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MIT staff blogger Dean Stu Schmill '86

Moving Forward by Stu Schmill '86

I, and the outstanding staff in the admissions office, re-affirm our pledge to uphold the ideals of MIT.

We were all saddened by the news of Marilee Jones’ resignation. In reacting, we must recognize and learn from two elements that may seem to be at odds with one another: Marilee’s contributions over the years and her mistakes. And we must move forward.

Marilee’s influence was widely felt. The message of “being” vs. “doing,” quality over quantity, and injecting sanity into the way parents and students approach college admissions, came at an important time for our culture, and is one that resonated deeply with many. At the same time, what Marilee did was wrong. While we don’t expect our applicants to be perfect, we do require them to be truthful. And we must hold ourselves to that standard.

I want to reassure everyone – especially those in the MIT community (and that includes you, members of the class of 2011) – that our admissions process is, and always has been, extremely rigorous and fair. Before any applicant is accepted, that person’s application passes through five stages of review and is evaluated by multiple selection teams comprised of admissions officers, faculty, and members of the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid. This meritocratic and committee-based process is as rigorous and thorough as you will find anywhere. It has been basically the same for more than fifty years, stretching over the tenures of half a dozen deans and directors. And while we are always striving for improvement, we are very proud of this process and, most importantly, of its demonstrated results.

The admissions office has a profound responsibility. We love what we do, connecting world-class students who have a passion to change the world with the world-class faculty and resources that can successfully prepare them to do that. The students who enter MIT bring with them the talent, the hope, and the courage that energizes this campus. It is this energy that inspires all of us to reach higher, and to go further.

I remember the first time I felt this energy, arriving on campus as a freshman, 25 years ago. The special MIT culture lifted me up during my years as an undergraduate. After four years in Course 2, and twenty years in various roles in the athletic department, alumni association, and admissions office, I retain a profound appreciation for this culture, which encourages students to be incredibly engaged and think that nothing is impossible.

The real mission of the admissions office is to enroll not only the best students in the world, but also those who are best matched to MIT’s culture: students who will take full advantage of the opportunities here, and who will add to the diversity and vibrancy of the living and learning community.

There is a deep trust placed in us by the MIT community, and indeed, by the world. I, and the outstanding staff in the admissions office, re-affirm our pledge to uphold the ideals of MIT and to demand of ourselves the same high standards of excellence, fairness, and rigor in our admissions process as MIT holds throughout the institution.

We are committed to learn from the past, as we create the future.

100 responses to “Moving Forward”

  1. Ishan says:

    I have a compaint to make about the interview conducted by [name removed] who took my interview in December 2006. I had asked MIT admissions via mai what were the exact things required for preparation for the interview. I was told that the chat would be about my passions, hopes and what I wanted to do. Instead, I was scolded by him for not showing my essay to him and getting it written by a professional essay writer and for writing and sending it by myself. Also, I was asked to prepare a synopsis about the exact project I wanted to work on (along with the technicalities) at MIT. A questionaire type session was held which focussed entirely on the various projects in fields I wasnt interested in (like nanotechnology) even though I had told him I was solely interested in Electronics. I want to ask that if the interview was more about technical aspects of undergraduate studies rather than about myself and the field I was interested in, why didnt I get a reply from MIT even when I asked them.And if the MIT interview is not to be held this way, I urge you to look into the matter.

  2. Ben says:

    Hi Ishan,

    I needed to remove the name of the EC from your comment to respect his privacy, but we’ll definitely look into this. Sorry to hear about your experience.

    Ben

  3. Basant'11 says:

    I’m sooooooo happy to see the blogs back online! Keep up the good work!

  4. Parent says:

    I’m glad to see the admissions staff moving forward in a positive way.

  5. HappyPoet says:

    Dear Mr. Schmill,

    I’m sorry this has happened, but I will hold confidence that MIT will come out of this situation stronger than before.

    I do have serious and sincere questions and am hoping you can give clarity to some confusion:

    If Marilee’s messages about “less stress” and “quality vs quantity” are to be believed, why did Marilee tell a large audience at CPW ’06 that she was having her daughter apply to 11 (eleven) colleges, which must have been very stressful?

    Now my daughter, who heard Marilee that day and is considering applying to MIT in two years, believes she has to apply to 11 (eleven) colleges, too. What would you have me tell my daughter?

    Thank you and best wishes,

    Mom, Class ’10

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mom,

    Perhaps she just wanted her daughter to have a wide variety of colleges to choose from and apply to, or maybe her daughter WANTED to do that. You should tell your daughter to do whatever she thinks is right when it’s time for her to apply – be that 11 colleges or 1. She needs to be her own person.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mom,

    My high school counselors always instructed me to apply to as many schools as I desired, but understanding the difference between the 3 different types of schools. 1. You have your “dream” schools. These are schools that no matter how excellent of a student you might be, there is never a 100% guarantee that you will be excepted. MIT falls into this category with all Ivy League schools as well. 2. You have your “likely” schools. Basically, you’ve done everything necessary to be accepted, but it’s still not a “sure thing.” Lastly, 3. You have your “safety school.” Anyone applying to college should have at least 1 of these. Your safety school is the one you are absolutely guaranteed an acceptance letter from.

    Ultimately, I don’t think it matters just how many schools you (or your student) is applying to. It’s more important that they have a clear understanding of what category their schools of choice fit into, so that they are not caught off guard if they are denied from their all of their schools and have no where to go.

    I think it’s very important for student to strive for the best, but also be realistic and have those safety schools just in case the others don’t pan out.

  8. jasmine says:

    marliee jones is still my hero!

  9. Snively says:

    Apply to as many colleges as you feel comfortable applying to. I doubt Marilee would say “No, you are not going to apply to 11 colleges because it’ll stress you out” if her daughter was willing to do the work. If a prospective freshman feels like 11 would be stressful, just don’t fill out 11. Different people have different stress thresholds.

    THAT BEING SAID. . .

    Yay! I’m so glad the blogs are back, and I’m also glad that people aren’t being nasty about this whole situation. This was a well written article, very thought out and well-put. Are we thinking that the other bloggers welcomed the break, or are they chomping at the bit to blog again???

  10. HappyPoet says:

    Thank you for your responses.

    Hopefully, by the time she applies (and matures), I’ll have gotten over my “sticker shock” about the number eleven and will be able to help our family through whatever stress will come our way.

    Best wishes and good luck to everyone.

    Bye, Mom Class ’10

  11. JamesM says:

    I’m very glad they appointed you as the Interim Director of Admissions. From your words, I can tell that you’ll uphold the job admirably, and do justice to the MIT Admissions process.

    -James Montgomery

  12. anonymous says:

    I am happy to see that the blogs have returned, and life is moving forward. And I am also glad that you have been appointed the Interim Director, Mr. Schmill. Who better than an MIT graduate to understand which students will thrive at MIT? I wish you and the admissions staff all the best as you begin anew.

  13. HappyPoet/Mom: I will add one thing to the excellent advice already given here: as the Parent Unit paying for the application process, you are perfectly within your rights to set a limit on the number of schools your daughter applies to. Won’t hurt her a bit; she can only go to one school, anyway. Just let her know what your limits are.

    Besides the fact that the applications are themselves pricey ($50-75 each this year), take into consideration the costs of: test-taking; sending scores beyond the 4 “free” ones allowed; AP test fees, and fees for sending those scores too; any travel to visit schools; financial aid processing fees (IDOC and CSS). Most of these have a “fee waiver” process, if you qualify, and are willing to reveal the soft white underbelly of your finances. But these things often take us old baby boomers (many of whom were able to work our way through college–forget that now!) by surprise. You’ve been down this road already, though!

    If your daughter is focused and sure about what she wants, this won’t even be an issue. If she’s questioning, she might appreciate limits to help her focus.

  14. A parent says:

    Granted, the action of the dean does fly in the face of honesty and integrity that are core values for any institution of learning, let us also acknowledge the fact that it doesn’t necessarily take a degreed individual to be totally successful in the job she was doing. She clearly demonstrated a passion for doing what she was tasked to do and she served the best interest of MIT by admitting the very best students into MIT year after year. The proof lies in the brightest of young minds that have passed through the extremely challenging educational system at MIT in the past years and made giant contributions to society. To that extend, we all must be thankful to the dean.

    Overall, the way MIT dealt with the situation was commendable. There is just no other way it could have been handled. The integrity and name of the institution has to be kept above board no matter what – that is exactlty what MIT did.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hello there,

    I am a sophmore iin high school, and i was just wondering. What would you suggest would be the best way to get into MIT? Its one of the most competitive schools in the United States, and i would love to be in that enviroment. However, i go to a private high school which gives more work than my friends get. Its often hard to handle the workload that we receive and i am possitive that MIT is my first choice. The reason im am positng this here is because this article got me worried about the admissions proccess. How will i ever get in to a college that everyone wants to go to as well as stay succesfull?

  16. Becca says:

    Despite what she may have done 28-odd years ago, she reformed the system in a very positive way, and I think will never be forgotten for that. Making college admissions less stressful is something that every college should be striving to do, and I think Marileen Jones was the forerunner in that.

    Moving on from that topic though, I would like to ask a question to admissions.

    I am currently studying abroad my junior year of high school. My question is how this may affect admission. I am receiving credit from my American school for some of the classes I am taking, but the grades do not count, as I did not start learning the language (Czech) until I got to the country, and was not able to participate in the classes. Now, even when I participate when I can, the grades I recieve are not good because I do not understand everything, and have missed a good chunk of the material. So basically, I will not have junior year grades, but rather an unusual experience during which I have learned about many things other than those you learn about in school.

    I would just like to know admissions thought on a situation like this.

  17. duff says:

    This is a question thousands of applicants are asking but nobody can answer. Take a Look at this guy:

    http://www.collegeconfidential.com/ivy_league/ivy_league_cs3.htm

    Perfect test scores, honors, great extracurricular activities including volunteer work. But as you can see under “Ivy League Admissions – Outcomes & Conclusion” he got rejected from MIT. The whole application process is sometimes really a mystery.

  18. I’m glag to see the blogs are coming back. I really think it is the best way to reassure us that everything is (or will be) alright.

  19. Stephan '11 says:

    I am also glad that the staff is looking towards a positive movement

  20. Anna '11 says:

    Becca,

    You are in the EXACT same situation I was in my junior year. I was a Rotary exchange student in Argentina my junior year. I didn’t learn Spanish until I got there, and therefore did not receive grades at all. I was really worried about getting into college, but I’m going to MIT next year so I’m proof that it can be done! My advice to you would be to take full advantage of your experience abroad and start worrying about college applications when you get home. Try to take the most advanced courses you can during your senior year, even if that means catching up on your own time. In my case, the exchange didn’t hurt my chances of getting in to MIT at all. In fact, having such an unusual high school experience probably helped my chances. Enjoy the rest of your time abroad and good luck next year!

  21. heat says:

    It is really sad that this has taken place, and it is even more sad that people on college confidential see that if marlee could get away with somthing like what she did, that when applying maybe thay should be decitful to get what they want….. what is the world coming to!!!!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hello,

    I would like to know if that will affect the Transfer Admissions process in any way (will decisions still be mailed on May 15?)

  23. lulu says:

    you know, ’86 was the year I was born :o

    -lulu

  24. Kevin R. '11 says:

    Amen to that Snively! Go MIT Class of 2011!

  25. It’s a bit of a struggle, reconciling Ms. Jones’ very real accomplishments with her very wrong actions, and I can only imagine what the people who knew her best – who worked with her every day for years – must be going through.

    Congratulations to you, Matt, Ben, the admissions office and the entire school community for handling a difficult situation with honesty, grace and professionalism.

    But then, I wouldn’t expect anything else from MIT.

  26. I’m glad to see that everything has continued well, no matter what may have happened. It really says a lot about the school and its staff. Though I won’t go into everything about how I feel here, I would like to say one thing to duff. Thousands of people apply to MIT every year. A good number of them probably do have perfect scores, but MIT’s admissions has been very clear about that in their website, and on their application. Perfect scores doesn’t mean perfect students. They want people who want to make a difference (one of the reasons for the interview). They want students who have character, a will to make a difference, and good scores to boot. I shouldn’t talk because I don’t know the student who wrote that on college confidential, but I think we should have more confidence in the selections that MIT has made and continues to make.

  27. A Parent says:

    It is a joke that in the last 10 years, MIT admission office had been headed by a woman who did not even have a college degree. She was not qualifed to do her job. She is a liar. She set very bad examples to the high school students in US.

    This woman even took advantage of her title at MIT Admission Office to co-author a book about admission and advertised it on the web site at MIT. It is unthical for this woman to do that. Many parents bough her book because of her title. Now we found out that we were being cheated by this liar. I don’t know why MIT would allow this woman to advertise her book on the MIT web site.

  28. Parent says:

    Response to Duff’s post:
    Marcel, the student profiled on CollegeConfidential, is an international student. International students face far more competition for positions in U.S. schools than do U.S. citizens. I think MIT admits only 100 or so international students to undergrad study. We don’t know anything about other applicants from the same country as Marcel, but they could have been just as strong. The main thing I’d ask is this: So what if he didn’t get into MIT? He was accepted to Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, and several other great schools. There are no guarantees of acceptance to an elite school like MIT, no matter how good one’s profile. MIT, like many other schools, assembles a class of students with diverse interests and backgrounds. Marcel will have a wonderful education at one of his other choices, and he can apply to MIT for graduate school later, if he chooses.

  29. Snively says:

    I agree with De Petagma Saru, and I’ll repeat what’s been said 8 gazillion times: It’s all about the match.

    The MIT admissions process is completely transparent, it’s amazing. There is nothing they won’t tell you about how they decide who gets in. They have an introductory screener, they have a review by a member of the admissions staff, they have committee meetings, and then the final decision is made by the dean. They look for people that are smart, dedicated, want to make a difference, and have a personality. If they feel as though you’ll get along well at MIT, then you “match”. Seriously, if you have any doubt or questions about how the admissions at MIT work, just ask Ben Jones or Matt McGann, they’ll answer your questions in a really straightforward way, there’s no hiding anything.

  30. Mike A. '11 says:

    @ Duff: You know, I read this article before, and I can’t help but wonder if Marcel actually exists. Call me paranoid, but I have always posessed the suspicion that that student profile, and his rejections, were fictitious, and created in order to inflate the sense of terror and inadequacy inspired in students applying to elite universities in order to help sell more “application coaching” services and materials. I still remember the heart attack I suffered on hearing that a student such as that was rejected from MIT, figuring I must not have a ghost of a chance, and the surprise inspired when I was accepted. *note* I am neither making accustations nor attempting to slander any organization involved with that article. I am simply stating the path of a thought I had on the matter.

  31. Emily says:

    @A Parent: Although Marilee’s initial choice to falsify her credentials was certainly a bad example, nothing I have read implies she was unqualified. Indeed, we might do well to consider whether college degrees are really as necessary to success as society would have us believe. Of course you want a college education for your child, as I want one for myself–nor do I mean to suggest that college degrees are superfluous. Yet dismissing all a person’s accomplishments simply because he or she did not graduate seems unreasonably prejudiced. Is this how we judge human worth?

    The wisdom Marilee contributed to her book was her own. If you bought the book, I presume you chose to do so based on her reputation as an innovative and insightful admissions director, not because of her purported colleges–weren’t you paying for the content rather than the cover?

  32. Melissa '11 says:

    I agree with many others on here. Marilee Jones did an admirable job. She did something wrong years ago – that does not define her now, nor does it make her contributions to MIT worthless. One can be insightful, intelligent, and ADEQUATE without having lived a perfect life.

    That said, I’m glad that MIT is moving forward. MIT handled this in the best way possible.

    Note: Read The Tech. She DOES have a college degree, just not at those institutions.

  33. Ashesh says:

    I just came to know about what happened with Marilee Jones some moments ago, and it made my heart go out for her.
    It’s sad to see someone make mistakes in the past, but then its even worse to see that they’re not forgiven in future. She may have made that mistake when she was young, and less mature, but that never changes what she actually was – a gem of a person. Her only mistake was that she had failed to admit her mistake, not out of the desire to lie, but only because she knew that it would cost her something that she deeply loved.
    Marilee Jones was indeed a person for whom, MIT’s wellbeing was everything, and having lost her, I am sure that MIT is going to miss her. All of us students and applicants will miss her. Its never easy to let go of a person as genuine as her.

    I know it may sound easy, but I still wish that Marilee was forgiven for her mistake. All of us make mistakes in our youth; its only a part of growing up. Add to that the fact that she didn’t reveal her details because she was in love with MIT, no less. MIT has lost a lot.

    I had applied to MIT for Fall – 2007 and got rejected. It does not matter at all, because of all people at MIT, I believe that Marilee would’ve wanted me to get admitted. And now, I’m glad that I didn’t make it, because it certainly would’ve been hard to see all this happening.

    I still have the letter of denial. Denial it may be, but it is going to stay with me for a long time to come.

    God Bless,

    Ashesh, India.

  34. Oasis '11 says:

    I am so impressed at MIT by the honesty and the candidness that it had exhibited over the issue of Marilee Jone’s resignation. Although Marilee’s actions are regrettable, MIT did not sweep the issue under the rug or delay the information to the general public as long as possible.

    Your admission department is amazing. Keep the great work up!

    -Chris, ’11 (oasis)

  35. Tom says:

    Duff – The annual pool of applicants for freshman admission to MIT includes a great many more amazingly well-qualified applicants than MIT can accept. The challenge for MIT is to decide among the many most strongly qualified applicants. Each year many applicants who no doubt would have thrived at MIT are not accepted. What makes MIT admissions so “competitive” is that being a strongly qualified applicant puts you in the running, but is not a guarantee of admission.

    This means we all know amazing applicants who didn’t get into MIT (and other amazing applicants who didn’t get into Stanford or Harvard, of course). Because their records are so strong, though, these applicants typically do get admitted to great schools – witness that the sample applicant got into several great schools. For example, the sample applicant was admitted to the University of Michigan (not even one of his top choices among the schools that admitted him), and Michigan is the university from which MIT’s most recent past president, Chuck Vest, holds his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

    Also the point that the sample applicant was an international applicant is key, as has been pointed out. MIT does limit the number of international applicants admitted, so that pool is even more competitive than the main pool.

    The fact is that no student, no matter how amazing, would be well-advised to apply to MIT, or any other “dream” school, and nowhere else. Someone else wrote way above about applying to dream schools, likely schools and safety schools. Whether the total number of schools to which a student applies is eleven or some much smaller number, what matters is for an applicant to pick schools he really is interested in attending, and at least one of which will surely admit him. Where along the desirability/likelihood curve the rest of the schools fit, and to how many an applicant decides to apply, involves many quite individual and personal choices.

  36. Please read the news:

    Marilee Jones falsely bolstered her credentials to get a job with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and over the course of her career claimed to have earned degrees from three schools. MIT officials say now they have no evidence she ever graduated from college at all.

    The school announced Thursday that Jones had resigned after acknowledging she had misrepresented her education when she started working at the university 28 years ago, and declined to correct multiple incorrect claims since then.

    A senior MIT official said that by claiming degrees she had never earned, Jones could no longer lead an admissions office that occasionally rescinds the acceptance letters sent to applicants who are untruthful about their own accomplishments.

    Jones was asked to resign because her actions go “against her being a model for integrity that an admissions director sets,” Clay said. “It represents a very, very long deception, when there were opportunities to correct the record. This is not a mistake or an accident or an oversight.”

    _________________________________________________

    Details:

    MIT dean resigns over misrepresented credentials
    POSTED: 12:15 p.m. EDT, April 27, 2007
    AP) — To stressed-out parents and students, MIT admissions dean Marilee Jones was a rare voice of reason in the high-pressure world of college admissions. With colleges demanding kids who play sports, run student government and take the heaviest course load they can, Jones shouted back the opposite: daydream, stay healthy, and don’t worry so much about building a resume just to impress an elite college.

    Yet it turns out that Jones was susceptible to pressure herself. She falsely bolstered her credentials to get a job with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and over the course of her career claimed to have earned degrees from three schools. MIT officials say now they have no evidence she ever graduated from college at all.

    The school announced Thursday that Jones had resigned after acknowledging she had misrepresented her education when she started working at the university 28 years ago, and declined to correct multiple incorrect claims since then.

    A senior MIT official said that by claiming degrees she had never earned, Jones could no longer lead an admissions office that occasionally rescinds the acceptance letters sent to applicants who are untruthful about their own accomplishments.

    “We have to uphold the integrity of the institution, because that’s what we’ve been trying to sell and she’s our chief spokesperson on that,” MIT Chancellor Phil Clay said. It’s “regrettable, ironic, sad, but that’s where we are.”

    Jones had become one of the most public voices urging parents, students and especially colleges themselves to “lower the flame” surrounding college admissions. She made the cause her own after growing alarmed at the increase in stress-related health problems among young people and has become a much-in-demand speaker at admissions events.

    Last year, she co-authored a book: “Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond.”

    “We’re raising a generation of kids trained to please adults,” Jones told The Associated Press in an extensive interview last year. “Every day kids should have time when they’re doing something where they’re not being judged. That’s the big difference with this generation. They’re being judged and graded and analyzed and assessed at every turn. It’s too much pressure for them.”

    On Thursday, MIT released a short statement from Jones in which she said she was “deeply sorry for this and for disappointing so many in the MIT community and beyond who supported me, believed in me, and who have given me extraordinary opportunities.”

    Clay said MIT was alerted to questions about Jones’ credentials in a phone call, from someone he declined to identify, to another dean. An inquiry determined Jones had at various points claimed degrees from Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Albany Medical College, all in New York, but in fact had no degrees from any of those institutions. Clay said MIT was not aware of Jones having any undergraduate or graduate degree.

    Jones was confronted on Monday, acknowledged the misrepresentations and accepted a request to resign, Clay said.

    Jason Gorss, a spokesman for RPI, said Jones attended that university as a part-time, non-matriculating student in 1974 and 1975 but did not receive a degree. Officials at the other two schools said she had never been a student there.

    A number of people in the college admissions field said they were saddened by the news and hoped Jones would find another venue for continuing her cause.

    “She’s been such a high impact and good influence on all of these admissions conversations,” said Bruce Poch, dean of admissions at Pomona College in California, who knows Jones well. “This hurts.”

    Clay said MIT now checks credentials of new hires but did not generally do so when Jones first applied to work there. The first job she applied for, as an administrative assistant, did not require a college degree, but Clay said Jones claimed to have one. He said she did not correct that claim during her appointment process as dean in 1997.

    Jones was asked to resign because her actions go “against her being a model for integrity that an admissions director sets,” Clay said. “It represents a very, very long deception, when there were opportunities to correct the record. This is not a mistake or an accident or an oversight.”

    Lloyd Thacker, the founder of the Education Conservancy, a group also trying to tone down the admissions process, said Jones “has had a very positive impact on the lives of many students and families and has brought inspiration to the professions.” Her resignation “in no way discredits the value of her work,” he said.

  37. Please read the news:

    Marilee Jones falsely bolstered her credentials to get a job with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and over the course of her career claimed to have earned degrees from three schools. MIT officials say now they have no evidence she ever graduated from college at all.

    The school announced Thursday that Jones had resigned after acknowledging she had misrepresented her education when she started working at the university 28 years ago, and declined to correct multiple incorrect claims since then.

    A senior MIT official said that by claiming degrees she had never earned, Jones could no longer lead an admissions office that occasionally rescinds the acceptance letters sent to applicants who are untruthful about their own accomplishments.

    Jones was asked to resign because her actions go “against her being a model for integrity that an admissions director sets,” Clay said. “It represents a very, very long deception, when there were opportunities to correct the record. This is not a mistake or an accident or an oversight.”

    _________________________________________________

    Details:

    MIT dean resigns over misrepresented credentials
    POSTED: 12:15 p.m. EDT, April 27, 2007
    AP) — To stressed-out parents and students, MIT admissions dean Marilee Jones was a rare voice of reason in the high-pressure world of college admissions. With colleges demanding kids who play sports, run student government and take the heaviest course load they can, Jones shouted back the opposite: daydream, stay healthy, and don’t worry so much about building a resume just to impress an elite college.

    Yet it turns out that Jones was susceptible to pressure herself. She falsely bolstered her credentials to get a job with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and over the course of her career claimed to have earned degrees from three schools. MIT officials say now they have no evidence she ever graduated from college at all.

    The school announced Thursday that Jones had resigned after acknowledging she had misrepresented her education when she started working at the university 28 years ago, and declined to correct multiple incorrect claims since then.

    A senior MIT official said that by claiming degrees she had never earned, Jones could no longer lead an admissions office that occasionally rescinds the acceptance letters sent to applicants who are untruthful about their own accomplishments.

    “We have to uphold the integrity of the institution, because that’s what we’ve been trying to sell and she’s our chief spokesperson on that,” MIT Chancellor Phil Clay said. It’s “regrettable, ironic, sad, but that’s where we are.”

    Jones had become one of the most public voices urging parents, students and especially colleges themselves to “lower the flame” surrounding college admissions. She made the cause her own after growing alarmed at the increase in stress-related health problems among young people and has become a much-in-demand speaker at admissions events.

    Last year, she co-authored a book: “Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond.”

    “We’re raising a generation of kids trained to please adults,” Jones told The Associated Press in an extensive interview last year. “Every day kids should have time when they’re doing something where they’re not being judged. That’s the big difference with this generation. They’re being judged and graded and analyzed and assessed at every turn. It’s too much pressure for them.”

    On Thursday, MIT released a short statement from Jones in which she said she was “deeply sorry for this and for disappointing so many in the MIT community and beyond who supported me, believed in me, and who have given me extraordinary opportunities.”

    Clay said MIT was alerted to questions about Jones’ credentials in a phone call, from someone he declined to identify, to another dean. An inquiry determined Jones had at various points claimed degrees from Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Albany Medical College, all in New York, but in fact had no degrees from any of those institutions. Clay said MIT was not aware of Jones having any undergraduate or graduate degree.

    Jones was confronted on Monday, acknowledged the misrepresentations and accepted a request to resign, Clay said.

    Jason Gorss, a spokesman for RPI, said Jones attended that university as a part-time, non-matriculating student in 1974 and 1975 but did not receive a degree. Officials at the other two schools said she had never been a student there.

    A number of people in the college admissions field said they were saddened by the news and hoped Jones would find another venue for continuing her cause.

    “She’s been such a high impact and good influence on all of these admissions conversations,” said Bruce Poch, dean of admissions at Pomona College in California, who knows Jones well. “This hurts.”

    Clay said MIT now checks credentials of new hires but did not generally do so when Jones first applied to work there. The first job she applied for, as an administrative assistant, did not require a college degree, but Clay said Jones claimed to have one. He said she did not correct that claim during her appointment process as dean in 1997.

    Jones was asked to resign because her actions go “against her being a model for integrity that an admissions director sets,” Clay said. “It represents a very, very long deception, when there were opportunities to correct the record. This is not a mistake or an accident or an oversight.”

    Lloyd Thacker, the founder of the Education Conservancy, a group also trying to tone down the admissions process, said Jones “has had a very positive impact on the lives of many students and families and has brought inspiration to the professions.” Her resignation “in no way discredits the value of her work,” he said.

  38. HIGHER EDUCATION
    MIT admissions dean resigns amid scandal

    After admitting to falsifying her academic credentials, MIT Dean of Admissions Marilee Jones resigned yesterday.

    “I misrepresented my academic degrees when I first applied to MIT 28 years ago and did not have the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since,” she said in a statement posted on MIT’s website.

    Throughout her time at MIT, Jones was believed to have received degrees from Albany Medical College, Union College and Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), when in fact none of the three institutions had conferred a degree on her, MIT Chancellor Phillip Clay explained in a statement.

    An RPI official confirmed that Jones had been a part-time student at the Troy, N.Y., school during the 1974-75 academic year, though she did not officially matriculate. Albany Medical College and Union College had no records in her name.

    Jones started work in the MIT admissions office in an entry-level position that did not require a college degree, Clay said. By the time she was under consideration for the position of dean of admissions, Jones had already become a central figure in the office, holding the positions of assistant dean and associate dean. Thus, MIT did not make any effort to check her credentials at that time.

    About a week and a half ago, however, MIT received information that threw Jones’ credentials into question. Several days of investigation were enough for the institution to ask for her resignation Monday.

  39. A Joke says:

    I found this on MIT web site last Saturday.
    It is a joke that Marilee Jones claimed herself to be a scientist …

    ____________________________________________

    Marilee Jones is Dean of Admissions at MIT. A scientist by training, she joined the MIT Admissions Office in 1979 to lead the recruitment efforts for women.

    Source: http://www.mitadmissions.org/Marilee.shtml ·

  40. Dear news guys and jokers, I’m pretty sure that we’ve all read the news by now, and have been reading this stuff for the past week that we have known about this. How about respecting the feelings of the MIT staff, current students, and prospective students by just dropping it and letting them move forward like they are trying to do. We know what’s happened and is happening, and it has taken bravery for MIT to be so open about all of this. Allow them at least a bit of peace as they are trying to move along. They’re proving themselves strong in a time of trial, can you say that you could do that?

  41. Opinion says:

    Yes. I agree:

    “It represents a very, very long deception, when there were opportunities to correct the record. This is not a mistake or an accident or an oversight.”

    Throughout her time at MIT, Jones was believed to have received degrees from Albany Medical College, Union College and Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), when in fact none of the three institutions had conferred a degree on her, MIT Chancellor Phillip Clay explained in a statement.

    An RPI official confirmed that Jones had been a part-time student at the Troy, N.Y., school during the 1974-75 academic year, though she did not officially matriculate. Albany Medical College and Union College had no records in her name.

  42. A Joke says:

    We are in America! We have the freedom to express our opinion.

    We are upset at Marilee Jones, not MIT’s admission office or students. As a matter of fact, MIT is the victim of Jones’ deception.

  43. Kari says:

    MIT is the opposite of a victim of Marilee Jones.
    What she did for the admissions department, for MIT, and for college admissions in general, is amazing. I have nothing but respect for the way she ran the department and the way that she put herself in such a prominent and controversial position despite the fact that she knew that she was in a very delicate place.
    As someone said earlier, she may not have had the credentials she said she had, but she was certainly well-qualified. I hope that we can all continue her admirable work in making college admissions human again.

  44. Cheers to that Kari. A person with Marilee Jones’ ideas doesn’t get such a title simply because of three degrees. They get it through hard work and true innovative ideas, like creating a somewhat less stressful atmosphere for college application. Few colleges take the time to care if you’re human or not, and as long as you have the right numbers, you can come in.

  45. A joke says:

    Marliee Jones claimed herself to have 3 degrees and a scientist. She is a liar! That is why she was forced to resign from her position. That is the fact. Please don’t argue!

    How would you like your child’s application to MIT be reviewed by a liar? That is why so many parents in US are so upset!

    I don’t want to ruin my weekend discussing about this extremely unpleasant topics. Case closed!
    Bye! Bye! PS. I will not go to MIT web site anymore.

  46. Daniel '12 says:

    Haha, I was born in ’86 too. =)

    I agree with the MIT community; although the actions which took place 28 years ago have forced the Institute into its current situation, Marilee Jones did nothing but good for the admissions community, the MIT community, and the rest of the world during her stay.

    We are all indebted to her, like it or not, and none of us is perfect either. Let it go.

  47. Paul '11 says:

    That’s rather harsh. No one here is denying that Marilee Jones did indeed lie about her credentials for 28 years, and most of us – myself including – are extremely saddened she chose to perpetuate that awful misrepresentation.

    Even so, I cannot agree with the way you simply write Marilee off as “a liar.” Not only is your remark extremely demeaning, it completely disregards the high standards and commitments of the rest of the Admissions Committee. Whatever else you believe about Marilee, she – as Kari so rightly pointed out – did a world of good for MIT, and college admissions in general. Whatever else she did, whatever lies she told, no one can take that from her; and I wish they’d stop trying.

    *deep breath*

    With that out of the way, let me just say hooray for the blogs being back! Can’t wait to get my Orientation package. smile

  48. i know this is out of place but am i supposed to be notified that i have officially been enrolled?
    P.S.
    No one says Marilee did the right thing by “telling a lie”. I just wonder what prompted the person who decided to check out her credentials after so many years only when she was promoting her book. Hasn’t she been dean for 10yrs?
    To the guys on College confidential; calling her a liar won’t get you to MIT!
    And i totally agree with Emily, are people buying her book because of what it says or because she is the one who wrote it?
    Please let’s all be encouraging and supportive of MIT so the blogs can continue. They were not put up to be site for embarrassing MIT, Marilee and especially her family. All of us make mistakes; hers is simply made worse because of her position.
    Thanks

  49. I seriously respect the transprency and honesty MIT admit staff have with there applicants and the people associated with them. MIT could have easily buried the news and have made it look a normal retirement, but no, thats what makes MIT different and thats what makes it the number 1. Hats Off!

    This whole thing actually made me more eager to get associated with MIT in any form possible. Really a place to be..

    -Arihant.

  50. intern says:

    in my country this won’t even count as a serious crime. i really didn’t think it was going to be an issue of such tremendous proportions. hasn’t she resigned? do you guys want blood?
    anyway, goes to show that we have a long way to go before we start making an issue over somebody’s credentials when her decisions are actually improving the community.

  51. LC says:

    I have a couple of questions for the MIT Undergrad Admissions Office. Is Mr. Schmill taking the pace of Mrs. Jones? Also, will admission policies and standards change next year because of this? I understand that Mrs. Jones took a holistic view of each applicant and didn’t simply focus on SAT scores and numbers. I’m possibly applying to MIT next year, but I’m afraid that her resignation will change how MIT admits students.

  52. Jon says:

    Wow, you guys are beating a dead horse right now. She was obviously qualified, look at the last 10 classes selected as admits to MIT (including my class, at least I hope haha), I don’t think anyone can say she didn’t do her job correctly in any way, shape or form, so please stop beating the topic, this post is about moving on – why don’t people actually post with respect to the topic instead of continuing on with personal grudges. Seriously, have more class.

    And thanks Mr. Schmill, I’ll speak for the ’11s and thank you for a well-written post and for the well wishes for next year.

    And if you want a joke, here’s one – So, there are a bunch of functions hanging out at all of the prime locations in the city, and many of them decide to take a ride on the Number Line, the mode of transportation about the cartesian plane. Suddenly, a crazed, disjointed graph runs in, exclaiming “ILL DIFFERENTIATE YOU, I’LL INTEGRATE YOU!” Seemingly all the functions cower in their respective quadrants, guarding their local extrema. However, one function begged to differ. The disjoint graph again screamed, “ILL DIFFERENTIATE YOU, I’LL INTEGRATE YOU!” Confusedly, after no sight of concavity, he asked “You aren’t afraid of me? I’ll reduce you to zero!” The function stood up and declared “I am not afraid. I am e^x.”

    :-D

  53. LC says:

    *place (not pace, sorry)

  54. Vytautas says:

    Ok, so Marilee resigned. But now she has some wonderful recommendations as being a great person and having achieved a lot in admissions process at MIT. So why not invite her to come back to MIT with her real documents and CV? Or everything is not that simple?

  55. Vytautas says:

    Oh, and I my suggestion really happens I would like to get a compensation for suggesting it. Let’s say, admit my application to MIT smile

  56. @Jon

    I @Jon

    I <3 math jokes like that. e^x is so crazy.

  57. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know what Marilee Jones once did for MIT. whether it was good or bad, i literally don’t care, and i don’t care for MIT either (not anymore).

    but what really makes me wonder is
    after “28 years” what’s the point of this:
    “I have resigned as MIT’s Dean of Admissions because very regrettably….etc”
    i mean you’ve already done what you’ve done.
    that’s too late!!
    o plz what are you trying to fix!!!!

    Marilee Jones, excuse me, you are so corrupt.

    Do NOT overrate MIT (i’m not saying this because of the news about Marilee Jones) i’m simply telling an advice for all of you who are gonna apply to MIT the next year and the next years. There are lots of good and perfect schools to consider.

  58. Anonymous says:

    btw there is NOTHING wrong with applying to 11 colleges. don’t talk about it like it’s a punishment when it’s just reflective of a diverse and ambitious person trying to make sure that wherever she goes, she’s happy.

    smile

  59. Tina '11 says:

    Jon, you are my hero. I love math jokes the size of Texas.

    Along that same line…e^x was at a party one Saturday night, and was having a bit of trouble mingling with the rest of the crowd, so he decided to just sit in the corner and look on. Noticing his morosity, x^2 came along and tried to encourage him. “Why don’t you try to integrate yourself into the party? I’m sure we can find a nice function that you’re compatible with,” said x^2. His despair deepening, e^x replied with frustration, “I have, but it just doesn’t make any difference!”

    raspberry

    That is a joke, not Marilee Jones. I’m incredibly disappointed in the way some people are publicly demeaning her and trying to treat all of her accomplishments as though they are insignificant. As has already been stated, she has done a world of good for the college admissions process, and something she did 28 years ago should not completely negate the obvious fact that she has positively influenced the world.

    I personally feel indebted to Marilee Jones for my acceptance; MIT was not a college I would have even considered until I got a letter in the mail one day with the statement “You’re Ready” on the front. I don’t remember exactly what compelled me to open it (as any high school junior who took the SATs knows, you’ll end up with boxes and boxes and boxes of college mail that you’ll never even give a second thought to), but I did, and I will never regret that decision. From that day on, MIT became the number one school on my list, no, the ONLY school on my list (I didn’t want to go anywhere else, and don’t think I would have been happy anywhere else, so if you’re applying to college next year, HAVE MORE SENSE THAN ME), and I attribute that obsession to Marilee Jones’ effort to recruit women and to make the college admissions process less intimidating and more personable. I really felt as though I was not just some piece of paper being considered for admission; I was a human being, and the admissions department really cared about me as a person, and where I was to end up for the next four years.

    So maybe I’m biased, and I’m sure people could probably make the case that I wouldn’t feel as I do if I hadn’t been accepted, but honestly, what other college admissions office will send you a Valentine’s Day card? Very few, I imagine. And what other deans of admissions would get up in front of their newly admitted class and sing the Rolling Stones at Battle of the Bands? Even fewer. Probably none. That’s why Marliee Jones was one of a kind. She cared. And she was not afraid to do whatever she possibly could to show it.

    As jasmine said, Marilee Jones is still my hero! I wish her the best, and I hope people can find it in themselves to let her change the world again.

    “You can’t always get what you want,
    But if you try sometimes,
    You just might find,
    You get what you need…”

    Here’s for saying that I hope she finds the chance she needs. An amazing person like her deserves it.

  60. Anonymous says:

    “transparency and openness” – Message From Ben And Matt
    uha, yea openness!
    you didn’t accept Marilee’s resignation quietly.. ’cause u simply can’t, we would have known. it’s not easy to hide the reasons.
    plz stop claiming transparency and openness.
    well, could you tell me why you rejected me while you accepted another less competitive applicant you transparent folks???!!
    c’mon i believe your decision was so UNfair.

    I was about to ruin my life because of MIT and i got rejected. this is so sick
    transparent!!? cool

  61. Vova says:

    I would just like to point out that Marcel DePaul, the person in the above-mentioned article is actually a US citizen. Read the end of the page carefully.

    Personally, I think that all this talk about admitting the highest-achieving students is completely insincere. Let’s just look at the international admissions process. We can safely assume that out of all the international olympiad qualifiers, there are at least 100 that apply to MIT (there were at least 400 participants only in the IMO). These persons have all achieved more than anyone of us. Their accomplishements are due precisely to the qualities that MIT values: creativity, curiosity, patience, dedication, etc, and they certainly outweigh volunteer work, sports, or any of the acitvities that the vast majority of admitted applicants list. If the principle of admitting only the highest achieving students is true, then admitted international applicants would all be olympiad participants (or winners of similar awards), which is certainly not the case.

    Therefore, the admissions process evaluates applicants using some other criteria, which most likely is completely subjective. It has to do with some vague interest the officers have in an applicant and on an estimation of a person’s character that simply cannot be objectively done based on 3-4 pages of unverified material. This makes the admissions process very much random. Maybe there are some reasons behind this approach, but in any case we should not be told that the admitted applicants are the “best” or those who have used opportunities to the fullest (how do you measure “fullest”? how do you know a persons true potential?) or those who truly achieve the most.

    Anyway, these are just my two cents.

  62. Utkarsh says:

    Whooooaaaa!!!! I never thought my blog would attract such attention.Watever.

    @ Basant : – Hey hey hey, I am not harboring any nasty misconceptions about MIT just because I wasn’t selected. Can’t ever think of it. I can’t say what you think of me right now, but the arguments I wrote were solely public in nature, I mean this is all about which people say about at my school, at other schools I know and everywhere I have been in Delhi and Mumbai. Iam not saying that I was an awesome applicant, maybe I was an average one, maybe the worst but awesome is what people and my EC believed, I never took it as an issue and wouldn’t ever. I know the no. of seats are very less.And I am also a very busy guy too, I too have won many high distinctiopn olympiads and such equivalent competetions, done many things outside class, I took out time to write such a long blog to explain everything to MIT because it concerned me and my fellow country mates.And I didn’t realise that I wrote such a long blog untill I submitted it.

    @ Tung Shen : – I don”t want a satisfying answer, I was just expecting a response and there is no reason to why I haven’t received an answer to my queries. Also, I have never ever developed any misconceptions about MIT.

    All you guys out there, it wasnt my opinion it was what my friends and knowns felt about it.And thats the last word.

    Watever, this is to all of you at MIT -> One day I will walk in that Infinite Corridor.

  63. Utkarsh says:

    Thanks to all and MIT for showing a broader spectrum of life to me, thanks atleast I dreamt of something.Thanks for those who supported me in my quest and in my recent quest to put forth my point. I would love to hear from Oasis , Shen and Basant in the future. Thanks for your support.That’s all I have to say.

  64. José P. says:

    “Marliee Jones claimed herself to have 3 degrees and a scientist. She is a liar! That is why she was forced to resign from her position. That is the fact. Please don’t argue!”

    I find it amusing that you urge people to uphold your right to freedom of speech, and then deny them the chance to express it themselves. To make matters worse, you run away like a feeble-minded little sheep, disgracing yourself and those who cared enough to read your posts.

    My foolish fellow, your pseudonym suits you —yes, that’s exactly what you are: a joke.

    – – – – – – – – – –
    If any other person wishes to taint the name of Mrs. Jones, they should peruse their own thoughts and actions first, so they may see that their wrongdoings were just as bad or worse; the only difference being, of course, that she actually contributed something beneficial to mankind.

    This is a delicate matter, and such blatant insults are not welcomed.
    – – – – – – – – – –

    Vova — The ideology of MIT is not to accept the “best,” but rather those best-suited to be a part of their culture.

  65. utkarsh says:

    I am sick of it. HEEEYYYAAA ALLL PEOPLE especially Shen its all misconception that people arouind me where saying it to cheer me up, many students applied from my school, and from Delhi. But everyone since the begining has been saying the same.

    Forget all this and lets move forward and work hard in our own ways to rock MIT one day.

  66. Vova says:

    All right Jose.

    Now please tell me: how do you define “best-suited” and do how you figure out whether a person is well suited from 3-4 pages of limited information, most of which cannot be verified?

  67. Vova says:

    Although, I must admit that you are completely right that MIT does not claim to accept the highest achieving students, but rather those that “match”. But isn’t there something wrong with this? How does their “match” (the wish to make the world better, collaborative spirit, curiosity, creativity, excitement, etc.) depend on their effort or their perseverance? I’m not saying that there is a fair way of selecting 5% (or 10% or 15%) of applicants from the pool, but I think that the fact that the selection process has an immense part of subjectivity and randomness in it should be acknowledged by everyone, including MIT.

  68. Snively says:

    @Vova

    Visit the school, go to the info sessions, read the blogs, read the website, read The Tech, check out student websites, talk to kids that got in. What you’ll find is a strikingly obvious attitude towards life and philosophy. To test your understanding of what MIT really stands for, ask yourself this basic question: What is the difference between MIT and CalTech? Any Techer or MIT student will be able to tell you the differences in culture and attitude. If, as you say, Olympiads and competitions trump sports and extracurriculars, perhaps CalTech and MIT look like very similar schools because both are academic powerhouses, but a closer look will reveal a striking difference in culture. Not all tech schools are created equal, and CalTech and MIT are proud of their individual identities.

    When you start to truly realize that MIT is not just a tech school and doesn’t admit solely based on academic achievments, you will begin to understand what “best-suited” means, in terms of culture. You simply can’t define “best-suited”, it’s more of a feeling. You’ll know if you’ll fit into MIT and its culture.

    Also, it only takes about 2 lines of an essay to understand a lot about a person, and MIT is asking for about 5 essays, not to mention interviews, reccommendations, transcripts, scores, portfolios, and tons of other material. People argue that there simply isn’t enough room to express one’s true self, but MIT’s application is different. I found it extremely easy to convey who I truly was, not in 3-4 pages but in MIT’s 16 pages of well-crafted inquiries.

    MIT is a unique school filled with thousands of personalities that constantly provide different outlooks and unique perspectives, not simply academic all-stars.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Hey Oasis, if you don’t believe in college degrees, why the heck are you even here then???

    She lied. She got canned.

    Maybe society should fully embrace liars and cheaters?

    Yeah, that’s the way to go — close all colleges, because Oasis thinks having a degree is overrated.

    Hey Oasis, did you lie on your application?

    Makes one wonder… hmmmmm

  70. Kari says:

    Please. No more sarcastic, spiteful posts. They are redundant and hurtful. Please respect the admissions department as they try to move forward.

    Also, if this is kept up they won’t bring the other blogs back.

  71. Oasis '11 says:

    @Anonymous:

    I never said I didn’t believe in college degrees – I merely stated that a degree is not a necessity in order to help others and advance change. Moreover, I never said that we should embrace liars – I am making the point that there is no point ridiculing or rubbing salt into the wound.

    I agree with Kari, this is not the time to make senseless arguments, so I will also stop from commenting further – best wishes to the admission department.

    -Chris ’11 (oasis)

  72. Jon says:

    I love when Anonymous posters say rude things. “Hm I’m going to say this mean thing and then not put my name with it so no one knows who I am” heh heh.

    And I think another joke is in order.

    So there are 4 friends that had been doing particularly well in their calculus class, and the night before their mid-term they decide against their common sense to go partying on the town instead of staying home and studying. Too bad they have too much of a good time and get home about two hours before the exam, oversleeping the exam terribly. So, they all go into the professor and give him the excuse they think up, “Oh, we were at a good friend’s, uh, birthday party, and we got a flat tire and got stuck for a while, so we missed the test.” So, the prof. nods and says “Ah, okay, I see that you’re being sincere, you can take the exam tomorrow morning.” So, the four sigh with relief and arrive at the test the next day right on time. They open to the first page and solve a simple diff eq problem that takes about 10 minutes . Then, the first to finish of the four smiles and opens the test to the next problem, and it says:

    “Problem 2 (95 of 100 points): Which tire went flat?”

    Ok can everyone stop the useless arguing or I’m going to post more jokes, do that on CC, not on blogs, sillies.

  73. Here’s a rather obscure one:

    A CD player comes with instructions on how to play a CD.
    1. Take CD out of case.
    2. Open player, insert CD, close player.
    3. Press ‘play’.
    Question: A CD is already inside the player. how do you play it?

    Normal Person: Press ‘play’.

    Mathematician: Open player, take out CD, close player, put CD back in case. Take CD out of case. Open player, insert CD, close player. Press ‘play’.


    How many people got that?

  74. Snively says:

    Ok, here’s a true to life calculus story:

    So I’m sitting in calculus one day, bored out of my mind, so I get out a container of play-doh to play with. I made integrals and faces and shapes and all sorts of stuff. I’m not sure my teacher cared, she didn’t tell me to stop, and it passed the time. Fast forward two or three days. Bored again, and I had a whiteboard marker, so I decide to color on my desk. I drew all sorts of stuff, but when it came time to erase it there were some streaks left that I couldn’t get rid of. My calculus teacher complained that the janitors had a hard time getting the marker off.

    “But Mrs. Lorenz, it wasn’t my fault! The desk had some kind of sticky stuff on it, I couldn’t see it until the marker was on the desk.”
    “Could the sticky stuff perhaps been, I don’t know, PLAY-DOH!?”
    “Oh”

  75. Kevin '11 says:

    Good one Snively! Btw, I enjoyed your earlier impassioned argument. Well played, sir.

  76. Melissa '11 says:

    I was going to respond to Vova, but Snively’s response said it all.

    As for everyone arguing about Marilee, this is all pointless. I think we should follow MIT’s response – we all need to move on, no matter what our opinions. When it’s said and done, there’s no use complaining. Look forward.

  77. Oasis '11 says:

    (somewhat unrelated)

    Every time I read something like, “Marilee Jones is a liar who shamelessly distorted the truth to make herself at the top of the ladder…blah blah” or “Marilee Jones is a disgrace and deserves to be persecuted by the district attorney…blah blah” or even “Marilee Jones used her position to spite students with high achievement in school because she never had a degree…blah blah” just makes me angry.

    So apparently, this world is filled with self-righteous individuals who are beside themselves when it comes to ridiculing people who mess up, and yet ignore the fact that they probably wouldn’t have done anything different. Put yourself in Marilee’s position – are you honestly going to come out after 28 years of hiding and just say “oops, I screwed up 3 decades ago, please fire me?” Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    During her time at MIT, Marilee helped to oversee many significant changes, including the rise in female admission, the integration of “transparent admissions,” and the process of seeking “the match” – which appears to have been discussed extensively above. She did all of this without a doctorate degree, and if you ask me, I *rather* she didn’t have a degree in doing so.

    The world is so filled with biases on degrees and those small letters that succeed an individual’s name. We get caught up worrying about whether someone is a Ph.D. or a M.D., but ignore the fact that there are many people in the world who succeeded in life and bettered their world without a degree. Take Taiwanese Plastic Corporation Chairman Wong Yong-Ching for example: he never went to middle school (only elementary education) and succeeded in revolutionized the plastic industry and became a millionaire through the process. I honestly believe that Marilee’s lack of degree never hindered her in her tenure in the Admissions Office.

    I fully support MIT’s approach to admissions. I applied to 15 colleges this year and MIT has, by far, the most “warm” and enthusiastic admissions team. For those that claim MIT’s admission process is still not transparent, I beg you to consider Stanford’s. I am still mystified by Stanford – sure, I get colorful brochures from them and enthusiastic letters, but where is the “personal feel” that I find lacking?

    Once again, I applaud MIT’s approach to this issue – it just demonstrates the professionalism and honesty MIT has towards the admission process.

    -Chris ’11 (oasis)

  78. Anonymous says:

    “So apparently, this world is filled with self-righteous individuals who are beside themselves when it comes to ridiculing people who mess up, and yet ignore the fact that they probably wouldn’t have done anything different. Put yourself in Marilee’s position – are you honestly going to come out after 28 years of hiding and just say “oops, I screwed up 3 decades ago, please fire me?” Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    I wouldn’t have lied in the first place.

    While I don’t agree with those who blame their rejection on Marilee Jones & her policies (come on, she wasn’t the only one reading our applications), I think that what she did was wrong. When you are a public figure with a lot of influence, your mistakes don’t stay private. You expect to be judged and even criticized. What she did was wrong, and it is only fair that a person who integrity is questionable be asked to resign. And yes Oasis, people who actually have moral values will criticize her.

  79. Guyomar says:

    ^ Just wanted to say that I posted the last comment and make a correction….*whose integrity

  80. LC says:

    “Put yourself in Marilee’s position – are you honestly going to come out after 28 years of hiding and just say “oops, I screwed up 3 decades ago, please fire me?” Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    LOL, I was thinking the exact same thing, only you said it in a more relatable and funnier way.

    Honestly, I wish Marilee Jones wasn’t forced to resign. If she was still the dean, I’d still think I have a chance next year of being admitted.

  81. Melissa '11 says:

    LC, I’m sure that MIT will continue to follow Marilee Jones’ amazing changes to the admissions program over the years. Don’t give up hope! =)

  82. Anonymous says:

    I simply laugh at the hypocrisy of it all

  83. Utkarsh says:

    Now I get why people here in India say MIT has many unrevieled dark sides. I am not accusing MIT of anything but it made me think that was I a fool applying to MIT and spending so much of my time and effort in a place where everything is not transaparent and right. I DON’t THINK SO BUT EVERY INDIAN STUDENT DOES. When I was working day night, all of my friends were unitedly saying that you are just trying to make metal out of water not because of the competetion or anything like that, but all felt that nothing is impartial @ MIT.

    Belive me when I say this, I have read all the blogs and still read them even after rejection from MIT, and still love MIT and would still one day like to walk in the infinite corridor.And no matter what I will walk in the infinite corridor one day.

    Believe me all the people out here in India say that MIT does not publish it,but they do take good care that they do not admit students with insuficient funds, as was the case with me.

    Believe me sir, everyone was shocked here when I got rejected,even my school’s Principal. And what everyone said was – ” You don’t know what’s going behind the scenes, they don’t want students who can only pay one year’s fee, and moreover who the hell would like to help students of some other country”. I received e-mails from all my firends aksing me to urge MIT to reconsider the whole admission decision once more!!! I knew it’s impossible.

    And believe me there’s a whole lot of talking going on about MIT and there admission decisions.
    I don’t doubt it but HAS MADE ME THINK, are people right??, Am I wrong thinking MIT makes decision without financial matters in mind????.I just couldn’t resist writing to you.

    Also there has been a lot of things going around about the MIt’s EC in India about whom Ishan mentioned in his first post=> I must say all this is wrong, i was too interviewed by him. He is a very genuine person and believe’s in knowing everything about the applicant. I must say I had to completely demostrate my abilities to him and I think this is what should be done at MIT. I am really sorry to say but all what is going out at MIT about him and at collegeconfdential is nothing but crap. He told me each and everything he could about MIT and that’s what is reqd of one interviewer.His interviews were tough, I had to prepare for them but I must say I had to give him a view of all my capabilities and that’s the way MIT can differentiate a unique student whom MIT wants out of the regular class toppers. He is the best guy I have ever met and he has guided me a lot. There’s nothing wrong baout it.

    Please contact me if MIT wants me to further explain on the issue, I’ll be glad to help MIT out of this EC mess in anyway. I have mentioned my e-mail id in the e-mail address part.

  84. Utkarsh says:

    I have asked many mnay questions from MIT relating to transparency but I have never ever got an answer from your side. I sent e-mails to Matt, Ben even The President but I HAVE RECEIVED NO ANSWER AS OF NOW, and it’s pathetic on MIT’s part.

  85. To Mr. Schmill:
    Thank you for a thoughtful and inspiring post. I know how much Marilee meant to everyone in the admissions office, and I’m sure it will be a challenge to get used to her not being there. I wish you blessings in your time as interim director. Hope you’ll keep us updated on how everything is going!

    To those who would blame Marilee for their rejections:
    Have you ever stopped to think that maybe the people who are accepted by MIT are accepted because they have the clearheadedness to see that their potential is so great that it doesn’t require MIT at all?

    Please, take a breath, and see that MIT is merely a blip on the radar when it comes to everything you are capable of. Don’t feel you have to blame your rejection on Marilee. Be glad someone else got the chance to go there, and then go make your own destiny with what you do have!

  86. Paul '11 says:

    It really disgusts me that MIT has established this amazing way to actually communicate with the Admissions Office and “real live students” (end air-quotes), and yet so many people insist on using it as a forum to air their own dirty laundry about MIT.

    Sure, this is the era of Web 2.0, but does that mean we’re just going to throw our respect for privacy out the window? This is MIT’s ground – MIT’s house, as it were. I don’t know what your mothers taught you, but mine taught me that you don’t disrespect your neighbor in your neighbor’s house.

    Please, people. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that there are two camps of people here, and there are impassioned arguments on both sides…but let me just tell you, we can yell at each other all we want, it won’t make any difference. All of us already know all there really is to know about this.

    Maybe all of you who are so anti-Marilee or anti-MIT can’t see it, but there are real people involved in this, and real people bleed. There are people bleeding right now at MIT, good people, who have been literally cut apart by a ruthless media and vindictive individuals.

    For their sake, if nothing else, please…stop.

  87. Seth Wittner says:

    I may be alone in approaching the issue this way, but I feel my take on the Marilee Jones situation makes good sense.

    In her public apology, Ms. Jones said she was “…deeply sorry for this [making false claims on her résumé] and for disappointing so many in the MIT community and beyond” who supported her, believed in her and gave her extraordinary opportunities.

    She never mentioned the people most deserving of an apology. Those would be the other candidates for her position who might have had those same opportunities–if Ms. Jones had not won out over them by means of false claims. Ms. Jones left in the dust hard-working people who didn’t realize how well deception and lies can pay off–or who listened to their conscience. In a self-serving way, Ms. Jones uses an apology to remind us of how many people she helped, as others might have also done, without lying. This kind of off-target apology gives insight into the thinking of the Marilee Joneses of this world; they don’t think about the people whose backs they are stepping on while they reach for success by any means available.

    Of the 30-35 students I went to classes with back in high school, 6 went to MIT. I would hate to think of any of them being denied acceptance there–or a job in the future–due to unethical behavior on the part of candidates practicing the “Jones Method.” This lady needed help from engineering students in sending her apology in the right direction. She was off 180 degrees. The MIT community paid her well and got good work in return. It’s the other candidates who were hurt.

  88. intern says:

    in my country this won’t even count as a serious crime. i really didn’t think it was going to be an issue of such tremendous proportions. hasn’t she resigned? do you guys want blood?
    anyway, goes to show that we have a long way to go before we start making an issue over somebody’s credentials when her decisions are actually improving the community.

  89. Basant'11 says:

    @Utkarsh: I’m a busy guy, so my post will be pretty short… There’s no point harboring nasty misconceptions about MIT just ‘coz you were not selected…

    MIT looks for the perfect match as explained on this website and is genuinely *NEED-BLIND*. And remember, no. of awesome applicants >>>>>>> no. of seats.

    All the best!

    PS – And yeah! I’ve an Indian Passport.

  90. @Utkarsh:

    I don’t pretend to know exactly why MIT rejected you, but rest assured that it wasn’t your financial situation. I know of several people, all internationals, who got into MIT in the past few years despite asking for 100% financial aid.

    You say that you’ve contacted Matt, Ben, etc. and had no reply. The strange thing is you seem to take their silence as an admission of guilt. Seriously, what sort of answer would satisfy you? MIT’s ‘need blind’ status is well-known. I’m sure that Matt, Ben, etc. would be hesitant to reply to an accusatory letter about transparency, and even if they wrote back to fix your misconceptions, would you believe them? Or would you rather trust your friends and principal who were probably trying to cheer you up?

  91. Oasis says:

    @Utkarsh:

    MIT admits 8% of its incoming class as internationals. Probably the applications alone from India would be sufficient to fill that space. I go to school in Taiwan so I know how incredibly competitive it is for internationals to get into MIT. I have friends who are Olympiad winners at an international level and still get rejected from schools the likes of Caltech and MIT. Yet, there are others that get in with 100% aid, even as internationals (there is one from Taiwan this year).

    So don’t be discouraged, it’s by no means a judgment on your financial ability and accomplishments. Good luck on your future endeavours!

    -Chris ’11 (oasis)

  92. Snively says:

    wow Jon, very special

  93. Vova says:

    To Snively:

    Perhaps you could try telling me in a few words what the MIT “spirit” truly is. Does the page about “the match” on this site draw a good image of it? My interviewer literally told me that the notion of “the match” is “bullshit”. And also, I asked earlier why would this be the primary criteria of selection? The only reason I can think of is that MIT thinks these persons would make better scientists, but there are much better criteria for that such as doing independent reasearch and having strong academics. And in my opinion the whole admissions process should be about selecting those who they consider will turn out to be the best scientists or engineers.

    And to the international students who have been admitted:

    What does MIT really look for in candidates? What do you think allowed you or your friends to be accepted? I think there are really a lot of persons who would be interested to find that out. Are there any characteristics that make admitted students hands-down more deserving to join MIT or is their acceptance based on an entirely subjective assessment?

    Thanks.

  94. Hello,

    As an MIT alum, this is very disconcerting. A long running deception, that is only deception once it is caught. Then we hear platitudes of how terrible it was and pledges of renewed trust.

    This unfortunately isn’t just a problem in this case but systemic in the society where one is only a crook once one is caught. Before that, one is a high flying President, Dean, and Stock Broker et.al.

    I actually liked Ms. Marilee Jones and had interacted with her only on email. Her contributions to MIT I am sure are noteworthy.

    However, it is a clear message that needs to be taught to our younger generation, a message that has been handed down to us for generations and yet is somehow lost in the high-tech modernity du-jour – ends do not justify the means.

    Otherwise, all this emphasis on ethics and morality are mainly an emphasis on ‘ubermensch’ ethics and ‘ubermensch’ morality – when such morality only kicks in once one has been found out, defeated, or annhilated.

    So instead of reaffirming all this talk of trust etc., better to say nothing and hang ones’ head in shame for a while.

    And while doing so, rethink what MIT is teaching the kids. Not just in admissions process, but across the board in its undergraduate and graduate education. It is an opportunity to emerge even stronger from this setback. And as always, MIT can set the trend in progressive education as it has done in so many other things, including its fantastic opencourseware program. It is to MIT’s credit that they did not hush this up but let it publicly be known – for it would have been a rather simple thing to have done.

    Thank you.
    Zahir

  95. Utkarsh says:

    Lets move on, dropping all this… here.

  96. Kevin '11 says:

    Whoa! Hold on, what’s with all the guff from the rejected folks, domestic and int’l. I know what it feels like. I was deferred EA while one of my good friends at my school got in. I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s obvious that the int’l. acceptance rate is 4% or thereabouts and it doesn’t look like it’s going to wane anytime soon. So, deal with it. Or just hedge your bets and apply to IIT-Delhi…

  97. Paul '11 says:

    Saying “just deal with it” is a little harsh, Kevin – people like you and I are the lucky ones, who beat the odds to get into MIT. It’s hard to hear someone who got it telling someone who didn’t to “just deal with it.”

    That said, I believe in the match…but I also know that is not all there is to it. There is no way on earth that just 1,000+ kids each year are “matches” for MIT – of course many more would do very well here. That’s why admissions is such a hard job, and that’s why I say that I beat the odds. To put it a different way: Do I feel I earned my spot in the class of 2011? Certainly I do! But do I believe I deserve to be here? Absolutely not. But someone else thought I would do well here, and, well, I’m really glad for that.

    One final comment. Even if you don’t respect the process or the match, please respect the people involved. If you have complaints, and some of what you are saying does sound like a valid cause for concern, e-mail the proper individuals directly (i.e. privately). As I said before, I am sick and tired of people attacking MIT and MIT staff in the midst of one of its most vulnerable and painful moments. I am not trying to silence you – there certainly is a time and a place for the sort of comments you keep posting. But that place is not here and that time is not now.

  98. Vova says:

    Why should we be “dropping all this”? I only wish to discuss MIT’s admissions principles. I don’t know very well how the domestic admissions function, so that’s why I’m talking about the interntional ones. And I think my questions are interesting to a lot of persons.

    I am only wondering if the idea of accepting according to a “match” notion is truly fair and why MIT admissions have been set up this way. Plus, the idea of the above poster that the international admissions are not done according to the “match” is interesting and makes sense to me. How could the officiers quantifiy the well-suitidness of applicants well enough to objectively select 100 persons out of 2500?

    The fact that the admission rate is so low and that I was rejected doesn’t make it any less interesting to understand this.

  99. Anonymous says:

    vova:
    Here’s a small English lesson for you:
    persons=>people unless you want to sound pompous.

  100. Bah, c’mon Vov’ give it up. We understand that you’re miffed off, but please go release your anger somewhere else. All you’re doing now is pouring salt in the wound for some, and immensely perturbing others. As for your question to Snively, I’d like to make a response to. “…Try telling me in a few words what the MIT ‘spirit’ truly is…” Honestly, if you have truly read all the information on the website, and read the blogs like a lot of us have, you wouldn’t have to ask this. I’ve been reading the blogs for a good while, and I can truly understand what they are talking about. MIT is about going to school to learn, because you enjoy learning and want to get the best, not just to get a degree or be able to say “Hey, guess where I went to college.” It’s a place where people WANT to change the world, even if they aren’t a 2400 SAT, 36 ACT, 4.0 GPA, and a first place winner for every competition they’ve ever entered. They want people with character, not just people who could spout off any information that you want them to. I know I’d rather have a conversation with someone who had a personality than someone who’d be noting my every grammar flaw as I spoke. I’m also sure I’d like to participate in an extracurricular with someone who’s got a full heart and half a brain than a person constantly noting their own superiority. Also, MIT isn’t just for “Math and Science Forever” people. If you haven’t read it on the website yet, they also have a great arts program too. They don’t want only scientists and mathematicians. They want artists, musicians, actors, and all sorts of people. They want diversity. They also want a class to be small enough so that classmates can actually have a great understanding of each other throughout their diversity. I’ve met people who could look through their high school yearbook and not even know most of their class. Have you ever noticed how everyone here is able to use just their first name and their year? It’s like a community and a family. They grow with each other, and they suffer with each other. Why apply to any college if you didn’t know the risk of not getting accepted? Does that mean that all the ones not admitted aren’t the aforementioned people? No, but the admissions committee has to decide who stays and who goes. That’s why a job on an Admissions staff is such a hard job to have. I hate to tell you, but any person who knows math should know that 17% doesn’t deal out good odds all the time. You’ll find bad odds at tons of colleges, look around. There are some colleges that admit less, some who admit more. Do you really think a college should admit every single applicant? If you question MIT’s admissions, you should also visit every other college in the world’s admissions page and ask them the same question. Haven’t your parents ever told you that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all? Please find somewhere else to discuss your newfound contempt for MIT, colleges, and their admissions processes, and let’s let MIT move forward as they are trying to do.