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Institute To Watch, Wait on Admissions

By Shan Riku


MIT accepted 15 percent of early admission applicants this year, a year that has seen significant admissions policy changes around the country.

This year, 3,584 students applied to MIT for early admission and 524 were accepted. Dean of Admissions Marilee Jones said she expects between 56 percent and 60 percent of early applicants to accept MIT’s offer.

“It’s pretty close to last year,” Jones said. Last year, MIT accepted 520 of 3,608. early applicants.

Demographics also remain similar. “Both last year and this, we admitted 47 percent women,” Jones said. “Last year we admitted 21 percent minorities, this year we admitted 22 percent.”

Other schools go to early action

Yale University and Stanford University announced in November that they were moving from early admissions to a form of early action beginning next year.

Presently, both Yale and Stanford University admissions programs called “early decision” programs, which allow students to apply for early admission to only one university and require them to matriculate if the school offers admission.

Starting with the class of 2008, both schools will adopt non-binding early action policies. Students will still be required to apply to only one school for early admission.

“That’s not really truly early action,” Jones said. “They are doing their best to start another model of early action.”

“Everyone will watch to see what happens,” she said. “It’s to be continued.”

Changes could impact Institute

MIT expects to have more applicants next year because of Stanford’s change. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see more students applying here, because they’re applying to Stanford,” Jones said. She said that many students apply to both MIT and Stanford.

Still, Jones said she welcomes this change. “The good thing is that we get more talented people in the applicant pool,” she said. “In the end, it’s best for MIT to have the chance to admit the best in the world because many would choose to come to MIT.”

Jones said this change is good for students as well. “I think it’s in everybody’s interest to have much more freedom as early as possible,” she said. “The more with early action, the better for everyone.”

No changes planned for MIT

MIT has not yet planned to change its early admission policy. Professor Donald R. Sadoway, chair of Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, said that the changes at Yale and Stanford would affect MIT, but that there were currently no plans to change MIT’s admissions policy.

“MIT is data-driven,” Sadoway said. “We will go through the next cycle to see the effect.”

Last year, MIT had a meeting with other Ivy League Schools, including Yale, about early admission policies, when the president of Yale University published his opinion in The New York Times that “he preferred to eliminate all the early admissions programs.”

Jones agreed, saying, “We feel that early programs are not the best in terms of high school education.”

“It puts more pressure on students to decide sooner,” Jones said. “It certainly increases the anxiety of parents.”

Sadoway said that competition with other schools is an issue. “I have no strong feelings except I don’t want MIT to be in adverse competitive position,” Sadoway said.