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MIT gives admissions decisions to the Class of 2018

Institute used enhanced application to allow students to showcase their projects; incoming class “a strong match with MIT’s mission.”

Today, MIT made its undergraduate admissions decisions available to applicants for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Institute admitted 1,419 students to next year’s freshman class. A total of 18,357 students applied, for an admission rate of 7.7 percent.

“Every year the job of selecting among such a talented applicant pool is more and more difficult,” says Stu Schmill, MIT’s dean of admissions. “I’m always so impressed by the high caliber of students who apply to MIT. It is a truly outstanding group.”

“Those offered admission to the Class of 2018,” Schmill continued, “exemplify all the qualities that distinguish an MIT student: enthusiasm for learning, strong match with MIT’s mission, and the ability to make an impact on others, in the community, and in the world.  More than a third have won national or international academic distinctions. And in addition to being MIT-caliber scholars, many are athletes or artists or makers. All have exceptional character and motivation.”

Admitted students come from all 50 states and from diverse backgrounds: More than a quarter identify as members of underrepresented minority groups, and 17 percent will be the first generation in their family to attend college.

“The Class of 2018 will have great geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity,” says Matt McGann, director of admissions. “I’m thrilled to see students from all parts of the country, and from around the world, who are so excited about making a difference through science, engineering, and other areas of excellence at MIT.”

This year, the Admissions Office introduced a new “maker portfolio” supplement as an optional part of the application. In addition to the music and art supplements, which are also optional, the application now provides a structured way for students to submit information on hands-on projects, such as coding a new computer program, rebuilding a car, or designing an entire costume for a play or performance.

“The maker portfolio standardized what has long been an ad hoc process of recognizing applicants who already demonstrate mastery of both mind and hand,” says Chris Peterson, senior admissions counselor. “As a result, we've been able to more rigorously identify, evaluate, and admit some of the most creative and innovative students in the world.”

This year, MIT also made a change in how it counts applicants. In the past, any applicant who paid the application fee (or received a fee waiver) was considered an applicant. This year, in order for a student to be considered an applicant, he or she must both pay the application fee (or receive a fee waiver) and complete the entire student section of the application.

When counted in the old way, the number of students who applied this year marked a 2.5 percent increase over the number of last year’s applicants and was the highest in MIT’s history. However, given the change in counting method, the number of applicants officially being reported by MIT this year is slightly lower than the number reported last year.

“Schools vary in their policies,” Schmill says. “MIT believes this new standard is more representative of students’ intentions to be an applicant.”

Admissions officers are planning telethons with undergraduate students who will be making calls to the newly admitted students to congratulate them. MIT alumni in the Educational Council are planning Admitted Student Meetings during the week of MIT’s Spring Break (March 24-28). Continuing its efforts to support low-income students, the Admissions Office will once again fly in students of modest means to take part in Campus Preview Weekend (CPW), MIT’s open house weekend for all admitted students.

“We expect there to be over 1,000 students on campus for CPW,” says Katie Kelley, assistant director of admissions and CPW coordinator. “Current students, faculty, and staff across the Institute are busily planning the nearly 700 events to take place throughout the weekend. We can’t wait.”

The target size for the Class of 2018 is approximately 1,050 students, a slightly smaller class than the past few years due to the dormitory Bexley Hall being offline.

Admissions decisions were released online on Friday, March 14. The date and time of the release of admissions decisions, March 14 at 6:28 p.m., are a nod to the mathematical constants pi (approximately equal to 3.14) and tau (approximately equal to 6.28). 

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