How to get into MIT
MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and it is regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. While it is famous for its programs in the physical sciences and engineering, its other programs are also quite competitive.
Graduates of MIT are leaders in many different industries and are some of the brightest minds today. The university counts 96 Nobel laureates, eight Fields medalists, and 26 Turing Award winners among its alumni, staff, and faculty. Companies that have been founded by MIT alumnae enjoy annual revenues of more than $1.9 trillion
In this article, we’ll break down exactly how to get into MIT, from the test scores you need to the tips and tricks that’ll help your application stand out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it hard to get into Massachusetts institute of Technology?
Currently, MIT’s acceptance rate is 4.1%, which means it only accepts around 4 applicants for every 100 people that apply. A 4.1% acceptance rate means that MIT is extremely competitive to get into. You’ll need excellent grades, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation to even be considered.
What GPA do you need to get into MIT?
Aim high. Even though there are no official MIT GPA requirements, you should aim for a 4.17 weighted GPA. If you’re already a junior or senior figuring out how to get into MIT and your GPA is lower than 4.17, know that scores close to the average MIT SAT scores or ACT scores can counterbalance a lower GPA.
To earn the prize of admission at MIT, your grades in high school must be exceptional. This does not mean that you should take easier classes just so you can get all As. MIT looks at the courses that you take during high school and wants to see that you have challenged yourself by taking the most rigorous courses that are available to you while also scoring As in them. If your school offers AP courses or IB courses, you should choose them over the less difficult options.
In math, you should go beyond pre-calculus. MIT reports that 97 percent of its admitted students graduated in the top 10 percent of their classes and 100 percent were in the top quarter. This means that you should aim to achieve a weighted GPA of at least 4.13.
To improve your odds, you should aim for a GPA that is even higher.
What Should I Write About in My Personal Statement?
Massachusetts institute of Technology does not ask students to write a single long essay. Instead, the school asks applicants to complete several short-answer essays. There is no formula of what you should include, but MIT does not want you to use your essays simply to list your accomplishments. Write about something that inspires you, and use the opportunity to show the school that you are a thoughtful person who the admissions office should want on MIT’s campus.
The personal statement is something that many students dread, and students who are applying to MIT are no exception. You should never submit the same essay to multiple schools. Each essay should be tailored to the institution to which you apply. You should view your application essay as a chance to show the admissions officers at MIT who you are and why they should want you to become a part of the school’s community as a student.
Writing your essay for MIT will require you to write multiple drafts. After each draft, have someone you trust to look over it for you. Continue honing your essay until you shine through compellingly. Don’t rely on your parents to look over your essay. While they will certainly want to read it, your parents are biased for you. Let someone who can look at it with a critical eye review it for you such as an English teacher at your high school or your guidance counselor.
How selective is MIT?
Thousands of students apply to MIT each year. The school is among the most selective in the U.S. For the class of 2023, MIT reports that 21,312 students applied, and the school accepted just 1,427 for an overall first-year admissions rate of 6.7%. Out of the total number of applicants, 9,600 students submitted early action applications. Out of the early action applicants, 707 were admitted, and 6,350 were deferred to the regular action process. Of the students who were deferred to the regular action from the early action process, 190 were admitted to Massachusetts institute of Technology .
There were a total of 11,712 students who applied to MIT through the regular action process. Including the 6,350 who were deferred from early action to regular action, a total of 18,062 applicants were considered during regular action, and 720 were admitted. Another 460 students were offered places on the waitlist. Ultimately, 17 of the wait-listed students were admitted to MIT for the class of 2023.
These statistics demonstrate just how difficult it is to gain admission to this highly selective school. According to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Rankings for 2020, Massachusetts institute of Technology is tied for third with Columbia University and Yale University for national universities in the U.S. This means that MIT is one of the very best schools in the nation, leading many students to dream of getting in. Given the school’s ranking and selectivity, you must prepare if getting into MIT is what you dream about for your future.
What Does MIT Look for In Students?
MIT admissions officials use a holistic process when they evaluate applicants. Your grades and test scores are highly important, but they are not definitive as far as your ability to get accepted to MIT. You will still need to have top grades and test scores. However, MIT also searches for applicants who are innovative, creative, and who enjoy working with teams of others to solve problems. On its website, MIT states that the key factor that its admissions officials look for is whether MIT is a good match for an applicant.
The school identifies several components that it considers when determining whether an applicant is a good fit for MIT or not, including the following:
- Alignment with the school’s mission
- Spirit of cooperation and collaboration
- Taking initiative
- Willingness to take risks
- Being hands-on with creative thinking
- Being passionate, curious, and excited about what you pursue
- Ability to enhance the character of the community at MIT
- Ability to make balance a priority
What do you need to apply to MIT?
MIT has waived its standardized testing requirement, though you are still able to submit your SAT or ACT scores if you feel they will enhance your application. These are all the materials that every applicant will need to prepare and submit in order to be considered for admission to MIT:
- Completed MIT application general information, including parent information and field of study
- Five short answer essays
- One open-ended essay
- The MIT activity list (with space to list only four activities!)
- The MIT Self-reported Coursework form
- Two letters of recommendation: one from a math or science teacher, the other from a humanities, social science, or language teacher
- A Secondary School Report including official high school transcript along with (optional) counselor recommendation and School Profile
- Mid-year and final grade reports
- $75 application fee (you may apply for a fee waiver)
Read more about their requirements from official site
Massachusetts institute of Technology also gives applicants the option to submit supplemental materials, including supplemental recommendations, in support of their candidacy. The university strongly encourages applicants to submit these materials digitally. MIT also offers a limited number of interviews with Educational Counselors.
For details on submitting financial aid materials to MIT, use the university’s helpful site.
What Extracurricular Activities Do I Need?
You should not view your extracurricular activity choices in high school as things that will simply look good to MIT. Instead, the school is more interested in students who actively pursue activities about which they have true passions. The admissions office recommends that students participate in extracurricular activities that truly delight them rather than trying to figure out what activities might appeal to MIT. You should pursue one or more extracurricular activities that you continue with throughout high school.
Many students have the mistaken idea that they need to spread themselves thin and try to participate in as many different activities as possible to demonstrate that they are well-rounded. Schools like MIT are not searching to find well-rounded students. Instead, MIT is looking for students who show high levels of intelligence combined with singular talent in the areas of their interest.
On its admissions mission page, MIT emphasizes its commitment to the public interest. The school wants to find leaders and innovators who are dedicated to making life better for the good of everyone. The school accepts top students from all backgrounds to further its institutional goals. MIT points interested students to a book written in 1966 by B. Alden Thresher titled “College Admissions in the Public Interest.” This book is informative about MIT’s philosophy on the admissions process and is well worth the read. It is available in PDF format on the internet here.
Your extracurricular activities should also be used to demonstrate that you have leadership skills. When you join clubs, try to secure leadership positions in them. Don’t be afraid to run for an office in your club. If your school does not have a club in your interest area, talk to the administration about starting your own. You will likely find that there are several other students at your high school who would enjoy participating in a club that you create. Starting your own club also allows you to show your initiative and your leadership skills.
If you start high school with the singular goal of gaining admission to MIT, you should recognize that the school accepts a very small percentage of the students who apply. You should instead focus on being the best student and person that you can be and in gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you enjoy. If you focus on bettering yourself rather than simply gaining admission to MIT, you might make yourself a more attractive applicant when the time comes to submit your applications.
What enrichment opportunities will help me get into MIT?
There are many enrichment activities in math and science that you can participate in to prepare yourself for the rigors of studying at MIT. Enrichment opportunities also provide you with the ability to meet other like-minded students who also love science and math so that you can forge friendships that could last a lifetime. MIT has a list of enrichment opportunities both at MIT and through competitions that you might consider. Massachusetts institute of Technology also offers several selective residential summer programs that might allow you to gain hands-on education on the campus of MIT. Even if you are unable to attend a summer program at MIT, you can take advantage of similar programs in your state to advance your knowledge in math and science.
How much does it cost to attend MIT?
According to MIT, the total cost of attendance for the 2019/2020 school year is $73,160. However, this is the cost before financial aid has been subtracted. MIT is dedicated to helping students from all backgrounds to afford the cost of attendance. For example, 59% of MIT undergraduate studentsreceive an MIT scholarship, which does not have to be repaid. For the 2018 to 2019 school year, the average MIT scholarship was $47,593. To apply for the MIT scholarship, you will need to apply for financial aid and complete the CSS profile. Low-income first-year students are also able to secure a $2,000 grant to help pay for things that they will need as they transition to life at MIT such as towels or a coat.
You can also apply for federal student aid by completing the FAFSA. There are also thousands of scholarship opportunities available for which you can apply to cut down the costs of attending MIT.
While getting accepted into MIT is exceptionally difficult, it is possible to do so if you have the right help. You must also be willing to do your best in your classes and to thoroughly prepare for your standardized tests. The team at Going Ivy has a successful track record of helping many students with gaining admission to MIT as well as to other elite institutions.
What can I do in high school to increase the chances I get into MIT?
Some of the actionable steps that you can take in high school to increase your chances of gaining admission to MIT include the following:
- Work hard to get top grades.
- Take advanced placement courses to increase your GPA if your school uses weighted GPAs.
- Take advanced courses even if your school doesn’t weight GPAs.
- Complete at least the courses MIT recommends, but be willing to go beyond the list.
- Be kind to others and participate in public service projects.
- Choose extracurricular activities wisely while focusing on quality instead of quantity.
- Participate in enrichment activities and research opportunities.
- Study for the SAT or ACT regularly and take practice tests with a focus on improving your score.
- Consider getting help from a tutor in subjects that are difficult for you.
- Start the application process early.
- Write an essay for MIT that is focused on MIT rather than a generic essay that you use for all applications.
- Remember to schedule time for yourself to do the things that you love.
- Above all, be yourself.
When you look at this list, an underlying theme is an importance of getting organized. Writing an action plan with measurable steps can help you to work toward your goal of gaining admission to MIT as well as your goal of becoming the best person that you can be. Writing a plan with actionable steps can also help you to stay on track and to see your progress as you work toward achieving your goals. It can be exciting to check off the boxes as you make progress and to look back to see everything that you have achieved. Developing good organizational skills can also help you to manage your time more effectively so that you can stay on track.
Check MIT position : Top 10 universities in the world
Does MIT require an interview?
Sometimes. Massachusetts institute of Technology is unable to interview all applicants. If you are chosen for an interview, you will be notified by email. Respond to the email promptly to schedule a time and day to meet with your interviewer. If you are not interviewed, that does not mean that you will not be accepted to MIT. It simply means that there are a limited number of interviewers and thousands of applicants, so not everyone can be interviewed who applies.
The interviews are not conducted on campus. If you are chosen for an interview, you will be interviewed at a location in your area at which you and the MIT representative agree to meet.
MIT has a network of 5,000 MIT graduates located around the U.S. and world who conduct interviews with some of the applicants to MIT. This is because the school wants to know more about you beyond what you submit in your application and supplemental materials. If you are chosen for an interview, you will receive an email. Respond to this email promptly. Interviews are conducted in your area at a location that both you and the interviewer agree to. Common examples include coffee shops, restaurants, libraries, or book stores. It is sometimes possible to arrange an interview via Skype.
Do not overdress for your interview, but don’t look like a slob. Think business casual. The interview is normally not a formal event. Instead, dress for the location at which your interview will be held. Read blogs about the MIT interview and talk to others who have gone through it to get an idea of some of the questions that you might be asked. Think about your answers and practice. Do not bring your parents to your interview, and make certain to arrive early. It does not look good to bring a parent to an interview with an MIT representative or to keep him or her waiting. Show up early, be friendly, and be prepared.
Be yourself in the interview. The importance of authenticity cannot be overstated. If you try to pretend to be someone you are not, your chances of being admitted to MIT will decrease. You want to be accepted for who you are. Trying to put forward an image of someone you are not will be a disservice to you.
What is MIT looking for?
Beyond exceptional grades and test scores, MIT lays out some clear criteria used to assess a candidate’s fit for the university. The admissions office emphasizes the “match” between the applicant and the school above all else.
This knowledge is important on how to get into MIT.
But what exactly does a student need in order to be a compelling match for MIT?
- Belief in MIT’s mission and collaborative approach
- Massachusetts institute of Technology believes in making the world better and the admissions department wants to see meaningful evidence that applicants are driven to uplift others and improve lives using a cooperative mindset. The Institute exemplifies this with many of the problem-based interdisciplinary group projects it prioritizes on campus.
- Proactive and bold engagement
- Massachusetts institute of Technology wants students who seize opportunities rather than wait for them. The institution provides countless avenues to procure funding, mentorship, and other invaluable resources for innovation. They’re looking for students comfortable with failure: risk-takers who won’t hesitate to identify a problem they can solve and try whatever they can to solve it.
- Applied creativity and intellectual curiosity
- MIT believes innovation is built on trial and error, and that problem-solving takes many forms. The institution looks to accept students who have the potential to generate ingenious and unconventional solutions because they are thrilled by intellectual adventure. The university wants to see applicants diving deep into niche questions or specialized topics with the potential for broad application.
- Values of community
- MIT seeks to craft a group of world-changers who sincerely care to uplift and support one another. Though the school is renowned for its astronomical workload, the admissions committee wants to see dedication and rigor mixed in with hobbies and social time.