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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Where’s My Stuff? by Matt McGann '00

Updates from the MyMIT Application Tracking System.

Applicants who have been watching the online tracking system at MyMIT may be wondering, where’s my recommendation from Mr. Brown? How about the letter from Ms. Chu? And my transcript? Weren’t they all sent before the deadline? And in the same envelope? Am I in trouble?

Let’s take the last question first. No, you’re not in trouble if your materials haven’t yet shown up on the tracking system. We’re still processing lots and lots of materials, many of which were postmarked before the deadline. So why, then, does it take so long?

Well, think about everything that needs to happen:

  1. The document arrives at MIT Mail Services (in Building WW15 — Way West 15).
  2. Mail Services sorts the mail and brings it by the bucketload to the Admissions Records Office.
  3. Noah and team open the envelopes. We have a special envelope opening machine that is pretty awesome; non-standard size/material envelopes (DHL, FedEx, etc.) get opened by hand.
  4. Documents are taken out of the envelope, given an official MIT Office of Admissions date stamping, and sorted into different piles depending on what sort of document it is (this is why documents that were sent in the same envelope may not go into the tracking system at the same time).
  5. In parallel to this, electronic test score records are sent to us by the testing agencies. These will be directly uploaded into your file in plenty of time to be seen by the full admissions committee in December.
  6. Documents are then entered into the computer system, one at a time, by the great records office team, including Diane. Some additional data entry required for Secondary School Reports. The day after the document is entered into the system, it will show up in the online tracking system. But the fun doesn’t stop there…
  7. Next, the documents are put into alphabetical order so that they can be filed into your admissions folder. We have 15,000+ applications in a small space, so the filing can get a little crowded!
  8. When your folder is complete — all of the documents have arrive, been entered, and been filed — a cover sheet will be printed.
  9. The Records Office staff take the folder and cover sheet and make sure that all of the filing has been done correctly, that all of the documents therein are yours, that it is ready to be evaluated by the admissions officers.
  10. Then, finally, Sofia takes the folders on the trip upstairs to the admissions officers. When we get them, the folders are all set to go — it looks so easy! But we know that it took lots of hard work by the records office staff to get it that way.
  11. Admissions Officers get locked in a dungeon and cannot come out until all of the applications have been read.

The lesson here is, there are a lot of things that need to happen before an application is ready for review. It takes a lot of time to do all of these steps — think of how many documents there are!

We’re still processing thousands of documents, and I hope you can understand why. Please be patient. If the tracking system isn’t showing a document yet, relax and wait another week or so — if we don’t have it at that point, I’ll post another entry with the office fax number so you can have any missing materials sent to us. And if we have processed some materials that were sent together, but not all of them, please wait — odds are, we have all the documents, they’re just in different processing piles.

At this point, we’re only reading complete applications, and we won’t start admitting anyone until all of the applications have been read. So don’t worry.

44 responses to “Where’s My Stuff?”

  1. Dimitris says:

    thanks for the update. a question. i am applying in two years. does it matter that i already have an MyMIT account??

  2. Alireza'14 says:

    Thanks Thanks Thanks! really useful stuff. it was nice.

  3. MATT you are THE BEST!!!!!!!!! THAAAAANKS!!!!

  4. Oce says:

    Oh, thanks Matt for being so transparent about the admissions process. This differentiates MIT from the other colleges.

  5. VAL ('14?) says:

    I agree with Oce wholeheartedly. The pellucidity of MIT admissions gives me a feeling of calm… or false security. We’ll see. raspberry

  6. VAL ('14?) says:

    Ps. At first glance, I thought the title was “Where’s My Staff?”. Not gonna lie, I panicked. >.Ps. At first glance, I thought the title was “Where’s My Staff?”. Not gonna lie, I panicked. >.<

  7. woah I was just asking the same questions to my mind. jajaja lol

  8. thanks for the update…….its gonna be interesting to see how many people apply EA this year compared to last year

  9. nmk says:

    Hello smile
    I applied for early action this year, took the recent November SAT 1. If I send this SAT score in later, do they have this machine where they organize my SAT1 scores so the admissions officers will only see the higest SAT score from all the test I took
    OR
    see all the test scores from all dates and have to calculate the highest score by their own?

    thank you! smile

  10. Liz ('14?) says:

    Matt – I think you should post pictures/video of this envelope opening machine of yours. It sounds really awesome.

  11. kdl7 says:

    Matt – first thanks for keeping all of us informed!

    You wrote that you have over 15,000 applications. Are these all “early action” apps? If they are, it means there will be less than a 4% amdit rate for the early birds! Is this a record?

    I was also wondering if, when you’re reading an application, if the ones that are the right fit jump out at you?

    Thank you again to you and your outstanding team. And good luck to all of us.

  12. kdl7 says:

    Matt – first thanks for keeping all of us informed!

    You wrote that you have over 15,000 applications. Are these all “early action” apps? If they are, it means there will be less than a 4% amdit rate for the early birds! Is this a record?

    I was also wondering if, when you’re reading an application, if the ones that are the right fit jump out at you?

    Thank you again to you and your outstanding team. And good luck to all of us.

  13. Janet says:

    Thanks, you are really good with keeping applicants up to date on everything that’s going on. =) We all appreciate your hard work!

    Also: “Admissions Officers get locked in a dungeon and cannot come out until all of the applications have been read.”

    -> I lol’d.

  14. QA ('14???) says:

    Hi Matt, thanks for your entry but I’m still wondering whether my situation has anything to do with this. Whenever I click on the link “Online application and tracking” in my MIT homepage, it always re-take me to the website my.mit.edu; My teachers have sent their recommendations a month ago and transcript but it appears that the tracking system is not working at all.

  15. Katie '14 says:

    Here’s a question I bet you don’t get a lot:
    I was admitted EA to the class of 2013 but took a gap year (things are going great, it was a wonderful choice).
    However, I do remember being SUPER excited when I opened my box of EA goodies, including a 2013 poster and certificate admitting me to the class of 2013. Is there any possibility that I will be receiving the 2014 equivalent of that package? Just ’cause, you know, it’s sort of lame to display a poster that doesn’t even correspond to your graduating class.
    Thanks, and best of luck to all the prospective ’14ers. I can’t wait to see my class begin to come together this December!

  16. McGreggor says:

    Katie, I’ll send you a poster and tube this winter. Your Winsor email isn’t working, BTW!

    -McGreggor

  17. Katie '14? says:

    This probably doesn’t matter all that much, but how can we check on the status of supplemental materials? I had a mishap and I have an extra letter of rec being sent (long story…), and now my teacher is asking if I can check on the status of his letter. He’s wanting to call the office and annoy you busy admissions people. Is there a time when i can call and ask about the supplemental materials without being annoying/ineffective?

    Thanks for all the hard work, especially for reading everything we send. We all really appreciate it!

    Yay! another Katie.

  18. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the blow by blow. For those anxiously checking, relax. All my stuff (mailed a few weeks ago) is now logged in. Yours will be too, and good luck to all of us.

  19. Danyal says:

    “11. Admissions Officers get locked in a dungeon and cannot come out until all of the applications have been read.” – loved it. Thank you for taking the time to post all of this helpful information. Can’t wait for next month; good luck to all!

  20. Val'14? says:

    Thank you Matt for this really nice post.
    Of course we understand, we’re just too anxious about our applications. (I still kinda can’t believe I applied and I believe many people feel the same way =))
    Thank you people of the admissions office for taking the time to sort our files and locking yourselves in the dungeon. We really appreciate your hard work. =)

  21. alex says:

    Since one of my teachers lives really far away from me and no longer teachers, I emailed her my recommendation form. I gave her my information, but a few days ago she emailed me saying she cant remember if she put my information on it or not. What should i do?

    I appreciate all the hard work that MIT admissions does to process all of the applicants. You guys are amazing!

  22. Banerjee says:

    Matt, I love your cynicism:
    “11. Admissions Officers get locked in a dungeon and cannot come out until all of the applications have been read”

    Nice one!!

  23. Light ('14?) says:

    Ah…Thanks for this entry. I was getting worried for a bit.

    I guess following up with my teachers in paranoia was a bit pointless.

  24. Where’s the video of the envelope opening machine?????

  25. Cecili R. says:

    I read a blog from earlier this year that allowed applicants to know MIT’s decision through a website similar to MyMIT account. I was just wondering if anyone knew anything about how we will be notified of our acceptance to MIT.

  26. kdl7 says:

    Matt – first thanks for keeping all of us informed!

    You wrote that you have over 15,000 applications. Are these all “early action” apps? If they are, it means there will be less than a 4% amdit rate for the early birds! Is this a record?

    I was also wondering if, when you’re reading an application, if the ones that are the right fit jump out at you?

    Thank you again to you and your outstanding team. And good luck to all of us.

  27. AnonFTW says:

    @ kdl7

    Yeah, I heard the number of EA applicants are significantly more this year.

  28. I’m pretty sure Matt meant in total, since usually the EA applicant number is around 5,000.

    Last year there was about 15,000 applications in total, but I’m praying that there are not that many applications for just EA lol.

  29. Alex '14? says:

    I’m pretty sure our decisions will be available right on the MyMIT account page, i.e. you log in and there it is.

  30. Kevin McVey says:

    Thanks so much Matt, this was really starting to frighten me. There is no way I could thank you enough for all of the hard work you and your dungeonees (that’s a word now) are put through.

    Also, I need to mirror “Kate ’14?” who asked about supplementary materials. Is there any way to be notified as to their arrival and processing? I submitted 2 extra letters along with an art portfolio and a music portfolio and do not know of any confirmation on the my.mit pages for any of this. Is there a time when I should ask someone about these materials/will I be contacted/something exciting and unexpected? Thanks!

  31. Katie '14 says:

    You’re the best! Thanks! I’ll send you an email from my new email address (:

  32. Katie '14 says:

    False! I thought MIT would have hidden your email address somewhere on the site, but no. (Needless to say, without my Winsor email address anymore, I no longer have your email stored).
    I put my email address in the conveniently provided line under my name.
    Thanks again, both for the upcoming tube and for your amazing ability to remember individual applicants!

  33. James says:

    Thanks for the post Matt.
    Question though. For the application tracking thing, do the checkmarks next to each item on the application list mean that the item has been received or does it mean it’s been processed? The only thing left on my list is my counselor’s rec letter and my transcript, so I’m a little concerned…

  34. Anna says:

    I just got an email from a Ms. Sophia about a missing photocopy of my green card. I sent it in the mail in early October and got an email verification about it from the USPS. However, apparently it is missing. I replied to her in an email and included the PDF file that was in the proof of delivery email from the USPS. It was signed off by an unfamiliar name. Should I send another copy? Should I contact the USPS or is it too late now?

  35. Anna says:

    Sorry for the mistake. It’s Sofia Caloggero that emailed me.

  36. Kathy says:

    Hello! Thanks for all this!

    Just wondering…what if you sent a lot of supplemtents and the team thinks the application is complete while there really is some more documents unfiled? Will you still evaluate it and make a decision even after you discover that additional documents were unprocessed at the time?

  37. anonymous says:

    on what day will EA applicants recieve their tubes??

  38. Monica says:

    I am so worried! I sent a music supplement as a hard copy (letter, resume, and the actual songs on a CD)! Does this mean that it won’t be considered? I thought that it was okay to send them not by email as I wasn’t too sure how to get my letters into pdf format. Now, it is already 11/14 and I don’t know how to fix this! I put the video of these songs on blogger, but it takes forever to buffer online. Please give me some suggestions. Thanks in advance!

  39. John says:

    @Monica:

    Based on this site, http://web.mit.edu/music/prospective/supplements.html, the music supplement has to be sent by email.

    If you have the files on a CD (make sure they are MP3), attach them to an email and send them to [email protected]. I had a similar problem with the PDF files, but you can easily convert Word files to PDF using this site: http://www.freepdfconvert.com/

    MIT is still processing all the materials, and supplemental materials will probably be considered…supplemental. In other words, don’t worry if it’s a bit late, since they are still processing and will most likely add it to your application at a later date.

  40. anonymous says:

    Do you think it’s too late to send in an art supplement for EA? They’ve probably read my application already since all my other stuff’s been processed already; since the Admissions Office is still trying to process all the other applications, do you think that they’ll still consider my art supplement?

  41. Robert says:

    Thank-you for everything Matt!

  42. Sara '14? says:

    As of right now, all of the parts of my application say that they were processed on a certain date (except for the midyear report, of course), but I’m wondering, will there be other things that the parts of my application will be listed as later, such as ‘Read’, or will they always just say ‘Processed’?

  43. Nate ('14?) says:

    So will it be around early December that you post the date when the admissions results are announced?
    Can’t wait raspberry

  44. Jessica says:

    Hey, thanks for the information. I’m running into this problem right now. Actually, all of the materials on the online tracking list for me have been “processed”, but I mailed, separately, a personal statement (DVD) and music supplement (DVD) to the admissions office too. I’ve been calling in, but no one seems to know where those two items are? Any suggestions as to what I should do?