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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

For EA Deferred Students by Matt McGann '00

Answering questions for those who were deferred to Regular Action.

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 seven years, the average number of deferred students later admitted has been about 300 — 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 about a month. 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.

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 mid-February are most likely to be seen in Admissions Committee.

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.

15 responses to “For EA Deferred Students”

  1. '15 Hopeful says:

    Thanks for the update, Matt! It was definitely helpful.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Levin says:

    Oh gosh… @Black swan: If you’re a hater, you shouldn’t be here… MIT’s so awesome, you can’t change anything with just one comment!

  3. Thanks for the help, I really appreciate you shedding some light on things when the offices are closed and I have time to work on my app.

  4. Tony says:

    Thank you for all the additional FAQ’s… definitely helpful for when I apply

  5. PEng says:

    Thanks Matt! I’ll be sure to keep my grades and keep the dream alive. Hope your holidays went well!

  6. Derek says:

    @elizabeth… well said!

  7. Because I have a feeling that Black swan’s last comment may be removed (not because it’s talking smack about Matt, but because it was done in a distasteful – and rather tactless, might I add – manner), here’s my response:

    Black swan wrote:
    “I am not a hater, I am not a fool either, I just want to tell you the truth. All Matt said are b******** [bs]. I just hate to see so many teens be fooled by him.”

    The comments are a place for discussion, so to avoid this comment being wasted as an immature, spiteful rant, here’s my response:

    Exactly *how* is this post a lie, as you suggest? Quite honestly, I find nothing false about this post. No, a deferral is not a polite rejection (Hamsika and I both got in after being deferred our year). Don’t worry about bombarding the office with a ton of new material – there is a fine, fine line between being helpful and being excessive and annoying. And seriously – trying to find out *why* you were deferred?? Understandable, but take a chill pill, folks! SERIOUSLY. The office can’t predict what the rest of the applications coming in from regular decision round will look like – they’d overfill all the spots if they accepted every strong applicant from early round.

    Exactly *what* are you trying to get out of being bitter, on an online forum, no less? If you’re upset, there are more productive ways of dealing with that than cowardly trolling on the blogs, hiding behind anonymity. If your objective was to provoke some long response, well, I suppose you’ve done that. But I feel compelled to respond because your comment is not only FALSE and hurtful but it is an absolute insult to the genuine objectivity, earnestness, and ridiculously hard work that Matt puts into his job. Him and everyone at admissions. What the heck makes you think you have the authority to question Matt’s validity? Do you KNOW him? And if you’re just trying to spur people away from applying or just being cynical to current applicants – that doesn’t even warrant a full response, because that’s just pathetic and sad.

    We welcome criticism. If you’ve got beef with something, speak your mind… LIKE A MATURE PERSON. Levin – I appreciate your enthusiasm, but please don’t think that MIT is a perfect place. IHTFP runs both ways – “I Have Truly Found Paradise” AND “I Hate This F****** Place.” To paint MIT as nerd-Candyland where unicorns puke rainbow-colored equations would not be fair to you all, and we try to give a candid, realistic perspective of this place. I love it here, but there are things here that I have significant issues with, too. It happens. There’s no perfect college (shocker!).

    You have no right whatsoever to speculate on Matt’s honesty and motives. You insult him, you insult all of us who work at admissions. I reiterate: your comment shows extreme ignorance to the difficulty of his job and the amount of hard work, objectivity, and CARE he puts into his job. Rest assured, prospective students – I can’t think of better hands that your applications could be in at all.

    Oh, and before you say “Well of course you’d say that, you work for them and they probably told you to do this” – I’ll say GROW UP. I’m reading the blogs from home in Missouri and I was outraged that someone could’ve said such a bogus thing. I’m not getting paid a penny to write this. I’m writing this because it’s the right thing to do and people deserve to know how much care the staff puts into reading applications.

    What you said was unwarranted and unfair. And I sincerely hope this is the end of the discussion, because it doesn’t deserve a lame flame war. End of story.

  8. Todd says:

    Thanks for the fantastic bits of advice, and really it’s kind of ironic because I was planning on doing half these things already. I know sending extra things or calling the admissions office won’t intrinsically help my application, but could it potentially benefit it? Saying MIT is my dream school and first choice, even with all of the stress and hard work that is required, is still an understatement. And Elizabeth, props :D. For me, IHTFP stands for I Hope To Find Placement.

    tl;dr version: Can I gain anything from calling or sending extra stuff, and at what point does it become annoyingly so?

  9. Elizabeth while I’m sure many MIT-faithful appreciate your spirited defence of your university, I would like to believe that most people would be intelligent enough to consider the comment from BlackSwan to be a rather poor attempt at internet trolling.

    Doubtless Matt and his team are extremely hardworking. A personal attack hidden behind anonymity is about as threatening as a breath of fresh air, and should be treated as such: with ignorance.

    Blackswan has every right to flaunt his/her stupidity so spectacularly We are obligated to do nothing… except perhaps to not feed the troll.

    In addition, there are COUNTLESS posts detailing exactly how the admissions process is carried out scattered all over the forum. It seems logical to merely redirect people to those posts rather than writing out all again (seems a waste of time).

    That said: I am an MIT hopeful myself. :D I have every confidence that my application will receive the care it deserves (considering the horrible time-constraints the poor admissions officers have to face). If I get in, it would be dream come true, but if I don’t, I’d probably just write it off as bad-luck, and “it wasn’t meant to be”… Honestly, if MIT feels I shouldn’t be there, chances are I shouldn’t, regardless of how much I’d disagree with that wink (But I’m definitely holding thumbs for a “yes”).

    I would’ve applied early if I wasn’t living in South Africa raspberry So I’m a regular decision guy, and here’s wishing goodluck: not only to the applicants, but to the officers: they’re gonna need it to get the best class possible! (In a way, I do think sifting through so many good applications would be a very fun job, albeit rather heartbreaking at the same time).

    To those that were deferred: if you’re already writing yourself off, then that’s no good raspberry Have a hope, for without hope, there is nothing.

  10. Trevor says:

    Happy New Year’s everyone!

    If we choose to send some additional information in to the admissions office how would we go about addressing it? (I was deferred but am still hopeful) Would we just address it to the admissions office?

    MIT Admissions Office
    77 Mass Ave.
    Cambridge, MA 02139


  11. Anonymous says:

    Admissions is a very tough job – you make a thousand happy every year and more than 10s of thousands of others unhappy at the same time!

    My hope is that the happy students and parents of the admitted folks, spread their happiness to their friends, kith and kin, and celebrate the occasion and in effect outnumber the number of unhappy people the process creates… I mean wouldn’t it be great early admit students all get their grand parents to email Admissions and thank them for doing such a great job in finding their young jewel and thus balance the equation?

    By the way IHTFP = I Hate The Food Plan!

  12. Corey says:

    I think the best response to Black Swan would just be to make him/her read this post. I’ve found it the most encouraging piece on the application process.

    To every other deferred kid, good luck!

  13. Lisa says:

    Just wondering if anyone reading this (especially Matt) could point me to computer science summer programs for my high school son. I was on the MIT site where I found lists of research science and math programs; somehow I landed on this blog and thought I’d give it a try. We are in Massachusetts so are looking for programs within driving distance, though overnight is okay.