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Please note:

MIT and the admissions office will be closed November 24–25 for Thanksgiving break, and will open on November 28.

MIT staff blogger Chris LaBounty

Applying Regular Action – Q&A by Chris LaBounty

Hi Everyone,

The Office of Admissions is closing for the holidays next week, and is not accepting emails or answering phone calls. The office will reopen on Tuesday, January 2nd. That said, I thought it was probably important to get some information out there for people regarding the RA process.

As you know, the deadline is fast approaching. Most things you can find just by looking around on the site — for example, about standardized test requirements or statistics. Below I added some more things to know:


  • The deadline is January 1, meaning you can click "submit" on your application any time on January 1 or before. However, I strongly discourage waiting until the last minute. Last minute people are playing with fire, and playing with fire isn't cool. Things happen. For example, you might get a validation error or something similar, it's 11:58 so you're stressing out trying to fix it and then bam — you're out of time. No good.
  • It is perfectly fine if, through no fault of your own, your school forms (e.g. teacher recommendations, secondary school report, transcript) come in after the January 1 deadline. We're understanding and flexible with your teachers and counselors because we know they are super busy. We are less flexible with applicants because we assume you're on top of this.
  • January is the last testing date that can be seen by the Admissions Committee (February will not be seen). If you will be taking the January test, you obviously don't have the scores yet to write down in your application. That's fine. Just be sure that when you take the test, you designate MIT to receive the scores. You do this, and we'll see them when we read your application. Your application should list all of your test dates (including future dates) so we can keep an eye out for this.
  • The deadline to request an interview was December 10th, and has now passed. While highly recommended, the interview is not a required part of the application (and students whose interviews have been waived are at no disadvantage). You are welcome to request an interview from your Educational Counselor (EC) after the deadline, but don't expect that they will have time. Your EC is an MIT alum who is volunteering her time so everyone needs to be very respectful of their availability. If you have already interviewed with your EC, or have scheduled your interview, you're all set. Don't worry if your interview report has not yet appeared on your MyMIT Tracking page, your EC's submission deadline hasn't passed yet. If its been more than two weeks since your interview and it's still not on your tracking page, please click the "Details" link and submit the "Conducted Interview Form" to let us know you've had your interview.

Submitting & Tracking Documents:

  • The MyMIT Tracking is up-to-date (while the Admissions Office is closed, the Records Office is still working hard), but please recognize that processing can take 2 weeks. Don't worry if documents you sent are not showing on MyMIT; they have stacks of papers they need to go through down there, so don't make it worse by sending things in four times.
  • Don't waste your money overnighting or express mailing documents.
  • Any application materials being mailed, including recommendation letters, should be sent to: MIT Office of Admissions; 77 Massachusetts Avenue; Room 10-100; Cambridge, MA 02139; USA. Be sure to include the appropriate cover sheet. It need not have any special code on the envelope.
  • Any application materials being faxed, including recommendation letters, should be sent to 617-687-9184. Be sure to include the appropriate cover sheet.
  • Please include the appropriate cover sheet from MyMIT for any document you send, as it helps with filing.
  • For teacher recommendations and secondary school reports, we prefer our form, but will accept your school's forms, the NACAC forms, or the Common App forms.
  • If you are having credit card problems, please email applicationpart1 at mit dot edu. If payment problems delay your application past January 1, we will extend the deadline for you due to any problems on our end.
  • We are happy to accept fee waivers for any student (foreign or domestic) who needs one. Using a fee waiver will not negatively impact your admission. You may use the SAT Fee Waiver, the NACAC Fee Waiver, or a letter from a school official detailing your situation. We will accept other fee waiver forms as well. Generally speaking, if you are in tough financial shape and make a good faith effort to inform us of your circumstances, we will waive your fee.
  • If you need to update your application after you submit it, the best way is to use the Midyear Report, an online form which will be available next month. On this form, you will also provide updated/semester/midyear grades and any changes in your coursework. You will also be able to provide information about any new awards or anything else you want us to know about.
  • On the last section of both Parts One and Two, there is a link that will allow you to preview your application as a PDF. You should do this so you can see how we'll see you application. A common problem is typing in too much and turning the font of your well crafted essay or statement into the size of a micron.
  • Application tracking is available on MyMIT after you submit your Part 1. For this reason, I recommend submitting your Part 1 sooner rather than later, so that you can track your documents.
  • Regular action results will be released in mid-March.

Essays & Other Application Components:

  • If you copy and paste from a program like Microsoft Word into the application, you may lose some formatting. Be particularly careful of characters like apostrophes, em dashes, and quotation marks. If you type directly into the text box on MyMIT, everything should be fine. If you cut/paste from a plain text editor, or type directly on myMIT you should be fine. Please save often.
  • In Part Two, Section Nine ("Additional Information"), we are aware that the font shrinks and is not traditionally formatted; this affects everyone equally. Also, if you put too much text into the box, the bottom will be cut off and the admissions committee will not be able to see it. (See 3rd from last bullet in previous section.)
  • Listing awards that you have received is sufficient. You do not need to mail us certificates. Be honest though, or we'll find out.
  • There are often many questions about the self-reported grades form. We ask that applicants in US school systems do their best to accurately and completely fill this out. Be sure to include your current year courses. Be sure that your self-reported grades match what is on your transcript. If you have taken college, online, or summer courses, you should include these classes and grades as well. If you do not attend an American-style school, you do not need to fill out the self-reported grades form.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck and happy holidays!