How to be Part of MIT’s Acceptance Rate

Every year, MIT accepts less students for its incoming freshman class. Here’s the good news: even if you don’t get an acceptance letter from MIT, you may be the kind of student Yale, Stanford or Harvard want in their incoming class.

What is MIT’s Acceptance Rate?

Out of the applications MIT receives, less than 8% will call themselves Beavers. Let’s take a closer look at the Class of 2020:

  •   19,020 applications were submitted to MIT
  •   656 were admitted during early action
  •   Almost 5,000 were deferred to regular action
  •   Barely 200 of those were accepted
  •   16,029 applications for were for regular action; 829 were accepted.
  •  From that original 437; 315 accepted the waitlist offer.
  •  Only 26 waitlisted students were accepted.

MIT accepted a grand total of 1,511 students for the Class of 2020. I took a look at what it takes to be accepted.

Yes, Your Test Scores Matter

Your SAT or ACT scores help separate you from the rest of the applicants. Standardized testing is definitely not the highlight of high school, but having the best score possible can help move you into the “accepted” pile.

  •  Learn about the tests. Knowing about the different types of questions, what the test makers are actually asking, and the best way to solve each question will help boost your test score.
  •  Practice, practice, practice. There are plenty of books and free online examples of previous and practice tests for the SAT and the ACT. Practice. Score yourself and break down what sections you need to work on. Practice again.
  •  Hire a tutor. Look at tutoring as working with a personal trainer or a coach. They’ve been there. They know what it takes to succeed. If you’re looking into schools like MIT, this is a smart partnership.
  •  All of the above. Doing all three only improves your chances of doing better on the SAT or ACT, upping your chances of getting into your dream school.

The higher your scores, the more likely you are to be accepted. Students with SAT scores ranging from 750 to 800 or ACT scores ranging from 34 to 36 had the highest acceptance rate from MIT’s applicant pool.

And Your Grades Matter Too

The average GPA of a student accepted into MIT is a 4.13. Having a perfect GPA isn’t going to cut it. So how do you blow them away when looking at your transcripts?

  •  Take advanced classes. Honors classes are a nice start, but filling your schedule with as many AP and IB courses as you can will do two things. It shows you can handle tough academics and the cumulative tests can get you college credit.
  •  Take college classes. Taking classes at your local college or university can show MIT that you’re capable of managing an intense course load. Digging into the MIT Bulletin lets you see the type of material studied.
  •  Show initiative. MIT offers incredible summer opportunities for you to take advantage of. If you’re strapped on cash, MIT has developed its own OpenCourseWare platform where you can take courses that may not be readily available in your area. There’s even a section specifically designed for high school students. MIT also partnered with Harvard to create the edX platform that offers self-paced classes.

Check out your school’s policy on a weighted GPA, which can give your GPA a boost when you’re taking more challenging classes. Remember to reach out to your teachers and ask for tutoring if you’re getting stuck. Ask questions. Keep asking until you’re confident.

Be Sure to Show Off Your Passions

Colleges look for well-rounded students, which is really just a fancy way of saying show off some extra-curriculars. These are great ways to get involved with your community, build relationships, and develop leadership skills. And they’re a fun way to show off what makes you tick. Here are some other ideas to make your application stand out:

  •  Sports. MIT’s Athletic Department supports 16 varsity sports for men, 15 for women, and 2 co-educational. If you want to align your sports with a future at MIT, you can pick from things like Fencing, Lacrosse, Water Polo, Sailing, Football, and Soccer.
  •  Clubs. Find clubs that are interesting to you. All clubs offer leadership opportunities and the chance to impact your school in a positive way. MIT focuses on areas like energy, cancer, diversity, global industry, and public service. They’re also huge advocates for the arts.
  •  Community impact. Put yourself in a position to make a positive impact, even in the smallest way. Whether you volunteer with rescued animals or do community outreach with your church, show that you care about the world around you.
  •  Get a job. Taking the initiative to make some extra cash is always a good sign. Employment shows you can work in teams, be a leader, think on your feet, and handle responsibility. So whether you’re in retail, babysitting, selling crafts on Etsy; working shows off skills that make you a successful college student.

You’re definitely going to need a break from learning about the Shenandoah Valley campaigns and mitochondria. The good news is you can leverage your extra-curriculars come college application time. Give your brain a well-deserved break and increase your college appeal.

MIT Has an Ideal Student in Mind

MIT views their admission process as building a team to travel through their undergraduate years together. They are interested in are individuals who can embody the following:

  •  A drive to improve the world. MIT wants to make the world a better place and students who feel the same.
  •  An intense love for teamwork. MIT’s homework is designed to be done in groups and even with students from other departments. They love their group work and being in teams. If that’s not your thing, keep in mind it’s critical to the MIT experience.
  •  Courage, initiative, and creativity. MIT loves risk-takers and doers, people who aren’t afraid to jump in feet first and take advantage of opportunities around them. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
  •  Passion. MIT values quality over quantity so pick a few things and pour your heart into them. It will show.
  •  Character. For MIT, character amounts to being a good person who cares about those around you and lifting them up. They want students who inspire their classmates to work and dream.
  •  The ability to prioritize balance. MIT wants to see that you can play as hard as you work. School, at any level, is not all about work.

With an admittance rate that drops virtually every year, doing the necessary legwork to get your best standardized test scores and a rigorous course load are important steps. It’s also critical that you follow your passions so you can stay sane. MIT’s ideal student is a good target for you to shoot for, because you’ve become a person that many selective schools would love to have on their campus.

Now it’s your turn. Do you think you’ll apply to MIT? Are college entrance standards out of control? Let us know in the comments below!