On Saturday, March 14, MIT made its undergraduate admissions decisions available online to applicants for the 2015-2016 academic year. The Institute admitted 1,467 students to next year’s freshman class.
“We have so many high caliber students who apply to MIT every year,” says Stuart Schmill, MIT’s dean of admissions. “It makes our job to select the class a truly difficult one.”
“Those offered admission to the Class of 2019,” Schmill continues, “exemplify all the qualities that distinguish an MIT student: [a] strong match with MIT’s mission, enthusiasm for science and technology, and the ability to make an impact in the community, and in the world. More than a third have won national or international academic distinctions. Many are athletes or artists or makers. All have exceptional intellect and character.”
Admitted students come from all 50 states, 67 countries, 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 2019 brings not only geographic and socioeconomic diversity, but also an amazing diversity of talent and perspective,” says Maura Tierney, assistant director of admission. "These students have already been living out MIT's mission to make a positive difference in the world. I’m looking forward to seeing what they accomplish over the next four years.”
"Super" Pi Day video
In anticipation of "Super" Pi Day, an unofficial holiday held on March 14 to celebrate the mathematical constant that begins with 3.1415, the Admissions Office produced a two-minute video encouraging students to "keep your eyes to the skies this Pi Day." The ficticious video depicts a swarm of drones carrying acceptance letters across the country and the world.
"We know that waiting for decisions can be a bit stressful for students, so we like to be a bit creative and lighten the mood," Schmill says.
The video was picked up and featured on many local and national media outlets, including The Boston Globe, The International Business Times, BBC News, The Washington Post, Good Morning America, and The NBC Nightly News.
“We'd been making jokes about delivery owls for years,” says Chris Peterson, assistant director of admissions. “[W]e thought it would be fun to imagine a world where a permissive FAA and retractable Dome would enable us to actually deliver decisions via drone. It's still more fiction than fact, unfortunately, but who knows, maybe someone from Course 16 can help make it happen in the future!”
Welcoming admitted students
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 reimburse the expenses for students of modest means to take part in Campus Preview Weekend (CPW), MIT’s open house weekend for all admitted students.
“CPW is a fantastic opportunity for new admits to meet their potential classmates and get a taste of the incredibly dynamic community that is MIT,” says Brenna Heintz, senior admissions counselor and CPW assistant coordinator. Current students, faculty, and staff across the Institute are in the process of planning the nearly 700 events to take place throughout the weekend.
After admissions decisions were released, applicants were able to share their elation, or their disappointment, and get their questions answered by admission staff and current student bloggers by posting in the Admissions Office’s open blogs for admitted, waitlisted, and denied students.