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COVID-19

Learn more about how MIT Admissions is responding to COVID-19 in this blog post from our Dean and new dedicated FAQs.

MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Waitlist Questions by Ben Jones

The waitlist seems to be a hot topic so I'll try to answer the most common questions here.

The waitlist seems to be a hot topic so I’ll try to answer the most common questions here (with help from Dean Marilee)…

1) How many people will MIT take from the waitlist? Is it true that you haven’t taken any from the waitlist in the past few years? Should I even bother staying on?

We won’t know how many folks we’ll be taking from the waitlist until the middle of May, after we’ve received and processed the responses from admitted students. While it is true that we haven’t taken anyone from the waitlist in the past few years, we admitted very few this year (due to the overenrollment of previous years) and thus it is more likely that this year will have some waitlist admits. Whether you stay on the list or not is a personal decision – the answer to question #2 may help you to decide.

2) How does it work? Don’t I have to let other colleges know by May 1? Is it ethical?

You do need to let other colleges know by May 1, and you should make sure that you have a place to enroll next year other than MIT in case you don’t get in off the waitlist. Those colleges will likely require a deposit to secure your spot. If you get into MIT later in May, and choose to come, you will likely forfeit your deposit at the other school. Schools understand that this scenario is a part of the process, and it is perfectly ethical. (Losing the desposit is a bummer, but worth it if you really want to be here.)

3) Is the list ranked?

No, not in any way.

4) What can I do to help my chances?

The best thing you can do is simply to stay in touch, so that we know you’re still interested. Write, call, email, whatever – just let us know what you’ve been up to and why you really want to be here.

14 responses to “Waitlist Questions”

  1. S&Mer says:

    First post! Oh yeah.

  2. Now, for the one BIG question all international rejectees would like to know:

    Do international students get wait-listed or not?

    If so, how many of intls got the waiting list?

  3. a fat sheep says:

    third…………… still waiting for my letter

  4. Ben says:

    Kresimir – there are indeed international applicants on the waitlist. Not sure about the number though, it hasn’t been released yet… my guess is not too many though, relative to the small # of int’l admits.

  5. intl says:

    Hi everyone,
    I would like to know whether the intl waitlisted are less likely to be offered a place to MIT since in the first place only about 100 are admitted. What I mean is that if there are about 30 places to be offered, will the domestic applicants most likely be given the places first.
    Thank you for your help

  6. Prashant says:

    Is it safe to assume there will be no waitlisted applicants from India? (Considering India likely has 100% yield… come on, it’s 4-5 admits out of hundreds of applicants).

    It’s now Tuesday and I have no letter :-(

  7. .... says:

    I don’t know what to say but thank you MIT. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    I cried when I saw the envelope in my mailbox. I broke down crying. I went inside and told my mom, and she just hugged me and said congratulations.

    I want to say thank you. Ben. Matt. MIT. Thanks

  8. Theo says:

    Heh smile That totally reminds me of my MIT essay about disappointment!… I guess since my essay made disappointment and failure look so appealing they thought to give me one…

    I truly believe in these two next paragraphs:

    After all as Friedrich von Schiller said disappointments are to the soul what the thunderstorm is to the air. As a thunderstorm temporarily causes terrible turmoil and awful weather conditions, a disappointment fills one

  9. Amelia says:

    Hi, I will be visiting MIT tomorrow(Wednesday) afternoon (I live pretty close). Will you or Matt or any of the other bloggers be in the office? Also, do you have any suggestions about what to do there when I visit(I won’t get there until 3:30 or so).
    Thanks.

  10. Ben says:

    Intl & Prashant – I honestly don’t know – I don’t have anything to do with waitlist decisions. Like transfer, it’s Marilee and senior staff who decide those.

    Amelia – Matt is out today and I have to leave early… bad timing! :-( But stop by 10-100 and they’ll hook you up with lots of fun things to do/see.

    Duke – there were int’l admits who were *not* on that DHL list, that’s all I can say…

    EDIT: Amelia – I lied! Matt’s plane got in so he’s here, and I got stuck here, so we’re both here… grin

  11. duke says:

    Hey Ben,

    Honestly I didn’t check the DHL list, and I do not plan to. However, I have seen a comment on one of the message boards “out there” that DHL shipped nothing to the GCC/India Area. Can we still not give up and hope for packages, or did you guys only use DHL for international packages?

    Thank you and I look forward to your response.

  12. Niraj says:

    I was wait-listed. Let me tell you, it is much better then being rejected. However, I will really miss the Campus Preview Weekend, since we don’t get to attend it. I also hope there will be some spots available for wait-listed students.
    To Every one who got in – CONGRATULATIONS smile
    To Every one who was wait-listed – Best of Luck!
    To Every one who was rejected – Don’t Worry, this is not the end of the world.

  13. Failure is a part of life everyone has to deal with. I’ve failed. I’ve made mistakes. Everyone does and nobody is perfect.

    Life goes on, and well.

    Later,
    Mike.

  14. As a matter of fact, more important than succeeding all the time is how resilient one is after failing, for one will inevitably take risks (especially as an MIT student) which will inevitably cause him/her to fail.

    It is not a matter of suceeding or failing. Even when you fail, you don’t TRULY fail if you learn something from it. If you learn something from a failure or a mistake, then you have already succeeded, even if not in the way that you originally planned.

    Hope this helps, and this is pretty much what I live by.

    Later,
    Mike.