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MIT student blogger Snively '11

Blogging About Blogging by Snively '11


Monday was the Collegeboard’s 2008 New England Regional Forum. It took place in the Boston Sheraton hotel and MIT’s admission’s office (more specifically, Matt McGann and Ben Jones) were two of the speakers. Their presentation was titled “Students, Parents, Admissions, and the Internet.” It was essentially a conference and over a hundred college and high school counselors signed up to listen to Matt’s and Ben’s presentation. They asked me to tag along as an example of somebody who’s not only recently been through the application process but is now on the other side of it. I was really excited for the conference for a couple of reasons. For one, I’ve never heard Ben give an info session or speak before, and for another, I was actually interested in what they had to say. It’s actually quite interesting to hear the thought behind the blogs and admissions as a whole.

While we were there we saw something so, um, interesting, that I could probably do an entire entry about it alone, but I’ve decided to shove it into this one. Meet CAPTAIN FAFSA!

That’s right, the FAFSA has a mascot and I met it. It’s strange though, we wondered how comfortable a cape would be if it had to pass through your mouth. Probably not that comfy, but that’s of no concern to CAPTAIN FAFSA! He’s too good for you!

Let me get the quick-and-dirty out of the way now because I have something important to say at the end of this entry.

Here’s a quick description of our presentation, courtesy of Ben’s powerpoint.

There I am there, at the bottom. I feel so official now! Before the presentation began we realized that all of the font was in Times New Roman which is ugly. Ben decided, in honor of Matt’s birthday, to change it all to something more pleasing to the eye. He realized quite quickly that it wasn’t as easy as changing a global setting, meaning he had to go through each slide individually and change the font. This is what Ben looks like after changing the fonts on all forty slides.

After speaking for an hour and a half we finished up talking about our blogs and answered some questions one on one.

Everything we spoke about was really well received. We talked about how MIT likes to help all of its potential students know as much about the school as possible, how having a constantly changing website is interesting and raises the number of applicants, and how Web 2.0 is the way of the future. I can’t even begin to talk about everything that was said, but I’d like to summarize it by saying that MIT admissions loves you guys. They constantly are worrying about how not to be unfair to you, how to make sure you are as comfortable as possible while applying, and to stay out of business that belongs to you and only you. This is why you won’t find admissions officers hunting you out in Facebook and trying to recruit you. The internet is your space, they just want to help make it interesting and useful.

Let me tell you right now guys, the admissions office loves you. Don’t ever believe that you aren’t thought about, you are just a number, or you are an annoyance. I know admissions is scary but your applications are in the best hands possible, believe me. I won’t name names, but I can chat about prefrosh I’m familiar with with Matt and Ben and they never have anything but nice things to say. Nothing they say on the blogs is a lie, they love all of you and will even have heated moments when they try to defend certain students.

I know waiting for decisions is difficult, I’ve done it too, but please don’t worry about it being fair or not being considered as an individual. You are. I’m not sure what I can say in order to make you believe it more, other than to say that I learned a lot about how the admissions office works this weekend and I’m impressed by it even more.

32 responses to “Blogging About Blogging”

  1. Julie says:

    I am a Guidance Counselor who attended the session. I truly appreciated your input. Great job!! Thanks.

  2. Aditi says:

    Snively you have perfet timing =)
    And congrats on fancy , official looking slide *applause*

    should’ve used calligraph421. Thats is by far the nicest font .ever. Hmmm…thats probably just me!

    I can honestly say that i didnt ever feel like just a number and you guys made sure that we KNEW that we aren’t defined entirely by the random numbers that show up on marksheets and whatnot.

    You really made us feel like we were wanted and like we belonged.

    So whether i make it to MIT next year or not (this is the sappy part that i really truly DO mean) I’ll always feel like a bit of me belongs at MIT =)

  3. Deusse says:

    Nice job, Snive!
    Honestly, the admissions staff is THE MOST FAB!! in the universe! I couldn’t meet the application deadline due to some ‘disturbance’ in the part of the world that I live in, and the admissions office was amazingly cool; way better than other ‘top schools’.
    Whether I get in or not, MIT Admissions gets my maddest props!!

  4. Solstice says:

    Wow, what an honor to be chosen when you’re the newest blogger. Congratulations!


  5. Steph says:

    Ben Jones and Matt McGann sound awesome.

  6. Alexander says:

    That was a really good post Snively at a moment when we really needed it as well. Also that Captain FAFSA thing was hilarious! What do they need a mascot for? Oh and I was wondering if MIT had a gaming scene at all. Im a pretty big gamer so that’s pretty important to me. I know I shouldn’t choose a university based on that and I’m not but it would be uber cool if they did. If there is one could you do a blog on it?

  7. Ben says:

    What’s most amazing is that this entry is already at the very top of a google search for “fafsa mascot.”

    Thanks again for helping out Snively – it was great to have you there. grin

  8. Zaira '11 says:

    Times New Roman. Shame on you, Ben.

    Just kidding.

  9. Libin Daniel says:

    Thank you Snively.
    We know that we will be measured accurately and fairly. Those who get admitted just turn out to be better and can act as a part of the multifarious student body over there. Right?
    I mean if we consider the student body as the building block of a pyramid, then there can be only one student who can act as the zenith of the structure..Not two. Right?

  10. Sam Jackson says:

    I can’t believe you guys replaced me with snively! ;'( so cruel!

  11. Nihar says:

    Well said, Michael. We, in turn, thank the admissions office whole heartedly for the extra mile they go to make us feel comfortable.

    Whether we are admitted or not, the MIT admission process will undoubtedly stand out as the epitome of an amazing college admissions experience for the rest of our life!

  12. Shruthi says:

    What you said was really nice Snively. Thanks a lot smile I love MIT and will continue to, irrespective of whether I get in or not :D And its all because of you guys!!!!!

  13. Ankit says:

    Times new roman is cool!!!

    It is!

  14. Elizabeth says:

    The font it was changed to wasn’t Optima, was it?

    It’s true. serif fonts aren’t so great for presentations, where as sans serif fonts are much better.

    Nice work, all =)

  15. AwayfromHome says:

    I totally agree with everyone else here; MIT Admissions is the best I’ve dealt with. Even smaller schools have given me some trouble over things MIT has acknowledged don’t make a difference in the long run.

    Heck, I still remember I sent an e-mail to MIT admissions in the end of ninth grade, asking about taking foreign language courses outside of school. I sent the same letter to CalTech (no response) and Embry-Riddle (very simple, generic response), and received an actually well-thought-out response from MIT.

  16. *sigh* I wish every school was as awesome as MIT…

  17. Anonymous says:

    WOW, that’s awesome! Thank you very much, Snively, for saying that “MIT admissions loves you guys.” I wish I could enjoy Matt’s and Ben’s presentation(s).

  18. How is “Verdana, sans-serif” I used just now as Anonymous ? I like it better than “Times New Roman”, but not with ‘strong’ tag.

  19. Snively says:

    Did you really use sans-serif? It has serifs. . .

    The bold was a nice change of pace though.

  20. Paul says:

    Collin – I just fielded the same question on my blog. According to Ben, apparently the financial aid tracking is not working quite yet. It should be ready soon!

  21. Melis says:

    Why hasn’t anyone commented on how innocent/ angelic Matt looks in that picture?

  22. Where has Captain FAFSA been for the past three weeks as I shuffled thru gruesome 1099s and w-2s and tried to make sense out of what was a retirement account and what wasn’t? Where was Captain FAFSA when I was trying go figure out how much my house is worth? MIT Admissions might love you guys, but I think I am reasonably certain their evil cohorts, CSS Profile and yes – Captain FAFSA as well as the Insidious Government PIN People HATE ALL PARENTS!

    Captain FAFSA is a fraud, perpetrated by evil govenment toadies trying to confuse me and make me work earlier on my 08 return than I ever have before. Waaaah! Waaaah!

    If MIT Admissions really loved me, they’d be bringing me chai lattes and going “there there, now, it will all be over soon”.

    Generally Irritated,

    Generic Parent

  23. Piper says:

    A FAFSA mascot? That’s hilarious!

    @Parent – Never fear! MIT is on the side of JUSTICE, not the government!

  24. anion says:

    ahh…melis..i was going to say EXACTLY that..matt mcgann looks like a kid being questioned for doing sthing wrong!

    @ ben
    Why, pray, would you search “fafsa mascot” on google?

  25. Judy H. says:

    wow, that’s awesome!

  26. Hawkins says:

    I so wish I could have been there to experience this! I’m certain you and Matt and Ben did a great job, and the MIT admissions team and the MIT web site are the best I’ve ever experienced. (except for MyMIT… still no guestbook access… grr.)

  27. Collin says:


    Great post.

    By the way, does anyone know how to check your Financial Aid update thingy on applications tracking? I submitted the FAFSA and CSS (which I found out about like 2 days before another one of my schools had the deadline for it). Just wanna know where I can see the little box go from “blank” to “checked”

  28. carmen says:

    captain fafsa?!!? what!!…i definitely feel the love of mit admissions when i am applying to other colleges. They have lost my papers, messed up my name, refusing to reply to my e-mail, telling me the last minute that I am missing documents and a horrible, confusing, round-about website. mit admissions, you guys rock! thank you! =)

  29. E Rosser says:

    Wouldn’t it be a health liability to wear the “captain FAFSA” suit around so many parents and students?

  30. Anon9 says:

    “Nothing they say on the blogs is a lie, they love all of you and will even have heated moments when they try to defend certain students.”

    –It sounds really really cool that admissions actually know prefroshies!! Wait. They KNOW us?? That is mind-boggling!!
    In a good way, of course, yet how DO they really actually know know us? If you catch my drift.
    I mean, all we’ve given them are our essays and app stuff… :S
    I mean, surely, we’ve put ourselves into our essays and gooshy stuff like that, but… am I the only one who thinks this is a bit “mind-boggling”–not in any way at all bad or anything, but just… “mind-boggling”??

  31. Viva C. says:

    haha i just found out you guys met my aunt at the conference..!