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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

March Questions Omnibus 4 by Matt McGann '00

Lupe (who I’m looking forward to seeing at CPW!) asked, “is it pretty simple to travel on train or ? from Logan to MIT?”

We’ll be running a bus from Logan Airport to MIT all day Thursday, and back from MIT to Logan on Sunday. Just look for the person with the “MIT” sign near the baggage claim (make sure you’ve given us your flight information). If you’re coming outside of the times we’re running the shuttle, you can take a taxi (~$25), or the subway ($1.25). The subway trip can be a little confusing for those not used to public transportation because it involves two transfers, but it’s not difficult: Blue line inbound to Green line inbound to Red line outbound, exit at Kendall/MIT station.

CL wrote, “hey Matt, I heard MIT are paying for flights for students to get to Boston (CPW). Is that true? n also.. If we register now, but when the time comes, we can’t make it.. is there any penalty? cuz I might have a tournament that weekend.. but it all depends on how i perform next weekend.”

Good luck with the tournament! It is better to register now and then cancel (please try to cancel at least a few days in advance, if at all possible) than to not register by the deadline and then try to register late. Also, it is true that we are paying for some students’ transportation to CPW; for the most part, this is based on financial need.

Ash wrote, “Is there anyway to come late for it? as in late friday night, all of sat and leave sunday?”

Sure. Just let us know your dates when you register. You’ll miss all of the academic stuff, but you’ll be around for housing stuff and parties.

Michael wrote, “What happens if I register without stating someone whom I have plans to stay with, and then realize I have someone I want to stay with? That is, a current MIT student?”

No problem! Let us know at [email protected], or call the office at (617) 253-3400.

Thomas wrote, “In my planning to attend CPW I called one of my friends who is a student at MIT. Although he was willing allow me to stay with him, he was wondering if there was anything he had to register or if I puting his name into the registration form is enough.”

Your friend must register as a host at the MIT Community CPW site. If he has any problems, he should email [email protected]

Alex wrote, “I can’t come to CPW cause of an orch competition so I was just wondering what actually goes on during it? In other words, what am I missing?”

Centrally, CPW is about exposing you to MIT life — classes, faculty, students, housing, student life, etc. — to help you determine if you want to attend MIT. You’d stay with an MIT student, check out classes, meet your potential future classmates… in short, get a taste of MIT. If you’re already decided on MIT, CPW allows to meet your classmates, check out which dorm you might want to live in, etc. You can see the schedule of CPW events in your MyMIT portal. I wouldn’t worry about it too much, though — focus on your orchestra competition. Good luck!

Currer Bell wrote, “I already registered for CPW, but on the part where we have to answer questions that help us get matched up to our MIT student hosts, under perferences, do we have to indicate the gender preference of our host. Ex. I am female and would like to room with a female student, or is that a given.”

We will match you with a host of your gender. However, the majority of you will be housed in a co-ed dorm. Do let us know if you require or prefer single sex housing.

nehalita asked, “how’s the tennis in MIT? =)”

You can learn more about varsity women’s and men’s tennis (and all of the other varsity sports) on their websites. There are plenty of tennis courts at MIT for recreational playing as well as intramural tennis. Somewhat relatedly, we have pretty nice squash facilities, too.

Erek wrote, “you edited your post. I wonder why.”

No big conspiracy here, Erek, it’s just that doesn’t have built-in preview functionality, so I usually post once and then edit. I’ll probably be moving this blog to a Moveable Type platform this summer with more functionality.

Eric Schmiedl wrote, “In regards to the new SAT, you say you’ll address it after May 1st. Why the delay? Taking a break from thinking about admissions stuff? ”

Well, we’re mostly focused on the Class of 2009 right now. In a month or so we’ll turn our full attention to the Class of 2010, and the new SAT (and ACT and TOEFL) will be an important topic.

I’m Not Nemo! wrote, “Here’s a question about the “Swim Test”. I understand that the swimming test involves swimming 4 lengths of a 25 M pool, and only the last length can be done with a backstroke. What happens to the students who CAN’T SWIM?!?!?! Would taking a semester of Beginning Swimming substitute for passing the Swim Test? Or would the non-swimmers have to take Beginning Swimming over and over again until they can actually pass the swim test? In other words, is there a point at which MIT says, “You tried to learn to swim and pass the swim test, that’s sufficient.” Or will MIT make us keep trying and trying to pass the test until we either drown or have to drop out?”

I’ve never heard of anyone having to drop out because of the swim test. If you take the Swimming PE class, I’m sure you’ll be fine.

05senior posted on the “waitlisted” thread, “I have received several awards and had several accomplishments since I submitted my application. Would it be in my best interest to submit those now that I am on the waiting list?”

Absolutely! Waitlisted students should keep in touch with us and let us know about any cool new stuff.

Wait listed applicant wrote, “Matt, I have one quick question. Do you think that if we devote some time posting comments on these blogs might have an influence on the admissions process for the wait-listed applicants?”

I wouldn’t count on blog-commenting as the best way to keep in touch with us. Letters and emails, and perhaps the occasional phone call, would be the methods I would recommend.

gameboyguy13 wrote, “You said you don’t admit for the spring semester, right? Also, how … likely is it that someone who was rejected this year would get in as a transfer student next year?”

We only admit freshmen to begin in the fall semester. We admit transfers for both the spring and fall semesters, but you must complete at least one full year of university before entering MIT as a transfer. I don’t know how “likely” it is that someone not admitted in the freshman process would be admitted in the transfer process, but I personally know folks who have done just that.

Need_clarification_numbers_class_2009 wrote, “I do have a question on the numbers. I believe that MIT sent out less than 1500 letters to admitted students for the 2009 class. There were 400-500 students that were sent the waitlisted letter. Based on your comments, MIT is aiming for a class of 980 students for the class of 2009. So realistically, is there any remote chance for a waitlisted student to even be considered at all ?? I know that in the last 2 years, MIT did not take anyone off the waitlist. Given your high yield, should current waitlisted students even want to keep any hope at all ?”

Yes. The numbers of students we admitted was selected intentionally with the idea of our being able to go to the waitlist this year. The last two years, where we took no students from the waitlist, I’d consider aberrations.

waitlisted wrote, “Do you remember the applications of rejectecd applicants for a subsequent year? In other words, if one reapplies as a Freshman again next year (by staying eligible) what information from the preceeding year’s application be brought to bear on the new application? Would essays, recommendations and transcripts be kept on file from the preceding year? Also, what would be the difference in a waitlisted reapplying vs a rejected reapplying, if any? Finally, for the waitlisted applicants this year, what sort of selection process will be used to admit them?”

Your entire application from the previous year will be in your application file in the year you apply. Your decision from the previous year will have no bearing on your next decision. When we go to the waitlist, staff will be asked for their input, and a small committee will make the final decisions.

Anonymous wrote, “How important does MIT consider math competitions to be? Do you consider making the USAMO to be a big deal? What about MOSP?”

Math and science accomplishments at the national level are a big deal. As I’ve continually written, though, accomplishments are far from all that matters in MIT admissions.

Jordan Sun wrote, “Did MIT reject any RSI scholar applicants this year? People always tell me that RSI is the ticket of getting into MIT.”

I don’t believe that in any the four years I’ve worked here that every RSI student was admitted. Those who are admitted to RSI have many of the same qualities we look for in MIT applicants, but there is no “magic ticket” for MIT admissions.

valent victoria (Lupe’s daughter, who I’m also looking forward to seeing!) wrote, “one of my favorite bands, the matches, plays in boston so much, so i am stoked about that next year. hey matt, have you checked out ted leo and the pharmicists? If not, add them to your collection! ”

I don’t yet know either The Matches or Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, but I look forward to hearing them from your CD collection in the fall! And for all of the rest of you who have recommended music to me in this blog, I do fully expect for you to stop by my office (3-107) in the fall, CDs in hand =)

MITmom (in response to the “Matt looks like…” thread) wrote, “no, no.. You look like Rob Morrow!”

I’ll take that as a complement! (What math problem will Numbers work with tonight?) Though his Boston accent in Quiz Show could have used some work…

Michael also wrote, “Grr. I’m angry. Apparently, you were supposed to be at the NYC Admitted Students meeting, and you weren’t. Lana and I were angry. :p”

Yeah, sorry about that, change of plans… instead of being in downstate New York this weekend with Internet, I’ll be disconnected in upstate New York. For those of you who went to an admitted student party in your hometown, how was it?

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