MIT Reports to the President 1994-95

Admissions Office

For the second year in a row, MIT and similar institutions saw strong increases in applications and another smaller but significant increase in yield. This was also the second year in which the college going age cohort increased after steady decreases since 1979. Most observers, however, felt that the increase these past two years has been primarily due to the stronger economy and the success MIT and other top universities have had in attracting a truly national student body. Institutions with somewhat lesser prestige or limited range of recruitment are still having great difficulty in reaching enrollment goals.

Once again, the increases at MIT were unusually large and almost exactly matched the increases in 1994. There was a 17% increase in applications from US citizens and permanent residents, led by an increase of 26% in applications from women. Applications from international students decreased by 12%, leaving the increase in total applications at 11.5%. The yield on accepted applicants increased from 51% to 53%, leaving us with an entering class which will number about 1115, 35 over target. This increase in yield is both surprising and gratifying in that we were much more selective, admitting only 26% of the applicants compared to an admit rate of 30% in 1994.

Our recruitment literature continues to receive praise and awards, and our market research suggests that our mailing and publications programs have played a large role in increasing our applications and yield. The strong response has made it difficult to do budget planning for publications and postage. Our inquiries have increased from 12,000 to 31,000 in two years. The cost of paper has also soared during these years. Now that the new recruitment program is fully in place, we hope that numbers will stabilize. It is a tribute to the entire staff that the increased numbers have been dealt with efficiently.

Due to the large increase in applications from women, this year's entering class will be the first to be over 40% female - 42% in fact. Last year, we started the summer at 40% female, but summer withdrawals drew us down under that mark. We once again had success in our efforts to enroll more women who score especially high on standardized tests. In this class 33% of the women are from this cohort compared to 31% in 1994 and 23% in 1993.

We had an unusual year in the recruitment and admission of minority students. We have put in place a minority recruitment effort which first bore fruit in a record number of applications for each of the targeted groups. The applicant pool, however, was bipolar in quality, and we were unable to admit or enroll a higher number than we did last year. The good news is that last year's and this year's numbers are very high historically, and the entering group this year has significantly stronger academic indices. Our recruitment program led to an increased yield among the strongest students.

There was once again a great deal of variation in the financial aid awards received by individuals from the colleges to which they had been admitted. There is bidding going on, and families appear increasingly to feel entitled to a "good deal."

Participation by faculty in the selection process declined to what may be an all time low. This year, only ten faculty members read applications and only two read the requested 30 folders. We did, however, increase again our lines of communication with various concerned departments and individuals to make sure that students with exceptional accomplishments in specific areas were recognized and admitted. Perhaps faculty members feel that this is a more productive use of their time. Further, seeing admissions office efforts to recruit and admit academic stars may increase faith in the process.

Number of Reads	       90-91    91-92    92-93    93-94   94-95

Admissions Staff 8700 9100 8500 9500 9800

Faculty 700 890 620 400 200

Admin. Staff 3000 2400 2200 1500 2200

Athletic 425 590 550 625

We continued to use the tools of Total Quality Management to improve our efficiency. The target of our efforts are presently the graduate and international admissions processes. We have already decreased by one week the time it takes to get applications to graduate admissions officers.

We successfully put into effect the new policy on international students. This change added Canadians and Mexicans to the policy, eliminated the limit on numbers and increased the limit for financial aid to 10% of the aid budget (to reflect the addition of Canadians and Mexicans). We admitted 120 international students compared to 139 last year. Although they required 11% of the aid expended, CUAFA decided that we had met the "letter of the law" in that the class as a whole was less needy and consequently under budget for financial aid.

We moved quite far along the information super highway. Our work on the MIT Admissions Home Page is far ahead of most others, and many colleges have sought our advice. We also facilitated in getting all departments to have home pages. We made extensive use of electronic mail, advertising several addresses for use by applicants including "I-am-in@MIT" for admitted students to use in contacting faculty at MIT. Finally, we created an electronic conference for graduate administrators and faculty which has allowed us to increase communication and efficiency in that complex process.

Michael C. Behnke


The Educational Council included 1662 alumni/ae this past year, representing MIT in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, and 47 foreign countries. This group included 331 women and 58 minorities (34 Blacks, 7 Puerto Ricans, and 17 Mexican-Americans). The Educational Counselors represented MIT at 180 local College Fair programs; they conducted 6885 admissions interviews, and held countless conversations with prospective MIT students and with local school personnel. Of all MIT applicants, 87 percent (91 percent within the United States) were interviewed by a local Educational Counselor.

Project Contact is a program which puts current undergraduates in touch with applicants, Educational Counselors, and school personnel. This past year 527 students, representing 199 different geographic areas (including 27 foreign countries), participated in this program run by the Educational Council Office.

MIT Open House Meetings were held throughout the United States in the fall. Local Educational Council members assisted members of the Admissions staff in arranging for 103 Central Meetings in 95 cities.

Meetings for newly admitted students were held in 43 cities throughout the United States by Educational Council groups. Thirty-four of these meetings were held during MIT's spring break. Marti Ward and Kathy Breland organized panels of current students to speak at each meeting. Lorraine Alexander from Resource Development assisted in arranging the meeting in New York City. Ms. Alexander's involvement was a first joint effort by our offices to connect with alumni/ae in positions to offer assistance for high quality meeting sites.

Another program supported by the Educational Council office was the AMITA High School Visiting Program. Marti Ward runs this program, and coordinated the efforts of 63 volunteers, all women professionals (from AMITA, SWE, AWIS, or other women's professional organizations) to make 28 visits to 27 high schools throughout the greater Boston area. They spread the word to young women (and in some cases young men) about the importance of continuing to study math and science in order to keep career options open.

The MIT admissions videotape continues to be extremely popular. Requests have come from 74 high schools, 13 colleges, 13 Educational Counselors, 30 prospective students, 20 MIT offices, and five current MIT students. Fifteen copies have been sold.

The MIT Alumni Award program is in its fifth year. The award, given to high school juniors for outstanding achievements, especially in areas of math and science, was sponsored by three alumni (two Educational Counselors) this year. MIT alumni/ae and/or MIT Alumni Clubs can sponsor an award for $25. The award winners receive a certificate in a leather MIT case and a year's subscription to Technology Review.

Vincent W. James

MIT Reports to the President 1994-95