Despite a significant increase in the number of students given a spot on this year’s waitlist, fewer undergraduates were admitted off the list due to a high admissions yield — 65 percent of admitted students accepted offers to enroll. About 1000 applicants for the Class of 2015 were waitlisted, compared to 722 students for the Class of 2014. Of the students who chose to remain on the waitlist this year, only 26 (3.6 percent) were admitted.
With the opening MIT’s newest dorm, Maseeh Hall, MIT Admissions increased the size of this year’s acceptance pool and waitlist. According to a blog post by Associate Admissions Director Matthew L. McGann ’00, the target size of the Class of 2015 was about 1,120 students, compared with 1,075 from the previous year. The number of admitted students also increased, up to 1,715 this year from 1,611 last year.
In an email to The Tech, Dean of Admissions Stuart Schmill ’86 said that more students were put on the waitlist in order to guard against uncertainty over how many students would accept an offer of admission. “We felt that this year might be more unpredictable,” Schmill said.
But the 65 percent yield — 1 percent higher than last year’s yield — meant fewer students needed to be taken off the waitlist. “Despite being disappointed that we were only able to take so few students from the waitlist, we were very pleased with the way the yield turned out,” Schmill said.
Schmill attributes the yield increase to a successful Campus Preview Weekend, MIT’s annual admitted student event. “Our surveys showed that students had a terrific experience (as always) and that the weekend really convinced a lot of students that MIT was the right fit for them,” Schmill said. This year was the first time a computer algorithm was used to assign undergraduate hosts to visiting admitted students; previously, a team of admissions staff had spent several days making matches by hand.
Schmill said that waitlisted students are admitted through largely the same process that the admissions committee follows for regular admissions. However, waitlisted students have the opportunity to provide additional information about more recent achievements, letting the admissions committee see how these students developed over time.