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Open Thread for Waitlisted Students by Decisions

This year well over 17,000 students applied for admission to MIT in the most competitive admissions cycle in the history of the Institute.

Because of the incredible size and strength of the applicant pool we were unable to offer admission to many, many incredible students whom we would love to have on campus. However, we did place some students on our waitlist.

We will have more information for waitlisted students in the coming weeks and months – about how our process works, what you need to do if you are still interested in MIT, and so forth. In the meantime, you may talk amongst yourselves below. As always, please keep your comments civil and friendly in our community.

75 responses to “Open Thread for Waitlisted Students”

  1. nanu (15!) says:

    i think you’re looking at it the wrong way. first of all – if MIT is your school of choice, i think you should go there if they admit you, no matter if it’s from the wait list or not.
    remember that you (and others) were wait-listed not because of lack of skill, but rather because other people were found more of a match to MIT.
    and besides, no other student has to know that you were accepted from the wait list, nor should it matter.

    according to MIT’s website and blogs the wait list is not ranked but rather applications are simply reconsidered during second (and sometimes even third) admission cycles.

  2. Akul says:

    Well at least I know MIT thinks I’m good enough, which is nice. Hopefully some of us will get in – good luck guys!

  3. JXC says:

    Wow.. more waiting. D: (Got deferred from EA).

  4. Manu says:

    I am!…… that’s good….happy that i am capable

  5. Matt says:

    Argh. I’m not sure I’m able to wait until late May for a decision, given deadlines for other schools…

  6. take that back to caltech

  7. Lillan says:

    At least they are considering me:) hopefully some spaces will open up. I will wait for as long as it takes!

  8. *sigh* mit needs changing. mit needs hope.

  9. Sean says:

    Wow. I guess I have more waiting to do. Does anyone know the chances of being admitted from the Waitlist?

  10. Michael says:

    they said that decisions will be posted at 926. my clock said 928 when it finally worked and then i see a short letter that didnt say congrats so i said- ok im rejected. then i read it and it says waitlisted and first i was really happy but then realized that pi day has now been extended indefinitely :( hopefully they let me/us know soon

  11. yalls need some serious changin… wait for that

  12. Caltech says:

    It’s okay; you can still go to Caltech.

  13. caltech needs hope

  14. Victor says:

    =/ Waitlisted as well. This is difficult, more waiting now, but hey, one step closer (even if it is an intermediary step)

  15. Erik says:

    Waiting Part III begins…
    3 things I want to know:
    How many people were waitlisted?
    Are we in a specific order?
    “We will give you an update by late May”-What happens if we need to confirm enrollment somewhere else by May 2?

  16. Hisham7 says:

    I am glad that I am not rejected smile

    These moments were really hard, I bet my heart got tired of beating quickly !!

    I hope everything will be more than fine when decisions come out again =)
    Thank you MIT for giving me another chance I am really glad smile

    and Good luck guys =)

  17. Billy says:

    “What happens if we need to confirm enrollment somewhere else by May 2?” – Erik

    I also am concerned about this!

  18. sherman says:

    Applied early action and now am waiting on the last and final waitlist. MIT is an amazing place, but can they really expect applicants to wait around?
    I mean, what if MIT is my first choice but I have to give an answer to my second choice college, which accepted me..? Does any one know how many people are waiting on the waitlist?

  19. Matt says:

    For those wondering, last year’s statistics may give some indication. 723 waitlisted out of 14865 applicants (about 5%), of which 65 were admitted. (about 9% of that 5%)

  20. tasinari says:


    waitlisted at both MIT and Caltech……

  21. Ari says:

    Think of it this way (if previous year records are similar to this year):

    2009-2010 admits (I can’t find data to 2010-2011): 1676 admits, 755 waitlisted.
    We are in a more selective group than those accepted.
    Just a little look on the bright side.

  22. Anonymous says:

    oh and to Billy/Erik : you can formally accept admission at a school (pay deposit, etc.) and still be on as many waitlists for other schools at the same time. When and if a spot opens up you just… ditch the school.

  23. Get previous waitlist stats here.

    The numbers jump all over the place…can’t predict too well.

  24. Anonymous says:

    There is a known “shuffle” period in admissions after May 2nd. You may loose a deposit at a school, if one is required and you decide to go elsewhere, but many students are in this situation. Numbers are really hard, if not impossible to predict year to year. Here is a link to some more info:

  25. Sara says:

    If you deposit at another school and are notified that you’re accepted off the waitlist, you can change your mind but you lose your deposit to the other school.

  26. Anonymous says:

    If you go to the main page and search for the word “waitlist” or “waitlisted” you can see a bunch of blog posts from previous years with more info on the waitlist. It won’t be up-to-date for the current year, but it can give you some idea of what to expect…

  27. Daniel says:

    Fun times waiting… It’d be hard to sit on a wait list and see all other college deadlines go by… do they ever tell students before May 1st if they get admitted off the Wait List?

  28. FYI, i went to a school after being accepted off their waitlist. i had sent in a deposit to one school on may 1 and then heard back in a week from the waitlist school, decided to go, and forfeited my ($500??) deposit. so you should figure out where else you want to go. and then you can make a decision if we take you at that point.

  29. Agnes Kim says:

    Wait-listed? Honestly, I am flattered…This means my name actually was on the file when the admission officer was going through the stack! I am still hanging onto the silver lining in the cloud. But honestly, I am pretty content and satisfied at this point. Whether the future will turn into situation I prefer, I do not know; but I know that I want to say congratulations to all those accepted and good luck to those wait-listed (myself included)! smile

  30. Anonymous says:

    This waiting is good practice for space flight. It’s all about the framing…

  31. Anonymous says:

    A really important P.S. to those waitlisted, however, is to make sure to meet all the required waitlist notification deadlines if you want to accept a position on the waitlist and be considered. Sometimes it’s easy to forget with all the news that you need to follow up with this important step.

  32. Vivek says:

    Not-admitted here, just popping in to offer some encouragement. Hang in there, fellas. It’s not over yet. You’re better off than the lot on the not-admitted thread, after all.

    Keep the guys at the Adm. Office updated, in case you still are interested. Remember, MIT’s only got an average yield of 66-70%. wink You’ve still got a chance. :D

  33. Anonymous says:

    It is actually ok. Means they actually considered me!
    ha ha and I wish everyone here the best. Wish we all can get into awesome schools, and whatever MIT tells us later, we’d all be ok! Congrats!

  34. Anonymous says:

    hey there,
    i got in from wait list, you wait longer but it’s worth it

  35. lhandley says:

    So at this point, I could hang around waiting for MIT to finally make up its mind on me, or I could decide to attend one of the other schools I applied to, a school that has already accepted me, offered me scholarships (so I won’t graduate with thousands of dollars of debt), and/or invited me into its honors program. Tough choice, eh?

    I hope the choice is as easy for the rest of you waitlisted folks as well, so you won’t need to wait around for a school as indecisive as MIT.

  36. Anon says:

    Hi, I was wondering if the admissions office would like to continue to receive updates from us about any recent achievements. What would be the best way for us to do this? (Email? Online form? Mail?)


  37. I havent checked yet….I’m just reading blogs

  38. I like Ari’s comment…come on guys…
    just saying…smile

  39. Ben says:

    Oh my Lord… The anticipation was building for a while. I still strive to maintain an optimistic outlook. This is awesome.

    @Manu I totally agree. “Happy that I am capable.”

    I take a “Wait-list” as the ultimate recognition that I can contribute to the MIT community. Deciding factors (in Who should be admitted?), at least in my opinion can become so close, but the decision has to be made.

    In our case, fellow wait-listers, the deciders were uncertain. I cannot help myself but make a physics reference here.

    Where would we be without Heisenberg?

    An uncertainty principle is a good thing.

    More positives…..

    I personally feel that there is this idea that goes something like, “Selectivity = good”. Please excuse me, I am just typing what comes into my mind. I need to get my thoughts out. Anyway, back on the selectivity theme. We, wait-listers, are part of MIT’s most selective group of prospective undergraduates. More people were admitted than placed on the Wait-list. If inevitably I have the distinct honor to spend the next four years of my life at the greatest institution of higher learning on the face of this vast planet, I will be so excited and satisfied that I cannot even start to articulate.

    Dear Admission Officers,

    I want to personally thank all of you. The fact that I was wait-listed correlates really well with my personality. TI truly take each opportunity I have to prove myself as the ultimate motivation to work harder, and perform better. I loved the opportunity to convey my thoughts to other prospective students on the blogs, and hear what they had to say about their experiences. We were all connected, and we will continue to be. The admission blogs are quintessential MIT. The humor, the collegiality, the “We are all in this together” mentality.

    I strive to continue this mentality, and I view the fact that I was placed on the wait-list as a challenge to do so.

    Us wait-listers are challenged to continue supporting one another through these uncertain times. I have no doubt we will continue to support one another, for our actions will undoubtedly reflect one of the most appealing characteristics about an MIT education – that of family. I consider you all my brothers and sisters, and I truly wish you all the best of luck.

    We are the chosen few, selected partially out of the notion that we are all willing to endure, to leap forward.

    If you all would allow it, I would like to share with you a poem that I wrote. As for context, I was up late one night, completing chemistry labs, and I started to think, ponder, and dream about the one and only….MIT.

    Then I started to write. Please excuse my poor poetic skills.

    Oh MIT

    Oh MIT, I think about you in the night
    A beautiful star shining bright
    I try to reach your infinite height
    The day rolls around – its name is Pi
    The excitement the excitement oh my oh my
    Been staring at the blogs so often I fear a sty in my eye.
    Oh my oh my
    I hope for the best
    Reach for the stars…
    For me
    To be or not to be
    Trust, hope and intrigue guide my sight
    Through the dark night
    Until at last, I glean the light

    I leave you with a surprisingly soothing youtube video. If you just need to relax, I find the following link to do the trick. Close your eyes and lets your worries wane…

    First, just listen and let go.

    Second time, listen intently to the lyrics and say to yourself, “How fitting is this song to the fact that I was placed on the wait-list?”

    I leave you all with something that always cheers me up. An Einstein quotation…

    “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

    Have a wonderful night, all.


  40. Mirta :) says:

    This is my first decision and I am flattered to be waitlisted at MIT. It makes me happy to know that someone out there thinks I am good enough to be here. Now I am actually looking forward to the rest of the process – if I can make it to the waitlist at MIT, I can do anything! smile Good luck to everyone!

  41. Gaurav says:

    Guys! Don’t loose hope! Getting waitlisted is not that bad! (I wish I could have also got waitlisted)……… I didn’t get in… but just wanna congratulate all you guys that you atleast made a difference in the application pool! You should take that as a achievement and move forward!
    Well Done, Guys!!! Well Done!!!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Can I PLEEEAAAAAAASSSSEEE still go to CPW?? …just in case?

  43. Wendy says:

    Waitlisted at both Caltech and MIT. Hopefully this one takes me?

    If it’s helpful that people keep sending updates to MIT, does that mean they consider demonstrated interest? To what email do we send updates?

    Also, if we were to send in a letter of rec from a coach or something, would we send it to the admissions office address? Or is there a special one?

  44. Micah says:

    Anybody brilliant and thoughtful enough to even be wait-listed at MIT will have a fantastic college experience no matter what. I say this with absolute certainty because someone who is smart, driven, and capable will certainly create a challenging, motivating, exciting college experience for him or herself. While I don’t anticipate taking my place on MIT’s waiting list, I am proud to be here and to have applied and even been considered. But I don’t worry about my future because I know that I have control over my own future’s experiences and that I will make my college experience exactly what I want it to be, even if it is not here at this particular institution.

  45. Hey says:

    I just have a question…what do we do now??? Does anyone know???

  46. shhhhh says:

    I’m currently suffering from the unspeakably selfish urge to hop over to the admitted thread and encourage everyone there to go to Caltech instead. But I’m too happy for them to actually do it…and meanwhile I’m still quixotically optimistic about my chances of getting in.

  47. I’m happy for you guys – good thing you didn’t get NOT ACCEPTED.
    Just remember, some other very capable people were NOT ACCEPTED outright. :(

  48. James says:

    It would be nice if MIT provided more information about the chances of being accepted from the waitlist. I do think it is a positive that there is not a simple ranked wait list like other schools might have, and that applications are (from my understanding) reconsidered- presumably there is an opportunity to make amendments.

    That said, there should be more information than “Maybe, maybe not”. Obviously, there is information from past years regarding how many students were put on the waitlist and how many were eventually offered admission- last year there were 910 put on the waitlist and 78 accepted, for an acceptance rate of about 8.5%.

    Really, though, that isn’t much information at all. If the applications are reconsidered, there is more to it than a straight lottery. I myself may not have any significant chance of getting in because of my scores, extra curriculars, service activities, and so on, whereas another student might have a near 100% chance. Presumably, there is some level of objectivity in the acceptances, and it isn’t just drawing names out of a hat- if there is some level of objectivity, then there is more information available than “Maybe, Maybe not”.

    What I would like to see is more information about the waitlisted group, and those that are accepted from that group. What is the average SAT score, and what is the standard deviation? What is the average GPA, and what is its standard deviation- better yet, because the GPA will be a truncated normal distribution, just go ahead and give us a histogram. What are the average number of service hours? How many times has the average accepted-from-the-waitlist applicant overcome terminal illness?

    This sort of information would allow MIT’s applicants (like myself) (who are, universally, the type of applicants who are capable of some quantitative analysis) to figure their chances and make an informed decision about how to move forward. Perhaps some of them will determine that their chances are unacceptably low and make plans to go to another school, or perhaps some will take a gap year, or any other of a million possibilities. This sort of informed decision making is not only desirable, but (presumably) the style of thinking that MIT wants to promote. It would be in line with MIT’s mission to provide this information to applicants.

    Addendum: Actually, for something really interesting, it would be nice if MIT released an entire listing of students information and their acceptance status (with their permission and scrubbed of personally identifying information, of course). There are certainly some interesting trends in the data- I’d love to get my hands on it and start mining, for curiosity’s sake.

  49. Jake says:

    The pie is bittersweet! That’s a hell of a weird pie smile

  50. anon says:


    I hope you realize how unreasonable that is.

    Being on the waitlist means that you fell somewhere in the 1700-2200 range out of 18000 applicants. That’s as much info as you can expect for now. They cannot take the time and create a sorted list.

  51. B says:

    @Sidhanth ’14:
    Being waitlisted, did you find it more socially challenging to make friends after missing CPW? I know it is hard to predict who will come to MIT,
    and thus there is a wait-list. I am just a little concerned though. As MIT is where I want to be, and in the event that my dream is realized, I was wondering about your experiences. Did you find yourself at a disadvantage (socially or otherwise) coming off of the wait-list? How did you deal with the fact that you represent the minority of admitted students at MIT. I don’t mean to start interrogating you; I have just been asking myself these questions.

    The reason I’m asking you these questions is because my reaction (upon reading the decision) went something like:
    1) Happy not denied
    2)Why does MIT only half want me?
    3) I guess I should look at the bright side, only about 15% of applicants were either offered admission or placed on the wait-list.


  52. tasinari says:

    At least this shows that the College Admissions predicting sites are a total joke. gave me a 13% chance at getting in at MIT and 20% at Caltech. I am waitlisted at both.

    Regardless, now that I have gotten over the slight disappointment of being waitlisted (ironically, even though I expected rejection, after getting waitlisted you raise your own standards), I would like to re-iterate a previous post: I am honored to have been waitlisted at a place like MIT. I still can’t conceive of why the admissions officers would take my application so seriously. I prepared my app with all my heart, but after reading the CC decisions threads, I became extremely discouraged. I am very good at belittling myself.

    Do yourself a favor and do NOT read those threads. (If you do, read with a massive grain of salt; understand that they at best represent a tiny segment of the applicant pool and that they are entirely self-reported. Many of the posts have been exaggerated because posters might have been insecure).

    At best they will give you a distorted notion of the school’s SAT ranges (more accurate, objective info on this can be found on the MIT site, frankly). At worst they will shatter your hopes and give you a sense of simply not being good enough.

    Resist the urge to believe that admissions officers are indifferent. For a long period of time I did not see them in the most positive light. They are not perfect (they are people) but they are not the demonization many suggest. I have learned that they are surprisingly human and, while not completely admitting on subjective criteria, they weigh how they feel about your writing much more than one would think.

    Contrary to my skeptical mind, everything the adcoms said proved to TRUE. I know they didn’t compare me with another kid who applied from my school. Why? Because next to him my app would have looked like a joke.

    The whole point about college admissions nowadays is to present yourself as a unique candidate, through a combination of your life story and the things you do.
    Presenting run-of-the-mill ECs like NHS, Key Club (I had no idea of what it was until I came to CC), is totally unspectacular.

    It is like writing ‘results oriented’ on your resume. Do you know how many people wrote exactly that? These ECs have totally lost their meaning unless you have done something extraordinary with them and can prove it.

  53. Mikey says:

    @Corey – love Mumford and Sons smile

  54. Keep trying! I know how all of you feel, I was on the waitlist last year. Do something interesting, write about it and send it to the admissions office. Show them you care about coming here and still want to.

    Do something to make yourself memorable to admissions (in a good way!)

  55. @Anon (actually, to anyone): being accepted from the waitlist is not being second-rate. MIT puts a huge amount of emphases on someone being a good match. They look for passion for anything in the applicants. Being on the waitlist might be from something as small as not demonstrating that well enough during normal admissions. If you really want to go to MIT, show them what you can do. Send admissions an email saying how much you’d love to go. Do something interesting when you send in the card accepting being on the waitlist. Put together something amazing that you care about showing how much you want to go to MIT. On top of all that, don’t spam them! Pick the best of what you do and send it to them in a 1-3 updates neatly spaced between now and when it looks like people will come of the waitlist (see previous years blog posts)

    I was accepted off the waitlist and don’t feel like I’m second rate. Yes, there are people much smarter than me. This is MIT, I came here expecting that.

    Don’t worry about finding friends. On the tiny chance that you don’t get along well at your dorm (I’m sure you will, wherever you go) there are a lot of great student groups. One of MIT’s big things is diversity. You’ll find somewhere that feels like home.

  56. Kevin L says:

    Best wishes to everyone who applied!<b>
    If you got wait-listed, it just means that they don’t have room for the 2000 or so potential students on campus, so they had to choose somehow.
    I probably can’t wait until May to know their decision, but I’m sure I will figure something out.

  57. Tachmajal says:

    Just remember everything ALWAYS happens for a reason…!

  58. mouse says:

    Hey, cheer up guys! Celebrate! I would give an arm to be in your shoes! (and the rest of my limbs to be in THEIR shoes, but then I wouldn’t need any shoes. Har har.) Enjoy life!

    –yea, you figured I am a rejectee-sorry, I meant not admitted. My sincere heartfelt immense thanks for your remarkable mastery of the English language, MIT adcoms!

  59. James says:


    I would assume that MIT is using some sort of database system for application management. After all, the application is online.

    Assuming that it is in a computer system, providing a few statistics about SAT score and GPA distribution would be very straightforward. If it is in an SQL database it could be done with just one or two lines of code. It would, in any case, take far less time than running this blog does, for example.

    Providing a full, scrubbed dataset would be much harder, but that could be done in off-months (the admissions department probably has a bit more time on their hands in June).

  60. Sidhanth '14 says:

    Was waitlisted last year and still got in – mid May. The ’15’s are supposed to be about 70-80 kids bigger than previous years because of Maseeh Hall so I hope the waitlist acceptance rate is higher.

    This is a video my friend made who was also waitlisted. Disclaimer – I didn’t make anything of this sort, just sent an extra letter of recommendation. Hope you enjoy the video – its hilarious.

  61. RRT '14 says:

    Hey guys. I was waitlisted last year, the very guy that made that RRT MIT video. Trust me, being waitlisted is a very bittersweet feeling. On one hand, you weren’t rejected! But on the other, you’re probably not going to fully know where you’re going to college until mid-May. It’s worth the wait.

    As for getting MIT to want you, there are a lot of methods that have worked in the past. Some people sit on their asses and do fine. Others try to hard (guilty). If you have a creative idea, by all means go for it. If you’re doing something interesting and/or significant, make sure you let admissions know.

    Finally, the most important thing to do is keep your spirits high. By virtue of being MIT waitlists, you are already all amazing people, and will end up successful wherever you go. But you already knew that.

  62. jordan says:

    im an admitted student who doesnt plan to attend mit. so there is certainly hope for at least one of you guys.
    i wish you all the best smile

  63. Anonymous says:

    Can we still register for the Overnight Program? The MIT website says “Overnights in February, March and April are only for students who have been admitted to MIT.” I hope they give wait-listed students this chance too since we also really need to figure out whether MIT is right for us.


  64. mouse says:

    What???????????????? The HELL????????? How can you say that, Jordan, when 16000 teens are weeping their eyes out because they were ‘not admitted’?

    So where do you plan to go?

  65. Anonymous says:

    For those of you with questions:

    MIT admissions covers most of it.

  66. Kaiser says:

    Question: Does every vacancy created by an admitted student not wanting to accept MIT’s admission offer go to a student on the wait list?

  67. @Kaiser –

    No. In fact, we expect about 1/3rd of MIT students whom we accept to go elsewhere, and we build that into our calculations. So it’s only students above and beyond that 1/3rd who don’t come that open up spots on the waitlist.

  68. Marko says:

    Have you ever had a situation where too few students have declined your offer of admission?

  69. Anonymous says:

    Just want to clarify some statistics. Please check and correct.

    MIT admitted 772 EA back in Dec2010
    From the Q&A blogs –
    MIT admitted a total 1715 for 2015 class =>
    MIT sent out 1715-772 = 943 Regular in March2011
    MIT also sent out 1000 offers for waitlist.
    MIT expects 1120 seats available for class of 2015.

    That said, of the 772 EA admitted students, I anticipate a much higher yield due to early action, besides most probably stop applying for other school since Dec2010, hence their minds are set for MIT, hence the high yield.
    If that yield is 90%, that leaves 1120-772*.9=425 for the 943 to fill.
    If and only if there is any vacancy after this, then the vacant slots will be handed to the remaining 1000 applicants on the waitlist.
    Yikes! extremely selective round.

    Note historically, the EA admitted rate is much lower. Class of 2014 was only ~10% but EA admitted rate for Class of 2015 was 12% while the available slots (1120) increase slightly year-to-year.

  70. M says:

    Yay for Jordan! I recommend that a couple hundred other admitted people follow that lead… what? No really, this has nothing to do with me being wait-listed.

  71. comments closed. thanks all for posting and good luck!

  72. Anon says:

    Being second-rate to my classmates here or equal somewhere else. I know which one I’m choosing.

  73. Is there a quota for International Students? Because right now I’m freaking out really badly… I have no clue what I did wrong….but I want to know what I should to get accepted in the Waitlist category….

    Are there ranks for Waitlisting, or is the entire application reviewed again?