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MIT staff blogger Chris Peterson SM '13

Class of 2023 Wait List Decisions Released by Chris Peterson SM '13

Moments ago, at 6PM Eastern Time, we released, via email, our decisions for students who were on the wait list for the Class of 2023. If you did not receive this email, you should check your spam or other filters/folders now! 

We have been deliberating our decisions regarding the wait list for the last few days, since the May 1 deadline for admitted students to enroll at MIT. As such, we are approaching the last of the many decisions that are made while constructing a class: we decide whom we want to admit, then those people decide whether to accept our offer of admission, and then we decide whom, if anyone, we want to take off the wait list, and those people then decide whether or not to accept our belated (but enthusiastic!) offer. At long last, the deciding is almost done.

Every year, we plan to admit students from the wait list. How many we admit is a function of our yield rate, which is admissions industry term for the percentage of students who choose to accept our offer of admission. The wait list is used to manage the uncertainty of knowing how many students will accept the offer, and thus how many beds you have available in residence halls, for example.

This year, 78% of the students we admitted chose to enroll at MIT. This number is a record-high, and toward the upper bound of our projections; consequently, we have only been able to offer admission to 17 out of the 408 students on our wait list. At this point, our wait list is closed, and we will not be admitted any more first-year students to the Class of 2023.

A few years ago, in a post addressed to wait list students, Mikey wrote:

We have seen all the wonderful updates that many of you have submitted, and appreciate the time and effort you have put in to letting us know how much you love MIT. As someone who was wait listed at my first choice college in high school (but didn’t end up getting in), I’m actually glad that I ended up where I did (even though it wasn’t somewhere I really thought I wanted to go). Looking back now, it was a great fit for me and I had an amazing experience, even though I didn’t expect that going in.

I share his sentiments, and will add that I also was on a wait list, and remember what it was like to have that uncertainty pass well beyond the rest of my classmates. Unlike Mikey, I ended up getting in and enrolling at that school; ironically, I ended up not liking it once I actually went there, and transferred somewhere else entirely after my first year. I’m sharing this story with you to emphasize, as I’ve blogged before, that whatever happened with your wait list decision, and whatever decision you make about it, you will end up becoming yourself, and that whatever choice you make (or was made for you), chances are that five years later you will look back on this day and realize everything turned out okay. I also hope you remember that  success is not always a straight line, and that your path isn’t something MIT sets you on, it’s something you make yourself.

On behalf of our entire staff, thank you for sharing your hopes, fears, and aspirations with us. We look forward to watching you achieve your dreams, whether from near or afar. Regardless what decision you received today, I hope you know that we believe in you, and wish you the best, wherever you path leads next.