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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

More quick answers by Matt McGann '00

Finaid questions, etc.

Answers to some more of the common questions…


What’s up with the financial aid deadline?

All financial aid forms should be submitted/postmarked by today: Wednesday, March 1.


What if I don’t meet today’s deadline?

All admitted students who apply for financial aid will receive a financial aid package. The financial aid decision will be mailed as soon as possible after it is complete, hopefully allowing you plenty of time to make a decision before May 1. The bottom line is, get your financial aid materials in as soon as possible, even if it is after the deadline.


What if this year’s tax forms aren’t ready?

Send last year’s forms, and follow up with this year’s forms as soon as possible afterwards.


Has international selection already started?

Not yet.


When will decisions be posted online and sent out in the mail?

When we know and can announce it, we’ll post it here on the blogs.

66 responses to “More quick answers”

  1. MITCandidate says:

    When I check the archive of March05, Int. Selection started on March 06,05. If you guys can start selecting the internationals for the ’10 before March 06, do you think we can expect the day of releasing decisions is March 11 since you guys postmarked the letters on March 11 2005. smile

    Let’s say Hopefully!!!

  2. Eugeniu says:

    I searched Wikipedia for the Pi Day to find there that “Enthusiasts also note that the day happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday. It’s also curious to note that the renowned science and technology university MIT, known as widely for its unconventional, quirky take on math as for its extremely high academic standards and low acceptance rates, often mails out its acceptance letters to be delivered to prospective freshmen on Pi Day.”

    Now, I knew this, but I’d never thought this could be written on Wikipedia. It was fun to find that.

    Anyway, personally I would like decisions to be released on Pi Day.

  3. Mahul says:

    I think the admissions guys are doing a great job. I’d love decisions to be released on Pi day too, but if it takes longer to make the decisions, then so be it – you guys need time to admit the right people.

    Fingers crossed, international selection starts soon, if we go by last years date!

  4. Fadl says:

    Thx Matt for answering our questions! As for me even though pi day might be nice and all I believe that the Admission staff should not feel any pressure towards completing by that date. So Matt just do what you think is right! smile

  5. Amit says:

    Anyday is fine if the admission decision is ‘Accepted’ :D

  6. Amit says:

    Anyday is fine if the admission decision is ‘Accepted’ :D

  7. Hehe right you are Fadl and Amit ;P But thanks again Matt for answering our nagging questions, you know what MIT applicants can be like at this time of year, since you were one before smile

    Good luck to everyone, including admissions officers. Please don’t feel obliged to release them by any date smile


    Abdulaziz (Aziz) Albahar

  8. Dear Mr. McGann

    Thank you _so_ much for answering my questions. I truly appreciate it, and will be sending in my FinAid app. as soon as possible.

    Again, I cannot thank you enough.

    Michael B. Berthelsen

  9. tam says:

    I just want to ask whether I should inform the admission office about the offer I received from a well-known uni in my country. Does the admission want to know about it?

    Thanks a lot.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I wish I would get to know earlier. My Dad is traveling to Harvard for some bussiness thing on the 16th. I will go with him if I am accepted but if not no point in going. I have not visited yet as I live in Seattle and plane tickets are expensive.

  11. Yasmin says:

    Does this mean online decisions are a go? I thought they would be announced on the sixth…

  12. Csaba says:

    Wikipedia has lots of fun facts about MIT, anxious ones should check it out, it just goes to show that most MIT people are fun smile

  13. Jack Florey says:

    Matt, a quick question –

    What are adcoms views on hacks ? If a student displays a visible desire to be part of MIT’s most noble and corageous hacking community would that be detrimental to his/her chances of being accepted ?

    Considering that hacks are an integral and highly admired part of an MIT experience … im guessing you guys like them as well

  14. Dhruv says:

    The wait for decision is really painful !!

    I always keep on thinking that the admission staff would be reading my file now !! Really anxious to know their reaction

    BTW we will all be getting a decision that is best for us !

    Best of luck to all !

    Also a very best of luck to all the Indian students who are appearing for the C.B.S.E BOARD exams this year

    & wishing luck to all other students as well !!!

  15. Alice Wu says:

    Dear Mr. McGann

    I would like to know if I can apply for a major, then decide to double major in another subject. Also, how easy is it to switch between majors? Rumor has it that a student must stay two years in a major in order to switch it.

    Many Thanks

  16. Razib says:

    Thanx Matt……………………..I was worried that international selection might have been already………and many of us gor dismissed (!)…….keeping the fingers crossed guys…………….

  17. Razib says:

    Thanx Matt……………………..I was worried that international selection might have been done already………and many of us got dismissed (!)…….keeping the fingers crossed guys…………….

  18. SpeckJr says:

    If you think pi day acceptance letters was unusual to find on wikipedia, you should check out the formal definition of smoots on there.

  19. edwin says:

    HEY,speckjr, i have never heard of wikipedia[no kidding].what does it say about smoots?kim

  20. Eugeniu says:

    Wikipedia is hilarious!!!! (the smoot thing)

    Well, what can one say… MIT might just be the most fun one’s brain ever had!

  21. Fadl says:

    Hey everyone! Wikipedia really is funny but also amazingly useful! I learned a whole lot about MIT from that web site!!

    As always good luck to everyone and I wish everyone the best of luck!

  22. Nmejias says:

    I’m going to be visiting MIT during my spring break (13-19th) to see what it’s like, regardless of whether I’m admitted or not. Yet I was curious to know if I would be able to find out my admissions status while there (assuming the admission process is finished by then), and save you guys the 1.59 or 39 cents postage–which you could discount off my tuition if I get in. =D

  23. I was wondering, when will we find out of our admissions decision exactly?

  24. Ivan says:

    To all Bulgarians:


  25. Anonymous says:

    As Matt said in his blog entry,

    “When we know and can announce it, we’ll post it here on the blogs.”

  26. Barry Levin says:

    Well, I was just wondering, my parents are separated , and due to unemployment, my father doesn’t pay too many taxes. But he does have one of the forms that was supposed to be sent. He has not yet found and sent this form. My mother, who is the custodial parent, has sent hers in already, before the first. Will this negatively impact my financial aid? Money is a big issue with me.

    Also, I bet you get asked something like this a lot, but on the SAT I, I only got a 560 on the critical writing. The rest of my scores were high, with an 800 in math and three 800’s in SAT IIs as well (although one was taken this January, due to a problem in December). So, how much will the 560 hurt me? (I got a 740 on the reading)

    Also, any suggestions to reduce the stress from the hellish period between admissions and acceptances? It really got bad when I went to MIT the day before the HMMT, and I got a case of I-can’t-get-in fever. I don’t want to convince myself I got in, either, because that would be bad I’m rejected.

  27. Richa says:

    Hey thanx! C.B.S.E examinees do need good luck wishes.All the best to you too! Hey, anyway, how did your exam go? It was quite easy, right?

  28. Alissa says:

    Happy Hinamatsuri. I love wikipedia. *_*

  29. C Minh says:

    It’s destiny.

  30. C Minh says:

    It’s human nature to be sad after each failure, but it make him stronger. I don’t know, but I put a lot of mind in to the application and though I know that I am just slightly reach, being rejected will give a strong blow to me.

  31. Csaba says:

    Barry, I’ll try to answer that in their place if you don’t mind (they ve got tons to do now):

    “Regarding the Writing test itself – MIT is all about data, and there is simply not enough data yet to determine how the test will correlate with future success at MIT (unlike CR and Math). Preliminary data suggests that the test still has some serious flaws. Until we are confident in the test’s ability to evaluate one’s potential/ability/etc., we won’t be using it in our evaluation of applicants.” This is a quote from Ben Jones himself, from his blog, so do not be afraid smile (Ben’s Eighth Semi-Annual Q&A, January)

    And why not be anxious? Because there’s no point smile Of course being rejected would be awful, but being admitted when there are other people who are just as bright as you are is just as awful. (haha). Or being admitted is great, exhilirating etc and being rejected is *almost* as great because there are other people who are happy and you won a fun memory (admissions craze, etc). Seriously, you are afraid only if you choose to be afraid.

  32. Okay I just had to post :D I’ve been going on the blogs for the past few days and for some reason I expect there to be a new thread every day, forgetting that those poor admissions officers are in the middle of the selection process right now!

    Countdown: 10:24 PM Kuwait Standard Time … approximately 1 day and 2 hours left until I sleep and wake up to check MIT Blogs and find out whether decisions will be posted online or not! (Please be online!)

    Seriously, this wait will be the death of me for sure…

    I echo Fadl : Good luck to all RA applicants…and to everyone in general on everything that’s going on in your lives right now…this is it guys (like u needed more stress wink )

    Abdulaziz (Aziz) Albahar

  33. Anonymous says:

    csaba,your equanimity suggests you,re not a fellow applicant.

  34. MITCandidate says:

    ‘It’s human nature to be sad after each failure, but it make him stronger’

    That’s great to hear from another person…

    This sentence is kind of my life philosophy…

    Thanx C Minh!

  35. MITCandidate says:


    In my point of view, if you’re not anxious right now, this means that any decisions will not matter for you. I mean, being admitted or rejected means the same thing to you so that you are not anxious…

    At this time, people are anxious because their lives and horizons of their ideas ‘may’ totally change after the decisions released….

    Every big change makes people anxious… We’re anxious just because we expect to live somthing different after the decision process is completed..

    I guess you get the point !!!

  36. MITCandidate says:

    Hey Ivan,

    You celebrated Bulgarians regarding their national freedom day.

    Did you guys get their freedom by being independent from Ottoman Empire. Actually, Bulgarians were again free to do everything but just not independent in Ottoman times, I guess.

    Is that something like that?

  37. Csaba says:

    I am a fellow applicant who doesn’t like to be anxious. I would like to learn and work at MIT and I would be absolutely delighted to help MIT in reaching their goals. However, I do not think admission belongs to me or I certainly deserve a place there (or I think that, but I cannot KNOW for sure) so I would look at admission as a gift (as something I receive) rather than looking at a rejection as a loss (after all, I do not have a certain place there so what can I lose by being rejected?).

  38. Nina says:

    About the “slavery”: the worst thing, regarding the modern times, is that we are not allowed to call it “slavery” or “yoke”, but “presence”!!!

  39. Montmartre says:

    Just an echo of Aziz’s countdown : French time it’s still around 10hours to go…. good luck to everyone ! Bonne chance !

  40. Fadl says:

    Hey everyone! MITCandidate I disagree about your phrase that if you are not anxious then you do not care about the decision. I will not lie to you I am anxious about my decision but I make sure that I do not obsess about it constantly. It is now too late for you to do anything about the admission decision so all you can do is try to enjoy this time as much as you can! I am sure supermario will back me up on this!

    Good luck to everyone (especially Aziz) and may we see each other soon!:)

  41. supermario says:


    I think what Csaba was trying to say is that admission is not a life or death situation. If you dont get omitted then what ever diety you believe in doesnt come out of the sky and smite you. Other oppotunities present themselves and time goes on as does your life. So Csaba does care about being admitted he just isnt going to loose all his sanity and then kill himself if he doesnt get in like some of the other people.

  42. Ivan says:

    Hey Nina, are you from Bulgaria too???

  43. Nina says:

    To Ivan:

    Yes =) May I ask where exactly are you from? =)

  44. MITCandidate says:

    I guess I couldn’t express myself properly.

    I also think that admission or rejection is not a life or death situation and everybody should be hopeful about his/her future in whatever the condition is so that people can always catch a chance to reach their goals. What I stated in my previous posts was just a true/wrong inference from Csaba’s sentences and since he applied to MIT, he absolutely cares about the decision.

    However, I am talking about a little point which is all true in my life. Some people are fond of taking risks and changing their lifestyles easily. In my opinion, these people are satisfied by the anxiety that occurs because of the big change in their lives. I honestly am.

    Finally, I still think that if you are TOTALLY relaxed about whether you are admitted or not, this reflects that your life will not change much since, in my viewpoint, big changes make people anxious…. This sentence does not also mean that the more anxious you are, the more you care about the decision…. There is just a jump between being totally relaxed or being anxious ‘enough’!

  45. Fadl says:

    MITCandidate I must say now that you rephrase your statement I realize what you were saying and totally agree with the fact that if you are waiting for a life altering decision you would be anxious. If you take me for example when I first sent my application I used to spend hours every day thinking about the admission decision. After a while however I realized that all the fretting was not helping me or my application in any way and I started making a conscious effort in continuing my life as usual. So to sum it up I agree that if you are waiting for a life altering decision you will be anxious just don’t forget to not let it control you!

    Good luck to everyone and don’t forget that even if you do not end up at MIT you would still have gained some new friends!:)

  46. C Minh says:

    Ah my friends. We are all human. We can be sad, we can cry, we can be anxious. Those are all human feelings. Hapiness and sorrow are like twin, if you don’t feel sorrow when you fail then you won’t be able to feel the full hapiness when you won.

    So if you are not admitted, you can cry, you can commit your suiside by jumping down from the bed or hit your head to your pillow, can also punish yourself like cutting all your hair… ( I once did it.If you got admitted you can jump and hug any one that you see. Don’t be ashamed, we are human and we are glad to be human.

  47. Sam says:

    I’d actually rather them mail the decisions on March 16 than on Pi Day; March 16 is Rad 10 Day.

  48. Nina says:

    Do you believe that we’ll stay friends after the desicions? It will be great! =) And… somehow I realized that even if I’m not admitted I know how to go on and to build up my own life. And that made me feel calmer and happier =) Goog luck

  49. Ivan says:

    To Nina:

    I’m still in highschool (12th grade).

    I’ve been to Plovdiv. Very nice city!

    I especialy like the view from the hills (

  50. Ivan says:

    Hi MITCandidate,

    Yes we celebrated our freedom from the Ottoman Empire. As for your next question, I’m not very sure what you mean. If Bulgarians were able to do everything DURING the Ottoman occupation? The answer is “absolutely not”. Actually we don’t call that period (which is about 500 years) “occupation”, but “yoke” (slavery). It was the worst time in the whole Bulgarian history.

    We now don’t hate Turks (they are not guilty for what their ancestors had done) and we are establishing many economical and cultural ties with them. But we will never forget “The Ottoman Yoke” and we’ll always celebrate 3rd March as our National Holiday.

    By the way I must say that our freedom came largely thanks to Russia. If they hadn’t intervened I am not 100% sure that I could have been called a “Bulgarian” today.

  51. Johnson says:


    I must say that this discussion about the anxiety truly is quite stimulating. I would really like to thank you, MITCandidate and Fadl for being so candid and honest on this very stressful time.

    For me personally, I am glad that I am anxious because, as Minh said, it has shown me the depth of my humanity. What with senioritis and all, I was frankly afraid that my slacking attitude towards school was the result of pure apathy. Fortunately, as we draw nearer and nearer to that dreaded date, the growing sense of anticipation truly is quite wonderful.

    I have found this journey to be quite enjoyable and I think that I will honestly be grateful to MIT for it regardless of the decision (LOL… and im afraid that im just saying that to mask some deep reservoir of sorrow!)

    Well… thanks again guys!

    Good luck to all!


  52. Nina says:

    Well, my plans are very uncertain. I’ll try to enter UASG /university of architecture, building and geodesy/. For now when I’m free form work, I go there and listen to different lectures. I also like to spend my time solving maths and physics problems. Just right now I’m going to another lecture ni Sofian University about “general relativity”. Meanwhile I’m working as a translator, drawing a lot and making different things out of paper. But I’m not sure, whether I like more physics or architecture. It’s really difficult choice =) And good luck with the olympiads. =)

    ps: other hobbies like sport or music, or something else?

  53. Nina says:

    To Ivan: Well, have a nice week.=) It’s 6 o’clack in the morning and I’ll have to hurry up to catch the train. What is your school?

  54. Ivan says:

    My school is

  55. Nina says:

    =) And what do you intend to study if you are admitted? And what are you going to do if not? What are your hobbies and etc? =)

  56. Ivan says:

    In both cases (admitted or not) my top aim this

    year is to do my best on the Chemistry and Biology Olympiads. But if I am rejected now I’ll probably apply next year again (as transfer?). Anyways, I’m pretty excited about this year’s IChO in Korea(I really hope to qualify). I will also try to get to the IBO in Argentina, but that would be harder… I don’t really know if it is permitted to go on two International Science Olympiads, but I’ll try smile.

    What about your plans?

  57. Csaba says:

    Well.. I guess it is just a question of everyone’s character.. I just do not like negative feelings like anxiety and I tend to avoid it. Sorry. I would really love to be an MIT student.

    a) I am admitted: not an MIT student->an MIT student! :woooot: Great thing! wow!

    b) I am not admitted: not an MIT student->not an MIT student. the same. no real loss; only my 5% chance of being admitted perhaps. But that is just a number.

    See where I am coming from?

    As for life-plan altering moment: I don’t think so. I do not make plans like “I get admitted to MIT, then I cure cancer and invent the base 3 computer” because neither 3 depends on me. It is a question of match in the first case and a question of inspiration in the latter two.

  58. C Minh says:

    I like what Johnson said. I wonder about the other guy. When failing to archieve something someone would often say that he is still happy because he has learned lots of things.I wonder if they really feel like that. I sometimes say that to my friend for I don’t want them to have the image that I am a weak person. But that is what I am. Talk a little on the essay, any of you choose topic A? I chose to talk about my failure. At first I did want to show how I was so strong in face with my failure, however (I don’t know why this happen) I tended to talk much more on sorrow after my failure. Now I don’t know if I was right to let the other know how weak the human inside me is. Maybe they don’t like that, and I will be rejected by this reason. Anyway, deep inside my mind I have a belief that if you don’t feel sad when failing to do something then you can never put all your heart and mind into it.

  59. Ivan says:

    Well I like many sports; going out with friends… I also like music, but absolutely can’t sing wow raspberry. Anyways,

    GOOD LUCK everybody!

  60. dude says:

    this is cool

  61. Thinzar says:

    What if the financial aid application is not complete after the decision is out? Is it still possible to get financial aid?