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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Waitlist by Matt McGann '00

We have admitted 20 waitlisted students.

For the second consecutive year, we have been able to admit students from our waitlist. This morning, we emailed (and will follow up via snail mail) 20 students, informing them that they have been admitted from the waitlist. Financial aid will follow up shortly with aid packages. 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.

The waitlist committee worked hard over the course of several days to determine how many students we could take at this time, and which students to admit. I sat in for a day before leaving for Albuquerque and I can tell you that it was extremely difficult. In the end, we were very happy to be able to admit these students from the waitlist — in an email to the office, Stu wrote, “These are some great students!”

Will we use the waitlist again this year? It is too early to know. In a week or two, we’ll once again look at where we are, and determine whether we will use the waitlist again. Until then, I don’t know.

Also, we will begin notifying some students on the waitlist that we will not be able to offer them admission. We offered a spot on the waitlist to about 500 people, and many of those people accepted a place on the waitlist. But it just isn’t ethical to keep that many people on the waitlist at this point, so within the next week many students will receive a letter informing them that they will not get off the waitlist, and wishing them the best of luck at the college they’ve chosen. We will keep some students on the waitlist for another few weeks until we are fully satisfied with the class.

For those of you who were admitted from the waitlist today, congratulations! Feel free to use the comments to introduce yourself to the rest of your class. And for those of you who didn’t receive good news today, we wish you only the best. We’ll see how the future unfolds.

78 responses to “Waitlist”

  1. Dhaval '11 says:

    FIRST POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THATS SO GOODDDDD WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY!!!!!

  2. JR '11 says:

    Congrats guys!

  3. JR '11 says:

    Congrats guys!

  4. Darn. No e-mail. There’s still hope. Let’s just hope I don’t get a bad email any time soon.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Glad to hear some people made it in. Still hoping for some good news here.

  6. Anonymous says:

    How many students are now on the waitlist?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Anyone in? Or out?

  8. Hunter R. says:

    HI Matt! I always read your blogs before everyone else’s haha. Well can’t wait until your next post..PEACE!

  9. Hunter R. says:

    HI Matt! I always read your blogs before everyone else’s haha. Well can’t wait until your next post..PEACE!

  10. AnonWHYmous says:

    Congrats all those taken off the waitlist! Welcome to MIT.

    (dhaval: if writing a meaningless post feels “so good,” what on earth does that say about your life? At the very least you could comment on the blog-news.
    I know I shouldn’t give in to this b.s. but I still find the whole “first post” stuff totally self-centered.)

  11. Nicole says:

    hey kevin, where from MA are you? I’m from Burlington and I also didn’t get any email today about the waitlist. oh well…good luck anyways!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I hope “mathwiz” was one of the lucky ones on the waitlist.

  13. Michael says:

    Yeah, I got one! Sorry to everyone who didn’t… I know I’m really outnumbered in this thread. If anyone else did, I would love to hear from you!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to you. I wished I made it too, but I guess there’s nothing I can do but retain hope. There’s still some chance.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Have the other emails been sent yet? The ones we don’t want to get?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Apparently learning from the tube scandal a few years back wasn’t the top priority for admissions.

    On the subject of ethics: it’s unethical to say “we sent you an email if you were admitted, but otherwise we’re not going to tell you anything for a week, so you can wait in false hope, trying to believe that we might have spelled your email address wrong.” Either send everyone emails, or don’t send any at all. To use a particularly apt cliche, this isn’t rocket science.

  17. Linda says:

    Yay! I got an email too! MIT 2011!Congratulations to everyone else who did too!
    Nice Job Michael!
    Also, sorry to those who didn’t, keep hoping…but I’m sure you all will still do amazing in college!

  18. CambridgeBoy says:

    Johns Hopkins ’11

  19. JamesM says:

    Sadly, no email. But even despite that, I suppose there’s still a chance smile

  20. Adam S. '11 says:

    There’s the same yield problem for people who MIT admits off the waitlist, too. If only 3 people out of the 20 emailed people decide to enroll at MIT, then they’ll have to use the waitlist again.

    Congrats Linda and Michael!

  21. La kukaracha says:

    James Cuffney watches Grey’s Anatomy. He likes Grey….a little too much.

  22. Congratulations to my wonderful Grandson Michael
    for all his hard work and determination to get
    into MIT. Grandpa and I are so very proud of you.

  23. Dhaval '11 says:

    it’s maybe late, but congrats too!

  24. Bj says:

    Before, I was waiting 2 mouths to receive my admission decision letter on May/01/2007. Finally, I received an email on May/01/2007 which said that: MIT will mail the admission decision letters on May/10(so funny). So, I emailed the Administration office and asked them to email my admission decision on May/15/2007 but they told me no because it is impossible. But today, Matt Megan made me so disappointed because he said that MIT EMAILED 20 students, informing them that they have been admitted from the waitlist, and sent letters to unaccepted students to MIT.

    So my questions are,
    Why does MIT try to disappoint the students?
    Why does MIT send admission decision letters by mail when they have that much technology?
    Why is MIT that much irregular and Unorganized ?

  25. Anonymous says:

    “If only 3 people out of the 20 emailed people decide to enroll at MIT, then they’ll have to use the waitlist again.”

    …. if only….

  26. i think matt just didn’t mention about emailing decisions for people who aren’t accepted….
    first they will roll off the decisions on paper and slowly email ppl regarding their decisions online…
    one of my friends asked this question that if MIT wants to share, support transparency…
    why can’t they be open and post the decisions in a blog…
    or should the question be does MIT care about preserving the status of an applicant’s decision?
    if they don’t all it takes is to post names below admitted, waitlisted, rejected.

  27. why should they bother to touch the rest of the people?
    not necessarily.
    they will leave it like that.
    i think the based on the effective connection between neurons an applicant’s fate is decided.
    sometimes in selection there could have been moments where matt, ben, stu, co. could have thought right after giving their thoughts on an applicant that they made a wrong choice.
    in the end it is like throwing yourself at them trying to catch their electrical impulse travelling between their neurons at millivolt potential.
    once they say 20, that is final.
    even now if you think they would touch rest of the members, they would have told a number more than 20 in the first place.
    good luck on college.

  28. Daniel T says:

    Personally, after 6 months of waiting, it’s just incredibly fustrating to keep waiting. I just finished Grey’s Anatomy season finale and I feel like Derrick. Can’t Meredith give closure to him? Can’t MIT just give us waitlisted people closure? Every week I call the admissions office, you guys keep telling me to wait a week more! At this point, I just want SOME sort of answer, some sort of official conirmation. All I can do is keep breathing!

  29. rl says:

    Will everyone on the waitlist be notified by email? I havent seen anything

  30. CambridgeBoy says:



    I’m deciding to go to Johns Hopkins, since I didn’t get into MIT off the waitlist. Although Johns Hopkins was my number one, MIT is my dream number one.



  31. jenn '11 says:

    OMG DANIEL T! no grey’s spoilers please! i almost read your comment but caught myself. i haven’t watched it yet!!! nor ugly betty…..

  32. Dan says:

    I’m going to RPI.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Special congrats to grandson Michael….

  34. Wait, I want to cheer for Michael too! YAY MICHAEL! We have the same name btw. Oh, and Tom, go eat a quart of ice cream and stay off the internet.

    Yay Michael!

  35. Eh says:

    Does a guy actually watch Grey’s Anatomy?

  36. Nicole, I’m from Wilmington–right next door! Heh, neat.

    Cornell ’11 here

  37. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone get an email?

  38. JamesM says:

    Congrats Michael! (Why not join in on this too?) Any other acceptees off of the waitlist?

  39. Yesssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!! Thannnnnnnnnnkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkssssssssssssss sooooooooooo much =) My lifetime dream has fulfilled; here I come MIT =)

  40. Hooray for both Linda and Michael!

    (And Michael has a grandmother named Linda. What a coincidence)

  41. Jon says:

    hooray waitlistees! we’ll see you next year, congratulations!

  42. aaa says:

    i love lamp!

  43. Congratulations Michael, I am so proud of you and I am sure that somewhere up “there” grandpa is poppin his “feathers”. God Bless!

    Grandma Rose

  44. jenn'11 says:

    wow, Michael has really nice grandparents.

    congratulations to the 20 of you out there! go join the facebook MIT 2011 group and lose your soul. no really, join it.

    to those who are still anxiously waiting/disappointed: i’m sorry for you, and i wish things could work out for everyone. where ever you all will end up, i’m sure that you all are so bright that you’ll thrive in any environment!

  45. kanika says:

    came to the blogs after a long long long time(im a rejectee…)..nice to se the same familiar names posting here..snively,kevin from MA…

  46. College is THE best 4 or 5 or 6 years of your life, enjoy it no matter where you end up, trust me there are thousands more who didn’t get in where you got in!

    Hook ’em
    Texas ’07

  47. JamesM says:

    I realize that some people are frustrated at having to keep waiting, but at the same time I have to commend MIT for being so meticulous. They really are trying to accept as many people off of the waitlist as possible, and it shows that they understand the difference that even one additional person can make. So let’s keep hoping and waiting guys, and see what happens smile

  48. mitch '11 says:

    Yeah Michael! You the man!

  49. It’s great to see the success of former students and humbly hope one may have had some small influence. I came across samples of your excellent writings from your Sophomore Year at Hampton Bays and would love to send them to you. Where ? Hopefully, in your spare time, you will take up the pen….you are a gifted writer with a brilliant mind, one of the top five in my 34 year teaching career. Congratulations to MIT!

  50. Solomon says:

    Well I was also rejected, didn’t even get the chance to be on the waitlist. Am happy for all the 20 of you who have managed to get out of waitlist Limbo. Hi there, does anyone know when Harvard waitlist decisions come out.

  51. anonymous says:

    I am not sure if MIT means to say for people who didn’t get admitted.
    if MIT doesn’t accept anyone it doesn’t mean ur not intelligent and this statement varies from case by case basis.
    there are people who don’t know anything about MIT and people who are just excited to join MIT because of its reputation.
    leaving them and considering people who have either of the following: good SAT I or SAT II or AP or ACT or good essays or good ECA, or people who feel like they can figure out stuff on their own regardless of having bad scores in the respective tests( due to improper training or less coaching facilities or financial setbacks ), need not go into hibernation and continue doing whatever you were doing.

    Assess your situation, look at what is wrong and do whatever is needed to fix it and move on.

    If you really think about it, going into depression wastes your time. Rather make an effort to do something productive.

    I really pity at those people who applied to MIT and think of themselves as losers once rejected.

    I wonder if there are people out there who dream to replicate an MIT, can’t you get your own MIT or make a competitor to MIT? At this point if someone stops reading and attempt to make an MIT, set a higher standard than MIT.

    Lastly, someone from the admissions committee should release a blog exclusively on rejected applicants asap.

  52. Yay, Big-Congrats For Linda and Michael!!!!

    The only 2 out of the 20 mentioned above that got in…Where are the other Unknowns??

    Well..I’m here a little despondent.. No Email (tears)

    But oh well..MIT finds me incompetent for their institution..All that hope is shatter into million of pieces….

    Well, I’m going to Brown University, I’m beyond excited and Can’t Wait for the fall to Commence,yay Brown’11. I had other great choices but Brown is my #1 Choice and MIT is my never-ending Dream!!

  53. A blog on “rejected” needs to be released for students who were sent letters this month..
    slow on that..
    This blog is different from the one released in month of march

  54. JamesM says:

    Well, I received my letter today saying that I won’t be accepted to MIT off of the waitlist. I sent in countless recommendations, many personal letters, a programming CD with some of my best work, evidence of a Marathon, and visited the office of admissions in person twice to try and show that I was really interested in the school. No one can say I didn’t try smile

    Congrats to all those who got in off the waitlist, and to those denied, don’t worry about it too much because even getting waitlisted at MIT is an amazing accomplishment. Good Luck guys smile

  55. I also heard today that I won’t be entering off the waitlist, but I had to congratulate those twenty. Good luck, all, and I hope that you may be as happy with your schools as I am with mine.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Ben Jones made a “rejected” blog right after decisions came out.

  57. Issei says:

    Am I supposed to get this “sorry we can’t accept you off the waitlist” thing in mail or by email??? I’m getting chills in my back…

  58. JamesM says:

    I received a letter in the mail. I don’t believe admissions was sending notice of denial by email.

  59. I hope that next year I will get an MIT admissions letter. God,I have butterflies already…

  60. YES says:

    =D the name says it all

  61. changeit says:

    please change the formatting of this webpage immediately.

  62. RenpingYin says:

    This is the first time I post anything on a blog web site, though I develop one of the greatest government web sites on the Internet. I have been reading these bloggers whenever I have the chance to. As a parent of a rising senior, my heartfelt congratulations go all out to those seniors who have been waitlisted, though they may have been, and who have now been accepted. How happy they are after years of persistent work and consistent achievements. To those who have been waitlisted but not accepted, you all are the greatest and will grow to be giants in the years to come. I really love to read all the postings here by the MIT staff and high school students. It is highly entertaining and intuitive for me to read all.Best wishes to all the young men here.

  63. Anonymous says:


  64. Gloria says:

    Did anyone in California receive the rejection letter?

  65. Anonymous says:

    How many remain on the waitlist?

  66. Anonymous says:

    that will be (499-20), so 479. Great, you managed to admit 4% of the waitlisted people.

  67. girl says:

    Guys who are complaining that they haven’t gotten their notifications yet: they can’t send waitlist rejection letters at the same time as waitlist acceptances because, as Matt explained, they don’t know if they are going to have to go back to the waitlist in a week. Stop complaining! You didn’t get a rejection letter from MIT yet because you might still be in the running!

  68. Omorx says:

    MIT is the place to be.

    I really like the your blog as it makes one know that there are people that feel the same way as I do.

    I am an international applicant from Nigeria. I would be applying to MIT this fall. It’s my prayer to be considered. I’m ready to proof my worth in the up-coming SAT.

    Congrates to all those of you admitted and for those still in the wait list, just be ready to accept what happens as a decision from destiny. I truly believe that he that is destined to be in MIT can’t be unlucky not to be cosidered. However, I also believe that one can change his destiny. Have you read the learning delta concept posted by Brann? (can’t remember name correctly.) And also the P delta concept. I’m applying both concepts right now. I think the sum of both concept leads to being in MIT.

    Thanks to you all.

  69. lol girl says:

    acceptances are sent by email or in letters earlier than rejections… lol

  70. Becca says:

    My mom asked that I ask this here, so I figure that I will.

    I know that SATs aren´t a huge part of admissions, but she (and I, I suppose) was wondering if it would be worthwhile to put that I earned my scores (2260) while on a year abroad, learning in school in a foreign language, and without any studying or anything?

    I am not sure if it would matter, because everyone has good SAT scores, and I definitely know from reading through this that they don’t weigh in so much, but her reasoning is that it shows being able to do that, while under the pressure/changes of a different culture etc. without the preparation?

    So basically, what do you think? Thanks!

  71. lucked out says:

    I am so glad I am not paying a quarter million for an undergrad engineering degree

    thanks for finally letting me off the hook

  72. David says:

    Congrats Michael! (Why not join in on this too?) Any other acceptees off of the waitlist?

  73. Steve says:

    To Becca:

    You get plenty of room for writing anything you think would be relevant, and you can send supplemental material even after the standard 1/1 deadline (but send it before February).

    I wouldn’t emphasize the score itself, I would emphasize your time overseas, why you were there, and how those conditions made your context a little different. But don’t emphasize it unless you believe it’s actually significant; you won’t impress anyone by trying to sound disadvantaged but not believing what you write.

  74. to becca says:

    you better mention that on your application.

  75. Omorx says:

    What are Advanced Standing Exams, please?

  76. kat says:

    I’m not a student but I know the students that goes to MIT are really into math. I got a math question that I’ve been stumped on for the whole entire day. I’m trying to figure some numbers for a location that I would like to buy to open a restaurant of my own. The question is: If a restaurant is 1700 sq.feet and the cost for the rental is $3,000.00 a month. How much would it be per square feet? (I receive the answer of 1.764 but that can’t be right, realistically in real life.) Thanks a bunch! smile

  77. Lisa says:

    Only 20 people!? Woah, that’s harsh… But good job for MIT for predicting yield so well.

    And congrats to the 20 people who got in! XD

  78. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. McGann,

    Could u please answer this q and forward it to Mr. Barkowitz?

    Mr. Barkowitz,

    If we would like to apply for complete student loans including tuition, board, allowance, books, etc… but we do not show financial need, will we still receive the loans? How does the interest on these loans work? Does the interest only begin accumualting after we finish college or grad/law/med school? Do we need our parents’ permission/signatures to receive student loans…if we cannot obtain this at what point can we apply for these loans without their signatures? do we need to be 18 years old?