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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Waitlisted by Ben Jones

A forum for students who were waitlisted.

In the near future, we’ll have some advice here on the blogs about being waitlisted. In the meantime, feel free to use this forum to discuss anything waitlist-related.

69 responses to “Waitlisted”

  1. Arash says:

    First post!

  2. Arash says:

    I was already seriously considering Olin, this just made the decision easier without making me feel worthless…. smile

  3. Anonymous says:

    goodbye senioritis

    and goodbye any hopes of closure

  4. Anonymous says:

    I wish MIT wouldn’t feel the need to waitlist the equivalent of 1/3 of the admitted class.

  5. Confused says:

    How exactly does this work? All schools have a May 1 deadline for commitment, so do we just lose our deposit at those schools? I’m confused. I’d love to go to MIT, but I also want to make sure that I get to go to college…

  6. Kevin says:

    I submitted my application for EA in October. I was deferred from EA, and now I’m waitlisted from RD.

    It feels like my life has become “Every two months, get told by MIT to wait another two months for a decision.”

    I really want to see a detailed explanation of how MIT’s waitlist works. I’ve tried looking this up in the past, but explanations are very hard to find on this subject.

    Well, MIT, you’ve done a great job completely disillusioning me as to the effectiveness of “holistic admissions.” I still love your school, but please forgive me if I no longer have any good feelings towards your admissions office.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Confused – you’ll agree to go somewhere else and if you get into MIT and decide to go you will lose your deposit at the other school.

  8. Confused says:

    Sorry for the triple post, MIT’s site is obviously under a lot of stress right now. At the outset, I was very upset because I was also a deferred early action candidate, but then I read through the Denied thread, and I’ve decided that even though it’s tough, I’ll wait it out through May.

  9. Arash says:

    A lot of us appear to be deferred EA…

  10. Anonymous says:

    does anyone know how many kids make it from waiting list to being actually admitted …

  11. Jose Morillo says:

    WOW!! Finally i get a response..ans yes my status is waitlisted..It feels like there’s some hope at then end of the tunnel..I’m a little excited to know that MIT thinks i’m worthwhile and capable of being a MIT Student..Before this I was like so casual of what MIT might have thought of me..but now i’m all like DAMN i strongly want to enroll at MIT, because now i have this self-assurance that MIT can be the right place for me..Ok too many emotions to keep typing..By the way Ben what point of advice, recommendations, and suggestions may you give to waitlisted students!! Please help me get in..I’ll be waiting for your reply..thanks for the help!!

  12. Jay says:

    Hey guys, I’m very grateful to be on the list. Does anybody know the process or how many people have gotten in off of the waiting list the past few years? I heard its around 0.

  13. Blueshft says:


    yea, this wait list size is huge. ah well, best luck to all of you.

    I guess I’ll bank on Wellesley’s joint program with MIT and laugh at them for having tiny dorms :D

  14. Anonymous says:

    it honestly differs from year to year — many or nearly none of the waitlisted applicants may eventually be accepted. sadly, there’s no way to predict.

  15. anonymous says:

    Can someone explain how the waitlisted work?

  16. KevinfromMA says:

    This is a different Kevin from above.

    Funny thing is, I too was deferred EA.

    Would anybody else have much rather had some closure rather than this?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I knew I was going to be waitlisted.

    The most shocking thing is that we consist of 3% of the overall applicant that was worthwhile to be recognized but were denied because of the class capacity.

  18. Anonymous says:

    just checked a thread last year…

    only 30 off the WL. But the yield is probably gonna be lower this year because it seems everyone applied to some combination of the Ivies + MIT/Stanford.

  19. kevinfromMA says:

    Does anybody know if we get to attend CPW too?

  20. Anonymous says:


    i don’t think so. and in response to your question above, yes, i would love to have some closure, but my exasperation is balanced out by my ecstasy at not being rejected.

    i also believe we get beaucoup de opportunities to improve our applications. ben ben ben please post something answering the most important question in the history of humanity: “Now What?”

  21. If you decide to remain on the waitlist, you should in the meantime accept an admissions offer from another school. It won’t be until after the admitted students indicate their decision (that is, not until mid- to late-May earliest) that MIT will know if anyone can be admitted off the waitlist. If there is movement off the MIT waitlist this year and you’re offered a place, you can either decline the offer and continue on to the school where you deposited before May 1, or accept the offer and contact the other school to tell them you’re not coming (after which *THEY* may go to their waitlist, etc.). It’s a cycle all top schools go through every year, and they expect some churn: it’s not until roughly July 1 that the class is actually finalized. So yes, there is a likelihood you’d lose a deposit at another school if you accept the MIT waitlist offer, but that’s how it’s done.

    Stats on numbers admitted off the waitlist can be found in the Common Data Sets, Section C, here: Although 30 students were admitted from the waitlist last year (those stats are not online yet), in the previous 3 years the number admitted off the waitlist were 0, 1, and 0 respectively. It varies from year to year, but the number admitted from the waitlist is usually very small, if non-zero. And MIT does not rank its waitlist: when it’s known that there will be spaces available, the Admissions folks go back through those who’ve remained on the waitlist to make their decisions on whom to offer spots to.

    CPW is only for admitted students, not waitlisted students.

  22. Jose Morillo says:

    I think being waitlisted is most definitely never-racking since the waiting period is longer to get one of the certain decisions rejection or acceptance..For us is sort of like can go both ways..n thats the terrible part of it…Right now i have this subtle ambivalence yet i have some hope..Finally, for all of us who got waitlisted stay strong and remember the game is not over CHINS Up…N juts Wait..for the final decision!!
    (BIG SIGH!!)

  23. Dan Silva says:

    Hey maybe it was a temporary joke, you guys. Maybe we get the real decisions in the mail next week…the tubes. I’m still shocked about being accepted to MITES one year ago. grin I love you MITES people and I’m glad for those of you who got into this incredible school. and MIT admissions I’m taking that spot on the wait list and I’m sending you my Q3 grades and all the financial aid stuff even though it’s not a sure thing yet.

  24. Anonymous says:

    1533 admitted. 65.2% yield expected for a class of 1000.

    Last year-
    1483 admitted (not including waitlist admits)
    970 accepted offer of admission (since 30 came in off the waitlist)
    65.4% yield.

    So, expected number of waitlist admits this year-
    Negative 2 people

  25. To waitlisted Pakistani
    which school do you belong to?

  26. Wow–it must be tough to be waitlisted, especially for those who were already deferred EA/ED. I heard someone say once that being waitlisted is really the same kind of thing as an acceptance, but without a seat in the classroom. It’s like waiting in the hall looking in to a standing-room-only lecture hall or classroom full of people. If there were a seat, you’d be in the class. You’re qualified but there just isn’t enough room for even all of the most qualified students.

    Hopefully, that offers some solace to you as you make your decision about whether to wait for that one more chance, yet again, or not.

    Good luck in the limbo-land ahead and in deciding from among your accepted schools by May 1. In a few months, all of this angst and limbo will be behind you, and you’ll be much more concerned with midterms and other pressing college-student (rather than college applicant!) concerns. Really and truly–this fall will come sooner than you think. That’s something that parents, dinosaurs that we are, understand all too well. So, be good to yourself and know that you won’t live in limboland forever–however long it must seem to you right now.

    A Sympathetic Mom

  27. James says:

    wow… more wait… I love MIT but wow… been waiting since EA… hope to get in still tho!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Ben, last year you said you thought you’d go to the waitlist, and 30 kids got in. Any thoughts on this year?

  29. Mrow says:



  30. Anonymous says:

    good luck guys keep praying hard

  31. Anonymous says:

    good luck guys keep praying hard

  32. Confused says:

    If you accept a spot on the Wait List and you are offered admission in late May, are you required to go to MIT?

  33. No, Confused, you are not obligated to accept a place at MIT if you stay on the waitlist and are offered a spot later. See my earlier post for an explanation of how this works.

  34. Jose Morillo says:

    hey…thanks for the details related to students who are waitlisted…I love MIT for making wait’s like wow “they actually think im a good match..”

    There’s possibly some light at the end of the tunnel for all us who got waitlisted….

  35. Anonymous says:

    You are heartless. Simply heartless. I don’t know how you can live with yourselves.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I suggest that you take the news as I am taking it. It’s best to forget about MIT for a while… that way if you are accepted in May, it will be a nice surprise. In the past 4 years combined, 31 students have made it in off of the waitlist… there are 499 being offered spots. Being on the waitlist is practically a polite rejection, which I must admit I’m kind of thankful for. I guess applying to MIT was me trying to prove something to myself, and I kind of half-proved it to myself, but I certainly got more out of the process than I would have if I had gotten rejected. That having been said, I await Stanford decisions with much anticiaption…

  37. kevinfromMA says:

    Anonymous above me, I think a HUGE portion of us are awaiting Stanford decisions. Being waitlisted makes me feel “not so bad” about my shots at Stanford. A rough justification: 1500 admits + 500 waitlisted = 2000; 2000/12,500 = 16%. I’m pretty proud of being in the “top 16%” of applicants to MIT! However, at the same time I know my competition is composed of many of the same kids sharing my spot. An interesting relationship indeed. In any case, good luck to all, and do what somebody above me has said and put MIT out of your minds for a while.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Fortunately for my son, he has Stanford (EA) already. He is not complaining for being waitlisted. Actually, we are happy that he did not take a spot at MIT that he has no intention to go. He is off the MIT waitlist now. We were hoping that his best friend would get into MIT though, but that did not happen (pity!).

  39. c21 says:

    I guess this is what I get for being such a fantastic procrastinator. =D. Sigh…the problem is, my curiousity is essentially infinite, which means I have to know everything right away. So now I have two conflicting emotions. To know? Not to know? Ok, I’m done and I can now safely move on without risking any mental implosions of any sort. Wow that felt good, in a psychologically therapeutic way.

  40. AB says:


    i cannot even explain how much i want you to write an entry about being waitlisted. and maybe tell us a) if you guys are planning to admit off the waitlist this year (i know there were several years when you did not), b) whether we should send in additional materials and, if so, what (i.e. essays, activity updates, extra recs, grades, etc), and c) how and when exactly we will be notified in may.

    thanks thanks thanks

  41. Anonymous says:

    Last year, I believe they asked 40 students, 30 of which who acccepted – after years of not taking people from the waitlist. It depends year-to-year. Just hope for the best.

  42. JamesM says:

    AB, that is a good point. Since we were wait-listed, I wonder if we can send additional materials to demonstrate our worth? My determination hasn’t wavered despite being wait-listed, and I would exult in the chance to prove myself further.

  43. kevinfromMA says:

    AB, JamesM, I’m sure the majority of us feel that way. I’m confident that Ben or Matt will post something thorough and honest as usual. Just realize that they really do deserve this weekend off.

    Personally, I’d like to wait until Monday to think about this again. It’s been a very grounding experience, and I’d like to enjoy the rest of my weekend as I’ve managed to enjoy the rest of today.

  44. AB says:


    true, but last year matt was saying that they deliberately very blatantly accepted too few applicants, and were determined to go to the waitlist (you can tell that i’ve been reading every waitlist-related blog entry in the past two years, right?) — he was pretty certain last march that the waitlist would be used. i was just wondering if it would be the same this year.

    and jamesm, i’m trying pretty hard to get away from the idea that i’m trying to “prove my worth” here — can we use a pretty euphemism like “revealing another interesting facet of our personality”? =)

  45. Michael says:

    Probably well over half applied to Stanford too… (I sure did)

  46. Romain says:

    wow..this is it..we are those that are left after battle, the wounded, lying on the grass, that are not sure to make it…

    for the record, I am another one of those of us that was deferred EA…looks like MIT just can’t make up their minds about us…

    Good luck to all, looking at the stats, not many will pass, but hey, 100% of winners gave it a shot.

  47. Trevor says:

    At first I was surprised at how well everyone here is taking this, but I soon realize that there were not nearly 500 people posting here. I suppose these are the hopefuls, then. I’ll probably refuse to let myself visit the MIT site from now on to make it easier to deal with.

    I was also deferred from EA, but there were excuses for that. Now, I don’t think I’ll take a spot on the waitlist, as it seems i’d just be patronizing myself and drawing out rejection longer. Besides, what if I was accepted in late May? Then I would be basically an after-thought of MIT. Rejection is a blow to my pride that’s a good lesson to learn and one that I can handle. Being wait-listed and later accepted, and then struggling along, almost like barely clinging to the bottom rungs of this elite ladder, an inch from falling off, is not something I can do.

    Worse than suddenly being sicks (brought on by stress, maybe?) is that MIT was my only chance to attend college near my girlfriend, who wished to attend Mount Holyoke (two hours west). We’ve currently been in a long-distance (Ohio to Louisiana, 932 miles) relationship for two years. Now we get to figure out what the hell to do next. I might not go to college, but rather find somewhere to work for the time being near-by wherever she attends school and hope to apply there next year. Not trying to blame MIT for that or anything, I know it was my fault I didn’t get in, just expressing the difficultly of this situation.

    I suppose not achieving a goal is a good lesson; that un-attainable glory will just have to be worked harder for. Cheers.

  48. Anonymous says:

    i heard mit was thinking of increasing class sizes from now on… that should change some of the above stats smile

  49. Anonymous says:

    start now, MIT! take us for a pending class of almost 2000 and a final class of 1300!

  50. Jimster says:

    How do we know if we’re wait-listed versus plain rejected?

  51. Anonymous says:


    if your decision explicitly says that they are offering you a spot on the “Wait List,” capitalized and everything, then you are waitlisted. if they are simply saying they cannot offer you a spot at MIT, then you are rejected.

    you can go to college confidential and see the texts from all three kinds of letters.

  52. Anonymous says:

    hm, I wonder how many of us applied to Stanford as well…I know I did.

  53. kevinfromMA says:

    Your letter would have indicated it clearly, Jimster. That is, the words “Wait List” and “late May” would have stood out.

  54. kevinfromMA says:

    Sounds shaky at best, isolated. All we can do is wait patiently for info to be posted in the next few days.

  55. NYmetroArea says:

    I hope MIT considers to increase its class size.. B/C I really want to attend this school like the rest of you..MIT please do something for US..I know we are quite as good or equally as good to those admitted students..This is most definitely pain-staking..(NOOOooo)..To be thought that you’re excellent is an honor, but to leave you standing outside of MIT b/c of no available seats that’s displeasing..Give me some pain-reliver..i don’t know if i can endure this discourtesy and wait for a final answer, that’s just not my character..The target is too far for us to aim at an acceptance to MIT..Good luck for those who were admitted, and those rejected I sense your broken heart but take this as a life lesson there are other schools that are mostly happy to accept you..the Good thing you won’t have to suffer the misery we waitlisted applicants are going through..Good luck to all. Let’s ponder what the future has concealed for us.But for now just respose and take your mind off this predicament; you’re going to just give yourself headaches..(sigh)

  56. Scott '10 says:

    There has, indeed, been a lot of talk about increasing class sizes. Currently, the biggest limiting factor is housing–there isn’t enough dorm space fit any more people!

    The solution? Convert Ashdown House, a graduate dorm, into undergraduate housing. We’re expected to start moving in as soon as fall 2008.

    Some quotes of interest:


    Though no final number has been set for an increased class size, the jump to about 1,100 students per class is something administrators are leaning toward, said Benedict, who emphasized that the Institute would first have to ensure that services like Mental Health and Student Support Services had the necessary resources before admitting more students.

    “Everyone here wants to increase the class size,” said Dean for Admissions Marilee Jones, with many suggesting an increase of 100.

  57. are they really considering increasing class size or did that person just make that up?

  58. Anonymous says:

    look at it this way- we weren’t rejected!!!! MIT thinks we’re qualified, and we still could be members of the MIT class of 2011!!! i’m a hopeless optimist. just try to enjoy what’s left of senior year.

  59. Anonymous says:

    I think the wait list should be seen as an accomplishment in and of itself.

  60. Anonymous says:


    did anybody from south dakota get in this year? =)

  61. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait for a follow up post for wait listed students!

  62. Jose Morillo says:

    Does anyone knows how to manage/efface this mixture of hopelessness and contentment..I can’t focused at my studies (MIT is all my mind constantly ponders on)..HELP please..the waiting list is the worst confinement to be in…


  63. Anonymous (posted on march19th) thanks for the positive’re right i should look at it in that perspective…Good luck to you and for evryone else..
    Guess we’re equally as good as those admitted students..the problem is i wish i was in their shoes..(Jumping up n down, scream, thrilled, schocked at the acceptance)..but guess it was meant for them first..they deserve it..Good luck to all of you admitted students..

  64. Anonymous says:

    If you haven’t heard back from MIT at all, no rejection letter, no emails or anything, does that automatically mean you’ve been waitlisted? Or that my rejection letter just got lost?

  65. red says:

    My kid just got on the wait list at Stanford. Anybody know anything about their process?