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High Yield for 2008 Forces Fewer Early Action Admits

By Andy L. Lin

MIT will admit fewer students from early action applications this year because of a greater predicted yield for the Class of 2008, said Dean of Admissions Marilee Jones.

The increase in yield was a result of the implementation of single-choice early action by other universities, which increases MIT’s yield on those students who apply, Jones said. Single-choice early action restricts students to apply to only one school under early action.

Fewer students will be accepted

Last year, a greater percentage of students accepted to MIT under early action chose to attend than in previous years, Jones said. She said the Undergraduate Admissions Committee had anticipated this departure from the norm, but not to such a high degree. The Committee expects a similarly high yield this year.

This year, 2,822 students applied under early action, slightly fewer than the 2,833 who applied last year. Since the number of applicants is comparable to last year’s, the Institute plans to admit fewer students to maintain the usual class size.

Of the early action applicants, 74 percent were male, while 26 percent were female; three percent were African American, 28 percent Asian American, 51 percent Caucasian, six percent Hispanic, and one percent Native American.

MIT not planning on single-choice

Jones said MIT’s competitors heavily influence early action application patterns. Many of these competitors, such as Harvard, Stanford, and Yale recently adopted single-choice early action, increasing MIT’s yield and limiting the options of potential applicants who did not consider MIT as their top choice.

“Live and learn,” said Jones. “Things appear to be changing.” Though Jones said she believes that single-choice early action will eventually dominate nationally, she does not believe MIT’s policy will change.

“It is a cultural value at MIT to have choice and that’s why I have not been eager to change what we do for early action,” she said.

New MyMIT admissions Web site

This year, the Institute launched a new Web site entitled MyMIT, which boasted a user-friendly interface and decorative colors. Of the early applicants, 65 percent applied electronically, a significant rise from the 49 percent of applications filed electronically last year.

MyMIT, however, experienced technical difficulties a few hours before the early action deadline. Though the Committee responded by extending the deadline for early action applicants from Nov. 1 to Nov. 5, Jones says the extension did not affect the number of students who applied. “We’re usually very flexible with deadlines,” said Jones.