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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Early Action Updates by Matt McGann '00

Some helpful tips for those working on their EA apps.

[Editor's note in 2017: This post contains outdated contact information. If you are having trouble contacting your assigned EC, please email [email protected] or call the Admissions Office at 617-253-3400.]


*Update as of 2015: Early action is available to both domestic and international students.


We are less than two weeks away from the Early Action deadline of November 1!

I'd like to use this entry to answer some of the common deadline-time questions. There are many answers already here on the site — for example, about standardized test requirements or statistics. And below, I've provided answers to some additional FAQs:

Recommendations, School Forms, and Other Documents

  • Recommendation forms are available on your MyMIT portal. It is okay if your teacher or counselor does not include the MIT cover sheet with their letter. We prefer to receive it, but letters without it are at no disadvantage. We will accept your school's own forms, the NACAC forms, or the Common App forms. If your school sends its documents electronically via Naviance/Docufide, the MIT cover sheet would need to be scanned in and then submitted; there is no electronic version of this form.
  • You can submit teacher letters and school forms (such as transcripts) in three ways, listed below and on the cover sheet. Please use only one method; duplicate submission will only slow down the processing.
  • If your school uses Naviance/Docufide to submit letters of evaluation and transcripts, your school can send these documents directly to MIT, a registered Docufide Document recipient. This is true even though MIT does not use the Common App; submission of materials works in the same way. We encourage you to have your school use Naviance/Docufide over other means of document submission, if possible. Please do not send additional copies via fax or mail.
  • You can fax the documents to us. All teacher letters must be typed or written on official school letterhead and signed by the evaluator. Teacher letters not on school letterhead and not signed by evaluators will not be accepted. Please do not send additional copies via Docufide or mail. Documents may be faxed to: (617) 687-9184.
  • You can mail documents to us. All teacher letters must be typed or written on official school letterhead and signed by the evaluator. Teacher letters not on school letterhead and not signed by evaluators will not be accepted. Please do not send additional copies via Docufide or fax. Envelopes may be addressed to: MIT Admissions; Room 10-100; 77 Massachusetts Avenue; Cambridge, MA 02139.
  • Please include the MIT Supplemental Document Cover Sheet from MyMIT for any additional documents you send. It helps with filing. (Documents without the cover sheet will be fine, too, as long as there is enough information for us to match the document with your file.)


  • The deadline to contact your interviewer (EC) is tomorrow, October 20. If you have not yet done so, you should contact your EC, like, now. However, if you happen to be reading this after the deadline, you should still contact your interviewer ASAP in case your EC can still accommodate you. An interview is very helpful for your application. (Students with waived interviews are at no disadvantage.)
  • If you have already interviewed with your EC, or have scheduled your interview for the near future, you are all set. Do not worry if your interview report has not yet appeared on your MyMIT Tracking; the deadline for ECs to submit their reports has not yet arrived. If you wish, you may now fill out the conducted interview form and we will be sure to get the interview report.
  • If your EC has not gotten back to you, but it has been only a short time since you made contact (say, a week), be patient. By having contacted the EC before the deadline, you have taken your important step.
  • If your EC has not gotten back to you, and it has been a long time (say, two weeks with multiple attempts to contact), please either call the Educational Council at 617-258-5510 or email us at interview at mit dot edu.


  • Word count: Yes, the word count is enforced. There is, as I understand it, a little bit of leeway. Remember that these short-answer essays are only one small part of the application, and the word limit will in no way influence an applicant's admissibility.
  • Copy & paste: If you copy and paste from a program like Microsoft Word into the application, you may lose some formatting. Be particularly careful of characters like apostrophes, em dashes, and quotation marks. If you type directly into the text box on MyMIT, everything should be fine.
  • Additional Information: In Part Two, Section Nine, we are aware that the font shrinks and is not traditionally formatted; this affects everyone equally. Also, if you put too much text into the box, the bottom will be cut off and the admissions committee will not be able to see it.
  • Preview: On the last section of both Parts One and Two, there is a link that will allow you to preview your application as a PDF. This PDF is exactly how the admissions committee will see your application. You should always preview your application before submitting it. Two common problems that are often not caught without previewing are listed above: pasting special characters from Microsoft Word and a too-lengthy Additional Information section.


  • The deadline is November 1, meaning you can click "submit" on your application any time on November 1 or before. (I strongly discourage waiting until the last minute, though.)
  • It is perfectly fine if, through no fault of your own, your school forms (e.g. teacher recommendations, secondary school report, transcript) come in after the November 1 deadline. We are much more understanding of and flexible with late documents from schools than with late documents from the applicant.
  • If you are an Early Action applicant, and you take the November SAT, you must list MIT as a school to receive your scores directly or we will not receive them in time for our review. If you do not send them directly and plan to use Score Choice for the November test, we will likely not receive it in time for EA review. You do not need to use rush reporting.
  • Please note that you do not need to express mail or overnight any part of your application.

Application Component Tracking

  • The MyMIT Tracking is up-to-date, but please recognize that processing can take 2 weeks. You do not need to worry at this time about documents that are not showing on MyMIT; we currently have a backlog of materials in our processing center, and expect to have that backlog into November. Do not send a second copy of any document at this time. Also, you do not need to call MIT Admissions at this time to check on any such documents (there is a time for this later). Do not worry about materials that have not yet shown up on MyMIT Tracking.
  • Application tracking is available on MyMIT after you submit your Part 1. For this reason, I recommend submitting your Part 1 sooner rather than later, so that you can track your documents.
  • I know that the Midyear Report box is sitting there, unchecked. Don't worry about this unless you are deferred from EA to RA. This form will not be made available until well after EA decisions are released.

Submitting the Application

  • If you are having credit card problems, please email applicationpart1 at mit dot edu. If problems delay your application past November 1, we will extend the deadline for you due to any problems on our end.
  • We are happy to accept fee waivers for any student (foreign or domestic) who needs one. Using a fee waiver will not negatively impact your admission. You may use the SAT Fee Waiver, ACT Fee Waiver, the NACAC Fee Waiver, or a letter from a school official detailing your situation. We will accept other fee waiver forms as well. Generally speaking, if you are in tough financial shape and make a good faith effort to inform us of your circumstances, we will waive your fee.
  • The admissions officers will be reading these applications all of November into December. We have not yet determined on what exact date we will release EA decisions. It will likely be sometime in mid-December, but you should wait for an official announcement from our office. We have not yet determined when the announcement will be made; it usually is about a week before decisions are released.

I hope this is helpful. Best wishes as you finish and submit the application!