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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Snapshot Statshot by Matt McGann '00

A quick look at some numbers from this year's admissions process.

Tomorrow, I expect MIT’s student newspaper, The Tech, will publish our admissions statistics. But why wait until then? Here’s an overview of the year to date in MIT Admissions.

This year, we had 13,396 applicants, an 8% increase over last year. However, we couldn’t admit many more students than last year: an increase of 1 student, to 1554. Thus, our admit rate fell nearly a percentage point, from 12.5% to 11.6%. This year’s rate, approximately 1 in 9, is a lot lower than when I applied in 1996 (1 in 4) and is even notably lower than it was for this year’s MIT seniors (1 in 6).

MIT has traditionally been among the more conservative colleges in terms of waitlist size, usually keeping one of the proportionally smallest waitlists of our peer group. However, this year, with increased uncertainty around yield, we decided to significantly increase the size of our waitlist, to 739 students. We do not know how many will accept their offer of a waitlist place, or how many students we will ultimately admit from the waitlist. [More soon regarding the waitlist]

Applications from international students saw a marked increase. There were 3,086 international applications, up 12% from last year. To keep to MIT’s international student quota of 8% of the class, we admitted 121 international students. In total, citizens of 138 countries applied; we admitted students from 60 of those countries, residing in 66 different nations. Needless to say, it was an extremely challenging year in choosing from the many, many awesome international applicants.

Given the competition, it should come as no surprise that this year’s academic metrics are very high. For example, 92% of admitted students are in the top 5% of their class, the highest percentage in at least 5 years. The median SAT scores were 780 math (up 10 points from last year) and 730 critical reading.

But I think that this year’s class is even more impressive in non-quantitative realms. Ben has been saying that this year’s class feels perfect, and I don’t think that’s far from the truth. I really feel like this class has an incredible set of skills, qualities, and experiences that should make for a really exciting and enriching four years at MIT. I’m more than a little jealous!

67 responses to “Snapshot Statshot”

  1. Almani says:

    I am wait-listed but my hopes are still high……………………….

  2. Muz says:

    First?

    Ouch, 3.9% of international students admitted. I had a better chance of getting admitted to Stanford and Harvard! Had I known that, I wouldn’t have applied. Or maybe I would.. just for the sake of knowing whether I could get in.

    With so many of the best people in the world applying, a perfect class is certainly possible. Too bad I’m not a part of it :(

  3. Chelsea says:

    Muz, where are you from, just out of curiosity?

    And I’m sure wherever you end up will turn out to be just perfect for YOU and you’ll be like “wow why was I ever upset about not getting into MIT”.

    smile

  4. Omar '12 says:

    Wow you make being in this class feel even more special. Thanks grin

  5. Muz says:

    I’m from Malaysia. Quite a lot of trouble to apply to an American university in this country raspberry

    I guess that’s possible. Before decisions came out, I was a bit worried that I’d get into MIT because it’d mean that I won’t likely pick MIT for graduate studies. I believe in destiny, and that it was my destiny not to get accepted, but I’ve still rather unhappy at spending so much money and time on applications and still have no idea why I wasn’t accepted :/

  6. SeamusW says:

    1 in 9?! That’s incredible!

  7. Class 2012 says:

    Out of curiosity, what exactly makes our class so “perfect”?

    Anything that stands out in particular?

  8. :P says:

    I bet more than 50% of international students where either from India or China
    considering thier population lol

  9. Manou says:

    well, I didn’t get in but I hope my country had a representative because we have been among top 5 in Olympiads but extremely underrated by people around the world.
    I applied to 6 excellent universities in the U.S. and I got into Caltech, turned down by MIT, waitign for others.
    This is probably my last comment in this website but, I want to thank all of you guys in the admission office especially Matt who has the best blogs, in my opinion:D. you guys mitigated the agonizing pain on us by your blogs, I sincerely appriciate that.
    by the way I’m from Iran, and HAPPY IRANIAN NEW YEAR!

  10. nazi says:

    I applied for fall 2008 but I still havent heard anything and its already march 18. When should I expect something?

    Id appreciate it if anyone could kindley let me know! thanks

  11. Shannon '12 says:

    @nazi- You can check your decision online at decisions.mit.edu using your MyMIT username and password.

    Also, those statistics are ridiculous.

  12. PaT says:

    Hi,
    I usually track your weblog and think It’s a we nice and useful place for undergrad student. But my case is different. I want to apply for your grad program at EECS. Can you suggest me a similar weblog but more useful for grad students?

  13. AR says:

    Geez. Talk about competition! Congrats to everyone who got in.

  14. Anonymous says:

    hey manou,
    i am alireza from iran too.I got waitlisted at both MIT and caltech.I went to allameh helli high school and have a silver medal in biology olympiad .Where did you go to school?
    and happy iranian new year to all iranians as well,

  15. Georgia says:

    These statistics are insane!

  16. Jay says:

    You could have admitted 3 more international students whilst still keeping your 8% quota…

    *rolls eyes* *shrugs* ;P

    Is it possible enough people decline a waitlist place that some rejected people get bumped up to the waitlist position? Ha ha ;D Not that it would matter, since you seem to have reached you international quota (-3, if I may raspberry).

    I must add one more thing about the admit rate: the 1-in-9 is a bit misleading.

    – For US students, the admit rate was 13.9% (under 1 in 7 by less than a hair).
    – For international students the admit rate was 3.9% (very slightly above 1 in 26).

    So, fellow international “not-admits”, if you’re not comforted by words, I hope numbers will do the trick (as they should, if you applied to MIT ;D).

    Is there anywhere we can see a detailed statistics page, with information about individual countries and the like? I remember seeing something like that once on this site, but I wasn’t able to find it again.

    While waiting for the more detailed statistics, I had a few misc. questions (some of which might not be answered even in the detailed statistics, but which some admissions officers might know none-the-less) off the top of my head:

    – What country had the highest number of admits (other than the US, of course)?
    – What state were most of the 1433 US admits from?
    – Of those 138 countries, how many have never been represented at MIT?
    – How many of the 138 countries have never even been applied from before this year?
    – How was the male-to-female ratio this year?

  17. Isshak says:

    I also had a question. Were there new countries ? In comparison to last year I mean. And who’s the farthest ?
    By the way, I also feel that this one is perfect ! ^^

  18. Isshak says:

    Wow the waitlist is huge this year ! Why is it so big ? Is the yield that you predicted not as high as the previous years, when more applicants applied ?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get it, what makes American students better than international students?

    I advocate MIT relocate its campus to a more nation neutral place like Geneva.

  20. I can’t believe it… We passed all this…yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

  21. Eirik says:

    1 in 26. WOW. That’s not awesome, it’s FRIGHTENING. I can’t believe it.

    But I do realize why I wasn’t accepted. Good luck to all international students who got in, use this chance well!

  22. Manou says:

    Hey Alireza,
    thank god at least there is someone from my country in the wait list, I hope you get in.
    I went to Allame Helli but in Shiraz :D, I’m not a huge fan of Biology though, I have Silver medal in Chemistry but the national one, I’m not in the final team.
    I’m pretty sure you deserve to be in MIT and you will make us all proud of you wink

  23. Becky '12 says:

    First of all, I’d also like some Fun Facts. =P

    Second, I feel SO bad for all the internationals. I thought 1 in 9 were bad odds…

    And third, WOW to the stats. I feel even luckier than I did before. And that’s saying something.

  24. Aditi says:

    thanks Matt!

    I second Omar!

    This really makes me feel special smile

    Its taking everything I’ve got to not feel rather vain raspberry

  25. Yuzhi '12 says:

    @Isshak
    I think the large waitlist is due to the changes in the admissions process at other schools, like Harvard and Princeton. They aren’t too sure of exactly how many students will decide to go in the end. Having a larger waitlist allows for that fluctuation.

    @MIT
    getting accepted seem like a fairytale at times! To think/know that I am that 11.6%. Wow! definitely feel more special now!

  26. Derek says:

    I guess we must be pretty smart then ;p Those stats just make me feel luckier than I did before!

  27. alireza says:

    @ manou,
    Hi,I have a national silver medal just like you and
    i am from tehran.I don’t think I get in.I am struggling right now to be honest.I am really happy for you,at least your in a good place.I wish the best for you and I am sure I will be hearing from your success in the future.Good luck, I hope I can get into some place good like you,happy nooroz and many congrats to you, Best regards,

  28. senna '12 says:

    Thank you, Matt!! ^^ Thank you for all the hard work you have done for us…^^

    Aww…can’t wait to get to MIT!!!

  29. Anonymous says:

    goodbye blog :( it’ll be hard to stop reading this, but I guess rejected people have no place here anymore

  30. Kh_'12 says:

    @Matt
    Why there is no fun facts here?
    i would suggest some questions
    who is the last applicant to be admitted(the 1554th lucky guy)? and when did the admission committee make that last decision?
    Is the longest distance traveled still Indonesia?

  31. Tara says:

    Manou and Alireza-

    My name is Tara and my dad is from Iran. I was admitted early action to MIT and Caltech. So, hopefully I’ll get to meet you–that would be really cool!

    Good luck and of course, Happy Norouz!

  32. senna '12 says:

    @ Aditi and Unknown ’12 (and myself..haha..),

    I guess we should have faith in the admissions committee; if they admit us, there must be something about us that assure them we’ll flourish at MIT =)
    And, statistics are statistics! And it’s median, after all, not mean…Haha…xD

    C’mooon!! MIT admits us!! ^^ be confident!! ^^

  33. Anonymous says:

    I am just a bit curious do these blogs reflect the true life at mit? or are they just exaggerating the whole process and giving us just a flowery picture.. I happened to read THETech published on March 18th and was disappointed to knw the state of the chems labs and even worse the hostile behaviour of MITCO.. I am quoting Sarah levin “Every day that we go to this school, we are told that we are not good enough, that we must work harder, that we must be better. We hear it from our professors, from our PIs, from our fellow students. We do not need to hear it from MITCO. We do not need to fit into their cookie cutter. We need to show the best of who we are, not who they think we need to be. If there is one thing I learned from high school, it is that there is no perfect applicant. There’s just you.

    I have never seen a more disheartening or upsetting mentality than I did at MITCO, and I am shocked that I found it at such a well-respected institution. We pay $42,000 a year to live and work in one of the most intense and challenging environments out there, and we deserve to get the world-class help we were promised on the first day of orientation.

    Where is that help now?”

    “http://www-tech.mit.edu/V128/N13/mitco.html”

    so do you fail to deliver the promises you make in the start?

    If this is the true state of MIT i am glad i was rejected.

    Thanks,
    Rejected but not dejected.

  34. Unknown '12 says:

    Those stats are completely unbelievable ! 780 is the MEDIAN math score on the SAT? I missed just one question and got that score.

    I’m so intimidated by my crazy amazing peers…

  35. Vytautas says:

    Riiiiiiiight. And I wanted to get in? With this competition? Better luck next year(thinking of the process already).

    And good luck to those who got admitted. And good luck to those who will have to deal with those who got admitted.

  36. Nicole '10 says:

    “we admitted students from 60 of those countries, residing in 66 different nations.” ehh? is there some difference between a country and a nation that I didn’t know about?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Matt — I’ve tried asking this question on other blogs and sites, but have yet to receive a well-supported response. So you’re my last hope. Here goes….
    I gather that some/many MIT classes determine the class average to be a ‘C.’ I read, in the Tech (http://www-tech.mit.edu/V128/N13/mitco.html), that MITCO is less than encouraging. And, on the other hand, I learn from you that MIT’s classes comprise some of the most talented national and internationl students. BUT — what happens to those students who are just “average” for MIT? Do they get into top tier grad schools? Do they get into US Med. Schools with C grades on their transcripts? Is this why MITCO is so reserved in dealing with MIT students? In short, might an “average” MIT student be better off going to a less prestigious instituion — better off in terms of post graduate placement, that is? Does the MIT average sabotage students’ futures?
    Please provide some hard facts — and not (sorry if this sounds impolite) knee-jerk reassurances about the next four years being about the “journey” and not the “end product;” or unsubstantiated assurances about MIT providing enough “status” to compensate for “average” “C” grades.
    I’m just very concerned that, after tons of work and a quarter of a million dollars, I shall be at an educational, as well as a financial, disadvantage to my high school friends who were not “lucky” enough to get into MIT.
    Thanks (hopefully I shall not have to ask this question again!).

  38. texas '12 says:

    funny thing is, all my friends were rooting for me to get in. too-bad-too-sad i guess. =P

  39. Li says:

    WOW– how did I get in compared to those stats? I guess it’s good feeling knowing that I was admitted primarily on the basis of “non-quantitative” properties.

  40. I am very interested in your institute. I got my degree from the Government Technological College,Kalay Township, Sagaing Division, Myanmar, in December 2006. My major is civil engineering. And now, I want to study there. Is it possible to study higher education about my specialized subject. Moreover, I also want to know whether the SAT test is necessary or not in addition to the TOEFL test for me. I am preparing to be able to get the admission in 2009-2010 Academic Year. And I will also take the TOEFL test in January 2009. Thank you a lot. Please guide me as much as you can.
    Faithfully Yours,
    THANG LAM TUANG

  41. Aditi says:

    @ Anonymous harping about the tech article : you posted that on every thread o.O ?!

    @Unknown ’12 : me too =)

    I’m afraid I might end up with the dubious distinction of ‘stupidest person in the class of ’12’ though!

  42. Vivi '12 says:

    My friend’s brother who attended MIT once said:
    “Once you arrive at MIT, you realize that everyone is just as stupid as you are.”

    Judging from what I’ve heard from everyone so far, I have great faith that we’ll be an amazing class. MIT ’12 for the win! =)

    Thanks for the stats, Matt! I know a lot of people have been wondering about the accept/wait/reject percentages both at CC and in other corners of the Interwebs wink

  43. cirrus says:

    @author of
    http://www-tech.mit.edu/V128/N13/mitco.html

    You were undecided for your major in your junior year in a school where most people choose a major a year and a half earlier at the end of freshman year, though the official expectation is middle of sophomore year. Furthermore, you seemed to be doing nothing outside of academics and had not even chosen to take advantage of the UROP program.

    MITCO may have seemed less than encouraging, but try to see it from their point of view. They are not miracle workers. Your college counselor got you into MIT with slightly above average grades and one extracurricular. THAT counselor was a miracle worker, and you should seriously re-evaluate what it means to be realistic.

    ‘we, at MIT, have the world at our feet’.
    Uh, no. The fact that you’re in MIT does not guarantee you anything; you still have to work like everyone else. you are only given an advantage because of the academic rigor associated with the name, and the opportunities that MIT is known for. $42,000 pays for these opportunities, but not the initiative to take advantage of them. It is the drive to take advantage of these opportunities and all that life has to offer that moves you forward in life, ‘to touch the stars’.

    and if you have reached junior year of college and still expect people to ‘hand’ success to you, you are still a child no matter what your birth certificate says.

    (I’m sorry, for this rant of my own, but its ticking me off how many people actually take this author seriously)

    ‘nuf said

  44. Anonymous says:

    I disagree with “cirrus.”
    What I suspect is happening is that reality is finally catching up with expectations and the “hype” that inhabits (somewhat inevitably, perhaps) these blogs. These blogs are invariably “rah, rah” MIT, and everyone pats eachother on the back: MIT is great, the students are great, all who can should attend, etc. etc.
    But wait… what about the reality? Some very large classes, Noble Prize Winners who lecture — but do they teach?, abundant t.a.s of varying teaching ability, and a harsh grading policy that, given the current emphasis on GPAs, might sabotage the professional dreams of 50% of the class (remember, ‘C’ is an average grade at MIT — this is not Harvard).
    I thank Sarah Levin and Campbell Proehl for two reality checks. With just over a month to go before we make our final decisions, it’s helpful to have some honest insights and not uncritical, blanket statements of adulation.

  45. Anonymous says:

    You know, it sucks applying as international after you’ve lived here for 6 friqqin years! Just because the FBI can’t find time to look at you green card application!

  46. José P. says:

    Hey, Matt, do you, by any chance, know the percentage of applicants that demonstrated proficiency in chess? What about pentago?

    (Not that I’m good at any of these games. raspberry)

  47. Everson says:

    I can’t believe this. Being one of those lucky few makes me feel so special. I really think it would be horrible for someone who go into MIT to not attend. But then again there are so many people banking on them not to attend… My qualifications were considerably under what the statistics show but somehow I got accepted, very unexpectedly. I don’t know what it is that makes me so “perfect” but I’ll do all that I can when I get there to hold myself to their standards.

  48. madmatt says:

    Hi everyone,

    I know that at least one person wants me to address the Tech op-ed, and I will try to do so in a timely manner. I don’t have the time now to write a detailed, thoughtful response, but I do have time to quickly respond to one aspect of the comments. In my experience, MIT is not a C median place. I have seen lots of statistics about grade distributions, and while it may be the case that As are not given out like candy, it is also the case that MIT is not grade deflated to the point of harming a significant number of students. More than two-thirds of MIT students will earn advanced degrees, and even most students who want to earn medical degrees have the opportunity to do so. Further, I don’t think that grading in science and engineering at MIT is as far off from the grading at Harvard as Anonymous suggests. I can speak from experience as my wife is a graduate student at Harvard in a science/engineering field. Further, I feel that these blogs do often convey both good and bad aspects of MIT, and aren’t simply “rah rah.” Have you been reading about how hosed the student bloggers are lately? But yes, most MIT students are, as are the bloggers, happy on the whole with MIT and wouldn’t trade this education for any other. Could there be improvements in MITCO, in teaching, in other aspects? Sure. But on balance, I believe in MIT, and believe it is an amazing school for what it is. It’s not the best for everyone, but for a select set of students, there’s no better place in the world.

  49. Anonymous says:

    quotas!!! I would have never believed it, unless it came out of a blogger’s hands (which, in this case, it did). MIT uses quotas in admission.

    I didn’t mind not getting admitted too badly, but this? This is outrageous. To think that even MIT uses quotas for admissions is… well, disappointing. I’d hate to think what kinds of (more) qualified people were turned down simply because others of a different nationality, race, gender, etc, were needed to fulfill quotas.

  50. madmatt says:

    Not quotas (plural) — quota (singular). We’ve been quite upfront on this site about the fact that MIT has one quota, and that is that each class such consist of no more than 8% international students. There are no other quotas on race, gender, or anything else.

  51. C Singh says:

    I have lived in USA for 4 years and have done great! I wasn’t accepted because I didn’t have a green card or citizenship!

    WOW, If we all denied international students decided to go to one school, we could make that school better than MIT.

    This quota of 8% is totally disappointing. I feel terrible that I even applied.

    There is no discrimination? WHAT IS QUOTA FOR?

    It’s not just MIT; it’s all teh American Schools.
    My admission was delayed simply because I dindn’t have a green card/citizenship even though I live in USA.

    To be accepted to MIT as an international student, the 3.9 % is misleading. From so many amazing applicants, only 120ish were supposed to be selected and that means that to get accepted, you had to better than 3/4th of the students getting accepted.

    I know a friend who got accepted yet I have done way more than him. Why, because he is American.

    By the way, I am Indian and am certainly not disappointed.

    I’ll apply again only if the acceptance rate is same as any other American.

    Thanks for reading this!

  52. Anonymous says:

    I have lived in USA for 4 years and have done great! I wasn’t accepted because I didn’t have a green card or citizenship!

    WOW, If we all denied international students decided to go to one school, we could make that school better than MIT.

    This quota of 8% is totally disappointing. I feel terrible that I even applied.

    There is no discrimination? WHAT IS QUOTA FOR?

    It’s not just MIT; it’s all teh American Schools.
    My admission was delayed simply because I dindn’t have a green card/citizenship even though I live in USA.

    To be accepted to MIT as an international student, the 3.9 % is misleading. From so many amazing applicants, only 120ish were supposed to be selected and that means that to get accepted, you had to better than 3/4th of the students getting accepted.

    I know a friend who got accepted yet I have done way more than him. Why, because he is American.

    By the way, I am Indian and am certainly not disappointed.

    I’ll apply again only if the acceptance rate is same as any other American.

    Thanks for reading this!

  53. Dot says:

    @ Class of 2012:

    “What makes our class so ‘perfect’?”… I do!! jkjk

    @ Aditi:
    Don’t worry, I’ll definitely be with you; we’ll form a club! Although, this girl from MIT called me today, and I expressed the same concern, and she said that a majority of freshmen felt that way, but now feel right at home. I guess we have to trust that admissions people like Matt know what they’re doing! lol

  54. James says:

    Sort of disappointed no news from homeschoolers. I was told that MIT was going to be looking into homeschoolers more so now than before (used to be like 1 out of 30-40? it was really high).

    So if we add-in my homeschooling factor, in addition to being a Caucasian male, I sit around 1 out of 70 chances of getting in? Let’s just say wow! I was considering legally changing my ethnicity to some other race to get a 1 in 10 chances, but is it even worth it?

    Even if I was one of the most successful kids my age pulling in an income and recognized way above the average MIT undergraduate and even few graduates, but the fact that my SATs scored would hinder me from coming to a school like this is almost depressing.

    I understand that MIT is highly competitive and that they are a LOT better than other Ivy league schools about not just looking at SAT scores (about all that Stanford does is look at that), but they won’t take into account business and success at all. Theoretically speaking: If upon graduating, coming from a low-income family, and bringing up a multi-million dollar company isn’t proof enough to get into an Ivy league school, what happen to the days when people looked up to Bill Gates (and others) for his success outside of college? I would love to see MIT, in all it’s brilliance and popularity to have some focus on people who might not have the best SAT scores, or the best recommendations, but who have the willingness to learn and try hard and are extremely successful outside of any college experience.

    I love MIT, I really do. The students that are admitted are absolutely brilliant and are changing our lives every day, but I really don’t think a moderate-scored SAT person should be given a less opportunity to be apart of such a masterpiece if they were successful in other areas of life. Areas that matter more after college life.

    I haven’t applied to MIT, nor probably will unless I could speak to an MIT representative who did not bash my homeschooling or my race (*cough* the tour to Winter Park, Florida a couple months ago was a disgrace to any Caucasian, it was a focus on only the “minorities” and high school education), but I will always keep up to date with what MIT is doing to change our everyday lives, as I will forever respect the school.

    If you have read this far, I thank you.

  55. Chris '00 says:

    Good thing you told the class they’re perfect. A real problem in recent years has been the frosh’s lack of self-confidence. Yessir, there’s nothing a thousand valedictorians need more than an ego boost.

  56. To all of you who did not get in: Much of admissions is probability…you must be aware of this. MIT is a fantastic place but is not the only game in town. I’ve studied and worked at MIT, Harvard and State Universities. Your experience is completely and utterly what YOU make it. I respect many of you for having such mature attitudes about your admission or rejection. However, speaking as a professor who hires undergrads, grad students, and creates other professors and professionals, this is FAR from the end of the world. Good luck.

    P.S. the dorms at MIT suck smile

  57. Arup says:

    James,

    I am an EC from Winter Park, FL. I attended the second half of the presentation of which you wrote. Although the presentation you were shown had pictures of students of many different ethnicities, I do not feel that “bashes” anyone’s race at all. On the contrary, I appreciated classes at MIT with students from many different ethnicities. Class discussions took on a much more global view than they did in my high school classes.

    If I spoke to you, I know that I personally did not “bash” home-schooling. I can’t speak to what others may have said individually. In the presentation itself, I don’t remember anything said that was particularly negative towards home-schooling.

    Compared to other selective schools, MIT does a very good job of not making the SAT the only benchmark for acceptance. Several of my classmates with lower SAT scores were accepted at MIT and not by other selective universities. I imagine this is because MIT looked at other aspects of their application and determined that they would fit in with MIT culture well.

    Although this is a minor point, since I’m a math teacher, I would feel remiss if I didn’t point it out. You stated that your chance of getting in would be 1 out of 70. It looks like you determined that by multiplying probabilities. But, you can only do this if the two items are independent. I don’t think the posted statistics confirm or deny that the probability of getting in for homeschooled applicants and white male applicants are independent of one another.

    To echo James, I went to other institutions and have had the pleasure of teaching about 700 high school students and several thousand college students over the past 9 years. It’s very important to understand that your college experience and your life are not dictated by the specific university you attend. I’ve seen students go to MIT and succeed with their goals and I have seen students go to community college and also succeed at their goals. (Would you believe that an acquaintance of mine who started off in CC is now a well-respected physics prof at Caltech?) What you do in life has more to do with the initiative you take to achieve your goals than where you go to school. Where ever you end up for college and beyond, take hold of the opportunities at each step of the way.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    Arup Guha (You can just search for my name on google)

  58. Alice'78 says:

    I’m a longtime EC (alumni volunteer interviewer) and I’m amazed at the international students who think they were discriminated against. MIT is extraordinarily open about the limit on international undergraduates, and the reason is the financially need-blind policy vs. available financing. MIT knows what the historic financial need is for the 8% internationals—a not insignificant number of them require 100% aid. Because international students do not qualify for the primary sources of undergrad financial aid (which are US federal programs), international students have to be paid for out of MIT’s endowment. The prudent amount to be withdrawn from the endowment means a class with 8% of undergrads are international. Grad school funding does not depend on citizenship to the extent undergraduate aid does, which is why the grad school is far more international.
    To the whiners complaining that their academic medals didn’t get them in—when the admission rates are this low, your academics get you only into the maybe pile, but who you are as a human being is what gets you admitted to MIT, or not. Olympiads or other forms of test-taking don’t show much about the risk-taking and initiative that MIT wants to see in you. Remind yourself that almost everyone who was rejected by MIT would have done fine here. REALLY. But when the decisions have to get made, MIT has learned that above a certain level, grades and scores and tests are irrelvant in determining who will make the most out of the MIT education. It is the subjective part of your application that makes the difference. Apparently, other applicants had more compelling stories than yours, this time. There are hundreds of colleges around the globe where you can get an amazing undergraduate education. Then if MIT is still high on your list, reapply for grad school. Success in life is far more about how you live your life than about where your academic credentials come from.

  59. Anon says:

    @unknown12 up there
    I got 800 on SAT1 Maths & did not get in.And I knew all the questions.So whats the big deal!

  60. Anonymous says:

    I am an international student, my SAT scores don’t scream “GENIUS!!!” and I demand considerable financial aid; and I was admitted. I don’t think the quota is discrimination of any sort; it’s simply a realistic approach to taking in as many as can be comfortably accommodated.

  61. BK says:

    I am the one up there

  62. Anon says:

    @BK
    Yes I am a genius and I know that I can walk into the best schools in my country.And I know that people from these schools are all over the world and in some of the best schools including MIT as graduate, Phd students, professors etc.
    So congrats to you and all the best!

  63. Rob B says:

    I second the request for male-female stats