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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

July Questions Omnibus 1 by Matt McGann '00

Your questions & my answers.

Daniel wrote, “Any idea what date the application for ’07 will come out? The website just says ‘July’…”

We expect to receive this year’s paper application within the next week or so, and will have it on hand to distribute to on campus visitors. Shortly after that, we will begin mailing the application to more than 30,000 students across the country. If you have registered for MyMIT and live in the US, you should receive your application by the end of the month. As for the online application — which is how most people apply these days — it should be online in early August.


Visali wrote, “Can you explain why MIT is very selective? I know that it’s the one of the most selective colleges in the US. I know applicants have to show their passion for MIT and their true personality. Among the applicants who love MIT and show high passion, how does MIT choose? Of course, the applicants are judged by their ACT and/or SAT scores, essays, recommendations and etc. Where is the line that seperates the accepted from the rejected?”

What we look for above all else is the match with MIT’s mission and culture. You can read more about our process and the “match” at this entry or on this page at MyMIT.


Claire wrote, “Does MIT give any admissions ‘weight’ to those wishing to major in a field that is not innately techical, such as Comparative Media Studies, Writing and Humanistic Studies, or History?”

When you apply to MIT, you don’t apply to a specific department, but rather to MIT as a whole. And when we admit a student, we admit that student to all of MIT, and at the conclusion of freshman year, that student may choose from any of MIT’s majors, regardless of what was written on the application. This means that every student we admit we know can do the work in both MIT’s science & math core (9 classes in math, science, engineering and technology) as well as the HASS requirement (8 classes in humanities, arts, and social science). So in short, no, we don’t weight specific majors.


Edwin wrote, “I had applied last year to MIT but without the subject tests.I was not accepted ,but now that my SAT2s are available and are three unlike next years class,would you consider me for this year’s class?i am from kenya.”

If you haven’t enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program, and you apply again, we will absolutely consider you for freshman admission this year.


Gary wrote, “What about TOEFL mid 50% score range? We only know that the minimum is 570, 600 to be competitive. Also, when will we be able to see the Registrar’s Office data for 2006-2007?”

I don’t have the TOEFL mid 50% range, but if you have at least 100/250/600 (iBT/CBT/PBT), I wouldn’t worry about it one bit.

The Registrar’s Office will update their statistics sometime after the “census date,” which is usually in early October.


Miguel wrote, “PLEASE HELP ME AS PROMTLY AS POSSIBLE!!!!!! Hey what’s up?? I’m a dominican boy who wants to get into MIT after finishing highschool. Currently I’m in the investigation process but i want some help about deciding whether to apply for MIT or just dont. One of my main concerns is how good is my accademcal education up to this point versus the one you need to be a succesfull student at MIT. I’m a good student at highschool and I’m starting my senior year on August 28th. How tough is the academic demand on MIT’s AeroAStro school???… because I’m thinking of studying to be an astronaut or something related.
Another thing I would like to Know is: What programs has the aeroastro school for people that have just finished highscool???… Another area area I’m Interested in is in Mechanical engineering and I hope that somebody can help me with this and other important questions that I’have about the Institute. PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME AS PROMPTLY AS POSSIBLE!!!!”

Miguel, first of all, relax. If you’re as stressed out as your text makes you seem, I honestly recommend a trip to the beach or the woods to think about the big picture. There’s no need to stress about this! =)

Next, to address your questions: if you’re generally interested in MIT and Aero/Astro, I would encourage you to apply to MIT and see what happens. I also encourage you to read through old posts on my blog and others, and read the MyMIT website, and the general MIT website to learn more.

Here are some links for you to discover more about the Aero/Astro department’s undergraduate program and the Mechanical Engineering department’s undergraduate program. Also, as a prospective Dominican engineering student, you may be interested in the Society Of Hispanic Professional Engineers at MIT. I hope this is helpful!


Anonymous wrote, “Hi Matt! I would like to know when wheather we would know about the number the applications per country and/or the number of acceptance and/or enrollment.”

You can find enrollment data from the Registrar; that’s the best I can do for you. Enjoy!


Stefan wrote, “Romania does not have an MIT Educational Counselor and my question is that if can be done something about this because i want to increase my chances to MIT as much as i can and also to express my needs and what i really want from my life which MIT can help me to achieve. So if will be a way to introduce MIT EC in Romania how and when.”

MIT has an EC in Cluj-Napoca. You will receive information about this later in the fall on the MyMIT website.


anshuman wrote, “Do AP exams give an edge in the application process? I am from India where AP is not recognized by Indian universities. Secondly, isn’t early action applicable for students from India?Thirdly, i have heard that MIT asks prospective students to write thesis’ for journals…is it true?”

To answer your questions, one at a time… 1) We hope that students will take a challenging courseload from the opportunities provided to them. For students who have the opportunity to take AP courses, it can be a very good way to pursue that challenging courseload. However, we do not expect students who don’t have the opportunity to take AP courses to have taken them. We will consider each applicant within the context of the opportunities provided to them. 2) Students who are not US citizens or permanent residents should apply during the regular action process; we consider all international students together in the same process. 3) We do not expect prospective students to write thesis papers (some current MIT students, though, must write thesis papers for their department). Most students who are admitted to MIT have not performed any formal scientific research prior to coming to MIT.


Anonymous wrote, “Are the Boston fireworks televised or taped at all?”

Yes! You can watch them each year on a nationwide broadcast on CBS. If you missed it, you can get a flavor of it from this YouTube video.


l0ngL wrote, “Hey Matt! I am going to purchase a MacBook Pro. Do you know if Apple has any special discount for MIT students specifically?”

Yes! MIT offers educational discounts for Apple, Dell, HP and Lenovo/IBM computers. Check it out here.


Anonymous wrote, “Hi there! I just had a quick question…. I know a while ago you said you would answer a bunch of questions that people had in a Questions Omnibus, and I was just wondering if you were going to do that soon or if you already did and I just missed it. Thanks!”

Nope, you didn’t miss it. I’ve answer a bunch of recent questions here, but didn’t get to many older ones; if there’s another question you have that went unanswered, feel free to post it again. You’ll notice fewer entries here over the summer, as we admissions folks take vacation time and work on big projects; I’m sure you understand that the blogging is a little less frequent this time of year.

Until next time!

11 responses to “July Questions Omnibus 1”

  1. Evan B. says:

    As far as Apple educational discounts go, all you have to do is go to the online Apple store ( and click the “Education” link under “More Stores” in the right hand column. It generally amounts to a 10% discount, rounded to an appropriate degree of magnitude.

  2. Lerh Feng says:

    It’s a bit sad that I feel I’m thoroughly suited to MIT, but was not admitted. But it’s OK Matt, I’m going to thrive in this world regardless ^_^

  3. Samira says:

    Hi Matt,

    I’m from Iran

    I got gold medal in International Astronomy olympiad,and high score in National Indian Olympiad in informatics.

    Do they affect on my application for ungrad?

  4. Daniel says:

    Thanks, Matt! Heh, my boat goes on deployment in either September or October, so hopefully a month or two will be sufficient to work on my app.

  5. ujjwal says:

    Hi Matt!

    i dropped two years after my high school and worked for a year.can I apply to mit.i’ll give SATs this academic record in high school is quite good.i got confused after high school as i have got wide range of interests and i wanted to do all the things at the same the process i’ve gained command over many subjects from maths,sciences to history,geography and economics at higher level.but now i require a professional degree from a good university to fulfill my quest for knowledge and get a good job.i’m from india and i am interested in aerospace engineering.


  6. ajit says:

    I have a gap after my high school.whether i am elligible or not for mit.give me answer,please.

  7. sagar says:

    hi matt

    i want to apply to mit

    i am from parents are divorced and i live with my mom and am solely supported by dad is not willing to cooperate with any of my application procedure.what should i write in my letter to the student financial aid as i am genuinely in need of the total tuition and mom is a housewife and she supports me through the interest accrued on bank fund which is not enough even for my mit living expenses .PLEASE REPLY!!

  8. Hi Matt

    I applied to MIT last year without much luck: perhaps it was my weak SAT scores or may be it was because I had only done IGCSE. This year I am doing GCE AS level. Does MIT recognise it or does it prefer the Full A levels.

    I wrote an e-mail ( twice actually) to admissions department a couple of months ago and still have no response. I wanted some feedback on my application from last year so I would be better prepared for this years applictation.

    Please get back to me As soon as possible.

    Ankit Chandra, Gaborone, Botswana

  9. Samira, one of the MIT admits from india this year also went for astronomy olymaid. It certainly adds weight to your application.

  10. Abha Agarwal says:

    Hi Matt, I wanted to give Anshuman some information about AP as I feel he is unaware that AP is conducted in India. I work for the CollegeBoard as an AP Coordinator and we conduct AP examinations right here in India. We are open to students from any part of India to write the AP examinations with us. There is an opportunity available for Indian students to write the AP exams every year. But many of these students are oblivious of this fact. I just want to reach out to all of them and let them know that AP’s are very much available in India.

  11. Jyotsna V says:

    Hi Matt, I just wanted to add some info that I thought might be useful to Anshuman. I am also an Indian citizen and I did not take the AP’s. As Matt mentioned MIT cares more about the courseload you are taking under whichever curriculum you are doing. Last of all, prospective students do not have to write journal papers. I had never programmed before I got to MIT but I am now a rising sophomore majoring in EECS. The admission process is scary and although MIT might seem impossible to get into, it isn’t. MIT cares more about whether you are truly passionate about your interests and if you have taken full advantage of the opportunities that you have had.