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:
- The document arrives at MIT Mail Services (in Building WW15 — Way West 15).
- Mail Services sorts the mail and brings it by the bucketload to the Admissions Records Office.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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…
- 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!
- When your folder is complete — all of the documents have arrive, been entered, and been filed — a cover sheet will be printed.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.