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MIT student blogger Laura N. '09

Blog Action Day by Laura N. '09

Did you ever get the feeling that the Internet is full of nonsense?

Did you ever get the feeling that the Internet is full of nonsense? Well, you’re not alone.

Tomorrow is the second annual Blog Action Day, when thousands of bloggers dedicate their blogs to talking about one important topic to drive the popular discourse towards more important topic than lolcats…hopefully.

This year’s theme is poverty, and a couple of MIT bloggers are planning to participate. If you have a blog, you should too! Check out the website above.

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Responses to questions:

BrittanyL, a ’13 hopeful asked a really good question: Wow, great examples, Cristen and Laura, thanks so much for posting those. I visited MIT last month, and since then (even more than before), it’s become the greatest center of my hopes for my future. Your essays provide great examples–and for students as anxious about the outcome of their apps as I am, that’s wonderful.

I have to ask, though… (despite not wanting to acknowledge it as a possibility) I know that a percentage of this years’ applicants (as with every year) simply won’t get accepted.

So, when you were applying, what other colleges had you picked out as secondary options? I have some in mind, but none of them seem to match up to the great style and culture I see at MIT. Did any of you find other places with similar spirit during your application season?

Thanks for your help, and the great insight you provide to those of us looking in from the outside (though hopefully not for long!) :D

This is an excellent question. Just to give you a few ideas: if MIT hadn’t admitted me, I think I probably would have ended up at Case Western Reserve University. Stevens Institute of Technology is another good technology school in Hoboken, New Jersey, but it was way too small for my own personal tastes.

For another perspective on this question, we can turn to the one and only Matt McGann. Starting with this entry (published on October 17, 2004) and this entry (published on November 14, 2004), Matt takes a minute at the end of each blog entry to mention a great school that often gets overlooked by students because it doesn’t have the name recognition that people sometimes get too caught up in. Definitely worth a look, even if it’s from back in the day. ;-)

17 responses to “Blog Action Day”

  1. Piper says:

    I would have ended up at WPI. <a >Harvey Mudd has been mentioned as having a personality similar to MIT’s, and it’s also a very good college. I didn’t look into it when applying to schools, but if I had it probably would’ve been one of my top choices after MIT smile

  2. Mikey says:

    Whoo Blog Action Day! If you haven’t checked it out before, ONE.org is something that I’ve participated in here and there, and it seems like a pretty great organization.

    Re: colleges, my other choices were:
    1) University of Michigan (being from MI myself, this would have been a fantastic deal paying in-state tuition because they have one of the highest in-state/out-of-state differentials, and who doesn’t like feeling like they’re getting a great deal?!)
    or
    2) January admission to Cornell. But once they asked for a $200 deposit, I decided to stick with MIT. smile

  3. Ehsan says:

    Nobody apply to Caltech! Because then you would be … well… a traitor!!!

    And NOBODY likes traitors! It’s even worse if you apply to Caltech, get accepted, become a hacker and commit hacks that are competing against MIT.

  4. Laura says:

    Oops, I forgot about Caltech! Probably because they waitlisted me, so I wouldn’t have been able to go there anyway. But, obviously a great school worth consideration- just keep in mind that MIT and Caltech have as many differences as similarities, so be sure to do your homework.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Financial aid should be a huge variable in most people’s decision. Note that:
    “A few prestigious schools that cost $50,000 or more a year have made more aid available to families earning well into six figures. At Princeton, for instance, virtually all families earning as much as $200,000 qualify for grants covering half of tuition or more.” (Yahoo News)
    Do you think MIT will be one of the few “prestigious” schools not to offer such a package?

  6. anonymous says:

    @ Ehsan

    Scholarships (financial aid) are need-based at MIT. There are no merit-based scholarships. There are plenty of students who have been accepted to MIT and attend here, but do not receive any scholarships (from MIT) because they do not demonstrate any financial need. Those students are wise to apply to outside scholarships that are offered in their community and nationally to help with the cost. It is a common misperception that smart students receive merit-based college-funded scholarships and it is simply not true at most selective universities.

    That said, the level at which financial need is determined varies. At MIT, a family income below $75,000 will allow a student to attend tuition-free. At Princeton, a student may receive financial aid of some sort if there family income is below $200,000.

    The internet is a great resource for finding scholarships. Your local newspaper will also feature press releases for local scholarships. Do not overlook the many community organizations and businesses that offer scholarships such as the Elks, American Association of University Women, Optimists, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Lowes, Kohls, Burger King, etc. Most of these local chains award scholarships to local students. The list goes on and on. Start looking now as some are due in the next few months. A $1000 scholarship here and there ads up. My student was awarded over $10,000 from local scholarship opportunities. You can’t receive scholarship money if you don’t apply.

  7. Monorina says:

    Laura,Matt mentions the “Not the same colleges” list on his blog but I cant find it(I keep getting 404 everytime I click on the link) Could you please get me the info, if it’s still there somewhere?
    I just want a look at it

  8. Laura says:

    Monorina: which links are you clicking on? I don’t seem to have a problem. There’s not one cohesive list, it’s just one college mentioned at the end of each entry he wrote over the course of a month. If the links I posted aren’t working for you, try going to the main page of Matt’s blog and scrolling down the dates I listed.

  9. Anonymous says:

    how is northwestern polytechnic institute? i m applyin in it.

  10. Monorina says:

    I’d say Georgia Tech and Carnegie Mellon would be great options if I don’t get into MIT.

  11. Ehsan says:

    I think if your capable of getting in to MIT, your capable of getting some sort of scholarship!

  12. ioni says:

    Seriously, people, I do not believe that using blogs we can fight something as big as poverty. How on Earth writing about it helps people who starve? Who die because they cannot afford water? Who are scared that the crisis that is upon us will break down their lives?

    I just do not understand all that hype – but I do not mind to participate, not in the least. Although I do believe that “writing about poverty” is not the same as “fighting poverty itself”.

    And even though I believe that poverty of mind (if I use the terms correctly) is way worse – since this is the only reason there is technical, monetary poverty in the world.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Other schools to consider: CalTech, Harvey Mudd, RPI, Rochester, UT-Austin, Duke, WPI, Georgia Tech, Olin, Stevens, Cornell, and Michigan. College Confidential has a couple of threads dedicated to this topic as well.

  14. Lainers '12 says:

    Just to throw some stuff out there…I would have been at UCSD, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon, or Columbia if all my acceptences had come in as they did, except MIT’s.

    My Caltech/MIT story kind of resembles Laura’s EC/BC story…I went into REX (or rather its equivalent, the month of April) with my mind made up, was surprised by how much I liked Caltech, did a minor bit of soul-searching, and didn’t change my mind. It just jumped from fifth or sixth on my list of colleges to second. I’m really glad I’m where I am now, but I’m sure there are many other schools where I would thrive.

    Their admissions websites just don’t compare, though.

  15. Thanks for the great suggestions! I’m going to be looking up all of these. I really hope I won’t need alternate schools at all, but for research purposes, you guys have been really helpful. And, Lainers, you’re right about the admissions sites–there just aren’t any others that can match up to MIT’s.

  16. cheritycall says:

    hi, Give something for help those hungry people in Africa or India,
    I created this blog about that subject:
    at http://tinyurl.com/6p6lb8