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MIT offers admissions decisions to the Class of 2021

MIT admits 1,438 students from 50 states and 62 countries; admissions video carries on four-year tradition.
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As per tradition, MIT admitted its Class of 2021 on Pi Day, March 14, at "Tau Time," 6:28 p.m.
As per tradition, MIT admitted its Class of 2021 on Pi Day, March 14, at "Tau Time," 6:28 p.m.
Photo: Maia Weinstock

On Tuesday, March 14, MIT made its undergraduate admissions decisions available online to applicants for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Institute admitted 1,438 students to next year’s first-year class.

“MIT is fortunate to attract applications from so many of the world's most promising students, all of whom seem destined to change the world. It is a very difficult choice to select so few of these many qualified applicants,” says Matt McGann, director of admissions. “I am excited to see in this group of admitted students such an excellent match to MIT's mission and culture.”

Again this year, a third have won national or international academic distinctions and many are athletes, artists, or makers. Admitted students come from 50 states, 62 countries, and from diverse backgrounds: a quarter identify as members of underrepresented minority groups, and 18 percent will be the first generation in their family to attend college.

“The new class brings increased diversity socioeconomically as well, something we are all very invested in helping to achieve. These students represent many different experiences, perspectives, talents, and passions. We’re excited for what they will share with our collaborative community. It is always humbling for us to learn about students’ stories through the admissions process, and we can’t wait to see how these stories continue to unfold at MIT,” says Jessica Ch’ng, assistant director of admissions.

As reported in December 2016, MIT will also increase its financial aid budget for the 2017-18 academic year, benefiting a broad range of students and families and offsetting a 3 percent increase in tuition and fees — the smallest percentage increase since 1970.

As part of the coming year’s increase in the financial aid budget, student self-help costs — the amount students with financial aid are asked to contribute through loans and term-time work — will decrease from $5,500 to $3,400, giving students more freedom to pursue their studies and extracurricular activities.

"This year, as in past years, MIT has increased the financial aid budget in our commitment to removing barriers to an MIT education. We hope that by significantly lowering self-help, the dream of attending MIT becomes more affordable and accessible," says Leslie Bridson, director of financial aid.

Decision-day video

In keeping with tradition, the Admissions Office produced a 3-minute video to alert students to check their decision screen on March 14 (also known as Pi Day), the day that the office typically releases decisions. This year’s short video announced, “Not all heroes wear capes. But some carry tubes.” The teaser video depicts a 15-year-old black female MIT student from Chicago, who was first introduced as a character in Marvel Comics’ “Invincible Iron Man.”

The making of the video was a collaborative undertaking that included many current MIT undergrads in the roles of director, videographer, computer graphics, editing, acting, scouting, photography, and blogging.

“I thought this particular video was really great, and the students were fabulous,” says Stu Schmill, dean of admissions and student financial services.

Senior Loren S. worked on a CGI scene for the 2017 MIT Admissions video, which featured a fictional superhero.
Senior Loren S. worked on a CGI scene for the 2017 MIT Admissions video, which featured a fictional superhero.
Image: Junior Selam G.

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 interviewed 17,000 students this year and are now at work planning admitted student meetings during the week of MIT’s spring break, March 25-April 1.

“From reading the educational counselors interview reports, it’s clear that this year’s class is an exceptional group of students, and I’m looking forward to welcoming them to campus,” says Suzanne Driscoll Plump, associate director of admissions and director of the educational council.

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.

“This is my first CPW, and already, I'm blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of our community. Soon our admitted students will see the dynamism and vibrancy of MIT for themselves,” says Tim Hickey-LeClair, assistant director of admissions and CPW coordinator.

Current students, faculty, and staff across the Institute are in the process of planning the over 650 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.

Press Mentions

Mercury News

Writing for The Mercury News, Tatiana Sanchez spotlights the story of Alejandro Diaz, a graduate of Christopher High School in Gilroy, California, who plans to attend MIT in the fall. Sanchez notes that Diaz’s plans to attend MIT, “mark an odds-defying achievement for a family of recent immigrants who embody the promises of the American dream.”

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