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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Waitlist News by Matt McGann '00

Within the next week, we plan to admit approximately 35 students from the waitlist.

For the third consecutive year, we will admit students from our waitlist. Within the next week, we plan to admit approximately 35 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.

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 739 people, in the possibility that we needed to go very deep into our waitlist, as most schools must do from time to time. But now, as a high number of admitted students have chosen to enroll, we know that we will need to enroll only a relatively small number of students from the waitlist. As such, it isn’t ethical to keep all of those people on the waitlist at this point, so we will notify hundreds of students that they will not be admitted from the waitlist, and wishing them the best of luck at the college they’ve chosen.

We also will keep some students, approximately 70, on the waitlist for another few weeks until we are fully satisfied with the class. Last year, we were satisfied with the class after one round of waitlist admissions; two years ago, we admitted students in two rounds of waitlist admissions. 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 admisions decisions. The waitlist admissions process will continue for the next week 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.

100 responses to “Waitlist News”

  1. Thanks for the news, Matt. All the waitlist students really appreciate the work that the committee does. Either way, this journey has been truly fanatastic and I can’t thank you guys enough for it. Best of luck to everyone on the waitlist!

  2. Al says:

    OH MY GOD!!!! I am so nervous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hope I get in!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Any international student?

  4. Andrea says:

    Oh finally! Some news for the waitlisted, and good news at that! I hope I get in! If not, it’s still nice to have some closure after ~5 months of anxious waiting.

  5. Andrea says:

    Sorry for double posting, but are you admitting any international students?

  6. yukiko says:

    Thank You so much for this news!!!!! I’ll be waiting anxiously for the decisions!

  7. Ty'12 says:

    Good luck, you guys!!
    Hang in there, and hope to see you in the Fall!! And if not, maybe in the near future~You never know!!

    Best of Luck

  8. @ Anon 9:44

    I guess that makes two of us?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Will they be taking any international students? Why didnt Matt tell about that?!

    (The 8% international quota is very unfair: a maximum of 83 students out of a class of 1040….DISCRIMINATION AT LARGE).

  10. Anonymous says:

    Finally, closure coming soon.

    (35/739)*100% = 4.7% chance of admittance.

  11. Anonymous says:

    How many of the 739 took a spot on the waitlist?

  12. Omar '12 says:

    Hey Matt!

    Are you at ISEF? I was hoping there’d be some MIT get together here. Is that still going to happen?

  13. Micah says:

    On the bright side, it’s probably not quite as bad as 4.7%. For the class of 2010 (the last year that MIT has the common dataset available) 389 people were offered a spot on the waiting list, and 319 accepted it. For the class of 2009, the numbers are 401 out of 469. That works out to 82% and 86% respectively. For 2008, it was 87%. So an average of 85% of students take a spot on the waiting list. Assuming that those trends hold true this year, that means only 628 students remaining, giving a probability of 5.6%.

    Ok, that’s still depressing. Never mind.

  14. PICK ME PICK ME!!!

    Good luck to everyone else out there too!

  15. :) says:

    This is the third time that MIT has said they will give me a decision, kinda crazy, but i remain hopeful. smile

    Who else out there took the AP Physics C test?

  16. Ty'12 says:

    @ smile


  17. Disha says:

    Oh Goshh!!…This is what I had been waiting to see since so long..But as soon as my eyes laid on ‘Waitlist News’ my heart beat almost stopped…I still feel the same anxiety as had been during regular decision. Best Of Luck to all the waitlist candidates!

    How many students are still on the waitlist? Are you admitting any International students? Thank You!!

  18. Mujtaba says:

    I hope i am one of those 35 super lucky applicants. Good luck to the rest.

  19. Craig B. says:

    Thanks for keeping us informed. It means a lot to me, and I would assume the same is true for everyone else on the wait list.

  20. Al says:

    Any planning to study nuclear engineering¡

  21. Anonymous says:

    Matt how many people is now on the wait list?

  22. Anonymous says:

    wow 35? thats hefty smile yay for them!

  23. Oasis '11 says:

    Yay, go Matt! It’s amazing, all the work that you’re juggling. smile

  24. Udbhav says:

    That’s great! Thanks for the news Matt. I’m gonna say this once more, whatever be the decision, it was an honor to be even placed in the waitlist.

  25. Andy says:

    I’m so thankful for being waitlisted. But now the journey is almost at an end and I will keep hoping that I am one of those 35 students. Best of luck to everyone, no matter what happens we will still make the best of it.

  26. Aditi says:

    waitlisted people, all the best smile

  27. ISEF08 says:

    Dude when/where is the ISEF reception gonna be?

  28. Kumineie says:

    Ya I totally agree with GOM above – I’d rather be declined than one of the “extras” admitted simply because the more able students declined their offer and made some free room for those with less ability. Thankfully I was declined back in March and I’m now looking forward to four great years at Virginia Tech.

    How inconvenient.

  29. Vivi '12 says:

    So -this- is the kinda stuff you’ve been busy with, Matt! Good luck to all waitlisted! =)

  30. accepted says:

    I wouldn’t say that…

    Getting waitlisted is still a great accomplishment and that doesn’t unnecessarily mean that you will perform worse than those of us who were accepted. Most people who apply to MIT are already so incredibly talented. So stay hopeful, and we’ll see some of you next year ^_^

  31. Isshak says:

    Okay now I am really stressing !! Still, good luck to everyone ! We got in the waitlist, this was an accomplishment, and we should not be ashamed of the journey.

  32. Anon says:

    @ smile

    I did!!

    And surprisingly the Electricity part was easier than the Mechanics.

    Fingers crossed for all of us….

  33. :P says:

    guys, don’t stress, chill… it’s not like you’re waiting for a decision from caltech (khm the only institute worth fussing about khm)!

  34. J.L says:

    @ Matt McGann: Excellent, thanks much for the update! Question though – what form’ll these letters be taking? Should we set up tents by the mailbox? Start checking our email every tenth of a second? Watch for smoke signals in the north? (Or east, or west, or south?)

    @ GrandOldMan: Yes, well, extras we may be, but at least passable written English isn’t an issue for us. Cheers, sir. And don’t ever write “teh” again.

    @ General Malcontent Public: After I got the waitlisted decision, I said on the forums that I suspected they’d make me fight an ogre come late May. Words too true; I freakin’ KNOW I’m gonna be one of those lucky 70 who get waitlisted – wait for it – OFF THE WAITLIST!

    LOL. Good luck, everyone.

  35. Hi. Would you know when the transfer results will be sent to us? The wait is killing me! raspberry

  36. Olabisi says:

    does it include transfers n how do we know if we have been admitted as transfers since we have no online accounts? If the admission letters have been posted, why don’t we have emails notifying us instead of us living @ d mail box or any other info.

  37. Julia '12 says:


    I don’t know what you are talking about about the waitlist students not being as good as the other students because I am sure they are just as good as we are. The fact that they were even offered a place on the waitlist means that they are extraordinary people. MIT has way more people that would make MIT a great place apply then they can offer spots so being waitlisted is only because of numbers, not because the people are any less good.

    @waitlisted students

    I can’t wait to meet those lucky ones from you that will be joining our class next fall and I am sure that next fall no one care who got in early, regular or waitlisted.

  38. yukiko says:

    hey!!! to raspberry

    MIT > Cal tech!

  39. jj says:

    I have been waiting almost 7 months for a decision for MIT! ack! maybe i’ll get one this time raspberry But i know the chances are slim that I’ll be accepted – but you can always hope. And the school i sent my deposit in to is a school i like very much. But still, MIT is my #1, and I would love to get in so much smile Even if i don’t tho i can still say that they REALLY REALLY liked me since i made it this far.

    Oh well, soon this will all be behind all of us and we can move on with our lives. Seriously, 4 years from now, this very second… i bet each one of us will be just fine – better than fine – fantastic. We will all be in a great position to to whatever we want to do because we’re all smart and we all will work toward whatever we want. And even if you fall one rung short of what you originally wanted, you have to realize that it’s not the only (or the best) path to take. Dare to dream, live, and be happy.

  40. sid'12 says:

    i m glad that grandoldman’s comments were deleted.
    They were demeaning and outright wrong!
    Thank you

  41. Andrea says:

    MIT > Harvard

  42. I agree with all of you. Whether or not we get in, it’s still a great honour to have come this far. It proves that MIT really loves us and whatever happens we’ll always love MIT.

    To the 35 who will get through (and I hope I’m one of them), congratulations – you just got into the best school on earth.

    To the other 700 odd people – I’m sure you’ll succeed at whatever you do. I know I’ll definitely want to come to MIT for my graduate studies.

    All the best.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Don’t pick me up……because I got admitted to HARVARD…………………………………. LOL

  44. Sorry to be posting this unrelated information here. You may like to repost this under a new blog topic, if you think it is appropriate.

    This morning when watching Fox news, I saw an interesting interview with Geoffrey Maltzahn of MIT regarding a cancer breakthough. The video is available at :

    Scroll down the page and look for the video icon with the following textual description:

    “Cancer Breakthrough
    Researchers tout major advance in cancer treatment using tiny devices called ‘nanoworms'”

    I think this video will be available on the fox news website only for today (5/14/08)until 12 midnight.

    I sent this to Jesse as well, just in case you do not read this post before the end of the day today.

  45. Chunge says:

    The previous post on a cancer almost sounds like the beginning of the movie ‘I am Legend’……Great news if its a real breakthrough.

    Just thought I’d say I thank God that I got on the wait list. If I do happen to be one of THE 35 (haha sounds a bit like a group of superheroes) then woohooo!!! If not, well I guess life goes on. All the best guys.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Actually, I am waiting to hear from Caltech also. But I heard someone say that they aren’t taking anyone else so it looks like I’m out of luck.

  47. Anonymous says:

    News at last!

    *crosses fingers*

  48. Waitlisted says:

    Oh wow, I’m hoping we hear back tomorrow. MIT has had my application since Halloween. Thankfully I have an Ivy to fall back on if I am not in the lucky 5% or so.

    Good luck everyone. Hope to see you at Cambridge in a few months.

  49. As a past waitlisted applicant, I encourage all of you who are accepted off the waitlist to ACCEPT because MIT is FANTASTIC. Also I will give you a personalized tour and be your best friend (maybe).
    But seriously, if you are accepted off the waitlist, feel free to contact me via Facebook.

    Peace and good luck,
    Ken Haggerty ’11

  50. Does he mean by the end of this current week, as in tomorrow…Friday?

  51. Anonymous says:

    Being deferred and then being put on the Waitlist builds strong character. Matt do all us waitlisted people a favor. Don’t call anyone off the waitlist until June or July.

    What does not kill us makes us stronger!

  52. Anonymous says:

    It “builds strong character”? I believe that almost 7 months of waiting has built more than enough character. If you want to wait longer to find out, just don’t check your e-mail until July.

    If I get in from the wait list, I want to know as soon as possible so I can change my current plans and hopefully save some money on a plane ticket to MA in the fall. Plus I have a spot at an Ivy that some other highly qualified student would gladly accept from the waitlist. The sooner colleges announce who their final incoming classes are, the better it is for everyone who is waitlisted. There are actually practical reasons to find out about admittance sooner rather than later.

  53. Harvard 12 says:

    @ anonymous

    I am stalking on this website because MIT admitted me and I still rejected it because of its NEGLIGIBLE financial aid as compared to Harvard’s most generous financial aid 120%

  54. I wish I was smart enough to be even consider. Oh well, I can only dream about releasing big logs/bolders in MIT restrooms……….

  55. Harvard '12 says:

    @ Andrea

    HARVARD >>> 1000 * MIT :D

  56. Emir says:

    Yeah, when will the transfer admission decision will be out?

  57. Andrea says:

    Your larger Aid package from Harvard only means that Harvard has a larger endowment. MIT is the better school of the two inmo, and I bet if you really thought Harvard was a lot better then you wouldn’t be so sore about having to turn down MIT’s offer (that much is obvious from the fact that you’re stalking the blogs making angry comments).

  58. Eric says:

    Alright then. Let’s all calm down.

  59. Neha says:

    Yes!!! The waitlist lives on! raspberry smile

    @ Matt:
    Will MIT be admitting any international students this year?

  60. anonymous says:

    @ Harvard ’12

    If Harvard is so great, why are you stalking the MIT blogs?

    Like the shirts says “Harvard – because everyone can’t get into MIT”

  61. Anonymous says:

    Wow the preference for Canada, China, Corea, India & UK is totally unfear this five countrys almos make half of the international student body!

  62. Anonymous says:

    Blogger Matt = new Blogger(MIT);
    for(int x = 0; x Blogger Matt = new Blogger(MIT);
    for(int x = 0; x < 35; x++)

  63. turns out the computer doesn’t like less then signs. probably because of HTML.

  64. “I am stalking on this website because MIT admitted me and I still rejected it because of its NEGLIGIBLE financial aid as compared to Harvard’s most generous financial aid 120%

    Posted by: Harvard 12 on May 15, 2008 02:18 PM”

    haha Maybe MIT’s not stingy, they’re just pickier than Harvard?

    Perhaps… =P

  65. Anonymous says:

    ^ hey stalker, what was financial aid at MIT compared to Harvard’s?

  66. Lord says:

    I didn’t think Harvard was the place for me and so I stuck with MIT. I am sure everyone had very good reasons for making the choices they made. I hope that MIT will return me the favor and the other students who will be given the opportunity will be left feeling just as jubilant.
    And Matt, can you tell us when we do find out. I am sure that the surgery I just had will certainly feel a lot better when I find out about my decision.

  67. Anonymous says:

    when and how do we find out??

  68. Jim says:

    I’m passing the time with the typing test application on Facebook.. it’s strangely addictive.

    Best of luck to all of us!

  69. Anonymous says:

    caltech >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> MIT
    California, summer all the year, hot girls!!

  70. Anonymous says:


  71. Anonymous says:


    Should my son get a sex change operation to increase his chances of being accepted into MIT? He is currently a freshman.

  72. Dahvid says:

    omyga jim! i love that app
    well love/hate ya know
    i can’t get past my 140 wpm peak =( =(
    *continues wait*

  73. Jim says:

    Aye, I was ranked 18th a few hours ago. =) I don’t know how people are pulling off 170+, unless they’re using a dvorak layout or something..

    I need something better to waste my time on, haha.

  74. Helen says:

    Wow. I’m not even halfway through Year 10, and I’m already stressing out about university. I can’t imagine how nervous you guys must be. raspberry

    I hope to get into MIT, even though there’s only like a 1 in 20 chance for me. (I live in Australia)
    The different starting times are universities though makes it difficult for me to choose which to apply to.
    Uni starts in March-April here, and I’m guessing uni starts around September for the US and Europe.

    Anyway, good luck to all applicants!

  75. Harvard '12 says:

    @ Anonymous

    Harvard’s aid was $53000……MIT only $35000

  76. Harvard '12 says:

    @ Andrea

    Lol………Harvard guys are smart and cool and…..MIT are only and only NERDS……

  77. Anonymous says:

    @ Harvard ’12

    Wait, who constantly gets pwned with pranks? Harvard.


  78. Anonymous says:

    Who is immature enough to constantly pull pranks, you mean?

  79. so glad to see other aussies interested in MIT. Good luck Helen. Hope to see you here in 3 years.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Just because we are in college doesn’t mean we are too old to have fun. MIT pranks take skill and ingenuity. Besides, hacks never hurt anyone or damage anything.

  81. Anonymous says:

    I hope not all Harvard people are like you. If they are, then I am glad I am not going there. If you had your nose any higher in the air, you might get hit by a satellite.

    For acting so smart, you might want to improve on your English or proofread your posts.

  82. Katie says:

    I talked to them and they’re hoping to have decisions on Monday, but Wednesday at the latest.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Just for laughs, is there anyone from Michigan posting, or anyone currently enrolled at Notre Dame?

    P.S. Harvard guy, no one cares. Get out of Cambridge and leave it to intelligent people.

  84. Disha says:

    Thats a news Katie! I was thinking the decisions won’t be out before 24th.

  85. drew says:

    Did they say how they were going to send out the decisions?

  86. Anonymous says:

    If MIT people are more intelligent than Harvard people, how come Harvard regularly beats MIT in Putnam?

    There are just as many snobby MIT people out there as there are Harvard people.

    P.S. MIT’s shirt fails. “Harvard – because everyone can’t get into MIT” means that nobody can get into MIT.

  87. Anonymous says:

    “If MIT people are more intelligent than Harvard people, how come Harvard regularly beats MIT in Putnam?”

    Do you understand the weird system of how Putnam teams are ranked? Do you realize MIT usually fields far more students in the top rankings than any other school?

  88. Harvard '12 says:


    Harvard guys are mature…………Do do not indulge in such things…….They have other many thing to do…..

    I used to do such pranks when I was in grade 10….(which MIT NERDS in the college)

  89. Anonymous says:

    How insecure does Harvard Guy have to be to post justifications for going to Harvard on a better school’s blog?

  90. Hadley says:

    Hey guys, I know a bunch of you were interested in how we would be informed, and after a bit of sleuthing [Nancy Drew style!], I found an older blog of Matt’s that said they emailed those accepted off of the waitlist last year. So, I don’t really know what they’re doing this year, but that’s the precedent. FYI…

    [Great; one more mode of communication to be terrified of for the next week or so]

  91. Udbhav says:

    I got an email informing that decisions will be out today!!! Best of luck guys!!!

  92. Andrea says:

    An email from who? what exactly did it say?

  93. Anxious says:

    yea…has anybody heard yet? i called admissions five minutes ago and they said that they had no clue when decisions were coming out but that it definitely wouldn’t be today…

    (but then again they’re trained to say that -_-)

  94. Udbhav says:

    I got it as a reply to an earlier email I had sent to Joanne Cummings. She’s the Sr. Associate Director of Admissions, so I wouldn’t doubt the credibility of the email. She said the decisions will be out later today, but then again, almost seven hours have passed since I got it, so it might not necessarily be today, maybe tomorrow. Watch out!

  95. Katie says:

    Ahh, I just called 4:24. They were still in committee. It is now 4:35. They close at 5:00.

  96. Anonymous says:

    I just called a minute ago, asked when the decisions would be out, and all the lady could tell me is “soon.” Not too helpful.

  97. Anonymous says:

    Maybe they will just roll out the emails after the meeting. The email was pretty clear in stating that everyone would get a decision today. But then, if not today, maybe tomorrow.

  98. Katie says:

    I just called at 4:54 again. The secretary sounded annoyed. I think she recognizes my voice. She sounded pretty certain that decisions would not be out today. Ouch.

  99. Anonymous says:

    Hope so. I’m at school right now and they have e-mail blocked so I won’t know if they send e-mails. I am just relying on the blogs and comments to see when I need to skip out of class and go check my e-mail.

  100. Hadley says:

    Aw the poor secretaries. They probably bear the brunt of crazy kids like us..