The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 38.0°F | A Few Clouds

2011 admitted to Class of '94

By Katherine Shim

The mean standardized test scores of 2011 students admitted to the Class of 1994 were comparable to those of last year, according to Associate Director of Admissions Elizabeth H. Johnson.

The admissions reflect changes that were instituted last year in the system used to rate applicants. The changes resulted in significantly higher test scores in the Class of 1993 compared with those of previous years.

The average math score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test was 739, while the average score in verbal was 639. Average American College Test scores were 33 on the math section and 30 on the verbal section. These do not vary significantly with last year, when the SAT math mean was 741 and the verbal mean was 640.

On Achievement Tests, the average score of the incoming class was 749 on the ACH-math, 694 on the ACH-science, and 641 on the ACH-English, comparable to the Class of 1993.

The number of students with SAT math scores in the highest bracket (between 750 and 800) was 1049, compared with 972 students the previous year. These students comprised 52 percent of the accepted pool, compared with 51 percent last year.

"Two things were emphasized by the admissions committee," Johnson stated. "Firstly, the student must possess the scores and grades to do well academically at MIT. Secondly, the student must have something to contribute to MIT as well as be able to get something out of it. . . . This process was very similar in type to last year."

Also like last year, the Admissions Committee is expecting an enrolling class of about 1050. The figure of 2011 admitted students does not include students who will be offered places from the wait list, Johnson said. MIT accepted 2018 people last year.

The major change in this year's admissions process was that more faculty members were involved. Last year, eight faculty members, all from science and engineering departments, read applications. This year, 39 faculty members from all departments of the Institute contributed to the decision-making process.

A drop in applications

Applications to MIT declined by five percent from last year. This drop followed a national pattern this year, with most other colleges reporting five- to ten-percent decreases in applicants, said Director of Admissions Michael C. Behnke in a letter addressed to the admissions staff, the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, and the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions.

Harvard reported a seven percent decrease, and Stanford announced a 13 percent decline. Behnke attributed the decline to fewer high school graduates and students taking the SAT.

The Admissions Committee, however, did not expect a 15 percent decline in the number of applications from black students, Behnke said.

"This is especially disturbing because it appears to be a problem not limited to MIT." stated Behnke. "Harvard is down 16 percent and Stanford is down 30 percent. It is too early to sort out reasons, but we do know that the most well-known traditionally black colleges have reported a large increase in highly qualified applicants."

For the third year in a row, approximately thirty-five percent of the admitted class is female. The number of female applicants, however, decreased slightly, according to Behnke.

Fourteen percent of the students accepted belong to underrepresented minority groups, up one percentage point from the previous year's figure. At the same time the number of Asian-American applicants increased.

Eighty-eight percent of the students accepted this year were in the top five percent of their high school class; last year's figure was 89 percent. Forty percent of class will graduate at the top of their high school class, up from 39 percent in the previous year.

Twenty percent of the students admitted to the Class of '94 said electrical engineering or computer science was their first choice of academic major, according to Johnson.