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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Deferred Applicants Q & A by Matt McGann '00

Have a question about your MIT EA deferral? Read on...

Here are some FAQs for deferred students…

Is it all over for me? Should I still be hanging around reading the blogs?

At MIT, a deferral isn't just a "polite rejection." Your application will once again be considered by the committee during regular action. You are at no advantage or disadvantage versus the regular action applications. We will admit the best applications we can during regular action, regardless of when the application was submitted. (A little historical data: over the past decade or so, the average number of deferred students later admitted has been several hundred — but who knows what it will be this year.)

What should I do now? Should I send in extra materials?

The only thing we ask that you do is complete the Midyear Report, which will be available on MyMIT in January. On the Midyear Report, you will provide us with your updated grades (your semester grades are very important, so keep working hard!) as well as a text box for any other updates you'd like to provide (new awards, changes to your activities, etc.). We will accept updates in other formats, including mail and email, but the Admissions Committee will primarily look to the Midyear Report for your updates.

What is the Midyear Report?

The Midyear Report (MYR) is an online form that is required for all applicants, including Early Action deferred applicants and Regular Action applicants. The Midyear Report will be available on your MyMIT account in January and should be completed as soon as possible after completion of the fall semester, second quarter, or first trimester.

The Midyear Report also includes an opportunity for you to update us on anything important that has occurred since you submitted your application. The Midyear Updates form is a simple text box, similar to an essay response box from the Part 2. The Midyear Update has a maximum of 250 words. Using the Midyear Report for such updates is preferred over mailed updates.

Should I send in a whole new version of my application, or all new essays?

No. You do not need to "improve" your application, or redo/edit/modify part or all of your application. You were deferred because your application was already strong enough to make you a contender in the Regular Action round. Let your application stand.

What about extra essays, recommendations, etc?

You may send along anything that you feel would be helpful to the committee. We do not expect or require any of these things. Simply sending in additional materials does not by itself increase your chances of admission.

If you do decide that sending in materials beyond the Midyear Report is appropriate for you — all materials sent in before decisions are released will be seen in some fashion by admissions officers. However, those received before early February are most likely to be seen in Admissions Committee. Please include the Supplemental Document Cover Form (from your MyMIT account) with any such documents that you fax or mail to us.

What about new test scores?

If you are taking additional tests in December or January, you can include MIT as a score recipient and we will consider any new scores.

Can I call admissions to find out The Reason why I was deferred?

If you call in, we will not be able to tell you "the reason" why you were deferred, or "what needs to be improved," simply because things are much more complex than just one reason why you were deferred. Usually, when I take a call from a deferred applicant, there's nothing that I see to be lacking or needing improvement — most of our deferred students submitted very strong applications, the kinds of applications any school (including MIT) would love to have in their student body. Honestly.

I hope this is helpful! Best wishes to everyone.

33 responses to “Deferred Applicants Q & A”

  1. Usman says:

    I applied to the MITES program a year ago and got rejected. I was wondering if MIT would use my previous application for the regular decision? I hope not!

  2. KP says:

    Thank you, that helps!
    Happy Holidays!

  3. Matt D-berg says:

    Hi MIT, honored to have made it this far.
    I just have a few questions that I’m curious about the answers to.
    What defines an update as opposed to something just updating the application? For example, for my IB Diploma, I just completed an IB supplement that details the type of work I’ve been doing. I personally think it works as an update, presenting new and different information, but I don’t want to inundate the admissions officers with information as well.
    Also, is it acceptable to send in an alternate version of a music supplement? I’ve re-recorded my supplement, and I think the newer version is much better, but again, I don’t want to send too much information.
    Thanks for any and all information you can provide. I hope to be on MIT campus next year. (Merry Christmas also)

  4. DeltaMelta says:

    About applicants calling in… do the admissions officers (does the admissions office) still have applications (or information about applicants) from the previous year?
    So, say, if I were to ask about being declined last year, would the admissions office be able to tell me anything? Or, am I now a stranger to them?

    Just curious, I never really thought about calling and asking why. I think it would be nice to know. A little indicator of areas to improve for general well-being and self-improvement, if anything, y’know. smile

  5. Aaron Fregeau says:

    If i was deferred, that means I didn’t stand out enough in the 6008 that applied early. Why should I stand out against those same people, with thousands more added in?
    tl;dr if i didn’t get accepted now, why could it be seen differently later?

  6. Matt McGann '00 says:

    @Matt: It’s your call as to whether or not to send it. I might recommend just talking about it as part of your Midyear Report but that depends on what other updates you might have and want to showcase there. As for the music supplement, I don’t think they will reevaluate.

    @DeltaMelta: Sorry, I don’t think we’ll be able to help you.

    @Aaron: In recent years we have admitted a few hundreds deferred students during Regular Action. I don’t know what will happen this year, but deferral means you’re still in the running.

    @Usman: We will not see your MITES application.

  7. Emily says:

    Hey all, I was deferred EA and got it regular. I didn’t try to charm admissions with money, candy, or my good looks between now and when the MYR was due– I just sent in my MYR and hoped for the best.

    Really, deferred–> accepted candidates exist.

    Keep your heads high and enjoy the holidays!

  8. Mustard Stalebread says:

    Happy holidays, admissions team! smile

  9. David says:

    Hey, Matt, what if I didn’t send in a music supplement EA, could I add it for RA? If so, what would be the deadline for submitting it? Thanks for everything you do. I’m super excited that I’ve still got a shot!

  10. Shayan says:

    Hey Matt,

    Quick question about sending in an additional essay. Is there a word limit? I want to send in one essay that I recently wrote and believe to show me in a different light. However, it is about 500 words. Could I still send it in and would it be considered during the admissions process?


  11. TChowdhury says:

    Have a nice holiday admission faculty & Merry Christmas

  12. Matt McGann '00 says:

    @David: I guess so, I don’t see why not. Deadline would be the same as for RA applicants.

    @Shayan: No word limit. Feel free to send it.

  13. Nicole says:

    Hi. I’m still sort of confused and need some things spelled out for me. The deadline for the MYR is stated as Feb 15, but the description of the MYR says it should be submitted as soon as possible. So,
    1) Is it okay if all of our updates are submitted by Feb 15?
    2) Is Feb 15 the submission or acceptance date?
    3) Can updates that do not fit in the text box (such as an essay, musical recordings, etc.) be submitted via email?
    4) Is Feb 15 the deadline for those things sent in via email as well?
    Thanks so much!

  14. Lisa says:

    In California, the results of the Academic Decathlon competition will be released Feb. 9. Could I wait for that and add it to my MYR or just submit the MYR as soon as my semester grades and all are available?

  15. Vishnu says:

    Being really serious here, Matt —- “The Midyear Report also includes an opportunity for you to update us on anything important that has occurred since you submitted your application” – Would accepted at another reputed institution say Caltech or Harvard be considered an important update or is all high school related??

  16. Steve says:

    could we know how many people applied EA this year/how many got deferred/rejected/accepted?
    Just so i know where i stand i guess.


  17. Matthew says:

    The information I placed in the “Additional Information” section of my application was cut-off rather awkwardly mid-sentence in the last sentence of the “essay.” Is there anything I can do to send the complete last sentence (just that sentence, not the whole essay) or shall it remain eternally cut-off?

    Also, are examples of creative and analytic writing appropriate to submit as supplementary materials?

  18. Evan says:

    “You do not need to “improve” your application.”
    – I understand your point that there is no need to edit my application, but may I if I really think it could help? (In retrospect, there are a few things I definitely would like to fix in my essays.)

  19. Matt McGann '00 says:

    @Lisa: You can wait.

    @Nicole: 1) Yes. 2) February 15 is the date by which we would like you to click “submit” on the MYR. 3) You can add to your application through an email to [email protected], but we will primarily use what is in the MYR. For musical submissions you should follow the music supplement guidelines. 4) There is no formal deadline for updates emailed to admissions, but earlier is always better.

    @Vishnu: It is up to you what to include.

    @Steve: As Pete ’79 noted, it’s all there at (thanks Pete ’79!).

    @Matthew: Feel free to drop us an email if you want to complete the sentence. We probably will not be able to evaluate your creative writing in our process.

  20. Matt says:

    My English/History AP courses are two semesters long, ending in June. Do I self-report my current grades on the Midyear Report, in spite of the fact that the courses are longer than a semester or should I not worry? I ask because my marks in those courses will not be sent to MIT on the official school report; my school only sends the grades of completed classes.


  21. Shayan says:

    Hey Matt,

    If I want to send in additional essays for consideration during the regular decision cycle, what is the final date I can send it in? What date would you suggest I send it in by? I would like about a week and I hope to send it by January 10th the latest.

  22. Anonymous says:

    On the midyear report, I wanted to include an “essay” which would probably give necessary context of myself as a person. However it only give you 250 words of space. I could maybe squeeze my essay in there, but that would leave no room to write out any of my additional achievements/activities. I really do think the information I gave in my essay is important (and it’s hard to convey in less than 250 words); is it worth leaving out my new achievements?

  23. Kathy says:

    What happens if you dont submit your midyear report?

  24. Megan says:

    Hey Matt! I was wondering if we were unhappy with our original interview during the early action process if we are allowed to have another interview during the regular action process?

  25. Daniel says:


    Were I in your shoes, I would upload the essay to a private note site and put the URL in the 250 words of space. That way, you can put your achievements in too, and if the admissions committee is interested, they will go through the extra ten seconds of work to get the essay from the private note site.

    If you do this, make sure you use a site that doesn’t delete the note/essay after one read.

  26. Anonymous says:

    ^ oh that’s a good idea. I think I’ll just put it on a google doc- thanks.

  27. Samir says:

    Hi, Matt. Thanks for all the information. Where can I find the supplemental document cover sheet? I can’t seem to find it on the MyMIT website. Thanks!

  28. Daniel L. says:

    We live in Ohio. My son will be applying to M.I.T. for fall of 2014. He is aiming for business/Sloan school. He has the option of graduating with AP level courses or joining the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) program in high school. Is there any advantage to taking the I.B. route when it comes to applying?

  29. ** says:

    There were several students accepted from my school early action. I was deferred. I was told by a parent that MIT cannot accept more than a few students from one school and with several students already accepted, I do not have a good chance in the Regular Decision round. Matt, does this hold water?

  30. Joe says:

    Hey Matt,
    Is there a date already set for notifying deferred applicants of their new decision when it is reviewed again with the regular decision applicants?

  31. Ellie says:

    Thank you for the information! If we would like to email updates, to whom should we email them?

  32. Nick says:

    Quick question for you:
    My school has block scheduling, and therefore gives grades in both term one and term two in the first semester. I am just wondering what grades I should enter in my Midyear Report.