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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

A few quick answers by Matt McGann '00

The skinny.

Selection has been busy enough that I haven’t had time to do a full Questions Omnibus, I do have enough time to steal an idea from Ben and quickly answer a few common questions


So, you’re currently doing regular action selection for domestic applicants. What’s up with the international selection?

We’re still reviewing international applications, in parallel to the selection of domestic applicants (including US citizens/permanent residents living abroad). International selection will occur in a few weeks.


Have any regular action decisions been mailed/released yet?

No. We’ll mail all regular action decisions together at the same time.


When will regular action decisions be released?

I don’t know yet when decisions will be released. Watch the blogs and MyMIT for more information.


More soon…

27 responses to “A few quick answers”

  1. C Minh says:

    I think her idea is OK, this is a wonderful world. There are many one better than I am.

    If I am not admitted this year, maybe I will try agian the next year.

  2. Hey Matt!

    Thanks for answering these important questions; I was beginning to get edgy there! Oh well, I guess that means *more* waiting for us internationals :/ Good luck in the selection process everyone… this is it!!! (as if you needed more pressure =P)…I do hope decisions are released around Mid-March like it says on the MIT Calendar…Many schools are doing it late March-Early April which i think sucks :( MIT would really stand-out with mid-march admissions, but hey MIT Stands out anyway :D

    Take care everyone and keep your grades up in this time! What’s done is done! GOOD LUCK!

    Abdulaziz (Aziz) Albahar

  3. Anonymous says:

    there’s a rumor that the decision mail day is the 17th

  4. tokenadult says:

    This question is on behalf of prospective students I know, not anyone from this year’s applicant pool, so please give it appropriately low priority while you’re still in selection mode. But when you have time, could you please comment on what the admissions office’s view is of college credits earned before application to MIT, because I have read in online discussion and heard in in-person discussion many fears from parents of children who are extremely advanced academically that their children are at risk of getting “too many” college credits as part of their high school programs. I’ll give one mostly hypothetical example.

    Suppose a young learner begins taking part-time college courses at middle-school age and continues each year to earn a few more courses’ worth of college credits. Suppose that by the last year or so of “high school” age the learner is taking a full-time load of college credits as the learner’s “high school” program and will apply to MIT (at whatever age) with college transcripts from accredited colleges showing a total college credit load of more than sixty (60) semester credits.

    1) If that learner has never matriculated at an undergraduate degree program, would that learner still be able to apply to MIT as an applicant for the freshman class? Would there be any unusual consequences for admission or financial aid from having so many previous college credits?

    2) If that learner HAS matriculated at another college, would that learner still be able to apply for MIT’s limited transfer admission spaces?

    3) Does it make a difference whether those previously gained college credits count as part of the learner’s “high school” program (as is the case in some dual-enrollment programs I know, either for public school high school students, private school high school students, or homeschoolers)? What if the only transcript(s) the learner submits to document the credits are college transcripts rather than high school transcripts?

    4) In general, is there a threshold beyond which accumulation of previous college credit BARS application for freshman admission at MIT?

    Matt, your previous blog post about unusually young applicants (“Doogie Howsers”)

    was very helpful, and yet the specific issue I raise above still comes up frequently in discussions I have with other parents (who in many cases expect their child to wait till more “normal” age before applying to MIT, or in a few cases have children who are racking up college credits at an extraordinarily young age). A friend pointed me to the MIT Web site’s pages on transfer admission, e.g.,;jsessionid=D4pfs2MC5Lc61WnTrpw1qMhmKW5nqpB1ZvyR2LTTTbS7WT04lKh4!-781852079!756060164?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageTransferApplying

    and that is helpful for knowing what admissions application possibilities learners who have already matriculated at another college have at MIT. But I am still a bit puzzled about the case I’m mentioning above: a learner who has not matriculated at another college, but who has gained credits through study of courses from one or more colleges before applying to MIT.

    Thanks for the answer you’ll eventually provide after dealing with higher-priority issues in your office. Best wishes to you and your colleagues in the admissions office during selection period. Your anticipated separate post on homeschooled applicants will also be eagerly read, I’m sure.


  5. Dapo says:

    This is my third time to reply first. I am basically living here. The suspense is killing me. Well to the Admissions crew, keep up the good work, and to my fellow applicants hang in there, it will soon be over.

  6. Csaba says:

    I was not being cynical. I just think anyone to say with absolute certainty “Look here! I have a definite place at MIT!” has to be 100% smug and pretty dumb too, because you just don’t know the each and every other applicant (which is true 100x more for international applicants like me). Of course, everyone needs to hope he or she is capable of doing a great job at MIT, but at the end of the day no one can be sure. So if you’re rejected you may as well say “Perhaps I am just not MIT enough for MIT”. But that is not all that bad; at least in my opinion. I am not very lucid here, I know, but my vocabulary is not as it should be. Ah anyway. Sorry if I offended any of you. In that case consider that I am a looney who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and in no case has he intended to hurt you.

    Bottom line: smile:)

  7. The suspense is killing me too, but this blogs really help me killing my anxiety. Thanks Matt for the quick anwsers but I would like to ask you something that will be interesting not only to me but to all international applicants. Could you write an entire entry about international applications and their status. I hope you guys in the admission office have the time to satisfy my curiosity. I know you are very bussy so good luck and keep up the good work!

    A suggestion: Why dont you create a mobile version of the MIT Blogs, so we applicants can review them with our cellphones at anytime and anywhere? Many other forums and webpages I navigate frequently have a mobile phone version. It would be very interesting! Maybe you have one and I am making an stupid comment, anyway it is just a suggestion.

  8. Fadl says:

    Hi everyone. I want to start off by thanking Matt for all the work he’s done in attempt to help us survive this anxious time. Personally I have to agree with Csaba about this experience being fun whether you get into MIT or not. Talking to so many bright people and having great discussions is fun whatever may come after it. I know you guys are worried (I sometimes ponder about admission myself late at night) but the fact of the matter is that even if you don’t get into MIT you’ll life will go on and this small period of time when you talked to all these nice and funny people will be remembered fondly. Trust me many years from now you may laugh at all the anxiety you had about getting in to MIT. smile

    PS: Don’t get me wrong I still want to go to MIT as much as the other guy. (Maybe even a little more)

    PPS: Has anyone ever felt he was good enough to definitely get into MIT? (Just wondering)

  9. C Minh says:

    I am a fan of Manga and the one that I like best is Hikaru no Go. Some of you will say that the world of Manga is not real but I think there are lots of thing to learn about this imaginary world. One of the character in Hikaru no Go that I most admire is Touya Akira. He is an outstanding Go player but more than that he has a great confidence. His confidence is not from his talent but from his mind. One time he face a much stronger player Fujiwarano Sai (this character is built to be the soul of the Saint of Go Honinbo Shusaku). Obviously, he has no chance to win but he did fight, and sometimes how you fight is even better than what is the result. A very interesting and sound a bit conflicting detail was that Touya know how strong his opponent is but he always believe that he would win. If you dont have that belief then you lose at the beginning.

    And even in the real world, there are many who can do impossible things. Helen Keller, became a famous writer though she was blind and deaf. Do you know that to learn to say her first simple sentence took her 11 days. Everyone would guess that is impossible but finally she got succeded. There was times in human history that a small group of people fight against a whole legion. Though they know that they can never win but they believe that they will win. You may say that this is stupid (and in most cases the small group would be crushed like a bug) however their will is admirable.

    Back to the topic of applying to MIT, I know that for an International student like me, the chance of being admitted is like 5% and I won’t say that I am really better than you guys. If some of my friend ask me about my chance I would say that it is rather small and I wont hope much that I will be admitted. It was in fact lies that I tell the other. It is natural that you protect yourself because if you say you must be admitted and then you fail everyone will think that you just blah and they wont believe what you say anymore. The truth is that deep inside my mind, there is someone who told me that 100% I will be admitted. You can say that I am smug and pretty dump (and I think that this is truly a part of my character as well as the charater of human beings) but it was the thing that give me strength and I wont give up my belief until the result is released. Tell you a secret, by this way of thinking, I have past at least 2 impossible event, and why won’t MIT be the next one. I myself think this kind of belief is not bad.

    ” Exiciting is the feeling of the warrior before the battle” that is what Sai told to Hikaru (in the manga Hikaru no Go). You and I, let’s tell the other “my chance is low and I can lose” , but keep in mind that “I will 100% win”. ^^

  10. Donna says:


    My post is not about admissions. I hope to see you at HMMT. I a parent of a student who is attending the contests.

  11. C Minh says:

    May be a bit mess ( and many grammar mistake also) but this is not an official writing so I wont fear.

  12. Csaba says:

    Well if people were confident about getting in, they wouldn’t be anxious and afraid, now, would they. I am talking about people who are afraid of being rejected. I mean, as long as we don’t know every applicant, the possibility is there for any of us to be rejected (in fact about 90% will be rejected); but that is simply not to be feared! As long as we all have confidence in the intelligence and fair judgement of the admissions officers (and we have numerous reasons to assume that, seeing in the blogs how really great they are), if one or another is rejected, it is absolutely normal. Even if you think rejection means “you’re not good enough” (which is not what it means, but rather “you and we are just not a good match”), accept the fact that other “better” (again I stress, there is no such word) got in and be happy for them! Be indeed happy that there was a fair selection and you did not get in in place of another with more merits (weird word alert). And the fact that you met these great people only adds up to the fun. These are my two cents.

  13. nameless says:

    first time I’ve been compelled to write–very impressive that you guys still find time/ care to do these blogs, I can’t get admission offices at other places to talk to me over the phone, let along keep us updated online throughout the process. thank you, and keep up the good work!

  14. M says:

    Hi Matt,

    Do you have any idea when the tracking system for finaid docs will be on MyMIT? I am an int’l applicant, I have sent my 2006-07 Int’l Stdt App for Finaid along with supporting docs in mid-Jan, but have no idea whether or not MIT has received it. Since mails from my country generally take 2+ weeks to reach MIT, I’m basically feeling as if I’m sitting on fire right now as March 1 approaches. Thanks for your answer. In the meantime, kudos for the efforts you and the rest of the adcom spent on selection of the class of 2010.

  15. Kim says:

    I’m sorry to be adding yet another question, but I was wondering how MIT handles requests from applicants for schedule changes in the second semester of senior year. I’m hoping to switch to regular-level English from honors to leave more time for science and math activities, but the guidance department requires “approval” from colleges in order to make the switch. Does MIT actually give formal approval/disapproval? Should I wait for a response from admissions, or will the request be treated as an update to my file?

  16. Csaba says:

    People, take it easy. If you’re admitted, it’s absolutely unbelievable (and, mind you, there will be probably people who were rejected who are at least as capable) and if you’re rejected, it’s still a fun feeling, the fact that you’ve been in contact with lots of bright people, students and faculty is amazing, IMHO! Be not afraid, only believe! smile

  17. gm says:

    Thanks for keeping us updated!

  18. Siddharth says:

    hey, i got put up a year in school, i’m only 16 right now, does that count as being a young’un?

    and by the way, i personally think 17 is the most awesome age to be, except that ur not going to get married.

    i plan to get married at 24. any of u guys have “special” ages that u want to be or have planned to do something at?

  19. mike says:

    Dear Csaba,

    Please spare us your cynical comments.

  20. Dapo says:

    Hey, I am 16 too. If i were back home in Nigeria, I would have graduated, however here in the U.S. I am thought of as being “too” young. And yes I have special dates for things: I plan marriage for 25!

  21. Edward says:

    Its all about beleif.

  22. Siddharth says:

    lol, mike, i dont think csaba WAS being cynical, at least not intentionally. or maybe im just a massive idiot…

    but yeah, rejection would not be “fun”, it would be “sucky”. yes, u’ve been in contact w/ lots of bright ppl, students, and faculty, buuut u know u dont get to have lots MORE contact. b/c ur NOT one of those bright ppl, students, and faculty :D

  23. C Minh says:

    To Csaba

    I would tell you that, being confidence and being anxious, afraid can also happen the same time. I would say that I fear a lot but I believe in myself and try to do my best. Of course I know my chance is small, but I believe that my chance is great. Not the same thing. I don’t know how the students in the other major feel but in Maths I think this mixture of feeling is very usual, especially for beginners. When facing a real problems, it is totally darkness and every one would fear darkness. However the confidence take them through your fear. Like that in the manga that I mentioned, Akira fear a lot and he know that he can lose, but it does not affect his confidence. Like I say before, it is the character of a warrior to be exciting before each battle, you can explain that excitement by the mixture of fear and confidence. That is what I want to say.

  24. I agree with Csaba. If someone will utilize the opportunities at MIT better than me then I will prefer that he takes the precious seat. A rejection letter is nothing to be afraid of. {Even though it will make you feel that you are not as bright as people at MIT are not to mention it will also shatter your dreams of being the part of this vibrant and extremely extraordinary community!! :p}

  25. Csaba says:

    OK. please explain to me what is the point of being afraid. And please explain to me what is the point of being afraid of a rejection letter as long as it is a well-considered, intelligent decision (i.e. it was made in favor of someone “more MIT” than you)?

  26. AKhan says:

    There are special lives awaiting you all – whether you do land a place at MIT or not..

    Keep your head up high.

  27. Hi Matt!

    Thanks for keeping us updated so often smile We’re all a little nervous about everything, but believe me, we all seriously appreciate what you and the admissions crew are doing! THANK FOR ALL THAT YOU DO! You’re contributions help balance everything out and focus things into perspective not just for us, but for MIT (Whoa, you guys must be incredibly calculating!)

    And to all the other rambling prospective students on here (I hope it’s not just me! raspberry), keep it cool. It’s all about balance; and these people are working night and day for us, the last thing they need is us nagging every few seconds.

    Best of luck to everyone!

    -Fatemah Boukhadour