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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Clarification On Last Post by Ben Jones

I was really just trying to say that when I look at your names in these threads, I don't see scores or grades.

Hi folks – a comment I received in response to the last entry:

I happen to know that girl (bus driver) and it is unbelievable the amount of impact an essay can have.

I just wanted to clarify my last post in case I confused anyone. I wasn’t trying to give examples of things that got people accepted to MIT. Jenna’s essay on the bus driver was one of many things that made her application very strong. But a single element of one’s application, no matter how strong, isn’t enough to get one accepted. We deferred folks with brilliant essays and accepted folks with less-brilliant essays who were strong in other areas.

I was really just trying to say that when I look at your names in these threads, I don’t see scores or grades… at all. Which is why it’s sad to see you comparing stats and trying to find “the formula.” I don’t think “oh, that girl got a 1600 on the SAT” or “that guy had perfect triple 800’s on the SAT2’s.” I can’t remember a single applicant’s numbers, to tell you the truth, and I’d be hard-pressed to find a single admissions officer who could. Because you are not numbers to us, you are human beings. So when I see your names, I think of trains and bus drivers and photos of swings – the things that make you people instead of folders.

But in no way did I mean to imply “here’s what you need to do to get into MIT.” Sorry if I confused anyone!

-B

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