Deadline-time Questions Omnibus by Matt McGann '00
Answering all of your questions. See you in 2007!
Before I go off on vacation today, I wanted to answer as many questions as I can. It’s a long entry! Before we get to that, though, I have three pieces of advice.
2. Submit your application well in advance of the deadline.
ola wrote, “I was wondering whether the ‘creation’ for the optional essay has to be something to do with engineering or could I send in a project I have worked on in my graphic design classes, such as a poster design for a spring musical along with a designer’s statement? Or should I just forgo the optional essay since I plan to send in a CD containing several works from my art portfolio.”
In the optional creation essay, it can be anything, not just something directly related to science/engineering. If you are sending in portfolio work to be reviewed, please note that our faculty have specificallly asked for hard copy submissions, and not slides or CDs.
i.m.i.y.m.o.r.a.q. wrote, “If you get into the Accel. Calc course, what do you do for your second semester? Is that an open space for an elective?”
In a typical year, more than half of the freshman class places out of single variable calculus. For the students who take multivariable calculus first term freshman year, most follow it up with differential equations, though a number of students will certainly take a different elective course.
Bill wrote, “I have already taken the regular SAT, and need to take the subject tests. I signed up to take the Math and Chemistry subject tests in December. Unfortunently, I got sick the day of the test and could not take it. Who do i need to contact if i am a “case” that needs to take the test in January?”
Please email admissions at mit dot edu to advise of January tests.
R.M. wrote, “My daughter was deferred, and we were wondering if there’s any other thing we could do to increase her chances come regular decision time?
1. You have received her scores on 2 of her subject tests (Math II-770; Biology-690). She took the US History on Dec. 2 and she got a 750. Should we send you the official result on that one, too? Or should we just send the results for the January test after she retakes Biology (or take Physics)?
2. As mentioned above, she’s planning to retake the Biology this January. (By the way, she self-studed for the Biology test, which she’ll be doing again – she took the Pre-AP Biology back in her sophomore year). Will that still be included in her application, since the results will not come out until February? Will retaking it help her in the application process?
3. I was suggesting to her that since she draws really well, she might want to send some of her drawings in. It will show another side of her that is not evident anywhere in her application file as of now. Or will this be a just a waste of time on both sides?
0. As I’ve written, the only thing we expect from deferred students is midyear grades. Good midyear grades are key!
1. You can just send us the new January results.
2. We should receive most January scores in time for consideration.
3. I doubt it would be a waste of time. Send the materials directly to the Architecture Department as described in the application.
Anonymous wrote, “Are there any Early Action applicants who were deferred on a ‘Regular Decision Definite-Accepted’ list, if there even exists such a “list”? If so, approximately how many would you say are on this list?
There is no such list, and nothing even resembling such a list.
Adam S. wrote, “I was deferred. Now that I look back, I think that I sent in *way* too much extra stuff. I sent in a CD with some programs, lots of extra information, a few additional teacher reqs, etc. I’m starting to regret sending so much, because now I have one or two more things I’d like to share, but I’m worried that I’m already pushing the patience of the admissions officers. With that in mind, I have a few questions.
1. Is the reviewing process started over from scratch, or are the notes taken on each applicant from EA reused?
2. I sent in a CD with perhaps 5 or 6 programs on it. I would like to scrap that, and just write a summary with a few screen shots instead. I don’t want the admissions officer to have to spend time looking at the CD *and* reading the summary. Since the summary is just compressing the contents of the CD to an easier-to-use form, is it possible for me to completely remove the CD from my application?
3. I’ve done some things that are particularly interesting to me lately. In comparison, the things that I sent before were rather dull, actually. I’m planning on sending in a page of information on the new things.. but I’ve sent so much other information that I’m a bit worried that the new information will be smothered. I know I can’t actually remove the old information from my application, but is there any way that I can ensure that the new information will be considered more closely? Since it will be more recent, will this be done automatically?
1. We will not re-review EA applicants from scratch. We’ll be utilizing our summaries from EA, with any additional notes from updates sent in.
2. No need to “remove” the CD. You can just send in your easier-to-use form without worry.
3. It will be done automatically, no worries.
Mike wrote, “I, too, am a deferred applicant. I want to send in a supplementary recommendation, but I don’t think it will be ready by January 1st. Would it be okay for the admissions office to receive my recommendation after January 1st?”
Yes, that would be just fine. Please get any new materials to us by early February to ensure full consideration.
Paul wrote, “Our school is already done with the third quarter of the school year 2006-2007. Could I send my secondary school transcript again which reports grades up to the third quarter of my senior year, most especially when it would exhibit an improvement in my grades? The transcript will be available by the end of January or start of February. Mailing it would take just a few days to reach the MIT Admissions Office.”
Yes. Please be sure to send us your most up-to-date grades by early February.
Elizabeth wrote, “According to both MyMIT and Collegeboard.com, my SAT I test scores have been sent, but not my subject test scores (I took those in November and self-reported them in my application). I think I’m going to have to have another official report sent with the subject tests on it, but unless I order a rush report I don’t think it’ll get sent by the deadline. Do I need to do this or will you accept score reports after the deadline?”
We routinely accept SAT scores after the deadline; this is not a problem. Do not rush your scores.
Dan C. wrote, “How important is the Math SAT subject test? I mean if someone *cough* me *cough* was to get a 650 on MathIIc on his best sitting, could his chances be so grievously harmed that only a stupendous application could save him? Or is the scenario not so apocaliptic?” And Anonymous wrote, “I am an International Student. My SATII scores are very poor Math1 610 and Physics 590. However, all the other parts of application are very strong. Do you think that poor SATII scores are going to be a deal breaker?”
As Ben wrote in his most recent post, “I’d recommend trying to get that score up if you can, but one score will not keep you out of MIT if the rest of your application is stellar.”
Kim wrote, “This is similar to someone else’s interview question… I had my interview a while ago but I don’t know if my EC sent anything in yet. According to my myMIT account, he hasn’t. But anyway, my question is, is it better to email my EC about my interview report first, or should I fill out that form thing on myMIT instead?” And Dan C. wrote, “I seem to have a problem. I had my interview eons ago and my EC said he would upload the interview more than 2-3 weeks ago, yet it hasn’t appeared in MyMIT. Should I contact him first, or could it be a problem on your side of the server?” And RD Applicant wrote, “I had my interview on 12/9 (it was originally scheduled for an earlier date, but my interviewer had to postpone it), but the box next to “Interview” on my tracking page is still unchecked. I know my interviewer was planning to submit his comments within one or two days of the interviewer. Should I be concerned about this delay in tracking? Thanks!”
We allow interviewers until the beginning of January to submit their reports; some need that time write up the reports, edit them, etc. Also, our Records Office is currently deluged with application pieces. So, it could be that it has not yet been submitted, or that it has and hasn’t yet been processed. You may wish to fill out the “Conducted Interview” form on your MyMIT tracking.
Kristina wrote, “My synchronized skating team is going to sectionals and nationals this year and I was hoping to send in the placements of my team as more supplemental material. Is there any particular way you’d like those to be sent in, or could I just email the placements to you?”
Yes, email would probably be best.
The OT person wrote, “IAP Questions: 1. Is it mandatory to be at school during IAP? (Can one come back to MIT in the middle of January?) 2. If you take an IAP for-credit class and fail, is it No Record (for all years, for just Freshman)?
1. You can be at MIT for all of, part of, or none of IAP — it’s completely your choice.
2. In your freshman year, it would be No Record; afterwards, it would be graded in the standard ways (not No Record).
Gene wrote, “I’d just like to ask if MIT sends its freshman applicants notices of missing documents. I ask this particularly because I’m not sure if my guidance counselor was able to put a copy of my transcript, and I was not able to confirm such because we already went on the Christmas break and school starts again only AFTER January 1. Would it be OK if i send another copy of my transcript (once I get one, which would be after the RD postmark deadline) that would also contain my updated grades? I plan to send this along with my mid-year report, as Paul (^above^) and I are I think from the same school. :D”
We don’t send notices of missing documents, though you can track your documents at MyMIT. If your GC neglected to send a transcript prior to the break, we would accept it when school is back in session, no problem.
Amanda wrote, “For a visual art submission, do samples of work have to ocme in the for of 35 mm slides or may I send pictures?”
The art reviewers have specifically asked for hard copies and not slides, so I’d send the pictures.
Jon wrote, “I will be graduating from UIUC in May ’07 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a minor in Math. I would love to study Physics at MIT, but I have only completed 4 basic physics courses at UIUC and I am enrolled in 2 more this spring. I think this may be inadequate for admission to the graduate program in physics, but MIT does not consider applications for a second bachelor’s degree. […] Do I have any chance of getting in to the Physics M.S. program at MIT with so few undergrad physics classes? Would delaying my matriculation from UIUC to take preparatory physics classes improve my application? (How would I pay for it?) I am a huge fan of MIT OpenCourseWare and that’s how I intend to spend the summer.”
Jon, I only do undergraduate admissions and am not involved with physics graduate admissions. I’m sorry I can’t help. You may wish to contact the physics department directly.
Melissa ’11 wrote, “What happens to EA accepted’s from here? (When to expect materials/what materials to expect, will students contact us, etc…?)”
Congrats again! You’ll be formally invited to Campus Preview Weekend in January, and in March you’ll receive more information from MIT in the same mailing as when we admit the regular action students. If applicable, be sure to apply for financial aid by the February 15 deadline.
International applicant wrote, “i had a few questions regarding the application process. 1. i will be taking part in the maths and informatics Olympiads next year(my final year – grade 12). in case i do qualify, i will be notified only after the final date of application has passed( 1st January). so will there be any way of letting u folks know of the results so that it would help my application?
2. if i have a rock band does that count?
3. i have made hundreds of websites and have been working as a freelance web designer for a number of years now ( designed some websites for a couple of big clients too).Does MIT look at that?
4. are my achievements before high school considered?
5. basically what I’ve done includes web designing, digital imaging, programming, quizzing, SAT 2300, Olympiads, done 2 research based projects, president of the computer club, rock band, drama and some basketball. the problem is, does MIT look at all these achievements in a sense that it doesn’t promote one single interest?(jack of all arts master of none, u know what i mean). also, this has in a way affected my studies so my grades of 9th and 11th grade have gone down( in the middle of the class at the moment, though my school is one of the most competitive in my country). if i work sufficiently hard in grade 12 does that improve my chances of getting into MIT or some other ivy league school?
1. Yes, please email us with any significant updates.
3. Yes, be sure to include URLs and/or screenshots. This would be a great way to use the completely optional essay.
4. We largely focus on your accomplishments in high school.
5. We admit “well rounded” applicants, “pointy” applicants, and everything in between. I don’t think this by itself will harm you. As for your grades, they are very important, and strong marks in grade 12 will certainly help.
Bhushan wrote, “deadline is Jan 1 but if we do something odd which would help our aplication after deadline and we post will it be added in our file”
Yes, email us.
bhushan wrote, “this is somewhat me:
SAT2 Phy 580
Having two researches, cool teachers evaluation, new ideas and lots of supplemental material. are there any chances”
Like Ben wrote in his most recent post, “as my friend always says, if you don’t apply you have a 0% chance of getting in.”
Viksit wrote, “I am an international student from India. I graduated from high school in 2004. Had some serious family responsibilties and chose to drop formal studies to be by my family. 1. What additional information or other materials should I send in, to help you people understand my case better?
2. I would also want to send in some abstracts of the work [Independent Projects] I have been doing during these gap years. Can I send in more than 1(preferably 3)?Its hard to chose between them. I love them all. And I would want you to look at all three? I am still working on two of these trying to better them. Can I send them after I have submitted my application? Maybe around January 20?
I have read this for quite some time now that you do consider each applicant in context. I hope you take into account that somebody applying from inner suburbs of India may not have any access to information nor any kind of advice on how to go about the whole application to that effect, except for the Internet. :(
3. And, my Principal thinks that if she signs the feewaiver, she will have to incur the 60$ application fee. How do I clarify it to her? ( She says she once had done it for a student at another school, and was ‘harassed’ by the university. She says she was asked to submit her Income tax returns and a whole lot of other things later.) I know it is really strange but what do I do?”
1. Please be sure to tell us what you can about your situation. If you can’t fit it within the context of your application, feel free to send it in as extra information.
2. We could look at all three; do your best to summarize them. Send them in as soon as you can, especially considering international post.
3. I hope she can take my word on this blog that we would never hold a principal liable for an application fee, and would never ask for a principal’s income tax returns, either. She may contact our office directly if she wishes.
Anonymous wrote, “Just a quick question: exactly what role does an alumni relation play in the admissions process? If my grandfather went to MIT, how (if at all) would it factor into my admissions decision?”
We have no legacy preference at MIT. If you are admitted, it is because you are awesome, not because your grandfather is awesome.
Meara wrote, “So here’s a question: I wrote this awesome essay for my common app schools and University of Chicago. I think it’s a lot better than the essay I wrote answering the MIT prompt, and gives a bit more insight. As a deferree, should I submit it to the admissions office? It’s not like I won a Nobel prize between my EA app and now, but it’s a pretty good essay. Would the admissions committee’s reaction be more along the lines of, “What an interesting essay!” or “Curses, another 600 words to get through!”? Obviously this is difficult since you haven’t read my essay, but as a general rule…? Also, if I want to email something to the admissions office, where should I send it to make sure it gets to the right place? Can I send a Word document as an attachment, or should I copy/paste the text into the email? Is there any way to submit extra materials online through MyMIT if my application has already been submitted?”
We are happy to accept extra materials that you feel would help us to get to know you better and are significant. If you believe your essay accomplishes this, then by all means send it in.
You can mail any materials to the MIT Office of Admissions, Room 3-108, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. You may also send us plain text email at admissions at mit dot edu. Please don’t send attachments. And, there isn’t a way to submit extra materials through MyMIT after the application has been submitted.
Anonymous wrote, “1. What’s the difference between the 2 required CI-M and the 2 required REST classes? Can one fulfill the other? 2. The requirements page says that 3-4 HASS must go deep into your HASS concentration. What is this? Is it similar to a minor?”
1. CI-M classes are communications intensive classes in your major; usually, you take one in your junior year, and one in your senior year. REST classes are Restricted Electives in Science and Technology; you must choose 2 from a list of 47 options. Generally, CI-M and REST classes are different, but there’s nothing preventing a CI-M class from also being a REST class. [see the MIT Course Catalog for more information]
2. The HASS (Humanities, Arts & Social Science) Concentration is like a mini-minor. Many students will expand this into an actual minor or sometimes a double major. (See here for more details)
Anonymous wrote, ” the internet of china was down. the earthshock have destroyed the cables which are under the ocean.”
We are aware of the problems caused by the earthquake off the coast of Taiwan. If Internet problems continue, we will allow applications from the affected areas to be sent in after the deadline.
ns wrote, “hey my 8th oct toefl scores have nt yet reached MIT,the toefl authorities say that they hav posted the materials….wat shud i do?” And Carla wrote, “I took the SAT subject tests in July 2006, and at the site of college board they say they are already sent, however in my application tracking it says that you have not yet received the scores, what should I do?”
You may send us a copy of your score report along with a note describing how we have not yet posted your scores. We can then use your score report to locate our official copy.
Tom wrote, “Hi Matt, like some others (and Bill above), I have a question about January SAT scores. All your previous answers in the archives seem to indicate that January SAT scores will be taken into account; however, the admissions documentation seems to emphasize the fact that they’re accepted on a “case-by-case” basis. Can you please elaborate on cases that aren’t acceptable? (In particular, will you consider simple retakes?) Thanks!” And Dan wrote, “I have the same question as Tom (about January SATs). I was thinking about noting in my update letter to admissions that I’m taking it and you guys could consider the scores if you want or just ignore them otherwise. What do you think Matt?”
It is best for us to use tests from December or before. We can, however, use January scores, though it is better for our process to minimize the number of January scores. You can email us if you wish to use January scores.
Michael B. wrote, “I was wondering if I have to have my SAT and TOEFL scores re-submitted this year, since I also applied last year?” And Ashley wrote, “I’m reapplying this year for the Class of 2011. Do I have to resend my SAT scores? Can I possibly request the admissions office to consider my previous year’s scores instead? Thank you in advance.”
I believe so, but please email our office to ensure that this will be okay.
question for matt wrote, “Would AdCom ever do external research on an applicant (i.e. Google his or her name, look at his or her Xanga or user profile at a website) ? Is there a policy that prevents or allows or condones or discourages this ?”
When the situation warrants further exploration, we will not hesitate to do further Internet searching. For example, if someone lists an award or activity that I haven’t heard of, I might Google it. Or if someone lists something that doesn’t seem to make sense with the rest of the application, I might look for more information online. Generally, we will not look at an applicant’s blog unless someone explicitly directs us to it. We don’t Google every applicant and we’re not out looking for bad words or anything on people’s personal blogs.
to matt wrote, “1) I don’t think my interview went well. We didn’t mesh well, and I just ended up talking about several of my extracurricular activities superficially. I was about to start talking about my science fair experiences when she told me my topic was irrelevant to the real world, so I didn’t argue with her. Would a note about my interview in my application help? Or would this note be too biased, and that admissions would prefer it if I just trusted the interviewer?
2) from this, http://nymag.com/news/features/24398/index.html, : “There is one red flag, which is that she stopped gymnastics this year. Apparently, her school dropped the program; this should be footnoted on her résumé so she does not appear to be a quitter.” “However, he seems to be a serial joiner. A red flag is the Ping-Pong club, given the fact that he has little community service.”
These quotations are from a “college admissions expert.” Please help me clarify =) Would quitting some activities in senior year (because of exams and school, etc.) be detrimental to chances of getting in? How about participating in different activities throughout high school, because I was “soul-searching”? My guess is that I could talk about it in my essay?
3) This one is a weird question: would involvement in an intimate relationship have any effect on an application (increase/decrease chances)?”
4) Just one more question. Would it matter if our essay on an extracurricular activity for the pleasure of it isn’t about the first activity in the list of 5? Would it be okay to write about something that isn’t even on the list of 5, because I have numerous interests and I’m already having a hard time deciding which to put in the list of 5?
1) Usually, even when you think your interview went poorly, your interviewer writes a positive report anyway. We also know that the interviewer generally meets you once for an hour or so, while your teachers and counselors who write on your behalf have much more in depth experience with you. So, in short, I wouldn’t worry too much.
2) The article you quote from was, I think, too superficial and may have caused more anxiety than is warranted. As for joining activities: we hope you’ll explore, we hope you’ll do things you enjoy, we hope you’ll make an impact along the way. I don’t see dropping activities as a “red flag” necessarily. I don’t think you need to write a whole essay about why you tried different things, no worries.
3) Unless there’s something unusual, I doubt it would have any impact one way or the other.
4) Yes, that would be just fine.
Abhishek wrote, “i m a student from india i wanna ask u one thing. WHY […] DO U REQUIRE MIN 90 SCORE IN TOEFL(ibt). can a person below this score cant communicate in english or what.the toefl exam can be wrong.an american student can also get score less than 90. PLEASE DO SOMETHING REGARDING IT.plz dont make 90 as a comulsory score.”
The language of instruction at MIT is English, and we want to do our best to ensure success for all of our students. We have based our minimum scores on experiences here at MIT with our enrolled students and with faculty input.
A general note: I’d ask that all commenters try their best to use proper English and not Internet slang, and to refrain from using swear words.
DB wrote, “I’m an international applicant. I have an unweighted CGPA of 3.41 but I am in the top 10 of my school. My co-curriculum is one the best the school has ever had. For my SAT 2, Physics 710, Math 2 730, Chemistry 790 TOEFL CBT 253. I wrecked my SAT 1…CR 520, Math 710, Writing 530. I have a friend who got admitted without submitting SAT 1, opting for TOEFL + SAT 2 But I submitted all. Can the admission office drop my SAT 1 scores and only take into consideration my TOEFL and SAT 2 scores? Do I have a chance to be among the 100+ international students who gets admitted?”
We will use your TOEFL scores and you SAT IIs, and not use your SAT I. If you apply, you could be admitted; you’ll be considered along with all of the other applicants.
lost&found wrote, “I am an international student. I submitted my application yesterday. I have one question: I didn’t write my class rank. As the 7th in my class, I am in the top 4% in my class. Do you think e-mailing this information to the admissions office would help? My high school doesn’t report our ranks to colleges; therefore the admissions office wouldn’t have any other means of knowing it from the application.”
Usually, we will only accept official class rank from the school.
Anonymous wrote, ” Looks like there are more than a few questions for you to get through here, but I’ll throw mine in anyway; I’ve written and rewritten the optional essay for my application and I just can’t get it to a state where I’m happy with it. I’m very pleased with what I’ve got down in the first (non-optional) essay, so is it going to be better for my application to leave out the optional essay completely and have no chance of it harming my application or to include something I’m not entirely happy with on the possibility that it might help?”
If you’re talking about the essay where you talk about something you’ve created, I hope that you’ll submit it so we can learn about your creation. If it’s an “anything else?” essay, you may wish to leave it out.
theresa wrote, “is it okay if I send in a music supplement and a creative writing supplement? or is that too much? on the part of the application that asks what I do for fun, I talked about creative writing, and made a reference to a piece I wrote — I was going to send in that piece, in addition to a music dvd if that’s not too much.”
The music supplement will go directly to the music office, so we’ll never see it, and it won’t overburden us. We would be happy to take your creative writing supplement.
yohini wrote, “Hey i am an international student, The problem is i have applied for MIT but i didnt get the confirmation in my MIT application yet. And, since i have a long name, collegeboard could not accomadate it completely, so my score reports will arrive missing part of my 1st name, whereas my application has my full name. Do you think i should wirte to admissions about this? Also, i am planning to take some additional exams in feb, can i update the admission committee about the results in feb?”
We may still be processing your application, give it some time. As for your situation with the College Board, I would definitely email admissions at mit dot edu to inform our records office. They will need this information to match your tests with your application. February exams are too late for our process.
adel wrote, “I came to U.S. on September of 2005. I can’t take two subject test because I have really hard time with vocabulary. What should I do? Should I take one in sience in Jan. if I can? I already took MAth I and Math II.”
We require an SAT Subject Test in both math and science from all applicants, regardless of English language fluency. You should take a Science test in January if you can.
Chan wrote, “Hello. I’m an international applicant and every piece of my application filled by other parties has passed through my hands – in fact, I’ve been consulted on the content of some. I know specifically that my integrity has been *highly* rated on all of those forms … but has my ability to inspect these documents infringed on that integrity? One teacher even emailed me the form to print out… PS: I didn’t ask to see the forms. I’ll be mailing them all on Friday, as a convenience to the people who filled the forms; they trust me a lot. Is an extra recommendation from a less friendly source advised? [I already asked for it. Do you accept e-mailed recommendations?]”
We know that sometimes students see their recommendations before they are sent in. It’s not our preference, but we know it happens. Chan, I can tell by the way you write this that you are a person of integrity. Thank you for being upfront and honest. There’s no need to get a “less friendly” recommendation to balance “friendly” ones. In general, we do not accept email recommendations, but if a supplemental recommendation were emailed to us with all of your information, we would add it to your file.
Anonymous wrote, “1. If we get into a certain house freshman year, can we keep the same housing all four years? Same room all four years? How likely are you to get into the house of your choice? Especially for MacGregor =) 2. If you don’t take the FEE or don’t have APs, are you required to take CI-HW or can you just take CI-H’s?”
1. The majority of students who live in dorms choose to stay in the same dorm for all four years. You may stay in the same dorm all four years. In the housing lottery, 90+% of students receive one of their top choices; dorm preferences shift from year to year, as do available rooms, so I have no idea what the lottery will look like for MacGregor this coming year.
2. A CI-HW is required of all students, unless you pass out of it with AP credit or the FEE. You have two opportunities to take the FEE online, and a third opportunity to take it during Orientation. [see here for more info]
Anonymous wrote, “1. I was told that Admissions staff looks at SATII scores and than based on the scores they make a pile of people with “Rejected” or “Accepted”. From that “Accepted” pile, than they go down to evaluating essays and recommendation letters to make a refined selection.
2. Also, I was wondering how do you determine if someone is top5% or 20%? Are these percentages refered to your academic standing in classroom? ‘Percentage of Those Ranked who were: in Top 5%, in Top 5-10%, in Top 10-20%, below top 20%’ All this rumours are confusing and making me worried about applying to MIT.”
1. I have no idea where rumors like this come from. It is completely false.
2. Those statistics are based on the school-reported class rank and class size. For example, if your school reported that your rank was 14, and your class size was 200, you would be “in Top 5-10%.”
As a general rule, don’t believe a rumor unless you read it here.
suspicious dad wrote, “Here’s a question you can answer to persuade my dad that I can check the financial aid box in my app without worries: If MIT does not care if an applicant will need financial aid, then why is it that financial aid applications are due February 15th? That is about a month or so before decisions come out. Please help! My dad refuses to apply for financial aid because he’s really suspicious that it’ll hurt my chances.”
I assure you we are genuinely need blind in our admissions for international and domestic applicants. The financial aid deadline is February 15th because the financial aid office needs a month to complete financial aid packages so that when we mail decisions, we can include the package as well as the acceptance. Your dad may also be interested to know that nearly every international student at MIT receives financial aid, and the average package is over $30,000/year.
Carl L. wrote, “Does MIT accept rush reporting for SAT scores? My mom just requested them on Friday (December 22)when she realized she hadn’t done it earlier. The College Board said they were processed yesterday (Dec 26th) but that they could not garuntee a school would accept them and we needed to check with MIT if ‘rush reporting’ is accepted. Help!!”
We can accept rushed reports, but we recommend sending the score the traditional way and not spending the extra money.
Anonymous wrote, “Does MIT look at an applicants scores for the individual sections of the ACT, or do they only see the overall composite score? I didn’t do too well overall, but math was my strongest section. Will they be able to see that?”
Yes, we will look not just at the composite but also at the individual components of the ACT.
sarah wrote, “i’m an international applicant studying the British system of A-levels, and I was wondering if i can get exempted out of a couple of classes if i get A grades in my subjects (which are Math, Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Further Math), or would it still be necessary to take AP exams?”
We recognize A Levels, no need to take AP exams. See here for more info.
Yossarian wrote, “Just wondering, but how can we find out if supplemental material have been recieved by the office of admissions?”
We don’t track supplemental materials on MyMIT. If you call the office, we may be able to have someone physically check the application folder.
Sammy wrote, “Ugh… hope I’m not too late to be asking this question, I haven’t had access to the internet recently. I also hope this is the right place to ask. Anyway, my guidance counselor recently informed me that she did NOT obtain the grades from my former high-school form my grade transcript. I just managed to obtain them myself – with difficulty, considering the school was closed for the holidays. I study under a British system (in Egypt, no less), but it’s still necessary to send my results for grades 9 and 10, right? Also, I’m wondering just how to send the results as I believe the counselor has already submitted her official report – should I mail them, or enclose them in a P.D.F. with my online application? What information should I include to ensure they are processed correctly if mailed?”
If you have obtained the transcript, we would like to have it as a part of your file. At the very least, we’d like your O Level results. Mail would be best; see if your high school will pay the postage. Make sure what you send has your name and date of birth.
Anonymous wrote, “For the Mid-Year Grade Report, the MIT website states that only students in U.S. Schools are responsible for this doccument. Do you want a report card from students in other school systems? (The on-line application tracking shows that this section is incomplete without it. Do you waive this requirement for international students?)” And Anonymous wrote, “As an international student I’d also like to know what to do about the Mid-Year Report. Should I just ignore it?”
We do not require the Mid-Year Grade Report for students not in American schools. You may still send in the form if it is relevant to you.
Anonymous wrote, “*standardized test*
1) i had my annual sports meet in december and was very busy with that(i am the head girl of my school)..and so it would have been impractical of me to take my SAT subject tests then because i did not have time to prepare..also the syllabus had not been completed in my school…
i)the january test date is towards thye end of jan…which is when i’m taking the subject tests…is that too late? does that mean the rest of my application would have been reviewed by then–and the jan scores would be somewhat of a make-or-break???.or will my apllication only be evaluated after my scores are recieved?
ii)am i a “case” for jan scores to be considered?
2)although i’ve taken my SAT1 and sent the scores…can i also send in my TOEFL scores?then,will you choose the better of the two?
3)do you accept e-mailed recommendations? my principal who left a few years ago knows me way better than the current principal of my school…but he’s in dubai…i’m in india…can i have him e-mail a recommendation?plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!
4)where should he e-mail it?
5)can i send in my poems,stories and …outlines for novels?…how?where?in what format?and how much/how many?
6)i have sent my ICSE scores(class 10..)….now in jan..i will have my pre-board exams…can i mail those grades to you? should i just e-mail it..or mail a copy attested by my principal? if i e-mail it…so it reaches you faster…will there be a problem about authenticity?
1. Please email admissions at mit dot edu to use January scores.
2. Yes, you can (and probably should) send along TOEFL scores.
3. In general, we do not accept email recommendations, but if a supplemental recommendation were emailed to us with all of your information, we would add it to your file. You should have an official at your current school send along the official recommendation.
4. You can email admissions at mit dot edu.
5. This sounds like a great topic for the completely optional essay about your creations. You may also send in any supplemental materials you think would be of help to us.
6. I would email or fax the new marks, and follow it up with an official copy in the mail.
Anonymous wrote, “where do we mention that january scores are to be expected?and that i’m sending TOEFL as well as SAT1 scores?”
You can mention this in various places in the Part 2, or via email.
Mike wrote, “I’m a homeschool student excited to be applying RA and I have a few things I’d like to confirm regarding the application and how it applies to my situation:
(1) In Section 4 of Part 2 of the online application, you ask “Are you graduating from secondary school early or without a diploma?”. As a homeschooler, I won’t enter college with an offical high school diploma, yet it’s not because I left early or didn’t graduate. How should I respond to this question?
(2) In Section 6 of Part 2, you ask for Self-Reported Coursework yet clearly state “To be completed by students in U.S. school systems only”. Does this include me as a US homeschooler?
(3) Although I have taken courses through a local community college and have sent you a copy of my transcript from that school, I do not have anyone who would be logical to fill out the ‘Secondary School Report and Transcript’ application component. Most of the information requested in that paperwork doesn’t really apply to my situation. Should I just omit this form?
(4) Similarly to #3, I’m not sure how best to handle the ‘Mid-Year Grade Report’ component?
1. If your homeschool coordinator will deem you “graduated,” you don’t need to answer this question; we’ll consider this a diploma.
2. Yes, you should definitely fill out the self-reported coursework.
3. We would also like a report of any schooling you’ve done under the homeschool umbrella. We’d like to know what you were learning and how you were evaluated. Your homeschool coordinator should write a letter telling us more about your schooling, and about your formal and informal coursework.
4. You don’t need to worry about the mid-year grade report, unless you expect to receive new grades in the next two months.
Anonymous wrote, “I have taken some dual enrollment classes at a community college and have requested that an offical transcript of my work be sent to you. Unfortunatly, the office closed before my semester grades were posted and won’t re-open until the first week of January. This means that my transcript will be postmarked several days after the 1/1 deadline. Is this OK or do I need to indicate it somewhere on my application so you know to be looking? If so, where?
This is okay, send it as soon as you can.
Hopeful wrote, “I am an international applicant. I have a 600 on the SAT 1 math but a 730 on the SAT 2 math level 1. Can you please tell me which one will be considered in the admissions process? Also, my TOEFL results will come out on 18th Jan. Will it be too late for MIT to consider it?”
We will consider your TOEFL. Assuming your TOEFL is better than your SAT I, we will consider your TOEFL and SAT IIs, but not your SAT I.
bhushan wrote, “do u distinguish b/w TOEFL(iBT) 90+ 100+ 110+”
Yes, we do distinguish between different TOEFL scores.
bhushan wrote, “International. if i send only 10th and 12th report without transcript will it do”
We would like your transcript.
Abhinav M. wrote, “I’m an International Applicant from India. My old school in Mumbai where I attended grades 9-10 required me to send their transcript separately. So, I sent my regular application materials from my current school (Sec. School Report, Recommendations etc…) and sent only the Grade 9-10 transcript and ICSE Marksheet in a separate envelope. Application tracking does not indicate whether u’ve received both envelopes… it only indicates “Secondary School Report and Transcript” which I’m sure is my Grade 11-12 one…”
I assume we will receive your 9-10 transcript. If you’d like, you can email the office later in January, and we may be able to physically check the application folder for you.
Roshan S. wrote, “My SAT scores were sent to MIT by the College Board in June this year. I submitted Part 1 of my application online on Dec 11, but the My.MIT tracking page still shows no scores received. I’m wondering whether this is because of the technical glitch you mentioned earlier or because my fee waiver application hasn’t reached you yet. In any case, I’ve sent a photocopy of my score report with my application materials, which I mailed yesterday. Should I order another official score report for MIT? And should I order rush reporting or the regular kind? It would be wonderful if you could locate the June 2006 report and add it to my file, if your system has it.”
You did the right thing by sending the photocopy. I suspect this will help us track down your scores. If it still doesn’t show up later in January, call or email the office and we’ll see what we can do.
another question for matt wrote, “do the majority or minority of accepted applicants have the AP 5 or IB 7 credit ? Is that the standard of students that get into MIT (students at the first year credit level) ? Yes, there will be a range, some students will have the credit and some will not, but is it a majority of accepted applicants that are at the first-year level?”
It is true that a majority of first year students at MIT come in with some credit from high school. I know that, for example, more than half the class places out of single variable calculus.
tom wrote, “What if my toefl scores won’t be available until the first week of Feb ? I had my toefl on Dec 8th, but computers in test center broke down. Now my toefl is scheduled on 19th of January. I know that many students in my country have this problem.”
This should be okay. You may wish to note this on your application.
Yazeed wrote, “I submitted my application weeks ago. However, a fairly interesting project that is on a national level has just evolved and I am involved as a founder. Is there a way I can add this to my application or just for the committee to review? (Since I feel it stresses some more stuff about me within its context). Moreover, generalizing the question, if one applicant earns some extraordinary awards, work on some impressive projects, or generally be involved in something that is very interesting, is it possible to report that to the admission committee? Is it usually more beneficial to the committee to make its decision?”
Yes, if anything interesting happens to you after submitting the application, you should inform our office via email, mail, or fax.
Keone wrote, “1. For scholastic distinctions, should we overflow into the additional information section if there are more than seven items? Or is this like the extracurriculars question, where you only want what we consider to be the most important ones?
2. On the self-reported course work, I thought I remembered seeing something about how we should leave the grade section blank if the grade wasn’t out yet (or if we hadn’t taken the class). Is this correct? Should we list all classes for senior year, and leave the ones with no grades yet blank? [Sorry if this has been asked before–I’m sure it must have been but I couldn’t find it.]
3. Would it be appropriate to explain in the additional information section that I didn’t apply early anywhere, and why? (My school has a policy that makes early action unofficially binding in an effort to encourage colleges to accept our students. In my case, due to financial concerns I didn’t want to commit to one place.) I know you guys don’t overanalyze the whole early action thing the way some colleges do, but I just don’t want my lack of an early application to be perceived as a lack of interest.”
Hi Keone! I hope all is well.
1. Like the extracurriculars, I’d list the “top” one in the section, and you can feel free to list the others under additional information or in an attached “resume,” if you prefer.
2. You’re right — list all of your courses through the end of high school, and leave the grade blank if you haven’t gotten it yet.
3. You may explain if you wish. For your school, I am well aware of the policy. As you note, we don’t stress “demonstrated interest” as much as some other schools do, and we try our best to consider regular and early action applicants on even ground. So, I wouldn’t worry.
Muneeb wrote, “hi i gave my Sat1 twice and i got a 700 both times. i am an international applicant. i got a 790 on a MATHSL2 SAT2. I was wondering if a high sat2 can compensate for a medicore sat1. also i gave my toefl on the 15th this month. ever since i have been trying to update mit as a receipient but the toefl site keeps crashing. would it be alright if the scores are a bit late. i have been trying everyday but to no avail. ps my CR and writing scores are up to par.”
It is okay if your TOEFL scores arrive after the deadline. Assuming they are good, we will use TOEFL instead of the SAT I, so that won’t matter anyway.
Muneeb wrote, “i have been developing databases since my sophomore year. these involve research and development but obviously i cant write a lot about it in the 500 word optional essay. i was wondering if i could send in an additional paper via mail that is the abstract that says how exactly i did the project and a sample of the original work”
Yes, you may do so.
kanika wrote, “im from india but plz dnt get da usual impression ppl tend to have bou indian students…i mean nerdyish…well im a regular applicant n i jus wanted to ask y dsnt my application status show that my evaluations have been received even though they were deliverd a long time ago…n part 2 of my application is also nt bein accepted cuz it says i have some eror in da score entries ,,i have taken toefl but my acores arent available as yet n ill be takin da subject tests on the jan date so i really dnt have ne scores to list on my application so i left the fields blank n my applications nt bein accepted …wat […] is dat..ill be screwewd up fer life if this continued hpnin er da nxt 24 hrs or so also …sumbody plz help me out of tis prob….”
You should put in the date that you took or will take the exams, and you can put “TBA” or something similar for the score, if you need to.
A general note: I’d ask that all commenters try their best to use proper English and not Internet slang, and to refrain from using swear words.
Anonymous wrote, “again…i have only submitted my ICSE marksheet..(class 10)..that apart i intend to send the grades from my pre-boards but that will only be around the end of jan/beginning of feb…and i will b taking my SAT IIs in jan…so…is everything coming in too late?..???”
If we have all of your marks to date, then we don’t need anything until your pre-boards. You should email our office to inform us that you will be taking the SAT II in January.
Anonymous wrote, “Is there a way that I can tell if my community college transcript has been received by MIT?”
I assume we will receive your transcript. If you’d like, you can call or email the office later in January, and we may be able to physically check the application folder for you.
Sabina wrote, “I’m an international student.2 yrs outside U.S. and 2 Yrs. in U.S.So how are my applications judged, is it tougher for me becoz i’ll be compared to both international and U.S. applicants. Also, I can’t get any materials such as rec. letters and original transcripts from my country but I’ve my copy of a letter from my principal,not a recommendation letter though, and my transcripts , is it ok if i send the copies instead. I’ve already applied and send everything from U.S. will they contact me if they need stuffs from my previous school or will they just throw my application away, i’m really worried. One more….I’m taking TOEFL on January becoz i wasn’t able to give them on Dec. when i called the admission officer, she told me its ok if i send my TOEFL scores on January, but after reading the blogs here i realized that i haven’t done anything for “Case By Case”,whatever that is. i have no clue what i’m supposed to do , could you please clarify it for me.”
If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, we will evaluate you just like all of the other international applicants. We would like official copies of all transcripts; perhaps your grades from overseas are listed on your US transcript? We will not throw your application away. For TOEFL, you should email the office to note that you will have January scores.
Sabina wrote, “hey Matt, sorry for a wrong question(off topic) in a wrong time. but i’s going through yrs homepage and i saw that you like bollywood movies. Do you understand Hindi?”
I don’t know Hindi, but luckily they subtitle most of the films that make it over here. The last Bollywood film I saw was “Dhoom 2.” Some of my favorites have been Lagaan, Kal Ho Naa Ho, and Swades.
Ritwik wrote, “I have already submitted my application and all scores etc. have been received by MIT (as it says on MyMIT account). I just wanted to ask, how much weightage is given to our SAT II scores in Math and science? Cause I’m applying from Canada and I hadn’t learned many of the materials we were tested on. Therefore I couldn’t get the most competitive scores. Will MIT consider this as a part of the “context” ?”
We don’t make decisions based on test scores, but test scores are certainly considered.
Tara wrote, “Sorry to add to the many questions, but I have a couple myself. I sent in my ACT and SAT scores on the same date (early December), however, only my SAT scores have been processed. Also, my teach evaluations were both sent out on the same date, but only Evaluation B was processed (Evaluation A was not). Help?! Thanks!!!”
I’d wait a week or so and see what shows up. Probably the Eval A will be processed soon. The ACT scores come in a different way than the SAT scores, I’m sure they’ll come in, too. If they don’t, email or call the office.
Amjad wrote, “i’m an international student from jordan i just wanted to say that i rank #6 in a 35-student class in my 11th grade is that a good rank or what? my GPA is still Excellent though. one more thing i don’t know if you remember me but i’m that international student you met at the arts garden in indianapolis i told you i got 86 in TOEFL and you told me to retake it :)….. i did and i got 102 :) i guess that’s good indeed. for the record, i got 790 physics and 730 math but i am still afraid because i’m not taking an international high school system.”
It sounds like you’ll be a competitive applicant. I’m glad you got your TOEFL score up. Best wishes!
confused-international-applicant wrote, “Well Matt, it has been so long since u last answered questions that I really forgot what i had to ask. frist of all, i got 720 in maths IIc, physics 790 and chemistry 800. well, maths’ is not exactly what u call impressive because of the low percentile but still my friend’z interviewer said it sucked. Now I’ll agree that to get in as an international student is tough, really tough but that doesnt mean 710 in maths IIc is rubbish. or does it? Interviewer said our apps are not gonna be considered implying that 720 or 710 was a deal breaker. For my friend, it was a heart breaker too. So i wanna know if any of this stuff what he said is real, and yeah one more thing that I’d like to quote: admissions depend on 80-90 percent on academics. Well Matt you gotta explain that honestly, if thats the case then all the nerds should be in but we hear people telling a perfect SAT scorer was denied so how do u justify that with the statement the interviewer gave. Thanks and Merry Christmas.”
If your interviewer said that your scores “sucked” and that you won’t be considered, I hope that you’ll contact our office directly to tell us what happened, as that is out of line for an interviewer.
We consider applications in a holistic fashion; there is no formula. There is no percentage that academics count for, though strong academics are very important.
Carla wrote, “hello Matt! i have a little problem, the report from my interview has not encore been processed, and when I filled the conducted interview form I filled in the date in the format day/month/year, which is the format that i am used to, instead of month/day/year, what should I do? should I resend the form with the correct date? thanks fou all your answers!”
I wouldn’t worry, it will be okay.
Anonymous wrote, “When’s the portal going to be up?”
I don’t know what you mean, I’m sorry.
RD Applicant wrote, “As another person asked earlier, if my school never officially informed me of my AIME scores, would it hurt if I just indicated that I qualified for the AIME but do not know what my official score was? And are AMC/AIME scores ever used against applicants? Is there a certain “target score” on either exam?”
You can indicate that you were an AIME qualifier. We us AMC and AIME scores in a similar fashion to other aspects of your application, like awards or AP scores. There is no target score for either exam, though obviously higher is always better!
RD Applicant wrote, “I was recently informed that I won the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement in my state. The Siemens Award for AP is a nationally recognized award, so does this make the award a national one or a state one? (Assuming that national awards should take precedence over state ones in the awards section of the application, if the Siemens Award for AP counts as a state award, would it be better for me to replace it with the AP Scholar w/ Distinction award, which is definitely a national award but is not nearly as selective?)”
Those national/state/etc. checkboxes can sometimes help us distinguish what level of a competition or award was reached. Given that, it would probably be best to choose “state,” since there is also a national AP award.
Anonymous wrote, “If I took college classes from a local university do I need to have the university send MIT an official transcript or is it okay if I just report the grades I received on my Self-Reported course work form?”
We prefer to receive official transcripts for all grades.
Anonymous wrote, “Quick question about the “Additional Info” section… Is there any specific way we should present extra info? Essay form? Lists of random facts? Limmericks??…”
You should present whatever additional information you need to convey in the most straightforward manner possible.
Jigar wrote, “The award won in FIRST robotics. Is it considered regional or national? Because in Canada it only happens in once place so it can be considered National but since its called “Greater Toronto Regional” it can be considered regional award. So is it regional or national?”
If teams mostly come from Ontario, I’d consider it regional; if they come from across the country, I’d consider it national.
NoOneInParticular wrote, “hmmm…since the music department will be evaluating any musical pieces we send in to support our application……are there people familiar with Indian classical music in the MIT music dept?”
There’s at least one.
NoOneInParticular wrote, “Also, about how long after the deadline are you able to accept supplemental materials (including supplemental materials other than music)?”
Anything you send will be considered up until decisions are mailed. If you want your supplemental material considered within the context of the selection committee, I recommend you send in things by the end of January.