Skip to content ↓
MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

MIT Application: August 19 by Matt McGann '00

In a few short weeks, the MIT 2012 Freshman Application will be posted.

The MIT Freshman Application will open on August 19th. Our application deadlines for this year remain unchanged: November 1 for Early Action (EA), and January 1 for Regular Action (RA).

While there are still a few weeks before our application opens, there are some things you can be doing in the meantime:

  • Making a list, spreadsheet, or Google Doc of the various deadlines and requirements for all of the universities to which you'll be applying (including the financial aid deadlines and requirements). By getting yourself organized now, you're less likely to make an error down the road.
  • Identifying your recommenders. We will require two letters of recommendation: one from a math/science teacher and one humanities teacher. Once you have chosen which teachers you would like to write on your behalf, it is a good idea to have a conversation with each teacher about a) if they would be willing to write you a recommendation for college; b) which colleges you're applying to and why. I find that having a thoughtful conversation with your teachers really helps in the process.
  • Talking with your guidance counselor. We will require that your guidance counselor (or equivalent) complete our Secondary School Report, which does include a letter that they write about you, in addition to your transcript and a school profile.
  • Ensuring that you have the required standardized tests. At MIT, we require the SAT Reasoning Test, ACT Plus Writing, or TOEFL; and 2 SAT Subject Tests: one in math, one in science. If you haven't yet fulfilled these requirements, I recommend registering for the tests now. For EA, we can accept tests through the November testing date; for RA, through the January testing date.
  • Thinking about deadlines, including Early Action vs. Regular Action. US citizens and permanent residents can choose to apply for either deadline. Note that MIT's Early Action program is non-binding and non-restrictive.
  • Spending some time being thoughtful and reflective about your life, your influences, and your aspirations. This will be very helpful as we ask you to interview with an MIT alum and ask you to write about your experiences in some short answer essay questions.

Remember that there is no rush to get your application in first! We do not read applications on a first-come, first-served basis. An article in the New York Times last year summed this up well:

But as more students each year seek to get the earliest possible jump on the nerve-racking process of applying to college, as if they were securing tickets to a soon-to-be-sold-out rock concert, the deans of admission at N.Y.U. and elsewhere are sounding a cautionary note. They say that there is no reason to apply five months in advance, let alone two, and that they are far more inclined to put a premium on thoughtfulness and contemplation than speed.

I wish you a thoughtful and anxiety-free application season, and a great senior year!

85 responses to “MIT Application: August 19”

  1. Christy Jade says:

    Can’t wait for applications to open!

  2. Ryan Chipman says:

    Thanks for all the helpful hints throughout this nerve-Wracking process!

  3. salman says:

    GOD i hope i get in …*international applicant*

  4. Anonymous says:

    I sincerely wish that INTERNATIONAL students also had the flexibility of applying Early Action. They have that flexibility at so many other colleges, including many Ivy Leagues and Stanford… I simply am unable to justify to myself why international students are left out of the Early Action cycle at MIT.

    It would truly be a great opportunity for students from around the world to get in Early, just akin the US Citizens and Permanent residents.

    As I read in a post in the blogs, it was written that International students aren’t included in the Early Action cycle because there’s too much of diversity, so a fair evaluation will not be possible.
    But I cease to believe that really is the reason. Because:
    1.) Other Ivy Leagues, Stanford, etc all allow international students for Early cycles. Why can’t MIT?
    2.) I deny to believe that the admission officers at MIT aren’t able to “look through” the diversity of international students. After all, they do sort them out for the US Permanent residents who are living abroad. Then why not other international kids too? What is the issue with that?
    And just as I said, if other elite schools can permit internationals to apply Early, I see no reason why MIT can’t. After all, it’s the best at technology, right? So this discrimination just doesn’t seem fair.

    <b>I sincerely hope that this year’s admission cycles will allow INTERNATIONAL students also to apply EARLY ACTION.</b

  5. chege says:

    #adrenaline rush# I’m ready!! I so love MIT!

  6. Susan says:

    I can’t believe It’s actually time to apply to MIT,
    I’m on the verge of an excited panic attack.

  7. m_quinn says:

    MIT’s admission process is unfair and discriminatory: don’t get cheated like me and the other 18000 applicants last year! Unless your family is rich you will not get accepted. Merit DOES NOT MATTER …


  8. Samyak Ratna Tamrakar says:

    have been waiting for this moment to arrive for so long now… can’t wait to apply to MIT!!!

  9. a says:

    @m_quinn The people who I met there were not even close to rich…it also applies to myself. =/

  10. Lahori says:

    I think that they should not limit the number of international students to just 150 . I have seen truly remarkable geniuses get rejected . I know a boy who never got a grade below A* ( american equivalent to A+) in A levels and in 7 subjects . And an A level subject to american equivalent to AP . It was like he aced 7 APs for nothing.

    College admission officers should also take one thing into account . Education systems where promotion is based on standardized exam do not emphasize on exams and tests taken throughout the year . The students do not work that hard on achieving grades throughout the year but they study with a long term goal of doing really well in the standardized test ( the real deal ) . So when reviewing applications admission officers should put more emphasis on grades obtained in those standardized tests . Examples include A levels , IB etc .Please do think about it this year . They are just like SATs but with a lot more preparation . These test are the real indicators of an applicant’s academic potential

  11. Antonio '15 says:

    Ahh, I remember this time last year. I was working hard on my IB Extended Essay but it was this application that was always on the back on my mind. I encourage everyone to apply, regardless of background. I wish everyone luck, and keep on rocking.
    @m_quinn my family is in the lowest tier in the tax bracket, I am VERY far from being rich, and I will be attending MIT. Merit matters a lot, leadership, smarts, and passion for math and science. They are Need-blind for a reason.

  12. Lahori says:

    Antonio , are you an international student ?

  13. RankPenguin says:

    @m_quinn I read somewhere that the average student at MIT comes from a family that makes less than $80k to $90k a year.

  14. m_quinn says:


    Why are you deleting my posts?


    [Note: No posts by m_quinn have been deleted on this entry. Perhaps a recaptcha was improperly entered and the post never went through? -Admin]

  15. Yoni Miller says:

    ^m_quinn, you are not contributing anything besides for baseless attacks. I do not see how MIT only accepts rich people…

  16. Student '14 says:

    @Lahori: the point is, MIT doesn’t believe that grades alone are what indicates a successful MIT student. They’re looking for a lot more: passion, quirkiness, leadership, willingness to take risks…they’re looking for a complete person who “fits” at the school, not for a stack of good test grades. Granted, it can be difficult to tell personality and “fit” just from the application, but the admissions committee does its best, and I think they do a pretty awesome job of it. If they didn’t, our community wouldn’t be so wonderful.

  17. rfong'12 says:

    m_quinn trolled last year as well, just ignore him

    looking forward to meeting the 2016s!

  18. jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaania says:

    applying for colleges is so stressful… i can anticipate how tight my schedule will be in the next 4 months.

  19. m_quinn says:

    rfong@ oooh, ouch …

  20. Ezra Yu says:

    can’t wait. smile

  21. Sammy '15 says:

    I can’t believe that it’s already the next group’s turn to apply! The whole process from application to acceptance to CPW to now preparing to move across the country has flashed by but so incredible! Good luck to 2016 applicants! Remember that, believe it or not, it IS possible for ordinary people to get into MIT. I am proof of this. Just let your heart and passion shine through your application and not just your test scores and achievements. Those will speak for themselves, but only you can speak for the things that you wish, believe, dream about, aspire to, and feel. Best wishes and enjoy your senior year.

  22. m_quinn says:

    Sammy@ why encourage applications? Just going to result in heartbreak, disappointment, and ruined lives … Probably better to ecourage everybody to write their congressional delegation urging a moratorium on grant money to MIT.

  23. Ruslan'16(hopeful) says:

    Oh maan…. It is time)) I wish everybody luck!

  24. I am incredibly psyched for the application to come out. I already have rough drafts of the essays from last year (my girlfriend applied and got in).

    Probably the most important “form” I will fill out in my life.

  25. m_quinn says:

    @Michael Perrone

    I didn’t know you could use essays written by other people …

  26. Dorothy Chen says:

    Can’t wait! I’m so excited :]

  27. COOKS says:

    I’m so happy/excited/nervous for this year’s app. I applied last year but didn’t get in. Although I don’t know the screening process, I believe it’s fair. Thanks Matt.

    P.S, Can I still use my present My MIT account to apply or do I need to open a new one when the time comes.

  28. ad says:


  29. Lahori says:

    @Student ’14 : yes i do understand that but grades do form an important part of applications . I read a blog that called them deal breakers . I just wanted to say that when evaluating students from those education systems , a slightly different approach should be awarded . But I do think that they should take more international students

  30. Lahori says:

    P.S : For the record I never said that the admission process was not fair , it was merely a suggestion .

  31. amy says:

    ^m_quinn — If MIT only admits rich people, then why does their admissions Web site include an entire section on financial aid? If you have issues with MIT’s admissions process, you will not get anywhere by complaining in an online forum. The MIT admission staff works incredibly hard every year to select a class of 1,000 students out of a massive pool and they deserve a lot more credit than what you have given them. Thank you, Matt, for your helpful tips on the freshman application.

  32. mazhar says:

    Firstly, very helpful blog. Can anyone please tell me if I am an international student and studying GCE A level. Do I have to give TOEFL. Also, if I give TOEFL, is it good enough to just get the minimum requirement or I have to get a competitive score?

  33. Subhom Mitra says:

    @rfong’12 thanks. we are no less excited!!!

  34. Emaad says:

    Is MIT biased towards International students when it comes to financial aid?????? I can get into MIT ONLY if I secure a 100% scholarship .Is It POSSIBLE???? someone answer me plzz……..

  35. Nue says:

    wooow~~ so xcited..MIT..we lovee you :D

  36. m_quinn says:


    MIT may be need blind ( if you believe that ) but not wealth blind. Who’ s going to be accepted: the applicant with his own money ( 100% scholarship ) or the other needing financial aid?

  37. m_quinn says:


    How good are you with a yo-yo?

  38. Rachel F. '12 says:

    how many times do people have to say it? the admissions and financial aid offices are completely separate. you don’t tell MIT anything about your finances until AFTER you get admitted and send in the financial aid application.

    i already debunked this for you last year, m_quinn =p

  39. m_quinn says:


    Tha’t just not true. Feb 15 the deadline for submission of Fafsa, CSS Profile, and parent’s income tax returns. Why not well after admission decisions have been published like April 15 or May 15? What’s the rush?

  40. Ishita says:

    Hi! I have a question about the teacher recommendations…one of my teachers wanted the recommendation form ASAP, so we went on the My MIT thing and printed out a form. I didn’t see any indication that it was for last year’s application or anything. The forms don’t show up anymore though, so I’m thinking they were indeed for last year. Do I need to print out another one for her when the new forms come out on the 19th? :(

  41. nikhil says:

    So does this mean International applicants can apply EA as well?

  42. Lahori says:

    @mazhar : you have to give toefl and a competitive score is above 100 in the internet based test . BTW toefl is required as a visa requirement .

    @Emmad : MIT is a need blind university so it isn’t biased towards international students however it does limit its intake to 150 only when it comes to international applicants .

  43. JV says:

    Ready to give it a shot! Let’s see what’s going to happen on pi day 2012!

  44. Amber says:

    I want to get into MIT, but I have a feeling that being home schooled for my high school years may be a problem. Is there anything you can recommend for me to do to get into the college of my dreams?

  45. mazhar says:

    Thanx a lot. but i was a bit confused as mit says that we don’t have to give sat reasoning test if i give toefl.

  46. m_quinn says:


    The key factor to MIT admission is going to be your parent’s wealth/income. Merit doesn’t seem to matter. Where you live also appears to be critical as 4 US states got the MIT snub this year.

    How are you with a yo-yo?

  47. xlr8 says:

    How are you with a yo-yo?

  48. nikhil says:

    @m_quinn: but i ve seen one of my friends of ’15 get 100% scholarship…frm Tanzania!!!

  49. Lahori says:

    @mazhar : I think its a misconception . The site says unequivocally that u have to give reasoning and 2 subject tests to get admitted . And u better work hard on both of them

  50. mazhar says:

    Thanx. R u applying as well?

  51. kevin says:

    Hey Matt,
    Just wondering, will international students be considered for financial aid based on needs as well? and, can my business studies teacher write my letter of recommendation evaluation B (HASS teacher)?

  52. ~Micah~ says:

    m_quinn, if only rich people were allowed to go to MIT, then I wouldn’t even have considered MIT in the first place.

    Now that that’s out of the way, I actually applied to MIT via the Questbridge scholarship (if anyone is willing to look at that), and got in through there. I don’t know if MIT is partnered with Questbridge this year (never mind, I checked and they are), but it was a great opportunity for me, and I got to know my decision by December 1st as well, which is a plus (awesome Christmas present, by the way!). So, if money is a problem, you guys should take a look at that (though MIT takes care of you financially either way. I just know that this was a great chance for me). The application is actually opened right now, but that’s because the application is due early (I had to submit mine by September 30).

    Overall, check it out. you don’t know whether you’ll be provided this opportunity and get in (I certainly wasn’t expecting it!).

    And, of course, good luck to the class of 2016!! Best wishes, and hopefully this won’t be a (very) stressful process. ^^ It’s your moment to shine and show who you are!

  53. Lahori says:

    yeah ….lets see how this turns out

  54. Abdrhman says:

    I was wondering If you accept student from Gaza strip – palestine ?

    and do you accept students getting 587 at toefl or should i do better ?

    please answer as fast as you can …
    thank you

  55. willy says:


    Look, you messed up: you were born poor. MIT is the place where Nobel laureates hang out, they’re not going to accept a bunch of festering bumpkins that need financial aid – that would be stupid! Sure they let a few slip by, but that’s just a ruse to fool the suckers. Know your place!


  56. tiM says:

    There are two entities in my head :(
    The first is more pragmatic, bracing for impact. What if we don’t get in? Ah well, neither did 91% of the other kids. What makes us so special? We didn’t run around going to science fairs and interning in laboratories and competing in math competitions all the time..
    The second is more stubborn, in a “We deserve this, who are they to judge?” kind of way. I have found things I love in this strange little world. I have developed my self in a way I am satisfied with. And now I prepare to satisfy others. It’s silly and terrifying, but at least I’ll get the chance to talk to a human in the interview.
    I’m just scared that if I destroy all feelings of doubt and throw myself over the cliff into the abyss of “I’M SO COOL PLEASE LET ME IN”, I will lose touch with reality. And if I keep myself in check, retaining feelings of doubt, not completely committing to absolute confidence, I won’t have what it takes.
    Anymeow, good luck everybody. And stop feeding the troll.

  57. Abdrhman says:

    look ….. I’m not going to insult you with such immoral words … because the wise head make close mouth …. but I will prove to you and every one having as your …… mind that I will be admitted at mit if I want that and you need to search for a third class college ….

  58. Nikhil says:

    What a way to go mates…. great comments..!!!

    But in the End it all comes back to You and no one else is the Person who should face the reality when the time comes that the decisions are made. There is no need to be dejected coz life offers bad moments…as they say “Flush it and Move on”….

    Also are there some who cry over yesterday like u are gonna die coz of it, but its one of the The Great Moments of out life…So Enjoy the outcome…Whichever it is!!!

    But Still there are some who just don’t know when to give up even if it
    means applying fr freshman when u are a Senior citizen (oldies)….

  59. xyndy says:

    HI……I’m a malaysian, 18 yrs old…studying first year diploma in manufacturing engineering.I would like to know whether m i qualify to apply for either freshmen or transfer application??

  60. mazhar says:

    Good luck with your application Lahori

  61. Emaad says:

    Even after writing The SAT reasoning Test and SAT Subject Tests , Will I Have to write the TOEFL just to Obtain A Visa?????

  62. pratham says:

    i have the same question…! and can we give sat 2 in january 2012???

  63. Rodrigo Contreras says:

    Hi I wanto to apply to MIT when I finish High School on July 2012 when do I need to start the process, when do I need to write my SAT’s, and If I have a title of Electrotechnics Technologist do I apply for undergrad?

  64. nawaz says:

    Hi I have sent numerous emails to rest my password and send me via email, however i have not received any response whatsoever. I am left with no choice perhaps writing a post here. I hope at least some help i would get here..

  65. Abdrhman says:

    I don’t think you are gonna find any thing here ……

  66. Matt McGann '00 says:

    @mazhar: You need not take the TOEFL (you could take the SAT or ACT instead, your choice). We do have a minimum TOEFL score, which is 90 on the iBT; we would prefer 100 or greater.

    @Ishita: You will need to get the new recommendation form when the application opens.

    @nikhil: Sorry, no.

    @Amber: We admit many great homeschooled students. See for some advice.

    @kevin: Yes, all students are considered for our need-based financial aid. A business studies teacher wouldn’t be my first choice for eval b, but if you don’t have any better options that would be fine.

    @Abdrhman: Yes, we do accept students from the Palestinian Territories, and have a number as current students. And yes, 587 TOEFL (PBT) is above our minimum of 577, though we prefer scores over 600.

    @xyndy: If you are enrolled in a Bachelors Degree program, you are only eligible for transfer admission and not freshman admission.

    @Emaad: Not that I am aware of.

    @pratham: Yes, we will accept January tests for RA.

    @Rodrigo: You should apply by January 1 to enter next September. You should do the standardized tests as soon as possible.

    @nawaz: Check your email.

  67. ease says:

    ok then, my chance improves if i get 100 or above on the IBT.

  68. Rodrigo says:

    @Matt McGann ’00 thank you very much, haa but I have another question, If I’m an international do I need to write the reasoning SAT test besides TOEFL and SAT subjects? thank you very much I’ll be applying soon =)

  69. Nawaz says:


    Thank you. Some more assistance required so I have sent an email.


  70. Nawaz says:

    I reside in Mumbai, It is a small city with successful industrialists and rich people(excluding me and many others). It is also the financial capital of India.
    Well I would like to know what is a mid-year report? and what is a secondary school certificate?


  71. ease says:

    Hi. i am very anxious about my IBT TOEFL score which is 91, the reading score is 28, though. But my SAT subject score is 2370.
    In order to gain 100% guarantee to accept to M.I.T do i have to take the toefl again? is it eligible to get financial aid? thnx

  72. Matt McGann '00 says:

    @Rodrigo: No.

    @ease: First – there is no 100% guarantee of MIT admission. Second – everyone is eligible for financial aid, which is not determined by scores or anything other than your family’s financial need. Finally – you need not take the TOEFL again, but you may if you want.

  73. Nawaz says:

    Congratulations to everyone who would be applying for freshman application(2012) because the application is open a minute ago. Wish you all the best.


  74. Sherm says:

    Hope I can get in !
    International student with not so outstanding grades.

  75. Nawaz says:

    @ Sherm
    Hey don’t just hope, knowledge+hope is the best combination.

    I am an International student too. Until now I had fair knowledge of physics, chemistry & biology although I have good knowledge of mathematics. But l started studying them all three months ago to better myself and I believe that I would master it all before January and prove myself in the SAT subject tests.

    @Sherm I know you would make it and I wish you all the best

    I am only worried about the the Evaluations, Secondary school report & Mid-year report because I am studying privately so I’ve got no teachers/professors and college to attend . I just study on my own and at the end of the academic year I have to appear for final examinations(board-exam) along with other students who are fortunate enough to study the common way where they have to attend college. I have clue what I need to do about my issue.


  76. Nawaz says:

    ******I have no clue what I need to do about my issue.******

  77. m_quinn says:


    Wouldn’t it be a good time for you to inform these prospective applicants of just how badly they are going to be treated? I mean less cruel than have them get their hopes up thinking they will be treated fairly in the MIT admissions process? Why not publish the list of US states that got the MIT snub this year? I’ve asked before, but is there any chance you’ll publish SES information? Why not Matt?

  78. ease says:

    One more question again pls. In my country, both IBT and PBT are available. Do i must take only IBT ? or can i take PBT. which one do you prefer?

  79. Mazhar Ahmed says:

    I have the same question as ease

  80. kevin says:

    Hey Matt, I’ve got a question:
    I will be moving in the first few months of 2012, but I’m not so sure when, specifically, I will be moving. But I am completely certain that will be moving due to family reasons. So when filling out the freshman application (part 1), what should I attach as my permanent address, my current address or my future address?

  81. Sohaib says:

    Best of luck to all applicants.
    I’ve got a little problem. I want to re-apply to MIT for this admissions cycle. I had an account set up for my last application.
    Do I re-apply on the same username (I couldn’t find an option for re-applying). Or should I make another account? The problem is that when I try to make another account, I get an error message saying that the email address is already in use.
    What should I do?
    Thanks in advance

  82. Rafael Vargas says:

    Nice to read these things! I live in Brazil, going to apply for universities this year.. I have a question but have no idea where to get the answer, can the TOEFL required for the application be “substituted” by other exams? I got the CAE Cambridge certification and found nowhere if its sufficient or if I’ll have to get another kind.. Anyone? If further information could be send, it was really going to be pretty helpful.
    Thanks in advance.

  83. Ceci says:

    Hi Matt,
    How many additional reccommendations could we send in total? Thanks!

  84. Nicholas says:

    Hi Matt,
    I started applying for 2011 entry but I was unable to finish the application process. I wish to apply for 2012 entry. Am I supposed to start over from scratch by creating a MyMIT account again or can I use the same account from 2011? When I try registering anew, I’m getting a notification that says that the email address is already in use by another user. And when I try to change the year of entry in the previous application, I am unable to. What should I do?

  85. lakshya v datta says:

    do i have to fill the freshman application form any differently if i have already passed out of school or do i give the mid year report as it was at that time,etc.?
    lakshya v datta