Undergraduate Admissions: A Recommendation
Each year faculty are invited to participate in the undergraduate admissions process and this year I decided to do this.
If you have been at MIT for a while it is likely you’ve been asked how a daughter, son or friend might successfully apply for undergraduate admission. I now feel I can accurately say to anyone who asks me about being admitted, “It is practically impossible.”
Last year MIT received some 21,000 applications and admitted approximately 1500. How does MIT accomplish this task?
Reading the applications is a humbling process and I felt “Who am I to decide on such excellent applicants?” Fortunately, faculty inputs are only one of many inputs.
Most applicants are interviewed world-wide. This is accomplished by alumni volunteers. And then, a very impressive MIT Admissions staff takes over and committee meetings are held to reach consensus on candidates. Faculty who have read applications are invited to attend these committee meetings.
The time commitment to participate in the admission process is minimal. Faculty attend a one-hour orientation and then are asked to evaluate applications. The evaluation is accomplished on line.
I found the process gave me a new appreciation for MIT's undergraduates. They are all remarkable in academic achievement, but their life stories are the compelling differentiators. You are left with a desire to get to know them better.
I fully recommend faculty consider participating in the process. Like many areas of MIT, you open a portal (in this case Undergraduate Admissions), and enter a new area of discovery.