, at the expense of the audience
  • don’t get the blogs shut down: catchall for doing anything really unconscionably stupid

However, we also tell our bloggers that, if they meet all these reasonable standards, we will defend them to the hilt on their right to blog whatever they want.

Students and staff are speaking for themselves in their blog posts, and not on behalf of the Institute, unless stated specifically otherwise.

A final note on accuracy: because we’ve been blogging for years and years, and because we’ve kept the entire corpus up, there are some old blog posts that may not be accurate in specific operational details (e.g. when that year’s decisions will be released) or facts about the institution (e.g. how many clubs there are at any particular time).

However, the blogs typically have a long shelf life at the cultural and philosophical level, because those things have stayed consistent at MIT for decades, which we are very proud about.

About the comments

Since 2004 we have offered an open comment section to our readers, because we want them to be part of our community and its conversations. We have also always offered the ability to comment anonymously, because we understand that some readers might worry about whether their comments would impact their applications. We try to avoid removing comments, or banning commenters, whenever possible, including those that may disagree with our bloggers, office, or institution.

Such comment sections were once a mainstay of blogs on the open web, but have been largely choked off by trolls, as well as the migration of conversations to walled gardens like Facebook. We want to keep ours alive, nurtured, and cultivated, with an absolute minimum of “weeding” required to let everything else bloom. As Ta-Nehisi Coates, who long ran a great comments section, once said at a talk at MIT on the subject:

Coates wants his blog to be a place where people feel safe– not that they won’t face hard arguments– but that people wouldn’t feel a pariah status while reading. He compares a blog post to a dinner party. A good host simply won’t allow some things to be said, and a blog conversation is much the same.

“Once you take out the rubbish and clear away the weeds, flowers begin to grow.” There’s a lot of rubbish out there, Coates tells us. People who don’t normally comment will come forward if you cultivate a good garden.

To cultivate this garden, all we ask is that you don’t be a jerk. We reserve the right to remove comments and ban people who are libelous, bigoted, or acting in bad faith. But we welcome everything—and everyone—else.

About the illustrations

All the little illustrations you see around the site were drawn by Lydia K. ’14, MEng ’16, a former blogger and always artist. If you visit MIT, you might see these characters painted around campus, especially if you visit Random Hall. You can follow her work @nightlyfieldlog.

  1. Basically, any page on this website that isn't a blog post and lives somewhere in the navbar structure. back to text