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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

The Early Applications… by Matt McGann '00

Things are getting busy here at MIT Admissions!

*Update as of 2015: Early action is available to both domestic and international students.


Things are getting busy here at MIT Admissions!

Yesterday, a student came in my office and said, "Pink! I've never seen so much pink!" (This year's application cover sheets are pink) There are many, many applications to be reviewed.

I know some of you have been checking the Application Tracking System on MyMIT, and may be worried about documents that were sent before the deadline but have not yet appeared as received.


We are still backed up in our Records Office, having received lots and lots (and lots and lots) of mail. (The Wall Street Journal today is reporting that our early applications are up 10%) We are working as quickly as possible to process all of this mail, and hope to be completely caught up within the next few days.

In the meantime, we are only reading the most complete applications. So, if we are missing multiple parts of your application, we will continue to wait before reading your application. We will fully review every application prior to going to selection committee.

If there are materials that are still missing, you can have those materials faxed to 617-258-8304. Please be patient, as materials take a day or two to process.

Now, to get back to reading applications…

100 responses to “The Early Applications…”

  1. Hunter '11 says:

    Good luck, everyone!

  2. donaldGuy says:

    If first quarter grades are more of the (good) same, are they worth sending?

    If we send them how should we indicated on the mid-year grade report sheet that these are first quarter grades and not first semester (which I realize will also need to be sent)?

    Good luck with the application reading. I hope you like some (a specific one, in particular ^_^)

    ~Donald Guy

  3. Natasha says:

    Yesterday, to my utter delight, the tracking system dutifully told me that all sections of the application, excluding the mid-year grade report, had been processed. The lack of “oh please don’t be lost in the mail” is certainly wonderful. I did have a close shave though — for some reason, my teacher recommendations had been processed but not my secondary school report. We worked it out though.

    Good luck, everyone!

  4. Marissa says:

    My second letter of recommendation finally appeared on MyMIT! Thank goodness.

    Good luck to all those other ’12 hopefuls out there smile

  5. Paul says:

    Good luck everybody! smile

    To all those applying RA, I am working on an entry regarding applications that I hope to get finished by next week. Right now, my biggest piece of advice (besides reiterating Matt’s “don’t panic”) is simply this: get busy! The RA deadline is in six weeks. Though that may seem far away, it’ll be here before you know it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don’t Panic!
    Great Douglas Adams reference.

  7. Sandy says:

    Is the Early Action application considered incomplete until the mid-year grade report form is received? Are applications being read & go to selection that have all but this form? I ask because our school is on the trimester system and grades may not be available until after mid December. If they are required, should we have them send in progress reports from mid-trimester. Thanks.

  8. Arkajit says:

    Don’t Panic, also a good song by Coldplay. Listen to it — the advice and the song. I’m sure it’ll cheer you up. =)

  9. Thomas '12 says:

    Hey… guys! I know this great restaurant at the end of the universe. Anyone feel like lunch?

  10. lirao says:

    Since I’m RA, so I’m not panicking (yet). But there’s something that’s bugging me for a long time: on Part 2 of the App, there’s a section “List Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or GCSE courses taken or under way.”

    I’m a Singapore student, so I’ve taken my O-levels, and my A-levels are currently ending soon (2 papers left ^o^) I’d think I should list down all my O-levels and (result-pending) A-levels in this section, but there’s only 12 spaces! Would it show up as an inconsistency if I left out some of my O-levels in here to make space for my A-levels? Or does it not matter, since I’ve already submitted my Secondary School Report (which included the O-level certs)?

    Thank you!
    (and good luck to all the EAs~)

  11. Snively says:


    No worries, just send in you mid-year report when you get it. I got mine at the end of January but was accepted in December. You’re in good shape!

  12. AnonyParent says:

    I am the parent of one of you early applicants. Are all of you as wound up as my kid? The posts above sound pretty familiar.

    The kid in question has been dreaming, thinking, breathing and obsessing about this application for months. I know there are more MIT EA deferrals than rejections, overall, but can one of you experienced types let me know how to lower this child softly if the desired results don’t materialize? Any strategies?

  13. Shannon says:

    For anyone who’s interested in the Wall Street Journal article that Matt talks about, it’s here.

    Just FYI.

  14. Anon9 says:

    Eek… “Don’t Panic”

    I greatly appreciate the assurance, but somehow, I can’t ward off the imposing fear that something has gone wrong…

    –still missing a Letter of Rec.

    I will wait for JUST a couple more days; with the 1-week no-school holidays looming, I really really hope my anxious jitters are just completely absurd nonsensical figments of my imagination, and maybe if I go check now, it shall have a happy yes-we-have-received-it check mark next to “Evaluation B”…

  15. Ana says:

    My high school runs on a trimester schedule, but I take all of my classes at a local community college except for one (where everything is on a semester schedule). Should I still send in my midyear report after the first trimester even though it will only have on grade on it, or should I wait until the end of the first semester when I got my five other grades? Thanks (Paul).

  16. Ana says:

    errr *one grade

  17. Jübāgəl says:

    @AnonyParent: I have on good knowledge (as one such child myself) that the best way to soften the blow of defeat (but really, let’s be optimistic and pretend that there’s no way it can happen!) is to give your miniature-self some ice-cream. Everybody loves ice-cream; everybody forgets their problems to the cold scoop of vanilla…just don’t dish out too much, because comfort-eating is technically not healthy.

    Ice-cream would also be a valid way to celebrate acceptance, so whatever the outcome, make sure you’ve some ice-cream on hand for it.

  18. Meg says:

    heh.. don’t panic. If only it were as easy to do it as it is to type it.

    All my application pieces are in, and have been for the good part of 3 weeks, and yet, panic seems to be the word of the month.

    I want this more than just about anything I’ve ever wanted, and therefore can’t seem to get it off my mind. I really wish mid-December would approach more quickly.

    Good luck everyone who applied. smile

  19. Anonymous says:

    Anon9, I’m in the same position that you are in!! It is really hard not to panic when the decision date is just a month away and they’ve recieved everything else but that one piece of information!! Everytime i go onto the application tracker, I cross my fingers hoping that the check mark will show up, but it doesn’t. I’m trying very hard not to panic!

  20. Travis says:

    I too am an EA. However, one blog (can’t remember whose) put this in {some} context – ENJOY whatever is going on in your life! The MIT admissions people are great, and they won’t unfairly kick you out because of some paperwork snafu. Breathe and eat a lot of turkey for Thanksgiving wink

  21. Javi says:

    I feel all of the anxiety as well! But it’s only natural. I think I speak for all the EA applicants when I say that this is one of the most STRESSFUL times in my life!

    Good luck to all those anxious EA applicants!

  22. Amy says:

    OMG!!! I can’t reach my EC!!! I’m gonna die…@[email protected]

  23. Vivek says:

    I apologize if this post sounds at all arrogant. I am an EA applicant and as far as numbers go I’m probably somewhere on the lower half of the spectrum of the EA applicants. I want to go to MIT as much as many of you (although I’m sure there are some whose desire to attend undergraduate school there exceeds my own). So why am I not stressed? Well, there are two reasons.
    The first is because I have pressed the submit button and things are out of my hands. If the tracker says you are missing something, I can get why you may be concerned, but like Travis mentioned above, the admissions people are not about to toss your application in the trash because one piece may be delayed. Also, maybe they just haven’t gotten to yours yet.
    Secondly, I have confidence in my ability to succeed. If you are this focused on getting into MIT, chances are you’re already a high caliber thinker, so have confidence in yourself.

    If you simply HAVE to worry about something, then worry about where your towel is.

  24. Meg says:

    What amazes me is that I’ve been reading these blogs religiously since my freshman year of high school, and every year Matt or another admissions blogger posts this same message. Yet, this year, when its actually my turn to apply, I still worry that my docs haven’t been received.

    Oh irony.

  25. Jeremy says:

    OK, thanks everyone for the help smile…I’ll be sending in my mid-year grade report when they come out, spare my counselor a little extra work and spare her doing the first quarter grade report raspberry

  26. Vivek says:

    Amy – If you can’t reach your EC at all and you’ve been at it for a week or two, then I suggest emailing admissions. My first EC didn’t really exist… so I let them know and they fixed it for me.

  27. Anonymous says:

    if i submitted an extra letter of rec, will that show up on the tracking system?

  28. Paul says:

    @ Anonymous: No, supplemental materials (including extra letters of recommendation) will not appear on the tracking system. I understand your worry, it’d be great if they did, but I assure you that everything will be received. ^_^

    @ Donald: In general, I’d say anything that’s good news can’t really hurt you. In retrospect, I feel that I sent in more materials than were really necessary when I applied – but I don’t regret taking the effort. Ultimately, it’s up to you. However, if you do decide to send them in, do it quickly to ensure timely receipt.

    @ Amy: As Vivek said, contacting admissions is a good idea if your EC has been totally unreachable. However, if you’ve only been trying email, I would definitely suggest giving him or her a call as well.

    @ Karen: Beat you. raspberry

    @ Arkajit: “Don’t Panic” is all right, but “The Scientist” is far superior.

  29. Anonymous says:

    LOL Jubagel. That is the best advice ever. Ice cream is awesome. I hope I get some if I get deferred/rejected. Or even if I get accepted. *yum*

    Question: Over the past few months I’ve been filling out grant applications/letters for my math team, and today I found out that we were approved for one for $375! Overall, then, I’ve raised almost $600 for the team this year. I didn’t really talk about that on my application. Would that be the sort of thing to send in an email as an update/if-you-haven’t-already-read-my-application-here’s-a-bit-of-extra-info sort of thing? Or overall, will it not make much of a difference?

  30. Paul, you’ll probably know this; you’re like the unofficial application guru! =) If we sent in our main essay separately (due to formatting we wanted to keep), will that show up on the tracking system? Does MIT contact applicants if they are missing something for EA?

    If anyone else knows this, please feel free (even OBLIGATED) to respond. =) I’m trying to decide whether or not to email the office, I don’t want to annoy them anymore than I have… Then again, it’s THE ESSAY. Nothing gets more consideration than that……

  31. **By separately, I meant that I applied online but sent in my essay by USPS.

  32. Duane says:

    I’ve met the testing requirements and all parts of my application are in, but I’ve got new ACT and SAT II scores comming in during the next week or so.

    Is MIT going to wait for those? Because my application is complete, just not up-to-date with test scores.

  33. Mike1 says:

    I’ve sent in a research paper with my EA application, which I’d like to be read by a professor specialized in that topic rather than an admissions officer or grad student. Tried to also send in PDF to admissions but got a respnse saying they don’t open attachments. Should I resend it to admissions on CD-Rom by mail? How do I make sure a professor gets to see my research? Should I contact a prof in that dept directly?

  34. Isshak says:

    Good luck to all EA ! You lucky people… even though mine is already sent !

  35. Paul says:

    @ Yet Another: Thanks for the compliment – just leave the emphasis on “unofficial.” wink

    Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that an essay sent via postal mail falls into the “supplemental materials” category, and probably will not show up on the tracking system. Considering how important the essay is, I’d say double-checking with the Admissions Office to ensure safe receipt is more than warranted in this case.

    As a bonus response, here’s two general comments I’d like to make about contacting the Admissions Office.

    1. By their very nature, phone calls generally elicit a faster response than emails, especially if your question is something as relatively easy to check as “have you received piece X of my application?”

    2. Contacting the Admissions Office about your application is not an annoyance to them! Remember, the admissions staff are here to help you in whatever way they can. I speak from experience: I once had to call the Admissions Office when I applied (due to a problem with the College Board being slow to send out my SAT scores), and the person I talked to was extremely friendly and helpful. With her assistance, the issue was resolved quickly and efficiently.

    @ Duane: Very good question – you should probably check with Matt or another actual admissions officer on this, since I don’t know the actual answer. However, since MIT does consider results from November standardized tests for EA applicants, I would guess that your file will indeed be looked at again once it is updated with the new scores.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Is it true that acceptances will be mailed in tubes similar to prior years?

  37. WOW! says:

    @Mike1- I doubt that they would get your paper read by a professor–see matt mcgann’s entry on that. I would send an abstract, or better, write about it in your creativity essay. Caltech, on the other hand would read it and they make that clear.

  38. Paul says:

    This one’s long enough to get its own comment. Unless you’re interested in reading about research papers, feel free to skip it.

    @ Mike: I also sent in a research paper when I applied. While I understand your desire to have it read by a professor, sometimes that just isn’t possible – mine certainly wasn’t! Sending in a paper is fine, but in almost no circumstance will the content of the paper per se make or break your application.

    Here’s one of Matt’s earlier comments on research papers, taken from this blog. “I think research papers are best talked about in the completely optional essay (“about something that you have created”) or in an extra recommendation from your research mentor. It is unlikely that if you submit a complete research paper that we will be able to have it properly evaluated during our process. We’ll be most interested in your research experience: how you got interested in the field, how you acquired your research opportunity, your results, what you learned, how this experience influences your future plans, etc.”

    So, from the man himself, a research paper by itself is really not as important as what that paper means in the larger context of your passions, achievements, and goals.

    Let me also say this. In addition to being friendly and helpful, the admissions officers here also happen to be pretty damn smart – and they’ve been doing this long enough to know a well-written research paper when they read one. While they may not necessarily be trained in the specific field you investigated a good research paper should be still be mostly accessible to the general public anyway. And just so you know I’m not pulling this out of an unmentionable orifice, I actually have talked to Matt specifically about this issue. From what I remember of our conversation, anyone who reads your application and sees your paper will, at the very least, pick it up and skim through it (most likely focusing on the abstract). If they like what they see, kudos to you; if not, it’s not going to kill you. Seriously. And remember you have something like 12 people who look at your application, so odds are you will impress at least one of them. smile

    That being said, if you still are dead-set on contacting a professor here and having him or her look at your paper on your behalf, I’m not going to stop you. ^_^ If you want to discuss the finer details of your situation, I’m always here to talk; just write to pbaranay [at] mit [dot] edu.

  39. Shamarah says:

    Oh yeah, I was wondering if EA acceptees get big tubes, too! That’d be exciting. Either way, I guess we’ll find out in December if that’s the case this year wink

  40. Paul says:

    @ Parent: I’m not a parent, so my advice is probably sort of skewed, but here I go anyway. wink Personally, I feel the most important thing to remember is that rejection is part of the risk you take when you apply to a school like MIT. But at the same time, I still believe that taking that risk is always better than wondering what might have happened. It’s not easy to deal with rejection, but it really does happen to all of us eventually. If you focus on the positive and on all that lies ahead of you, you’ll work through it.

    This entry by Matt may also help.

    Also, chocolate >> vanilla.

    @ Mathonymous: Yes. Keep it short, simple, and humble. And don’t be afraid to let your excitement show through. wink Finally, consider send it by email or fax (including your full name and DOB) to ensure prompt receipt.

    @ lirao: I don’t know that much about international tests, unfortunately. Hopefully Matt or another reader will give you advice shortly. smile

    @ Ana: I would suggest sending in two separate midyear grade reports. After the first trimester, send in one with your current high school course grade(s)/GPA/rank. Later, after the semester ends, send in a second one with your college grades. You may want to attach a note to the first one, explaining your situation and asking the office to expect a second midyear report (from the college) later. Does that sound good? ^_^

    @ Tube-onymous: Yes, EA acceptees will get tubes. It’s tradition. :D

  41. zatomics says:

    If my application is totally complete except for a supplemental recommendation which hasn’t reached you yet, and you have started reviewing my application (you said you’d be reading the most complete ones), will you read it again once you get this new addition to my application? i.e., if an application is read through, would you go back to it and reconsider it, taking into account a supplemental recommendation that came in a bit late?

  42. Anonymous says:

    what happens if, for example, one of the teacher’s evaluation, or the secondary school report, doesn’t reach you. will you consider us without it, or just dismiss our app ? I’m RA by the way.

  43. Snively says:


    When everything is processed the admissions office announces it. If you still have something missing from mymit then an emergency last minute fax will usually do the trick.

  44. AwayfromHome says:

    Tubes? Does this apply to students overseas as well?
    Actually, that brings up another question: regardless of outcome, will I be informed via post, or e-mail, and if post, which address? My permanent address is in the States, but I’m spending my senior year here in Germany, so I figured I’d put my German address as mailing address–that would mean I get responses here via post, right?

  45. Anonymous says:

    i know that they should receive everything, but IF they don’t, what happens ?

  46. Snively says:


    I hope admissions would send the tube to you overseas, that’d be nice of them. Also, if you get in, you’ll be getting a lot of mail from MIT that you’ll want delivered to you and not to your home, so I’d say registering your address in Germany would be a good idea.

    As for how you get your decision, typically the mail is all sent on one day and the day after it is sent there is a website you can log on to to check your decision. This means, for everybody but people that live right near Cambridge, you can see your decision online before you get a tube in the mail. It currently re-routes you to mitadmissions, but the URL will be

  47. Isshak says:

    Ah, when that day will come, when we will type the adress in our browser…press enter…wait…and see…
    Mars ! Please come quickly !

  48. 2 Things.
    1. Thanks, Paul, you were right about calling, it took me two seconds to confirm with someone on the phone about my application!
    2. Has MIT set a date for EA decisions yet? I was thinking some time along the lines of December 8?


  49. Nathan Araya says:

    I’m not in high school i’m in junior high, and i know that you professors might probably think that there is no need to bother about this know, but. I’m a AVID student ( Adavancement Via Individual Determination, and this program is mainly about college preperation. The reason why i choosed this school in particular is because this school has to do with tech,and i want to become a electronics engineer. So please don’t reject my comment because i’m doing this for a project and also so i know what will come up later in life. So it would be nice if you professors could send me a viewbook of the school bye!!!

  50. Nathan Araya says:

    I’m not in high school i’m in junior high, and i know that you professors might probably think that there is no need to bother about this know, but. I’m a AVID student ( Adavancement Via Individual Determination, and this program is mainly about college preperation. The reason why i choosed this school in particular is because this school has to do with tech,and i want to become a electronics engineer. So please don’t reject my comment because i’m doing this for a project and also so i know what will come up later in life. So it would be nice if you professors could send me a viewbook of the school bye!!!

  51. Nihar says:

    Good Luck EA Applicants!!

    @Paul: I think I will take your advice and get busy. 6 weeks isnt much, especially not when you’re applying to the first-choice college….and yea, I am eagerly expecting your post next week.

  52. Jeremy says:

    Like others who have commented, I have not yet submitted my mid-year grade report for the early action application. My school goes by semesters, and the mid-year grades are issued at the end of the semester (which is in January for this school year).
    I don’t want my application to be pending and not accepted without my mid-year grades (which as stated come out after admission letters come out!)

    So, should I submit my first quarter grades on the mid-year grade report instead?

  53. Kelly says:

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

  54. Paul says:

    @Donald/Sandy/Jeremy: First off, Early Action applicants are not required to send in the Mid-Year Grade Report until their first semester (or first trimester) grades are released. So I’m reasonably certain that EA applications with everything except this form are indeed considered “complete.” smile

    As for sending in your current grades, the application instructions say, “Early Action applicants on quarter-based systems often ask if it is okay to send in their first-quarter grades. This is not required, but it’s certainly okay. Please note, however, that you must still send in the mid-year report after the second quarter grades have been released.”

    So yes, feel free to do send in current grades, even if you’re not formally at the end of a semester or trimester. Using the mid-year form is a great idea since it already has all the appropriate fields on it. Just have your guidance counselor clearly write something like “nth Quarter” or “Middle of nth Trimester” somewhere on the form (where n equals the appropriate integer raspberry). Finally, a word of caution regarding GPA/rank: make sure your GC uses the most recent official values – don’t recalculate your GPA yourself.

  55. Karen says:

    @ Donald, Sandy, and Jeremy: On the website, it says that first quarter grades don’t need to be sent but can. Since they’re not requiring them, I assume that they’re like all the additional information – useful if you’re on the edge, but you’re not going to be admitted on your first-quarter grades alone. The Mid-Year grade report still needs to be sent after your 1st semester / trimester grades are out – I assume that MIT has the same early-action policy as numerous other schools in that if you don’t maintain your usual GPA, your admission offer will be retracted.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Paul, for clearing that up! smile

    However, still another nosy question (that’s probably on many people’s minds, especially): I understand that it’s okay to not send in our first quarter grades, but will doing so hurt us in comparison with other applicants who do send them in? Even a little?

  57. donaldGuy says:

    I’m somewhat hesitant to put this in public for sake of humility, but the question isn’t precise without specifics

    I have over a 4.0 GPA with all A’s for final (all that go into GPA) grades (which has NOT been easy) for my high school career

    I also made it through the first quarter of this year with straight A’s.

    So this is completely in line with the trend and doesn’t show anything additional, except that, at least this far, I’ve managed to maintain momentum into my senior year and succeed in these new classes.

    Will officially reporting this add anything to my application / is it worth giving the admissions staff yet another piece of mail to deal with?


  58. Anon9 says:

    >>>>>Still missing my Letter of Rec (Eval. B)–should I ask my teacher to mail it again tomorrow–last day before the 1-week holidays? Please help!<

    should I fax it?? Should I wait some more??

    Does MIT notify you of missing items though email or something?? (I know it would show on the myMIT but how do you know if they haven’t opened/looked for it yet, OR the mail never got there???)

    Trying not to panic:

  59. IKMC says:

    Rejection letters should be shaped as X’s. That would be great.

  60. Taylor says:

    ^If great equals awful, then yes.

    Heh. I’m joking, sort of. It’s a funny concept, but just imagining receiving a giant X is horrid.

  61. Snively says:


    I think when it’s mid-March and you get a huge envelope that says “MIT” in the corner you don’t really care if there are shapes or pictures on the envelope. I think it’s more like you run around the house screaming and then rip the envelope to shreds to get at what’s in it.

    But that’s just me.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Here’s food for thought: why a tube? Actually, I’m really curious, if anyone knows, you should share!

    Why not something else? Like an acceptance… sphere?


  63. I would have to say it has something to do with the practical mailing system? Not sure if the USPS wants to handle a couple hundred spheres lol

  64. AwayFromHome says:

    Well, I’m wondering if EA students who made it in haven’t yet begun creating a “series of tubes” on campus. I think it’d be fitting.

  65. Isshak says:

    No lol you didn’t understand me. I meant is there something on the letter making it stand out from the rejected one, besides the size, that’s all. But knowing where I live, I’ll check out the decision online. I hope there won’t be a powercut !

  66. Jean '11 says:

    Good Luck to all the EA applicants!

  67. Snively says:

    lol, why a tube? I honestly don’t know, probably becuase tubes are more convinient for paper and posters and such. I think my favorite part about my tube was the $9 stamp on it. It was holographic! Also, anon9, deferred/rejected get a normal letter. Regular Action acceptances get a big envelope stuffed with all sorts of fun paperwork in it. Basically, if you get big mail smile if you get small mail :(

  68. Isshak says:

    A big enveloppe for accepted RA ? Is there something special on the enveloppe, like shapes or pictures ?

  69. Shamarah says:

    From what I’ve heard, Isshak, the deferred and rejected letters are both standard size. The one that everyone wants is bigger than that. I think that’s the only way you can tell.

    Would you really need another clue though? I’d hate for my envelope to say “Better luck next time.” on the front of it, haha.

  70. Isshak says:

    You know I’ve just realized I don’t really care about the letter since I’ll find out online (and cry OR crash my computer and jump around like a crazy bunny who got accepted to MIT ^^’). I’ll never be able to wait for the letter to come !
    By the way I’ve asked this question countless times, but I never got an answer. Do you have statistics for students who applied ? Just applied, by country, because I wanted to check if anyone ever applied from my country…

  71. Natasha says:

    Anon9: If you’re second evaluation hasn’t been processed yet, definitely have your teacher fax it. You could also call the Admissions Office and ask about it; I was also missing something, and they were very nice and helping about it.

  72. Shamarah says:

    So where are you from, Isshak?

  73. Isshak says:

    Benin (west africa). And the stats told me there hasn’t been any student from Benin since 1996, but that doesn’t mean none applied…that’s why I’m curious.
    What about you ?

  74. Shamarah says:

    United States of America. :D My name only SOUNDS Arabic. So how’d you hear about the Institute from all the way over there?

  75. Anon9 says:

    Wow! A “tube” mail for EA acceptees??

    That just takes MIT to an even higher level which I never though possible (MIT is on my highest level, you see)!

    Anyways, my question is (not trying to sound pessimistic or anything–totally just curious):

    What kind of shaped mail do rejected or deferred people get??
    I hope they don’t get “regular” mail (aka flat retangular envelope)

    And does this mean that Regular Action acceptees get “regular” mail??

  76. Anon9 says:

    hello, all,

    Some(major) problems with Evaluation (Letter of Rec). Lost in mail?? Don’t know where in the US or elsewhere it may be.

    Asked for it to be sent again–may be sent in a couple days (2-4 days?? hopefully). Today is Nov 16.

    How bad is this situation? What do I do?? This cannot be good.
    Am worried. How will this impact EA app??? What can I do?

    Help, please…

  77. Anon9 says:

    hello, all,

    Some(major) problems with Evaluation (Letter of Rec). Lost in mail?? Don’t know where in the US or elsewhere it may be.

    Asked for it to be sent again–may be sent in a couple days (2-4 days?? hopefully). Today is Nov 16.

    How bad is this situation? What do I do?? This cannot be good.
    Am worried. How will this impact EA app??? What can I do?

    Help, please…

  78. Natasha says:

    Anon9: Can your teacher fax it? It’ll get there immediately (may take a day or two to process, but it will definitely be there faster than snail mail).

  79. Shamarah says:


    I don’t think they’ll start reading your application without your letters of recommendation, so at the most it’ll delay the reading of your file. I’m not in the Admissions Office but you could call them to ask what to do if you’re worried hmmm

    Don’t panic!, remember?

  80. aathira says:

    is it better to submit regular apps well before jan 1??

  81. Anon9 says:

    Yes, I have asked my teacher to fax it but teacher is (amazingly/awfully/horribly/unfortunately) busy
    Teacher said will do TOMORROW… cross your fingers!! I really, really, reelly, really, really, reaally hopes that all this works out!
    I have called my teacher’s house sooo many times today to no avail (aka, teacher’s not home).
    Now it’s late, and so my teacher (finally reached) says “tomorrow”-SIGH.
    I understand people being busy (including me) but this is AWFULLY IMPORTANT!! AHHH!! THE STRESS!!

    THANK YOU ALL WHO HAVE OFFERED HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS!! I feel loads better (but still EAAARRRGGG!!! OH NO OH NO OH NO! If that can describe it…)


  82. Anonymous says:

    Hey, spheres would be pretty cool, if a little haphazard… MIT still gets major points for being creative with the tubes. But it stinks that the regular accepted applicants only get envelopes and not tubes as well, it’s so anticlimactic after everyone raves about the tubular greatness of EA! =D

  83. Anonymous says:

    and so not fair that int students can’t apply EA. if US can, why not int ? other top schools let int students apply EA…i want a tube ! and a decision in december mostly…

  84. SoWrong says:

    As a parent I’ve been wrong in the advice I’ve offered my daughter on more than one occasion. WRT the application process, I wonder whether more is better, and would appreciate some input.
    I’ve advised her not to retake the SAT, not to take additional AP tests, and most recently on the application, I advised her not to send a resume in addition to the application. Her SATs were in the high 2100, she takes a fair number of AP classes (3-4 per year), and her activities are very respectable. As I understand, many of her friends independently study and take AP tests even though they haven’t taken classes in these subjects. Against my advice, she retook the SAT and improved her score by more than 200 points, but she regrets not taking additional AP tests when she had the chance. As she applied EA to MIT, I didn’t think it necessary for her to include a resume or to submit a research paper she wrote. I suppose if her application is deferred, it would be possible to submit these and other letters of recommendation, but I would really like to know if these additional documents make a difference. The application asks for a minimum, presumable because from this it is possible to assess a candidate, but I’ve been known to be wrong. So, is more better, worse, or indifferent? Please don’t say it depends… Also, all things being equal, would taking 12 AP tests improve someone’s changes of getting accepted than only taking 6 (assuming scores of 4s and 5s) or would it backfire?

  85. Let your daughter decide for herself. You along with many other parents seem way to involved in your kids’ college processes. My mom doesn’t even know that this website exists and has left the entire college process up to me, always being supportive when I ASK FOR IT.

    This has provided me with more confidence when writing my application but it has also taught me independence and self-reliance which I fear many teens completely lack. I study hard in school because I choose to do so. So just a little advice, your kids might bear the brunt of your overreaching authority when they leave their sphere of home life and go off to college.

  86. Snively says:

    @GoodAdvicetothemotheraboveme & SoWrong

    There’s a difference between overbearing and looking out for somebody’s best interests. The difference between 6 APs and 12 APs on an application is almost null, especially if those extra six were going to be independent study. As far as AP tests go, your advice was dead on, very well done. May will be a much more relaxing month for all of you.

    High 2100s on the SATs is also plenty good enough to get into MIT. Raising the score, although it may feel as though it would help you, doesn’t. Ben and Matt have said repeatedly that past a certain threshold, SAT scores just don’t matter. If it starts with a 7 then you’re golden. I was in the same ~2200 range and was plenty competitive. Again, very good advice, stress avoided.

    In regards to submitting suplimental research and resumes, in my opinion you made the right choice, especially since this is an EA application. It’s very possible to get into MIT without such documentation. If, for some reason, your daughter is deferred, having something additional to submit is great! No need to through everything you’ve got at admissions right off if it’s unnecessary. Hold on to your “secret weapon” in case something happens, you’ll feel much better knowing you can send more stuff to them.

    As to parents be involved in the college application process, I’d agree that a hands-off approach is optimal, but not final. If it’s clear that decisions are being made that are taxing and not contributing the overall appeal of your daughter’s application, stepping in to help her is a great idea. Everybody likes a little help, especially if it’s good advice that warns you not to go hog wild with submitting a bazillion things to a bazillion colleges. Less is more, I’d agree.

    But if you get deferred, fight like crazy! wink

  87. Roy says:

    I’d like to weigh in on the subject of parental involvement. As a parent of an EA applicant, I completely agree that the process should belong to the student, and that parents often become too invested in said process. However, I’ve learned that applying to MIT and similar schools is a full-time job for the student, and trying to accomplish and coordinate the multitude of tasks while attending school and pursuing extracurriculars like marching band (10-15 hours/week) can be stressful at the least. Help from a parent, sibling, or friend who can help proofread an essay or an application, or notice an interview scheduling conflict, can be reassuring and invaluable. I for one, have enjoyed this process (with the second of my four kids!) and have tried to keep it enjoyable for my child too.

  88. Paul says:

    @ Anon: Calling the Admissions Office isn’t a bad idea, but I don’t think you need to send it in again. If you faxed it, they definitely have it – there’s just a lot of paper to shift through.

  89. Anonymous says:

    the admissions office finally got everything!! a huge relief! I’m so happy!

  90. Anonymous says:

    I had evaluation B faxed in, and it still hasn’t updated two, three days later. Any advice at all on what I should be doing right now? fax it in again? wait a while? call the admissions office?
    but it does seem that many peoples evaluation B hasn’t been processed. Is this because there is a backup for just this part of the application? Its hard to see that the application would be complete if isn’t wasn’t for this one missing part.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you very much.

  91. Anonymous says:

    okay so question: ik that first semester grades should be consistent with my past years grades, but what if im struggling in one of my ap classes? im definately not failing but it isnt as high as my grades usually are. how badly will that affect my chance of acceptance?

  92. Anon9 says:

    Same here MIT Admissions got EVERYTHING! ALL CHECK-MARKs and ready to go!! YAAAY!!

    This is the best early-Christmas present EVER!!

    I would do a cartwheel…but it is not possible on this blog…


  93. Anonymous says:

    Should it say processed next to standardized tests in the application tracking? Everything else has been processed (except for midyear report, of course). The tests all have dates listed but no scores. Also, I took the tests back in June and had the scores reported then, before I had a mymit account. Would they have kept scores until they had an application to go with them, or do I need to have them resent now?

  94. Roshan says:

    I sent in an addition to my application – a letter from a congressman – saying that I will be participating in a Congressional Student Advisory Committee. I faxed it to MIT through the school. How will I kbow if they received it, and will it count towards my application??? Also, I must say – I agree with some previous posts. Until I find out whether I have been accepted or not – I will panic! ^_^;; I guess I just really want in! =) Good luck to all, and Happy Thanksgiving!! ^_^

  95. Jennifer says:

    I am an early decision applicant and I am fulfilling my senior year requirements for graduation through a study abroad program in Switzerland.
    Although I am technically still part of the US school system, I do not exactly have “real” grades. I get graded in about half of my classes (all maths and sciences) which are all out of 6 points, with 4 being a passing mark. I asked my American high school counselor about it, and she said she thinks it would be appropriate simply to send the “grades” with a brief explanation, even though the sheet says “for students in the US school system only”. Should I be sending these grades or simply an explanation letter as to why I have no mid-year grade report in order to make my application “complete”?

    Thank you and happy Turkey Day! (sadly it doesn’t exist overseas, so I had to have a can of cranberry sauce sent!)

  96. Berkeley says:

    While there is no official mid-December date for decisions to come out does anyone from the admissions office have their own unofficial opinions or guesses as to when it’ll be?

  97. Raghav says:

    Hi. I submitted 1-2 research reports of mine along with my Early Action application but I realized only after that there is some inaccuracy although the overall result is not affected. Can I re-send the corrected reports or do they not matter?

  98. Anon9 says:

    @Anonymous: Same here. My SAT scores all have only dates (no actual scores), and they arrived in good times after I sent them (1-2 weeks after) so I think that is fine. (I sent them in October)

    But still, to put our minds at ease, does anyone know exactly what SAT scores look like when they are “processed”? Are they supposed to only have JUST dates and nothing else (no scores), without any official-looking words like “processed”??

    It would be nice to know… Thanks!