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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Same as it ever was by Matt McGann '00

The more things change...

After struggling to figure out what to blog about today, I decided to see what it was I wrote about one year ago today:

For those of you hoping for an Admissions status update, here goes: we’re reading applications. Lots and lots of applications.

It’s been quite busy here in Admissions lately. In addition to the requisite 4-5 reading days each week, we have 2 “work” days with Admissions-related meetings. Today was pretty much consecutive meetings from 9am until 7pm for me. This morning was a meeting about our new viewbook, discussed in Ben’s latest post, followed by some planning for Campus Preview Weekend, and finally a meeting with a student group.

It’s funny how things don’t change much. The above pretty much describes February 3, 2006, as much as it does February 3, 2005.

In short: we continue to read applications. It’ll be like this for another couple weeks. Have a great weekend!

29 responses to “Same as it ever was”

  1. Alissa says:

    5+2=7 !!! that’s a lot of work. XD take some time to enjoy yourself as well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Reading your latest blog, it occured to me sir how difficult it must be to choose a selected number of students from a HUGE pool. More than 10,000 applications answering the same questions in different styles, different attitudes, different ambitions, different abilities and intellect. How to choose the best from such a talented and awesome pool? It trully must be taking a huge amount of dedication and concentration in reading every detail and making decisions very carefully. Sir, hats of to you for taking up such a task! You are like the gatekeeper of heaven. The eyes that can penetrate through and see everything…

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am amazed that you put up with working that much every year. I think most people would get sick of it after a while.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Given this volume, do you think you will be able to mail on Pi Day again this year?

  5. I second Alissa’s suggestion.

  6. Phil says:

    I’m amazed how mit can pull off mailing decision letters about half a month faster than other colleges… maybe shows how ahead in the game it is? raspberry

  7. Sam T says:

    Have any decisions been made yet?

    lol who am I kidding its February! Good luck with reading…only 38 days till pi day.

  8. Taimoor says:

    In anticipation has a good idea there!!

  9. Fadl says:

    Hi. Thx Mat for going through application day after day it must be exhausting. I was wondering if it wasn’t against admission policy if you could tell us how the admission process works at MIT. THX smile

    PS: we’re not really that anxious for our decision letters; you should take a few weeks off wink

  10. hi Matt

    actually I think we all would not mind you sharing you r experiences with us about the essays.You dont have to name the candidate but still mention some of the lines you enjoyed.Unless it is against the policy of the admn dept.

  11. Aalap Dighe says:

    Dear Mr. Matt McGann,

    I have a question for you. I am studying in India in an Indian school system and have applied to MIT this year. My high school does not offer AP tests, but last year I took three AP tests through an organization called Paragon. I have mentioned these exams on my application. This year Paragon closed down so I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to take more AP tests in May 2006. Therefore I didn’t mention anything about additional AP tests in my application.

    A few days ago, however, I obtained special permission from another high school in Mumbai that offers AP tests to let me test there. I have registered for and plan to take about 5 more exams this May.

    Do you think it’s a good idea to let the admissions committe know about this since it would show that I plan to take the “most challenging courses or exams offered”? Is it ok if I just write an email to the admissions office informing them of this?

    Thank you.

  12. Caroline says:

    *gasp* MIT is adorable! They sent me a Valentine’s card! smile I’m so going just because you guys sent me a christmas and a Valentine’s day card!

    Doesn’t it hurt your hand to sign that many cards??

  13. Cool guy says:

    I wish I can get my acceptance letter, now.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hey Matt

    I sent an update package on Friday 2/3 with some important application updates, such as my Intel Semifinalist notification. Will it reach MIT in time to affect my decision? Thanks.

  15. David says:

    I’m jealous. MIT didn’t see fit to give me a Valentine’s Day card. Oh well. Here’s hoping for platonic love!

  16. Sarab says:


    I am am Indian Student and I have some tough questions for you.

    I have already run them past Laura Nicholson on her blog and she has advised me to put my questions to you.

    Here Goes,

    1. I am an American Citizen born to Indian Parents and I have been living and studying in an Indian School sysem for 14 years. Where does that leave me for financial aid etc?

    2. I have heard that the reccomendations of Indian teachers are taken with a bucket of salt. Is that true?

    3. Which (if any) Indian Exams count as per MIT?

    4. Can I send more that two reccomendations? Is it advisable?

    5. Is it poissible to get a fee waiver, because though we are reasonably well off, 65$ becomes a lot in Indian Currency. The exchange rate is 44Rs.+ Who can write me the letter? My school doesn’t give the SAT or the AP exams!



  17. Masha says:

    ditto Caroline. smile

    especially since i am obsessed with chocolate. now i can be obsessed with theobromine, too!

  18. Alexandre says:

    Were you card recipients admitted EA? I certainly didn’t get a card :( !!

  19. shen says:

    Thanks for the lovely card! (Doesn’t theobromine mean “food of the gods” are something?)

  20. Alexandre says:

    35 more days ’til pi day…

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hi Sarsb.

    I am Rajarshi Chatterjee a freshman applicant to MIT

    with a similar situation.Could you give me ur email.We could be very helpful to each other.My email is [email protected].

  22. Rajarshi says:

    Hi Sarab,

    I am Rajarshi Chatterjee form India.I have a similar situation.I think we can be helpful to each other.

    My email is [email protected]

  23. Nina Toleva says:


    Unfortunately I have another problem. I graduated 2 years ago, so I can’t provide mid-year report. What am I supposed to do?? Please help, because the time is running out!!! Thanks

  24. Kathleen says:


    I have a question! My parents and sister (who wants my computer) have been bugging me to find out—-as an EA admit when can we purchase laptops at MIT discount prices. I realize probably not until later (summer), but if you could address this officially that would be great. thanks raspberry

  25. Yue Zhang says:

    Hi, Matt,

    I have heard your blog for one friend. She said you would be pleased to answer any questions from high school students who are eager to be MIT students. I am one of them. I and pretty confused these days, as a junior, not much time for applying colleges; and as an international student who has just been in the US for a year. Within this year, I got all the As, and worked really hard to adjust myself in a new society. I really want to go to MIT, since I am pretty good at maths and physics(I am taking IB physics and IB calculus now), but I am afraid about my English skill. Although I can communicate fairly well, I still can see the difference between me and local Americans.

    Could you please give me some advice for applying MIT? I would appreciate for any help.

    Thank you very much!

    All the best,


  26. Abha Agarwal says:

    Hi Mat,

    I have been going through your blogs very keenly for a while now. I write to you from Hyderabad, India. I am a counselor here who helps students with their application. But mainly we conduct the AP (Advanced Placement Program) offered by the College Board right here in India so that Indian students can gain an edge when applying to prestigious universities like yours. I do understand that you do have many students writing to you about not able to do AP in India. I can help them out with this as we are a testing centre for Indian students.

    Abha Agarwal



    [email protected]