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MIT staff blogger Dave McOwen

The Waitlist, 2010 by Dave McOwen

For the fifth consecutive year, we will admit students from our waitlist. Within the next few days, we plan to admit approximately 60 students from the waitlist.

When our waitlist decisions are finalized, we will notify the admitted students, informing them that they have been admitted from the waitlist. Financial aid will follow up shortly thereafter with aid packages. Admitted students can then choose to accept our offer (it is an understood part of admissions that some people will shuffle around during the waitlist period; you will lose your deposit at the other school, but it is a standard practice to consider accepting a waitlist offer) or decline it.

We will be maintaining the waitlist for another few weeks, while the enrolling class takes its shape. Last year we admitted 78 students from the waitlist in a 3-round process, and previous years were very similar. We’ll know more about how this year looks in a few weeks.

The waitlist committee has been working hard since May 1 to determine how many students, if any, could be admitted from the waitlist, while in parallel working to make admissions decisions. The waitlist admissions process will continue until we fully determine who will and will not be admitted, at which point we will notify students. I don’t yet know what day we will notify students. We’ll keep you up-to-date.

65 responses to “The Waitlist, 2010”

  1. Armin says:

    Cool Toys III: Toy Story 3 in 3D smile

  2. Elias says:

    Thanks so much for the update Dave!

  3. Unless it’s some horrible joke (email headers all check out), I’M IN! WOOHOO! See you all at MIT!

  4. @Mary: Yep, I remember. Great to hear! Thanks & congrats to you!

    @Elias: I expect so. The post says “Within the next few days, we plan to admit…” instead of “We’re sending out acceptances now”, and how they said something about a 3-round process for last year. Also, they’ll need to fill the spots of anyone who turns MIT down afterwards.

  5. I haven’t heard anything yet. Uh oh…

  6. Elias says:

    Hmmm – well, thanks Alex. And congrats! Hopefully I’ll be joining you [in the next few days].


    I wonder if they’re notifying one person at a time?

  7. Ben says:

    Sounds good! Any chance you can tell us how many prospective applicants remain on the waitlist?

  8. Looks like I didn’t make it the first round. I’m still hanging in there, though.

  9. genius ('18) says:

    Good luck to all you ’14 waitlist-ers!
    Congrats to those who were accepted!

  10. Ben says:

    Oh! I have another question. How many people are admitted per admission cycle?

  11. Calvin Kao says:

    Congratulations for those admitted!
    Those of us still waiting, lets hope for the best.

  12. Dan '14 says:

    I GOT IN! OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!111111111

    Guys still waiting: relax, hang tight, and say a prayer.
    God knows you’re all in mine. We know how it feels to have to wait xp.

  13. Eeeeeek says:

    is there any disadvantage to waiting until May 27 to reply ‘yes’? im only 99.9% sure im going

  14. Eeeeeek says:

    is there any disadvantage to waiting until May 27 to reply ‘yes’? im only 99.9% sure im going

  15. Hania says:

    Thanks for the update, really.

    I’m also still waiting… So as ‘Anxious’ asked – have 60 students been admitted yet?
    I know I can’t do anything at this time but just want to know if there are any chances to get in. I can’t think about anything else this week ;].

    Congratulations to admitted!

    @ Dan: I’ll keep praying, definitely smile

  16. Hi everyone! Congratulations to the new admits!! Can’t wait to meet you!

    @ Alex

    We usually confine our horrible jokes to math, physics and haiku smile

    @ Elias

    This is round one. Depending on how many students accept the offer (plus other admissions-related goings on), there may be a round two. We’ll let you know as soon as we know.

    @ Ben

    The exact number varies depending on quite a few factors.

    @ Eeeeeeek

    You have until the decision date to let us know. We prefer you let us know as soon as possible, just so we can get through the waitlist process and make any adjustments we need to, but we get that it’s an important decision (besides, it would be rude of us to complain after we kept you waiting)

  17. @ Anxious

    Yes, we’ve notified the first group from the waitlist.

    @ Zack

    If you didn’t get an email (or at least the one you were hoping for) just hang in there. We’ll let you know about a possible round two as soon as we hear from the waitlist admits.

  18. Anxious says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the update! Does this mean that the 60 expected admitted students were decided on and notified today? From the e-mail the rest of us received today, it sounded like only a fraction of that group was decided on, while the rest of the 60 will be notified later.


  19. Reyyan '14 says:

    this is awesome! I GOT IN!!!!

  20. Faisal says:

    I believe in miracles…

    Best of luck to all of you!!:)

  21. Gina '14 says:

    I had two exams today, in the break in between I decided to check my emails. I screamed, hyperventilated and almost had a heart attack. Then tried to catch my breath and explain to all the people who were watching… This is so surreal, I totally gave up on getting in from the waitlist.

  22. Anonymous says:

    @ Dan’14
    I’m happy for you. grin

  23. Zack says:

    Hi all!
    Thank you Dave for the update.
    Unfortunately I didn’t get any response so far.
    What is the last date to get an answer from you guys? (so I can mentally preper myself:)

  24. Just got a call from a real live human being, it’s confirmed! WOO(while true; do echo O; done)OOOOOT!

  25. Mary says:

    thanks for the update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! smile

    hey, Alex!!!!!!!! congrats!!!!!!!!!! smile smile yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    idk if you remember me from the waitlist blog comments… but i remember you and your kindness to me!! smilethanks again for that!!! smile
    well, i got in too!!!!!!!!!!! and i can’t wait to meet you!!! smile take care!!!!!! smile and congrats again!!!!! smile

  26. Elias says:

    Dave, are admissions notifications provided on a rolling basis? Or is there one day for them?

  27. Anonymous says:

    do you know how long we get to decide after we get notified?

  28. Elias says:

    Dave — if you admitted the original 60, does that mean that some rejections went out too? Or was it just a wave of acceptances?

  29. Don’t think they rejected anyone yesterday – everyone who wasn’t admitted got an email saying that more news will be announced towards the end of next week.

  30. AnuhyaG says:

    YAYYY! I got in tooo!! I am so excited but nervous at the same time! Congrats to all that got in and good luck for all those who are still waiting. I hope to see you all there next year! =)!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hey! Does anyone know when the NBM is coming out?

  32. Armin says:

    @ Dave
    If someone applies for transfer again, will his/her documents of last year be reserved?
    Hmmm, like do I have to send SAT scores again? Can I write about something interesting instead of conflict with the majority this time? (Will you consider old documents again…please)

    Applying through a complementary approach, or should I try harder to be myself, grrrrrrrr

  33. Anom says:

    Wait-listed people don’t deserve to be admitted.

  34. okkk, so it seems like a fair few ppl have already been accepted! The odds of getting in are getting slimmer :|

    I guess we just have to be patient for a little while longer my fellow waitlisters!

    I’d just like to find out as soon as possible so i can start preparing for the start of semester in sept/oct.

    Hang in there everyone!
    and congrats to those who have been admitted!!!

  35. Jackie says:

    How are we notified? E-mail?

  36. Dave '14 says:

    That’s crap. There are far more qualified students than there are spots in the class.

  37. Hi Dave,
    Will transfer students also have an opportunity to be put on the waitlist? I’m still keeping a glimmer of hope…

  38. Armin says:

    @ Dave’14

    Yep, watch Prof. Sadoway’s first lecture, lots of ppl are sitting on the ground. I wonder why MIT student body is 10000 only, with fewer undergraduates than graduates!

    P.S: There are certainly enough spots, they are short on sitting chairs wink

  39. Amethyst says:

    ^_^ Awesome for you guys!!! It must feel like Christmas (or pick your parallel holiday) in May!!! Good luck.

    PS I know why there are too few chairs–because they keep ending up on top of buildings and things, lol.

  40. waiting says:

    Hi! Should I still post new and exciting things about my awards etc. while on the waitlist? Is it too late??

  41. EC Barbara says:

    Regarding @Anom: “Wait-listed people don’t deserve to be admitted”

    What a load of hooey! Some of my interviewees that were wait listed could have walked on water – they were that special. AND, one of them just got accepted off the wait list. To all of you still on it – do not give up hope. Enjoy the ride the next four years – whether at MIT or not. There is always grad school if not undergrad.
    I sincerely hope that @Anom is not affliated wtih MIT; his/her attitude is not what MIT is about.

  42. Tsahi says:

    Should I send the admission office an up-to-date official transcript from my college? (I’m a wait listed)

  43. Anonymous says:

    Since getting off of waitlist depending on admitted student decisions, it may be the hardest for Engineering waitlistees to get off, right? I read waitlist blogs in the past years and mostly girls got off waitlist which I think it is no coincident that girls of non-engineering disciplines accepted other school’s offer and vacated their spots.

    From what I learned, MIT Engineering is certainly the number one, Harvard is #30 and Yale #39 which means whoever are admitted to MIT and waitlisted at Harvard or Yale Engineering are most likely going to stay with MIT even when they get off of Harvard or Yale waitlist. Is this correct? Or FinAid package plays a bigger role?

  44. Melissa says:

    Congrats to all of you who got in! Just never forget how blessed you are and make the most of it. I was just informed the other day that my admission was highly unlikely. (Not in so many words, but the meaning was the same)

    So go to MIT and use that education to make the world better, don’t waste it!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Dear Melissa, sorry to hear that, but some things should occur in one way and not the other. Keep being positive, help others, and I’m sure that life will find its way to pay you back twice!
    Thank you for sharing us
    A wait listed.

  46. @ Elias

    We’re still in addition, not subtraction mode.

    @ Jackie

    We’ll send you an email, followed by a snail mail packet.

    @ Armin

    Prof. Sadoway’s Solid State Chemistry is the most popular class on campus (and for good reason), hence the squatters. Most classes are considerably smaller, I promise. The limit to the class size is housing, since we guarantee 4-year, on-campus housing for all students.

    @ Anonymous

    The waitlist changes each year, and it would probably take an MIT grad to come up with a predictive algorithm (we have several and they do an astounding job, but there’s always flux smile The kind of student we look to admit from the list depends on so many ever-shifting parameters that it’s best to hang on and, as antithetical as this is, try not to think too much about it. The selection committee is working full-time to finish the process so we can remove the uncertainty. Hang in there!

    @ Melissa

    If you’re inferring from our email I assure you that decisions have not been made. We’re just as curious as you are to see who will be in the final Class of 2014.

    @ Daniel ’14

    Sorry, “just” the RA packets that everyone gets.

  47. Daniel '14 says:

    Hey everyone, got off the waitlist Thursday, I was just wondering if us ex-waitlistees will be recieving the acceptance tube/cylinder? Thatd be awesome =]

    If not, do we receive ANYTHING in the mail? Or is it all online via email?

  48. Yikes, that’s got to be tough. Much better to be waitlisted than rejected, I suppose.

  49. Abhimat says:

    Thank you for the update. I really appreciate how open you are with this process.

  50. @ Anonymous

    The TECH repeated some bad information: the class of 2014 size will be ~1,070.


  51. Anonymous says:


    Thanks for your quick responses! MIT is the best regarding interaction with applicants.
    (There are more than one Anonymous here. I didn’t post the class size question grin and am gathering info. for future applications.) Thanks again.

  52. Anonymous says:

    I read in the Tech that the class of 2014 is going to be huge — so big that there is going to be overcrowding and MacGregor’s lounges are going to be converted to doubles. Is this true? If so, why is MIT admitting even more kids off the waitlist?

  53. I’m guessing that the next round of waitlisted admissions will go out today or Friday, since the last round of e-mails came out last Thursday. So, good luck to everyone.

  54. Asterisk says:

    Did any accepted’s receive anything in the mail yet?? I still have not.

  55. Anonymous says:

    You didn’t answer my question: “in case I have a new official transcript from my school (with better gpa) how can I send it to you?” (I’m a wait listed)

  56. @ Asterisk

    Hrm, you should definitely have it by now. Email me and I’ll look into it.

    @ Anonymous

    Right now I’d say just email your updated grades/GPA to If we need an official transcript we’ll get in touch.

  57. Anon says:

    Do you know at this point if/when the next round might occur?

  58. Asterisk says:

    My neighbor came to personally drop it off and congratulate me this evening. I guess it got mixed up. Oh USPS……….

  59. Grant says:

    When are they announcing the next round? I was hoping tonight because it’s been a week since the last round of emails went out… I’ve been checking my email every five minutes tongue laugh

    also, will this round be the last chance to get in? or will they admit more again next week?

  60. Armin says:


    Good Luck. Transfer is more competitive, yet trying for MIT gives you strength. Keep dreaming big…

    I applied for transfer this year and I’m going to apply again until I get in.

  61. @ ALL

    Hey everyone! I still don’t have any decision about if or when we might go to the waitlist for a second round, but given the comments I wanted to tell you that there won’t be any announcements about the waitlist today. So please don’t spend all night staring at your email. Go out and have fun!

  62. Hania says:

    @Grant: Haha, me the same, I planned not to go sleep that night (I’m in quite different time zone, in Europe) smile
    Now I think it was good that I slept, because there is still nothing: no ‘yes’, no ‘no’.
    Can’t stop think about it this week..
    I’m afraid it’s the last chance, unless someone decides not to go.

    But I’m glad I was waitlisted. Now I understand what does mean: ‘impossible is nothing’ smile
    And because of that, I decided to apply to MIT next year, then as a transfer, until I get in smile.

  63. Thanks for the update. Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy my evening now – without worrying. Good luck to everyone.

  64. Hania says:

    Thank you, Dave!
    So I’ll go jogging right now, don’t worry smile

    @ Armin: Thanks! You’re right – dreaming big really gives strength. I remember many of your comments and you’re one of the most amazing people writing here. I’ll keep fingers crossed for you, too smile

    re-captcha: ‘the bravery’!

  65. Jacob says:

    Thanks for the updates, Dave. I’m really glad you guys are so open about the waitlist process, it gives us hope. smile

    I sent some additional information in reply to the May 13 update. Is there any way to know if this will be taken into account when the next fortunate elements in the array of waitlistees are proverbially popped? I haven’t gotten an email back yet (though admittedly it was only sent on Thursday!)…

    I leave on Monday for a week of Outdoor School, teaching 4th graders about the Oregon Trail. Can I survive 5 days without technology? Only time will tell… I hope to see an exciting email from MIT when I get back! Good luck to my fellow hopefuls, stay strong :D