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Waitlisted Students Get in For First Time Since 2002

By Marissa Vogt

For the first time in four years, MIT has admitted students to the incoming freshman class off of the waitlist. Thirty of the 320 students remaining on the waitlist were admitted this week, and the rest of the applications will be held for another week. Sixty-nine of the students originally placed on the waitlist had already withdrawn, according to an e-mail from Dean of Admissions Marilee Jones.

Of the 1,474 students originally admitted to the Class of 2010, 987, or 67 percent, have decided to enroll, Jones wrote in an e-mail. That percentage matched last year’s recent-high yield of 67 percent for the Class of 2009, when the admissions office decided not to admit anyone off of the waitlist. Higher-than-expected yields in the past few years and MIT’s pledge to eliminate crowding in dormitories have prevented MIT from admitting waitlisted students since 2002.

“We purposely calculated high so we’d go to the waitlist,” wrote Jones in an e-mail. Thirteen percent of the applicants for admission to the Class of 2010 were admitted, smaller than the Class of 2009 in terms of both the number of admits and the acceptance rate. Jones did not say what the target size for the Class of 2010 had been.

“It is a happy day when we can admit waitlist students,” Jones wrote. “Because we’re able to admit just 13 percent of this stellar applicant pool, there are so many wonderful students we really want to admit on the waitlist. Some of the staff have developed relationships with some of those students and we were all very, very happy to admit them.”

Jones said that she expects about 90 percent of the waitlisted admits will matriculate. Most of the students still on the waitlist “are ready to come on the spot,” she wrote in an e-mail. “It’s tough because within the past two weeks they had to tell another school they’d be enrolling and some of their hearts will be torn a bit.” As a result, MIT tried to let students know as soon as possible if they would be accepted off the waitlist, she said.