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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

MIT goes on the road by Matt McGann '00

Beginning Sunday until the end of October, my Admissions colleagues and I will go forth across this continent to tell you tales of MIT.

Trivia: By population, which US states are most and least represented in the MIT undergraduate student body? And, which foreign country is most represented, and what is the most populous country to have no MIT students?
[answer at the end of the entry]

Beginning Sunday until the end of October, my Admissions colleagues and I will go forth across this continent to tell you tales of MIT.

This year, the first meetings are in California, Michigan, and Massachusetts, followed quickly behind by Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Virginia. For a complete list of sessions, click here.

You might be wondering, what happens at these meetings? What should you expect?

First, the admissions officer and the local Educational Counselors (MIT alumni interviewers, also known as ECs) will greet attendees at the door. Please note that no RSVP is required.

The meeting itself will last no longer than 90 minutes. Each admissions officer’s presentation varies somewhat, but will cover the same information.

We’ll talk about MIT: academics, research, student life, Boston/Cambridge, MIT culture. What makes MIT different from other universities? How might you know whether or not MIT is a good match for you?

We will of course talk about admissions, including the different application components, the deadlines, what makes an applicant “competitive,” how we make decisions on which students to admit. We’ll provide advice and tips wherever we can.

Money and financial aid will be discussed. How do you apply for financial aid? Should you apply for it? What should I expect?

Also, the local ECs will introduce themselves. They’ll talk about what MIT looks for in an interview and give you some advice. This is also a good chance for students to meet their interviewer face-to-face and to set up a time for their interview.

We will always finish with an open Q&A. We’ll take as many questions as we can and do our best to answer every question fully. I’ve found that even students and families who don’t have any questions find it interesting and helpful to hear other people’s questions and the corresponding answer.

RSVPing is not required, but we did send out a letter (and emails are forthcoming) to all students on our database (MyMIT registrants and others) inviting them to the meetings and also inviting them to RSVP. If you received one of these letters or emails, it would be great if you could RSVP so that we can get a sense of attendance, but RSVPing is not required. And if you didn’t receive a letter, now is a great time to sign up for MyMIT!

It’s also worth noting that attending one of these meetings will not give you any sort of “bonus points” on your application. We do not look more favorably on those who attend. However, you may pick up some good application tips by attending, and hopefully also get a better sense of MIT life & culture. But you won’t be at any disadvantage if you can’t come.

For those of you who have attended other college “road shows”: what has been most helpful? What hasn’t been helpful at all? And for those of you planning to attend an MIT Central Meeting this year, what are you looking forward to hearing about?

Trivia answer: The most represented US state in the MIT undergraduate population — by far — is California. The least represented is North Dakota. Of foreign countries, China tops the list. The only one of the 30 most populous nations with no students at MIT is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire and Belgian Congo). [source: MIT Registrar’s Office]

24 responses to “MIT goes on the road”

  1. Ahana says:

    This is pretty cool…I wish MIT’d go international with this too! Btw, first! A breather after innumerable tou xiangs;)

  2. Ahana says:

    This is pretty cool…I wish MIT’d go international with this too! Btw, first! A breather after innumerable tou xiangs;)

  3. Piper says:

    Going to one of these sessions convinced me 1) to get an interview, and 2) that I stood a chance at admissions. I recommend going to a session to any prospective smile.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My child is now a freshman at MIT. Over the past 2-3 years, we attended innumerable presentations for various colleges, locally and on-campus. After awhile, these get tedious and repetitive, especially at the elite-school level. To students and parents, my advice is to carefully peruse the schools’ websites and take virtual tours; better yet, go to the schools for the on-campus versions of the talks. When/if not possible, then the website review will give you all the basic statistical info so your questions will be better-informed and specific to the school(s).

    Matt, I’d advise you to ask for an RSVP, because at that time you can automatically suggest a website review before the meeting. I’d show more campus pictures, briefly talk about famous hacks, and try to have a student (often not possible) and a parent or two show up to answer questions; this was most helpful to us at other schools’ presentations.

  5. Marina says:

    Matt, I can´t say anything about the college meetings since I’m an international student, but I attended your information session at MIT and I can say that the best part was when you were talking about how MIT is different because it is focused on the future, rather than the past like many colleges. You really convinced my parents that it is a good choice and now they are really supporting me, so thanks a lot!!!

    I think that the most important thing is giving the student a feeling of the college, which was really good in the information session, because the tour was given by a student smile

    but you could include pictures of some of the rooms and classes, because I had no idea what they look like.

  6. Ehsan says:


  7. Anon says:

    I’m going this Sunday smile

  8. '12 parent says:

    These meetings are invaluable. While we had thoroughly explored the MIT website and the admissions blogs, there was a lot of information that we learned at this meeting that we didn’t learn online. The MIT meeting was more informative and more inspiring than other selective school meetings we attended. I would say that if you as a student or as a parent are interested in MIT, this is the best way to find out what MIT has to offer if you do not live close enough to make the trip to campus.

    We visited campus after having attended this meeting and we actually learned more from this meeting than we did in the information session on campus and the campus tour. For some reason, our information session on campus was lead by a student and not by an admissions officer. For those of you who live within several hours of a city hosting a meeting, make every effort to attend it. I don’t think you will be disappointed at all. It is worth the drive. It was at this meeting that we fell in love with MIT and everything it has to offer.

  9. Shannon says:

    Information sessions are awesome. If you’re thinking about applying this year, or next, or the one after that, GO.

  10. The MIT information sessions are great. Its quite worth it to attend. There’s lots of information about the school, applications, financial aid, etc.

    You also get a sweet MIT pen!

  11. I think this kind of sessions are really useful, but I just have one question: Why isn´t MIT coming to Mexico this year??

  12. Alex says:

    Well, I already RSVPd. Lol I did it the same day I received the letter. I hope to see MIT people at Sept 29. I want to see if I stand any chance so I’ll ask tons of questions there. WHOOHOO FOR MIT@PUERTORICO!!!!

  13. Yangrui says:

    It’s a pity that last year I visted MIT but missed the info-session. I think it must be very inspiring!

  14. Liz says:

    Mr. McGann! I’m coming to the CT session this coming Monday and I am uber-excited.

  15. Laura says:

    I remember going to the meeting near my hometown. It was my first introduction to MIT, and a few weeks later when I saw the very first MIT Admissions blog post ever (!!! I’m old!!!) I recognized the author as “that guy who talked at the info session.” (Little did I know that he was the legendary Matt McGann…=P) I started reading them more regularly and then well, the rest is history….wow, that was a long way ago in terms of this website!

  16. Mitangi says:

    I totally agree with Ehsan!
    I know the Ivies are coming here (Toronto) for a presentation and I shall be attending that but I desperately want to see MIT presentation too! MIT and Dartmouth are my top choices so I really want to see MIT!

    Can you arrange something for this year PLEASE?

  17. Heidi says:

    Would it be possible if trips were made to Asia as well? (China, India, Singapore, etc.)

  18. Wow! The excitement and MIT fever is rising, I guess. At least, that’s the case with me. I wish there were such sessions outside the US :( It would be a lot more helpful.

  19. Anonymous says:

    hey Matt. i just wanted to know the percentage of African at MIT. is there any Cameroonian there(how many). because i’m a prospective from Cameroon and i don’t know if i have any chances. unfortunally i can’t attend your information-session but can’t we get a summary by email?

  20. Monorina says:

    I have a question.Do I get the evaluation A and B filled by one teacher each.I mean,I wanted a maths and a computer teacher to fill that;because those are the classes I struggled most in and I feel these two teachers will be able to convey to MIT what sort of a person I am.So,can I have it done twice?
    Sorry for the queries,if they seem silly.

  21. I have another application question:do international students not have to fill in a page that’ll be a substitute for the self-reported coursework for US students?

  22. Navdeep says:

    Hey Matt,

    it is an admissions question, i just came back from india about seven months back and my high school transcript isn’t reflecting “what i am” and my true grades because of the international transcript transfer. I don’t know what to do and i am pretty sure that MIT would not take that into account(cause of these grades), can you suggest me something so that i am able fix my transcript?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  23. Anonymous says:

    hey matt; just out of curiosity-why isn’t Hawaii on the list of places to visit? i think there are many students who would like the chance to learn more about MIT and what it has to offer. what do you think?