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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

The Undecideds, Part 2 by Matt McGann '00

Continuing on the thread began yesterday… With 10 days to go until the May 1st postmark deadline for your college decision, I figure now is as good a time as any to the students who are still undecided: How can we help you make your decision? What more would you like to know about MIT? What are your lingering concerns? Etc. Here are some of yesterday’s comments:

Joe wrote, “Um, well…getting my financial info would be nice. The financial aid office says they’ll get it to me next week. Are they really that busy though? I mean…I know I got my CSS done a little late but it’s still been done for a couple weeks now :(” And Anonymous wrote, “Why have some of us not recieved our financial aid packages yet? I know I got all of my information in on time. Why did we not recieve our financial aid package on the April 1st date we were told?”

Joe, I’ll look into it. And Anon, include your email address (or name) the next time you comment so I can look into it for you, too. I’ve already been able to track down some financial aid answers for some other commenters, and I’m sure I can help you out, too.

Carly wrote, “I’m kind of worried about the food situation at MIT but honestly I’m only undecided becuase of my parents.”

Carly, what are your parent’s concerns? If it would be helpful, I can have Nance give them a call to chat a bit about things…

As for the food, I was actually very happy at MIT. MIT didn’t lock me into an inflexible 20-meals-a-week plan like many of my friends at other colleges, which allowed me to 1) occasionally cook for myself when I wanted without taking a financial hit, and 2) try some of the 200+ restaurants within a mile of Lobby 7. And my dorm had a dining hall, so every night my friends and I got to share a great meal around the table and talk about our day… it was like family dinner back home. What kinds of concerns do you have about the food?

Quentin (“90% for MIT at the moment”) wrote, “So I guess the thing you guys can help with is to show us more of MIT’s culture, and make sure we know it’s an awesome place to study. I’ve been concerned that MIT’s classes will be so detailed and exhausting that I won’t have time to partake in all the clubs and student activities at MIT. I saw many students, even during CPW, spending a lot of their time in front of a laptop or books studying. While that’s not a bad thing, I worry that it will be hard to balance work and play.”

Well, Q, below I’ve compiled some of my entries that have focused on the “play” side of the “work hard, play hard” culture of MIT, especially the unique/quirky side of MIT “play.” It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives a sense:

So, the question is open: With 10 days to go until the May 1st postmark deadline for your college decision, how can we help you make your decision? What more would you like to know about MIT? What are your lingering concerns? Another entry shortly!

20 responses to “The Undecideds, Part 2”

  1. Anonymous says:

    On food: I’m impressed on the variety of meal options, and especially by the fact that it’s possible to cook by myself sometimes. I’m just curious about the fact — is it possible to find food, that is healthy, not genetically modified? I’m from another country, and have a kind of stereotype about such products in US. So that’s what I worry about.

  2. Confused says:

    Hi Matt,

    I love MIT, but I do have 2 questions.

    How accessible are the professors? Especially for big lecture classes, if you need more personal attention, what can you turn to?

    Also, do MIT students tend to be pretty involved in extracurricular activities? In other words, is there enough time to handle the workload while still pursuing other passions?

    Thanks for your help!

  3. another anon says:

    could you look into my financial aid situation too? i was missing my parents’ w2 form but i got it in a week ago and the financial aid officer said i should be getting my package this week but i still haven’t gotten it yet. thanks!

  4. Tianren says:

    Hi Matt, can you track down my financial aid infos too? I got all my stuff in earl last week, and they said they would send it this week. My email is [email protected]


  5. Mikey says:

    I thought I’d post about this ever-common question regarding “If I go to MIT, will I be able to do extracurriculars AND have a social life AND do well in all my classes?”

    I had the exact same question 5 years ago when I was making the same decision. Actually, it wasn’t so much a question but rather, I KNEW (or thought I knew) that if I went to MIT, I would have to study virtually 24/7 and would not have a life whatsoever.


    In my 4 years here, I was incredibly involved in an a cappella group (the Logs), spending 15-20 hours a week doing stuff for the group. I also participated in the Asian Christian Fellowship for a decent amount (a few hours a week), and still led a healthy social life (yes, I had friends, and we hung out quite a bit, if not too much at times…conversations about life til 6am w00t), and still graduated, passed my classes, and with a pretty darn good GPA if I don’t say so myself (let’s just say it’s very close to 5.0).

    I had an absolute blast here participating in student life, making lifelong friendships with some very amazing people, and simply being part of an Institute and a culture that – literally – changes history every single day. Were there times that the work was really stressful? Of course. But in the end was it all worth it? Most definitely. What’s great about MIT is that they realize that a college education isn’t just about the classes – it’s about educating the entire mind and body. Research, extracurriculars, leadership, service, the arts, athletics, fitness, a social life, community…all integral to being a student at MIT.

    Sorry this post is so long…it’s just that I had the EXACT same concern 5 years ago, and am so incredibly glad I still decided to come, because it wasn’t at ALL what I thought it would be. Best 4 years of my life. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing. : )

  6. Daphne says:

    Can you check my financial info too? I’ve been speaking to financial aid officers for a week and a half and they always tell me to call “in a couple of days” or “next week”. I can wait til next week but I’m afraid I just won’t get it on time.

  7. another mom says:

    Can you explain the meal allowance charge? Don’t parents need to put money in an account for food or join the dining service for a fee and then receive a 50% dicount on food purchases? I’m confused. I

  8. Carly says:

    ohhhhh me too. I can you check into my financial aid because the status says that its complete but Im yet to recieve anything. I called the financial aid office and they said I should get it by the end of the week so hopefully it will be coming in today.

  9. Hi

    Admission in MIT is a long awaited dream of mine. MIT is the only university where I applied for admission. But my parents are facing financial constraints, so I won’t be able to avail my admission’s offer except in case of good financial award. But I haven’t received my financial aid package and I am anxiously waiting for the same. Could you please check on this?

  10. Ploy says:

    My concern about MIT was that I didn’t enjoy the CPW…and other people definitely did. I guess it was because it’s my first overnight college visit away from home and seeing so many people was sort of overwhelming. I was nervous and anxious the entire time, but still I could tell what a great place MIT was. It’s weird that MIT is the only college that I miss after the visit, though, and I visited many schools since. I wish I could turn back and start it all over again. Does that mean MIT is the school for me? Or does it mean I shouldn’t go?

    btw, does MIT have a pre-orientation program?

  11. Dominic says:

    I turned in form to enroll into MIT last week Friday, and have been waiting since then for the postcard saying that they recieved the form, but have yet to recieve something. How long does it usually take for the postcard to come saying they recieved the stuff.

  12. Zi Wen Chen says:

    What concerns me most is MIT’s low acceptance rate to medical school. While other top schools, such as Brown, have med school acceptance rates of 90 percent, MIT’s is only about 73 percent. Can you offer some insight as to why the percentage is so low? Are the grades at MIT grade-deflated or the courses so challenging that most students are unable to maintain a high gpa for medical school?

  13. Kathleen says:

    Like Dominic, I mailed in the form a while ago (i.e., one day after I received it!) and haven’t yet gotten a postcard. Should I worry? I love this school more than life itself, and it would be HORRIBLE to find out too late that my information hadn’t gotten to you guys…

  14. dave glasser says:

    As far as healthy food goes — if you shop for yourself, Cambridge is full of high quality (if sometimes pricey) markets, as well as your more ordinary supermarkets. I eat most of my meals at my ILG (pika) which also tries for healthy and tasty.

    As far as eating official Campus Dining food that is healthy… well, I very rarely eat at the dining halls or whatever, but the Steam Cafe and Building 4 serve pretty natural food, and I think some of the Lobdell vendors (like the middle eastern one) might be good for that, though I’ve only eaten at Lobdell once or twice in the four years I’ve been here.

  15. Syed Raza says:

    I’ve sent my Admissions Reply form to MIT with a ‘yes’ smile…could you tell me if there’s any way I can email/fax the form to MIT as well, as a backup to the courier messing up???


  16. Fernando says:

    Some Finanicial Aid track-downess would be great for me too. I did the CSS late though.

    My mom would rather I goto this local university with a full ride plus some change, and just knowing how much an MIT education would cost us would help greatly.

    All my friends and teachers have told me I need to goto MIT, and I myself know MIT can give me the best footing in life, but to my mom it’s all about the current numbers.

    I’ll probably have to sneak in the decision postcard and just hope for the best.

  17. Zviad says:

    Hello everyone, my dream come true,

    I have recieved financial aid award letter, and that’s it I am coming to MIT in fall. smilesmile

    I am so excited now,

    Congratulations everyone, and don’t worry about financial aid MIT really meets 100% of financial need. smile

  18. Dominic says:

    I got my postcard today smile

  19. Nur says:

    Ploy, its Nur come to MIT pleeeeeeaaaaasssseeeee.

    I’ll email you.

  20. amanda says:

    i also have not received my financial aid information. my parents met with financial aid over cpw and you (mit) have received all the information.

    my email is:

    [email protected]