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Understanding the process: The MIT Admissions mission

Our work at MIT Admissions is both bound and inspired by MIT’s longstanding commitment to the public interest, a theory we put into practice with our admissions process and financial aid.

The MIT Office of 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.

Perhaps nowhere has this mission been more exhaustively discussed than by B. Alden Thresher, an economist and the first Director of Admissions at MIT. In 1966, he wrote a legendary, and still relevant, book called College Admissions in the Public Interest.

This book, which the College Board helpfully publishes in a free PDF for anyone who cares to read it, remains a handbook for the admissions profession, and a touchstone for our office and the values we hope to realize through our actions.