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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Questions Omnibus, Part 1 by Matt McGann '00

Part 2 of today’s Q&A…

Possible future MIT Mom asked in regard to my post on cross registration, “How can MIT undergraduate students cross-register with Harvard undergraduate courses, because MIT and Harvard have such different calender schedules? For example, are there issues involved with permitting MIT students to stay in their dorms when Harvard is in session, but MIT is not?”

This is a good question. It’s certainly has been much easier to take Harvard classes in the Spring term, when MIT’s schedule and Harvard’s schedule are pretty much the same (MIT and Wellesley use the same academic calendar; I’m not sure about the two art schools). The course that I took at Harvard was in the spring term, for example. But it may be getting easier for fall term cross registration between MIT and Harvard, as Harvard is contemplating moving to MIT’s academic calendar, or something substantially similar to it (you may already know that Harvard currently schedules its finals in mid-to-late January, after the winter/Christmas break).

Regardless of schedules, MIT dorms are very flexible these days. Unlike most colleges, MIT’s dorms are always open; there is no period where students are not allowed to live on campus (many schools kick students out over holiday breaks and summers). For example, my friend Jake got a terrific room his freshman year at the East Campus dormitory; he moved his stuff in August of 1996, and didn’t move his stuff out until he graduated three and a half years later, December 1999. That isn’t a common situation (most students prefer to “upgrade” their rooms each year), but certainly not unheard of. My housing at Baker House was only interrupted by renovations during the summers of 1998 and 1999; those summers, I lived in Bexley Hall and Burton-Conner, respectively. I know this continuity in housing is especially beneficial for MIT’s large international student population.

Application questions

H asked, “My school sent in everything (recommendations, transcripts, and the midyear report -> trimester system) but so far everything was processed but not the midyear report.
Does MIT process midyear reports later (mid-feb?)?” If your midyear (1st trimester) report was sent in along with the Secondary School Report et al, I would suspect that your Midyear Report is in your application folder, and that your grades have been seen by your application’s reviewer. I know that sometimes in cases like yours (1st trimester grades sent in w/regular application), the midyear report tracking box isn’t checked because generally we’re looking for it to come separately. I’d be willing to bet this is what happened in your case.

Transfer Student had a few questions, including: “1. Any luck getting a guest blogger to speak about the Transfer process? [and] 2. What happens if you give someone a recommendation form and they send it but it gets lost in the mail or maybe it gets sent to the wrong address, does the entire application get discarded? If so, how many applications per year don’t get considered because they are not considered ‘complete’?” T.S, I haven’t yet secured someone to blog about the transfer process. I promise it is on my list of future blog topics, though. As for your second question, we do consider incomplete applications. We know that often these circumstances are beyond the applicant’s control. For freshman applicants, we do expect that students are utilizing the online tracking system to ensure the receipt of application components. But even for freshman applicants, we definitely have admitted students who are missing an evaluation. Other applications, though, cannot be considered; these are missing, for example, the transcript or Part II. I don’t know how many of these “completely incomplete” applications we receive each year.

Pia made some typos on her application: “Instead of writing ‘Mechanics’ I wrote ‘Magnetism’, will MIT think that I’m stupid and be like, stupid she didn’t know what test she’s taking?!? Is there something I can do? Will they get mad if I call about it? I don’t know why I didn’t notice it till please? oh my lord. And stanford changed the name of the class I took. it changed from multivar to diff eq, so I wrote lin alg and diff eq instead of lin alg and multivar. Should I call so that readers don’t think I’m insane?” Don’t worry! We’ll look at both your self-reported grades and your official transcript(s), and I’ve never heard of and can’t conceive of our penalizing someone for misnaming classes. Relax, I promise this won’t be a factor for you.

Sephy writes, “I was a student of Raffles for 4.25 years before I shifted to India and pursued further studies in Delhi Public School R.K.P (India) for 1.75 years. I wanted to know whether my past education and experience in Raffles would be considered or will MIT focus only on my current school?” When considering your context, we will definitely consider that you’ve been at two different places and have moved schools (and countries, for that matter). Many applicants have changed schools during their high school years, and for us, it is a common situation that we can contextualize quite easily. And yes, we are quite familiar with both Raffles and DPS RKP.

Arvind Singh writes, “I appeared in TOEFL exam on 31st of December,2004 at INDIA. I choose the scores be sent to MIT. According to the TOEFL IB they should have been mailed be 15th JAN, but the MYmit portal still does not show that they have have been recieved.” I don’t know why this is, but you should email [email protected] and self-report your score. We will use your self-reported score until we receive your official score from ETS.

Saad Zaheer writes, “The only thing that remains with my MIT application is the SAT 2 scores; I read on the admissions site that January 22, 2005 tests will be accepted on a case by case basis, so I registered for the SAT 2 on January 22. Unfortunately, the test got postponed here in my center because the courier service could not deliver the test materials in time. Now, the make up date is somewhere in the end of february and I do not know if MIT would accept score reports in March! Right Since January 22 I am so dejected and disappointed and have sent two emails to the admissions office at MIT about the matter but they have not replied, MORE DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!” You have taken the correct step in emailing the Admissions Office; I will try to follow up on your email tomorrow.

Admitted student questions

Admitted student asked, “I was just wondering if we would get the info about our host student at CPW before we arrive on campus.” We will not finish CPW host matching until just before CPW. We will try our best to have all hosts contact their hostees [ <– not a real word] before CPW, but the best that we can do is ensure you that every student will be given a host.

LBizzle asks, “Speaking of CPW…my mother wishes to know what exactly will be available for the parents and on what days.” Many (but much less than all) of the CPW events are currently posted in the CPW portlet in you MYMIT portal (check it out!). The bigger parent events begin Thursday evening and go through Saturday evening.

Laura asked, “For those of us who were admitted EA, I know our admit letter had some wise words from Marilee Jones about…not slacking off for the rest of the year. The letter said something about how our acceptance was contingent on finishing the school year with ‘flying colors.’ Don’t worry, I won’t ask how bright colors have to be before they’re considered flying (although if you have an idea I wouldn’t mind knowing…calc class you see…is just….well anyway…) but I was wondering how MIT keeps up on that. Will I need to send in midyear grades? A final report card? Are you psychic?” All admitted students, both EA and RA, will be required to send in their final transcript. I have no psychic powers, sadly. Good luck with Calc…

Application update questions

Erek, Hoping For MIT, Nbot1 and Swetco all had questions about updating their applications (check the comments to see the specifics). To answer all of their questions: Yes, you can email supplements to [email protected] We will review any supplemental materials that come in before we mail decisions, but to be considered before we go into selection committee, we should have your supplement this week. You don’t have to send in any award certificates for your new honors; it’s okay just to email us and tell us about your achievement.

Finally today, we’d love to get more of your comments about the MIT Viewbook (big glossy brochure). Ben is collecting your feedback over at his blog.

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