While you wait…
For those who are curious about envelope sizes: the defer letter and the deny letter each come in a standard #10 window envelope (4.125″ x 9.5″). As for the admit letter, it is unlikely to be mistaken for anything else.
Jane asked, “I always wondered….why is MIT’s early acceptance rate so low compared to other selective colleges?”
Well, there are two factors at work here. First, we are committed to admitting no more than 30% of our class during early action. We feel that the pressures to apply early are too high, and don’t want to further contribute to that by leaving only a very small number of spaces for regular action, further pressuring people to apply early. Additionally, we don’t want to penalize those students who apply regular action.
Second, our last few classes, because of an increased yield (the percentage of admitted students who decide to enroll), have been quite large. So, given our 30% constraint, and our increased yield, there you have it — 377 admitted students, a record-low 12.2% admit rate.
While this is a much smaller percentage of the class admitted early than many other places, remember that here, being deferred is not a “polite rejection.” Deferred students are given full consideration again during regular action, where most (~75%) of our admitting is done. Many students were deferred, and I expect those students to be competitive during the regular action process. More on that in the weeks to come.
Out of fairness to applicants, we also turned down more students than we did last year during early action. Many of these students are really excellent, but given our applicant pool, it was clear that these students would not ultimately be admitted to MIT regular action. We wish these students our best in their applications to other great schools.
Unfortunately, I suspect that the mail won’t make it much farther than Eastern Massachusetts inside of Interstate 495 (based on last year’s mail patterns), with most students receiving decisions on Monday and Tuesday. For those of you not in Massachusetts, do yourself a favor and have a fun, relaxing weekend… maybe check out some of the great movies that are out now… (I saw “Memoirs of a Geisha” last night, with a talk beforehand by author Arthur Golden!)