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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

MIT Admissions Statistics 2007 by Matt McGann '00

Numbers, numbers, numbers.

Probably the most popular questions asked at any information session are statistical. What is the average SAT score? How many students were admitted Early Action?

Luckily, I can refer most folks to our website, where we offer a plethora of numbers for any statistical junkie. Recently, we updated the admissions statistics page for this year’s application cycle; we’ll update the freshman class profile page closer to Registration Day.

Here’s a quick summary of what you’ll find…

Freshman Applications 12,445
Freshman Admits 1,553

Early action
Applicants 3,493
Admitted 390
Deferred to regular action 2,638
Deferred applicants admitted during regular action 289

Regular action
Applicants 8,952
Total considered during regular action (including deferred students) 11,590
Admitted (including deferred students) 1,163
Waitlisted 499

International students
Applied 2,745
Admitted 119

Middle 50% score range of admitted students:
SAT Reasoning Test – Critical Reading [670, 770]
SAT Reasoning Test – Math [720, 800]
SAT Reasoning Test – Writing [670, 760]
ACT Composite [31, 34]
SAT Subject Test – Math [730, 800]
SAT Subject Test – Science [700, 800]

74 responses to “MIT Admissions Statistics 2007”

  1. Sh1fty says:

    4,33% internationals admitted. i like the odds smile

  2. Anon says:

    What about the geographic distribution of students in the U.S.?

  3. madmatt says:

    Anon — we’ll include the geographic distribution in the freshman class profile.

  4. Snively says:

    Ah numbers, I love them. I know I can’t be the only person who stares at sheets of numbers and looks for patterns.

  5. Roy says:

    How many valedictorians and salutatorians were rejected this year? How about those with 800/800 SAT’s?

  6. Paul '11 says:

    Yay numbers. Thanks Matt, I’ve been waiting for this. I guess I’m kind of nosy… :D

  7. Wings '11 says:

    Will you do the most common names again?

  8. Vytautas says:

    MIT really needs to increase international admit rate. At least increase it to students from Lithuania.

  9. Paul '11 says:

    Omorx – I understand your confusion. Don’t worry, the sum of the percents you are quoting is not supposed to be 100! The percents given are actually “admit rates” – for example, 2811 applicants had Critical Reading SATs in the 750-800 range. Of those 2811, MIT admitted 604 of them, giving an “admit rate” 21%.

    @ Anonymous: There were a handful of students admitted with SAT’s around 600/600. As has been stated several times on this site, there are no “cutoff” scores. Usually the passion, commitment, and grades you mention translate into strong SAT scores. But this is not always the case – and I think I can safely say Ben, Matt, and everyone else in Admissions are intelligent enough to recognize applicants who genuinely match MIT but whose scores fall below the average.

  10. Chelsea says:

    Sigh. You guys make me feel so incompetent.
    No lie.

  11. Sh1fty says:

    in your dreams, brain5ide :D Matt, do you know when will this be updated?

  12. Anonymous, 1 says:

    While I believe there is merit in SAT scores and finding a standard curve of measure, I have to say that for schools of the highest caliber like MIT, they are merely there for competence. Those middle 50% scores are certainly very high, but I think that people are really misreading them. I remember Ben saying to write down that “numbers will never kill you” at my information session. Everyone should listen to him instead of merely interpreting numbers the way they see fit. MIT gets to pick from the absolute best students in the nation — and they do so wisely.

    While the school is obviously very fond of numbers (in general, not necessarily admissions), I really believe that they choose students who fulfill the mission of the school — the students who show their excellence and devotion to math and science inside and outside of the classroom with more passion than any of those around them.

  13. rita says: seems like people scored VERY high in…SAT verbal! How about SAT2s..are they not as important as the SAT1 ?? I mean..I am from Hong Kong local school and therefore my verbal part is about average, does that kind of hinder my application even if I did both 800s in Chemistry and Maths2C ?

  14. Anonymous, 2 says:

    So think about those students and the numbers you see above. Stop thinking “I need 5 * 800 on my SAT’s and SAT II’s,” and realize that the reason those numbers are so high is probably that those students attack everything they encounter (be it a Standardized test, real world research, or activity) with everything they’ve got. Those numbers are merely the results of students with passion.

    Here’s a statistics number I (sort of) made up. I bet you that the students with the passion for innovating the future of science are 6.02 * 10^23 times more likely to get perfect scores than those who don’t. Those are MIT students. I find it more plausible that the students who fulfill MIT’s mission and have devoted their outside time to math and science just happen to be the students with those amazingly high scores. I doubt that students who write their own proofs and number theories struggle with the area of a circle inscribed inside of a square (the “classic” SAT Math question).

    Now, I was not one of those students lucky enough to be admitted. They made the right decision – I wasn’t ready. I may or may not be today, either. But I’m awestruck and inspired. I mean goodness, there are some amazing students my age. So I take it in stride, and aim to be so devoted to the future of technology, math, and science such that high numbers are merely a byproduct of my efforts.

    Don’t take those numbers too seriously, for the intelligence and potentially of those students, yourself, and I, for anyone — is not quantitative.

  15. No more ‘furthest country of accepted student’? I don’t think many people can beat my 30+ hour flight to Boston grin

  16. Paul '11 says:

    I would have said this earlier, but I was rushing to dinner at the time.

    Anyway, Roy. First off, you’re being snide on MIT’s own website – in other words, you’re being a troll. No one likes trolls.

    Second…not to put too fine a point on it, but if you think that being valedictorian and getting a perfect score on a standardized test are the only credentials necessary for getting into MIT, you are seriously deluded.

    As the very wise poster above me stated, yes, the middle 50% scores are very high – but I assure you that they are similarly high for any school of MIT’s caliber and reputation. It’s a simple fact that the students who thrive at MIT tend to be the sort of people who do very well on standardized tests. It’s equally true, however, that not all the people who do well on standardized tests would fit in at MIT. Scores certainly are important – but they alone will never get you into a school like MIT. By the same token, they will never automatically cause anyone to be rejected from MIT, either.

    In a sentence: What gets students into MIT is their passion, their brilliance, their commitment to learning – not their numbers.

    Sometimes, I know, the numbers don’t look very fair.

    But sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

  17. Hank R. says:

    I have a confession guys.

    I got a 630 on my SAT Math, a 640 on my SAT Subject Test Math lv. 1, a 590 on my SAT Subject Test Math Lv. 2, and a 29 on my ACT Math.

    Wait, why am I going to MIT again?

    Damn, I should’ve gone to Princeton.

  18. Snively says:

    lol, Hank. Seriously, the more and more I learn about you the more and more I laugh. You were on Jeopardy, that’s why you’re going to MIT. For the rest of your life, if anybody asks you anything about anything, just say that you were on Jeopardy and they’ll shut up. Even the collegeboard.

  19. Roy says:

    I truly was not trying to be snide or ” a troll.” I appreciate your answer, which confirmed my impression of MIT; it’s not just about the numbers. Thanks.

  20. intl'11 says:

    @Chelsea: I had similar feelings last year. Now look at my nick below. smile

  21. Zaira '11 says:

    Some of my scores were not even in the middle 50% and some others barely made it to the range, but I still got admitted. I am pretty sure that this did not affect my application at all. There were other positive to balance it off. Don’t stress too much about scores. Do you best and practice, but don’t think the world will end if one score is not the the middle range.

  22. Anon 3 says:

    The international student applicants do change the statistics. (2006 was virtually the same as 2007) If you back out the high number of international applicants from the pool and the low number of international applicants from the admitted, then the admit rate goes up from 12.5% to almost 15%. You also see that whereas maybe a third of the US admitted students choose other universities, the international 119 admittees will accept at a much higher rate.

    It would be interesting to know if the low international admit rate is primarily due to some sort of MIT target to say 10% of the class being international, or is due to more of the international applicants being under qualified as compared to the ideal student applicant. (Loaded terms in there, but I am getting at the idea that international students may lack the knowledge base to self select applications with an appropriate background for admission.)

    Don’t know what the answer is, but clearly there are different dynamics going on with the international applications and averaging them in with the US applicant pool gives a less than clear picture of admission chances.

  23. Hank R. says:

    But Snively, I didn’t tell MIT about Jeopardy!, so they wouldn’t lessen my financial aid. So it’s vital that MIT doesn’t find out I was on Jeopardy!



    But seriously, I got accepted into MIT early action, so I found out I was going to be on Jeopardy on a Tuesday, and that Saturday I found out I was accepted into MIT. Greatest week ever, btw.

    But I guess the same reason I was picked for J! is the same reason I was accepted into MIT?

    I dunno, this is something I think about a good amount.

    lulz, insecurities.

  24. Bektur says:

    Heloo everyone, I’ve a Q(may be off topic):
    I graduated from school in 2004, now I’m going to apply to universities. And I see MIT very attractrive…
    So, does MIT have anyone like me[not so fresh -freshman] admitted in its practice? [I cant find this in statistics.]
    And one more: do I have a chance to be admitted?

  25. Paul '11 says:

    @ Roy: I’m glad to hear that, and I do apologize if I misinterpreted your comments. If you’re a prospective for next year, best of luck to you. (I’m not Matt though. :D)

    @ Anon: MIT does have a “target,” of sorts, for international applicants – approximately 100 admits. This is the only quota that exists in MIT admissions. I pulled this information straight from one of Matt’s entries on international students.

    I would hazard to say that, even if there are some different “dynamics” at play when it comes to international applicants, both domestic admits and international admits are extremely well-qualified. Everyone who gets into MIT has earned it.

    Also, although it might be nice to see the statistics for international admits, keep in mind that there are only 119 such people. Statistically speaking, I don’t think that the middle 50% scores/ranks for such a small sample size would give a very accurate representation of the entire international class.

    @ Everyone: Did you know that 5 out of 4 people have trouble with fractions?

  26. Freiddie says:

    The chances look slim. 4.33% (according to Sh1fty) is really really tiny. Oh well, no harm in trying…

  27. s. says:

    well if i can score 800 in math and 800 ,800,800in subject tests of sat but not enough like that on reading and writing of sat1 about 600 than can i get 100% scholarships for aeronautics in undergraduate programs ?as well i have excellent academics .

  28. Anonymous says:

    Reading the wise opinions of some people, I then ask: What is your opinion on the student who has all that passion, commitment, the close to perfect grades, without the valedictorian title but standing still at the very top, and qualities that might very well fit with those which MIT looks for on students, but in a case where he presents average test scores (these in my consideration being in the 600’s for the SAT II tests and or 23’s on the ACT)? Would the scores in this case still not play “a very important role” on the student’s application? Would the “We not only look for statistics” still apply? what if you have the opposite (all of the above but not perfect statistics)?

  29. Caravan Boy says:

    I live in Caravan to save money for collage. Unfortunately the going is tough since i only got 790 on Math II, and a poor 800 on Physics.


  30. Anon 3 says:

    Paul ’11:

    Thanks a lot for the link to the earlier post on international students from Matt, that pretty much says that it is the quota that accounts for the international student admit rate to be 5%.

    The post regarding int’l students states that pretty much all of the admitted students from that poll won some sort of national or regional (within their country) recognition. I think this should automatically be referred to the numerous posts from overseas asking about admittance chances, which frankly, at less than 5%, are very bleak.

    My own son is a member of the class of 2011.

    Good luck next year.

  31. Densing says:

    The tension is here. I post a joke for public exhilerations!

    At a press conference the Brunettes announce they are going to make a trip to the Moon. The Redheads speak up “That’s been done before, we’re going to go to Mars”. The Blondes speak up “That’s nothing, we’re going to be the first people to go to the Sun”. One of the reporters says “Don’t you idiots know that you’ll burn up?” The Blondes say “NO WE WON’T; WE’RE GOING TO GO AT NIGHT!”

  32. jenn '11 says:

    @paul: i am definitely one of those 4 who have trouble with fractions. man, do i love my calculator! smile

  33. José P. says:

    Sarin—from the Student Financial Services website:

    «At MIT, we make all our undergraduate admission decisions without regard to family financial circumstances. We award all our aid based on financial need, and we meet the full need of each student. This means that applying for aid does not influence your admission decision. If your family needs assistance to pay for an MIT education, we encourage you to apply for financial aid.»

  34. Omorx says:

    Yea, Anonymous 2, I quite agree with you on one angle. Your statement reads:

    “I doubt that students who write their own proofs and number theories struggle with the area of a circle inscribed inside of a square (the “classic” SAT Math question).”

    This is only when such students -(majority of college applicants in the US), have the opportunities of going to a standize school (and most are) that have unmatched learning environment that guarantees success to any of such determined students. You need not doubt that students who write their own proofs and number theories stuggle with that “area of a circle inscribed in a square” you mentioned because a student may very well be unfamiliar with the SAT. I am from Nigeria, Africa, and SAT is really very unfamiliar. So, I need to struggle with that area of a circle (getting into MIT) inscribed in a square (getting into the Ivy league/top ranked US colleges despite the fact that I have written my own proofs and number theories. E.g. The proof that “MIT is really a power of 2”

    I particularly happy that MIT application is contest driven. So, I believe that those international students who schooled in the US and and have a higher SAT score than I, would not have an admission advantage based solely on high score.

    Mr Matt, I would have love to see the statistics concerning transfer applicants. I wonder why they are not available.

    Could someone help explain to me why the sum of the percentages aren’t 100. E.g. The sum of the percentage distibution of the students that did SAT reasoning test for critical reading is 70%. Does it mean 30% never did SAT or they wrote ACT. The figures seem not to correlate because totally only the verbal admits gives 1507 which to me, ought to be lower. The same thing applies to the math. 48%

  35. Laura says:

    And as usual, I am dumber than the average MIT applicant. Yes!

    Twenty whole points below the middle 50 SAT I Math…and I still pass my classes! (It’s a skill.)

  36. Paul '11 says:


    Unfortunately, yes, international admissions are very competitive. But there is only so much any one school can do, even a school as great as MIT. I think it’s great that MIT treats domestic and international students equally for financial aid, which is more than most American schools do. (Speaking of which, my first bill came today. Ouch.)

    Thank you very much for your kind words, and congratulations on your own son’s accomplishments!

  37. Anonymous says:

    why do we have to take SAT 2’s if we already took APs? I just got my AP scores back- 5’s in bio and physics, yet i’m also planning to take, in the future, SAT 2 bio and physics. Superfluous testing? the AP is harder than the SAT

  38. Snively says:

    I’ll second that. Did MIT take writing into consideration this year or are they still just looking at the writing scores to establish some type of “benchmark”?

  39. Snively says:

    and, speaking of writing. . .

    w00t, FEE readings come out today.

  40. carrie '11 says:

    Yes, you have to take the SAT II’s. I think part of it is that there are more possible scores (200-800 in increments of 10) on the SAT II so it gives a better view than a 3, 4, 5. Also, they sort of test different things–the SAT II is more general in my book, it’s kind of a way to compare everyone. I’d recommend you take the SAT II’s right away when school starts back up, though, because it’s easy to forget all the stuff you learned smile

    Also–about testing. I have talked to some of my friends about this, and we all agree that ACT and SAT scores are just like a baseline, and as long as you are at an acceptable place, a 700 vs a 760 is really not important, especially at a school like MIT. There are some schools where if you fit the GPA and test score requirements, you’re basically sure of an in. But perfect scores are not guarantees at MIT, not by a long shot.

  41. oasis '11 says:

    Tung Shen, I have approximately 30 hours too! = =” I had to transit THREE times to get to THE Boston Logan International Airport. Gah.

    Matt, I have a question regarding those stats. I noticed that your office did not publish score distributions for SAT Writing. Did MIT consider SAT Writing in its admissions this year?

    Just wondering because my Writing score is about 30-50 percentile, judging by the likes of the published SAT Writing 25-75 range. Not that it matters much, now =p

  42. mitcalling says:

    then wht does guarantee an admission to mit???
    passion,brilliance….but how does mit get to know such stuff about me??its difficult…especially bcuz international students dnt have so many opportunities as the others esp in countries like india…neways…is admission to sloan also equally competitive for international students???

  43. tokenadult says:

    Great stats page.


    P.S. Doesn’t this blog entry, and doesn’t the stats page, mention the SAT I writing section?

  44. batbaatar says:

    Thanks for post

  45. Thuita Maina says:

    Hi Matt,

    I’m one of the international students who were denied admission. I am in a local university here in Kenya and I would very much like to join MIT as a transfer student. Do I stand a chance of joining the class of 2011?

    Thuita Maina,

    Nairobi Kenya

  46. oasis '11 says:

    Quote from Tokenadult:

    Yes, it does publish the 25%-75% percentile range – but it doesn’t have the Writing breakdown, which led me to speculate about whether the SAT Writing score was used.

  47. Paul '11 says:

    Hey Sid,

    Yes, SATs taken in January may be accepted on a “case-by-case basis.” I would suggest e-mailing or calling the admissions office and explaining your situation, and seeing if they can make an exception for your situation.

  48. Moosa says:

    hello everybody,
    i am an international student, planning to apply for admission to MIT, for the 2008 session after summer. i haven’t browsed the site that much but can anybody here tell me in a summarised words what i need to do? for e.g. SAT 1 and 2.

  49. Snively says:

    @ Moosa

    I’ve got the perfect post for ya:

    That should answer a ton of questions!

  50. Urmi Ashar says:

    What options does MIT offer for non-matriculated students to take courses on campus? This is for non traditional students who need to challenge themselves but are yet not ready to apply as full time students.

  51. adamson says:

    The question is: if I’ve studied for three years at the university, but I do not hold bachelor’s degree – is it possible to apply to mit college? (i mean not as a transfer student, but as a freshman – to begin from the very beginning)

  52. Anonymous says:

    I am an international student. Would it be possible for me to apply for MIT early action?

  53. Anonymous says:

    What is the lowest SAT score that someone can get that can still be andmitted to MIT?

  54. Spencer '11 says:

    What about the Incoming Freshman Class Profile Matt!?!?

  55. intl 11 says:

    To international student: we cannot apply early action, just regular

  56. zin says:

    I graduated from high school in 2004 so I am not a very “fresh” applicant(as someone said in the blog). Does that hurt my chances?

  57. oasis '11 says:

    @ Kathy:

    I don’t exactly know how the admission office works, but MIT’s award is very similar to the “demonstrated need” obtained from the FAFSA app. MIT may also add additional scholarship to the demonstrated need, so the figure is almost always higher than what you obtain from FAFSA.

    Since it’s 100% demonstrated need, and FAFSA calculates the amount your family will be able to pay, I think it should be affordable to almost all families after awarding financial aid. MIT has a very generous aid program (one of the top my list of colleges) and I’m sure they will be happy to help work things out for you if you call the FinAid office.

  58. Omorx says:

    Hi Thuita Maina from Kenya, please send me an e-mail on [email protected], and let’s talk. We really get to talk.



  59. Jessica says:

    I have a question and I hope someone can answer it for me. I messed up horribly my first year of college. In fact, while taking 12 credit hours a semester, I only passed one class which was College English Honors with an A.

    I had a few health problems and couldn’t attend class so I ended up just not going, hence why I passed one class. Now I’m starting a new college in a new city and want to transfer to MIT in 1.5 or 2 years. Like another blogger said about the process, am I going to immediately be disregarded to be a potential candidate? What if my grades are amazing at my new school and I am take challenging classes? I know MIT looks at everything on a case-by-case basis, but it’s worrying me.
    I’m not worried about my SAT scores (I took the old version and my scores were 770 and 750 math). I’m not worried about anything but that first year. Any advice?

  60. Susan '11 says:

    Don’t stress too much, mitcalling – MIT Admissions has a great deal of experience with international applicants and understands that some places simply do not offer the same sorts of opportunities which are available elsewhere. If you do what you can, with what is available to you, then that is enough.

  61. kathy says:

    MIT says they will meet 100% of the financial need of the students. How do they determine the need, and what if I still can’t afford it after the financial aid is awarded?

  62. Snively says:

    Relax a bit guys, the application process is overwhelming as it is, no need to make it worse by worrying about the schools’ standards. Just apply, show them who you are, and hope for the best.

  63. lkjohnsn '10 says:

    Seriously guys, stop worrying about the numbers. Take the tests, do the best you can, and then forget about them for the rest of your applicatio process.

    I can remember the first couple weeks freshman year that all people did was compare scores, and lemme tell ya not all of them were brilliant (mine in particular) but soon everyone forgets what they got because you realise it doesn’t matter! Your technological brilliance or inovative genius or outrageous insanity can’t be quantified by a number and really that’s all that matters.

    Show what makes you You in your applications, and don’t worry about the rest. It’ll just drive you mad [[ though that could make you fit in better when you got here smile ]]

  64. Anand says:

    I am an international student and I got a 2060 on the SAT 1(780 math;670 reading;610 writing).The rest of my application is good(95% in board exams,EC’s, community service,research,etc).Do you think I stand a chance at all? Something was mentioned on the site that a good TOEFL score would substitute an OK SAT score. Is the SAT the only thing that is considered?I am getting pretty nervous so please reply.THANKS!

  65. ddt says:

    looking at all the high standards…i’m never gonna get in… :(

  66. B. says:

    Heloo everyone, I’ve a Q(may be off topic):
    I graduated from school in 2004, now I’m going to apply to universities. And I see MIT very attractrive…
    So, does MIT have anyone like me[not so fresh -freshman] admitted in its practice? [I cant find this in statistics.]
    And one more: do I have a chance to be admitted?

  67. Hi says:

    I have a question. I go to an IB school (There are no AP courses). Thus you can either get the full IB diploma or just an IB certificate. Does MIT care whether you take the IB diploma or not?

  68. Simbar says:

    Hi everyone
    I am thinking of applying to MIT as an international student. I just wanted to know whether the choice of SAT subjects affects the application. For example; if I choose to do chemistry instead of physics, will that affect the courses I can choose to do.

  69. V. says:

    What is the admission statistics for international students?
    Is the average SAT score range of the international students from non-English speaking countries the same as that of native speakers?
    I wonder …

  70. Alexy says:

    The number of aplicants to MIT is too hight and the admitted are too low specially for PERU. I will apply to 2009 for a master. Please increse the ratio Admitted/aplicants. Arriba MIT

  71. Ben '10 says:

    lkjohnsn ’10 on July 17, 2007 12:49 PM

    lkjohnsn above is right. Read that above.

    MIT cares about what you care about. So just show who you are. If you’re looking at MIT, then chances are you are qualified already.

  72. @Ben ’10
    what tells in the app process that i am me? is it the essays i write?

  73. Julien says:

    Can someone give me the example of an international student or more then one with 570 sat math, 500 sat critical reading, and average score for SAT level 2 and got in MIT ? If yes, then MIT isn’t about the numbers. If no, then it’s just a fake image.