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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

In the near future, we’ll have some advice here on the blogs about being waitlisted. In the meantime, feel free to use this post’s comments space to discuss anything waitlist-related. And, if you haven’t already, check out Ben’s latest post.

44 responses to “Waitlisted”

  1. Sandy Tran says:

    How long exactly is the waitlist? And I’ve heard that very little of the waitlist actually gets admitted. Is that true? Is there a way to know where we are in the waitlist?

  2. Douglas says:

    I’m asking all the same questions that Sandy is, but I’m also wondering how the whole process works with the waitlist. By the time we would be notified of getting in off the waitlist (were that to happen), we would already have selected a school and begun the matriculation process, so how would you “reverse” that in order to attend MIT?

  3. Amy says:

    Being waitlisted was a big disappointment, but life goes on, right? Thanks so much for having taken the time to look over my application.

    In regards to Douglas’s question, to save Mr. McGann a bit of typing, here’s a quote from his blog from last year:

    “Here’s how it works. You should accept the offer of admission from another college before May 1. After May 1, when all students have sent their replies, colleges will determine if they need to go to their waitlist or not, and if so, how many students they need to admit. At this point, colleges will begin admitting students from the waitlist. Students who accept this offer will “unenroll” at the first college and enroll at the second. This shifting can lead to a second round of waitlist admissions. It is a part of the admissions process. We colleges recognize and accept this.”

    (You can find the original post at .)

  4. Matt,

    In last year’s blog you have said “we hope to enroll a class of 980 students”. I guess that number would roughly remain the same this year as well. This year I believe the number of applicants are over 12,500 and you have said the acceptance rate is 13%. We can infer from this that you have sent out roughly 1625 acceptance letters. Assuming a 67% admit rate(a number taken from princeton review from prior year), 1625*0.67 = 1088. That is already well over the 980 number – the number of students you would likely enroll this year. That would mean that the chances for waitlist students are very very slim this year, unless a miracle happens and the fewer than say 60% of people accept the offer in the first round. Is this assesment somewhere close to reality?

  5. Christina says:

    Deep breaths, guys.

    We’ve kept hope for this long, what’s a little longer?

  6. Frank says:

    When I got waitlisted on the website, I was a bit disappointed at first, and then a bit shocked later. There was a plethora of students applying to MIT from my school and all of them well deserving of acceptance. However, imagine my surprise when I found out that each and every one of them was denied! I was the only one that had a different response! I know that past statistics are not good benchmarks, but my high school sent 3 students to MIT last year; 4 were admitted. And every year prior, at least one person has always gotten into MIT. Hence, this year’s count seems rather strange. I have friends who have much better qualifications than I do, and I know that they look tremendous on paper because I’ve seen their applications. Therefore, in my opinion, the disparity between the number of students last year and this year is striking, at least in our neck of the woods. But despite this, when the slip of paper comes with my wait list decision on it, I’m not going to let that get me down. I’m going to check that box that says “Yes!” I’d love to have the honor of still being in contention for a spot at MIT! Indeed, that’s exactly what it is, an honor.

    By the way, I know that there may be posts on this in the imminent future, but is there anyway definite date as there was last year when a decision of whether (or not) wait listed students may be considered? I know that in the last three years no waitlisted students have been admitted, and the news has come in the middle of May. Will it be the same for this year?

  7. I.Warren says:

    I remember something from the waitlist letter I got regarding “are the first to be considered for admission should space become available in the class.” It’d be nice if someone would elaborate as to whether “To be considered for admission” means that there is another selection process selecting the best of the waitlist candidates, if it’s random, or already decided or whatnot. Also, if people don’t want to matriculate from certain geographic areas (or any other factors), do numbers come into play when pulling off the waitlist at all; or, is there no real answer.

  8. Diana says:

    I join you guys in the wait listing.

    The only reason I wanted to see the decision today was to make the waiting stop.

    I have decided that patience is a virtue I still do not posses and maybe that is what God is trying to teach me with this.

    I see it this way, over 14,000 people were rejected and we weren’t one of them.

    Being wait listed for the hardest school to get into in the country is quite an accomplishment.

    So I would like to congratulate all of you (us) who have been wait listed. And say that while I think MIT is the place for me, there will be life (even good) if I have to go somewhere else.

    =o) I propose we enjoy the next 2 months of High School and hope for the best.

    Good luck to all of “us”.

  9. Anonymous says:

    according to

    Qualified applicants placed on waiting list: 604

    Applicants accepting a place on waiting list: 524

    Students enrolled from waiting list: 1

    at least the possibility is there.

  10. I got waitlisted. Maybe it’s a test of my endurance to see how far I will go to get accepted, but more likely it is a lost cause. I feel I’ve been sold out after all I went through over these past 4 years, including having nearly lost my life on one occasion. I’m angry, but I don’t know who to be angry at.

    Unless hell freezes over and I get accepted off the waitlist, I doubt MIT will see my business again anytime in the next 4 years, and it really is their loss. I’ve hopefully got another 70 left in me, and if we never cross paths again, so be it.

  11. Paige says:

    “Qualified applicants placed on waiting list: 604

    Applicants accepting a place on waiting list: 524

    Students enrolled from waiting list: 1″

    You said this was from, could you perhaps provide a url to your information? I’d be interested in reading it.

    Also, are these stats from 2005? I have read that the waiting list has changed drastically in years past. What was true in 2005 might not hold for us, right?

  12. Alice says:

    I got waitlisted too, and to tell the truth, I was shocked that I wasn’t rejected because I had been expecting the worse. Simply knowing that I still had a chance at getting into my dream school made me feel excited, but after I got over the shock of not being outright rejected, I started having ambivalent feelings. On the one hand, I was happy that I still had a chance at getting in, yet, on the other hand, I was disappointed that I wasn’t one of the 13% admitted.

    Yes, MIT is my dream school, but if I don’t get offered admission in late May….it’s not the end of the world. Life will go on, and there are still plenty of other amazing colleges out there. So, for everyone else who is on the waitlist: relax, and try to keep things in perspective. These guys involved in the admissions process have been awesome, so, I just want to say thanks for reading our applications and being fair to us all. I realize it was an incredibly tough decision to pick so few out of so many extremely qualified applicants, so thank you for putting your hearts into this process.

  13. For accurate information, check the Common Data Sets from the previous two years (2004 and 2003 entry years) from the MIT website: and

    You’ll see that 1 student was admitted from the wait list in 2004 and 0 in 2003. (There were 0 students admitted from the waitlist for entry year 2005, based on posts by Matt and Ben on their blogs in May 2005, but the 2005-2006 Common Data Set is not available online yet.) Previous years’ Common Data Sets used to be available on the MIT website in a different format, but they were removed not long ago. I did read through them last year, though, and in entry years prior to 2003, there were several dozen waitlisted students admitted. As Amy notes near the top of the comments, all such admissions would be after May 1, after MIT has received responses from the admitted pool.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yes, the waitlist did come as a dissapointment. But more than dissapointed, now I’m confused. What’s the actual meaning of being waitlisted? What determines whether someone is rejected or waitlisted? What determines whether someone is accepted or waitlisted? Are waitlistees better than than rejectees, but not as good as acceptees? What is the extra ummpfh that I needed to tip me in? Anyway, I really could have seen myself at MIT doing research with some of the most brilliant minds in science. My confusion is exacerbated by the fact that many kids with worse stats than mine got in. Oh well, I hope I get into HYPS.

  15. jimmy says:

    im not bitter, but i don’t understand why you guys Wait List so many students when you could probably waitlist just 100 and be way more than fine.

  16. Bryan says:

    I got waitlisted. How many people are on the list and is there any way to find out where we are on that list?

  17. Paige says:

    I, too, was rather shocked at the waitlisting idea. I’d always thought that waitlisting was such a strange idea. I thought that the large majority of kids fall into the big categories–Accepted or Not Accepted. I didn’t think I’d fall into the minority group: Waitlisted. At first I was upset, of course. But I went to work that evening and felt a lot better. Even if there are 500 on the waiting list (which I’m pretty sure that it’s not that big this year [?] ) that means that just in our nation, I am one of 10 students per state. 500 sounds like a lot, but 10 out of my state makes me feel pretty special. (Maybe stats make me even more special because of unequal distribution over the nation!)

    I am really excited for the chance to go to MIT. Staying optimistic can be hard, but I know that it can be done.

    When I think that I would be there if there was one more dorm or something, I feel pretty special. That I’m that good. It makes me smile.

    Good luck to all the waitlisted candidates! Cross your fingers and hope someone that got accepted got accepted into the school of their dreams that isn’t MIT and we get a space!

    [MIT–not the school of someone’s dreams? Crazy! smile ]

  18. Anonymous says:

    Dear Matt,

    If I come to your house and lick your feet, will I increase my chances of getting in?


  19. Anonymous says:

    Dear Matt,

    If I come to your house and lick your feet, will I increase my chances of getting in off the waitlist?


  20. Anon says:

    Dear Matt,

    If I come to your house and lick your feet, will I increase my chances of getting in off the waitlist?


  21. Julio says:

    Dear Matt,

    If I come to your house and lick your feet, will I increase my chances of getting in off the waitlist?


  22. Douglas says:

    Getting away from that theme…I’m real interested to get to know my fellow waitlistees, so if anyone wants to chat (Paige, or whoever), I’m at…

    [email protected]

  23. Paige says:

    Douglas, I’ll add you to my G-mail list. G-mail is awesome. :D

    Yeah, that kid must have been pretty lucky. It gives a ray of hope to us.

    (Posted this during school, gotta run!)

  24. I am really glad for this second chance! Thank you MIT! :-D

  25. Anonymous says:

    They didn’t stamp you guys “Rejected” right away.


    Waitlisted student 546 (something like that)


    (anomg the waitlisted) 1

    i didn’t mean to disappoint any of u….just wanted to put u face to face with the truth.

    that one guy is going to be the luckiest kid in the whole wide world…….

    GoOd LuCk…

  26. Anonymous says:

    dear paige:

    my mom has a paid subscription to cause shes college obsessed… so if i sent you the url itd do nothing.

    though heres what i can make of copying and pasting the admissions section:

    Campus visit: Neither required nor recommended

    Admissions interview: Recommended

    Off-campus interview: May be arranged

    Does the college use SAT or ACT scores in admissions decisions for first-time, first-year applicants? Yes

    SAT/ACT requirements: Either SAT or ACT required.

    SAT I/ACT scores must be received by: February 15

    Tests accepted for Fall 2006 entering class: ACT with writing, ACT without writing, the new SAT, the old SAT

    SAT II scores must be received by: February 15

    Open admission policy? No

    What is the relative importance of specific academic factors in admission decisions?

    Secondary school record: Very important

    Class rank: Important

    Recommendation(s): Important

    Standardized test scores: Important

    Essay: Considered

    What is the relative importance of specific nonacademic factors in admission decisions?

    Interview: Important

    Extracurricular activities: Important

    Talent/ability: Important

    Character/personal qualities: Very important

    Alumni/ae relation: Considered

    Geographical residence: Considered

    State residency: Not considered

    Religious affiliation/commitment: Not considered

    Minority status: Considered

    Volunteer work: Considered

    Work experience: Considered

    For more admissions information on Massachusetts Institute of Technology, see also:

    Disabled students, International students, Transfer students

    2004-2005 Admissions Statistics

    Selectivity: Most Selective

    Overall acceptance rate: 16%

    Early-decision acceptance rate: N/A

    Early-action acceptance rate: 15%

    Acceptance rate (excluding early-action and early-decision students): 16%

    Applications, acceptances, enrolled

    Total applicants: 10,466

    Total acceptances: 1,665

    Total freshman enrollment: 1,077

    Proportion of freshman enrolled from early action and early decision: 32%

    Male applicants: 7,669

    Male acceptances: 898

    Male freshman enrollment: 620

    Female applicants: 2,797

    Female acceptances: 767

    Female freshman enrollment: 457

    Students that applied here may also have applied to:

    Cornell University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Yale University

    Out-of-state freshmen: 91%

    Qualified applicants placed on waiting list: 604

    Applicants accepting a place on waiting list: 524

    Students enrolled from waiting list: 1

    2004-2005 Freshman Class Profile

    Class rank (top 10, 25, 50)

    Top 10 percent of high school class: 97%

    Top 25 percent of high school class: 99%

    Top 50 percent of high school class: 100%

    First-year students submitting high school class standing: 58%

    Average high school GPA: 3.9

    First-year students submitting GPA: 89%

    First-year students submitting SAT scores: 98%

    SAT I scores (25/75 percentile):

    Verbal: 680 Тƒм 760

    Math: 730 Тƒм 800

    Combined: 1410 Тƒм 1560

    Percent of first-time, first-year students enrolled in Fall 2004 with scores in each range:

    SAT I Verbal SAT I Math

    700-800 64.0% 89.0%

    600-699 32.0% 11.0%

    500-599 3.0% N/A

    400-499 1.0% N/A

    300-399 N/A N/A

    200-299 N/A N/A

    First-year students submitting ACT scores: 24%

    ACT scores (25/75 percentile):

    English: N/A

    Math: N/A

    Composite: 31 Тƒм 34

    Percent of first-time, first-year students enrolled in Fall 2004 with scores in each range:

    ACT Composite ACT English ACT Math

    30-36 85.0% N/A N/A

    24-29 15.0% N/A N/A

    18-23 N/A N/A N/A

    12-17 N/A N/A N/A

    6-11 N/A N/A N/A

    Below 6 N/A N/A N/A

    although… it does say “students ENROLLED from the wait list”

    it doesnt say admitted

    maybe only one person actually enrolled

    and they admitted dozens??

    hah i wish…

  27. Paige says:

    Thanks for the information. smile

    I had read similar things from USNews, but that puts it all together.

    So anyone here have AIM or GT? I wouldn’t mind meeting some of you a little more personally. (As personal as IM is…) I’m usually on GT all the time, AIM to a much lesser extent.

    GT – [email protected]

    AIM – CatonaHotSnRoof

  28. I don’t give out my AIM handle on public websites, but anybody is more than welcome to email me and ask. I’d personally love to chat with many of you.

    My email is [email protected]

  29. I don’t get why so many people are mad because of being wait-listed. Hey, maybe we didn’t get in, but we have been given a second chance. When life hands you a second chance, take it. Let’s be realistic, we may not get into MIT, and believe me, I really dream of going to MIT, but I see some kind of symbolic meaning in all this: Just around 100 international students were chosen out of 2500, and here I am, my first college decision was not a rejection. We are here because we went through the last parts of the selection, because some admissions officers such as Matt and Ben argued, protected us, fought for us so we wouldn’t be rejected. I just feel happy and thankful. Maybe things didn’t turn out as we thought, but I’ll try to get the best of it and see it in the best way possible. I will repeat this over and over again: Thank you MIT! Not many times will we find such second opportunities in my life… Now let’s just keep being in this whole admissions process and let time tell who’s getting in in may… Do your best…

  30. Arka says:

    Hello Guys!

    Include me in the waitlist.

    from India

    Gmail: arkadhar


    Drop some message….

    Its time back for us to kep our fingers crossed.

  31. Paige says:

    Agreed with every word of what Marino said, couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Let’s hold out, good things come to those who wait, after all.

  32. Sandy Tran says:

    I’m on

    AIM on wowwipop4u

    MSN on [email protected]

    email me at [email protected]

  33. Steph says:

    Hey Everybody!

    I just want to congradulate everyone on being waitlisted. So its not quite the answer we wanted to hear, but it’s not the news we dreaded. I know we all have to wait even longer, but maybe if we all wait together it won’t be so bad. I understand my chances are slim, I’ve seen the statistics, I’ve probably memorized them, and though it doesn’t bode well for us, we can still be honored that the most selective school in the country couldn’t quite say no to us. We are the few and the proud. I’m going to do whatever it takes to join the “accepted” blog and any suggestions we can all throw back and forth would be great! So, not to be the annoying optimist, but I think we should all take this opportunity and make the best of it. We can at least make new friends blogging smile Congradulations, again.

  34. JS says:

    If we choose to remain on the wait list, then, in the very improbable case that we’ll be admitted in late May, would we have to go to MIT? We would still have a choice, right?

  35. Paige says:

    Dear JS,

    I think that we’re able to make the choice. Since we’re putting a deposit in at another school before we’d know about the waitlist, I am nearly certain that it’s not a done deal.

    And I agree with you, Steph.

  36. Douglas says:

    I just don’t see how you can continue to hate on the waitlist like this. I have a friend who got waitlisted at Columbia. He’s now at Yale. Another one got waitlisted at Yale, and he’s now at Columbia. Just because you get waitlisted does NOT mean that you are not an outstanding student. Quite the contrary. While the waitlist may not be as desired a response as an acceptance, it is a much smaller group, and highly selective in its own right. I am proud to have made the waitlist at MIT because it still means that they would love to have me at their school, but they just don’t have the room. Unlike you, whoever you “Anonymous” person/people is/are, I am not bitter over the decision. Life goes on, and just like my friends, there is still a good likelihood I will get in to one of my other top schools. To echo Ben, say something constructive, or be gone! Troll!

  37. Steph says:

    I agree Douglas! I’m still so excited just be be waitlisted. 4 people applied from my school, my boyfriend got in and I’m waitlisted. But I see the talent that didn’t make it in and I’m suprised and honored. My tip of the day is to have a peer write a recommendation. It spices up your resume because they get to listen to one of your peers point of view and how good a friend you are as opposed to just how smart and behaved you are!

  38. Anonymous says:

    accept the fact that you’re being waitlisted as a surplus should any outstanding student reject MIT.Don’t be too proud

  39. Hey Steph and Douglas, do you have MSN messenger or Google Talk? add me if you want: [email protected] or [email protected]

    It’s nice to meet you my fellow Wais-listed hehe


  40. Sandy Tran says:

    Thank for posting that, Steph and Douglas smile Sometimes, even when we know that it’s true and that we didn’t quite fall short, we still need it to be said. So thanks :D

    I’m sure that you guys have heard that it’s not too constructive to send in yet another letter of rec from a teacher. I’m thinking that it’d be a good idea to send in like a kind of “update” on what you’ve done since the second semester has started.

  41. Frank says:

    I like all the recent optimism lately! Honestly, we should not be down about the whole wait list thing! There are more pressing matters in each of our lives like making sure we have our wisdom teeth pulled before heading out to college and getting contacts because glasses are finally starting to get in the way! or… is that just me? But I think that everyone who keeps this in a positive light will remain living his or her life… positively! Keep up the good work ya’ll and keep those MIT shrines/lucky charms intact!

  42. madmatt says:

    I’m going to turn this thread off now, but I will have a post answering questions about the waitlist very soon. In the meantime, best wishes with other decisions!