The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ranked second place on the US News 2022 Best National University Rankings report, tied with Columbia University and Harvard University. MIT has one of the best engineering and research programs in the world and is home to many bright minds. If attending is your dream, you’ll want to pay close attention to our tips on how to get accepted into MIT.
In this article, we’ll discuss strategies for how to get accepted into MIT. We’ll analyze the MIT acceptance rate and explain some key MIT requirements. You’ll get practice questions to help you prepare for your interview, and we’ll give you tips to help your application stand out from the crowd. We’ll share everything you need to know about MIT.
All About MIT Admissions
A senior admissions officer reviews every application, and additional admissions officers reexamine it before the Admissions Committee decides. MIT does not consider legacy or alumni relations in its admission process. MIT shared these admissions statistics to show the range of test scores for students who applied versus students who were accepted.
MIT Acceptance Rate
MIT is a highly selective school and it’s a challenge to be accepted. For the class of 2025, it received 33,240 applications, 15,081 of which were early action applications. 1,365 applicants were admitted, which gives MIT a general acceptance rate of just over four percent, one of the lowest in the nation. Its early action acceptance rate is only marginally higher at almost five percent.
MIT does not set minimum GPA admission requirements or release the GPA statistics of accepted students. However, considering the competitive admissions process, you can assume the average GPA of accepted students is relatively high. If you want to get into MIT, you should work hard in high school to get a high GPA.
MIT Total Enrollment
A total of 11,934 students enrolled in MIT for the 2021-22 fall term. There were 4,638 undergraduate students and 7,296 graduate students. The largest division at MIT is the School of Engineering is with 5,782 students total. That is broken down into 2,510 undergraduates and 3,272 graduate students.
- High School Transcripts. MIT expects to receive your transcripts through your high school counselor. While there are other ways of submitting your transcripts, such as through third-party services or email, MIT prefers that your school counselor uses its official application portal.
- Letters of Recommendation. You’ll need two letters of recommendation from teachers. One letter should be from a math or science teacher and the other from a humanities, social science, or language teacher. You can submit supplemental recommendation letters, for instance from a coach or mentor, but they should show an aspect of you other than academics.
- Standardized Test Scores. Standardized and subject test scores are not required for MIT applications in 2021-2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who have already taken the test may submit either SAT or ACT scores.
- Essays. You’ll be asked to write several short-answer essays and activities for your application. Each essay is only between 100-250 words. MIT also gives you space for one open-ended, optional essay where you can include any additional information.
- Self-Reported Coursework Form. In this form, you should list all courses you’ve taken, either at your high school or from other organizations, and your grades if applicable. This is required in addition to submitting an official high school transcript.
- Creative Portfolio. Researchers, visual artists, and performing artists may submit an optional portfolio describing their past projects to MIT. How you submit your portfolio will vary depending on the type of project you complete.
Is It Hard to Get Into MIT?
With an acceptance rate of just four percent, MIT is one of the hardest schools to get into. The average test scores of admitted students are 1510-1580 (SAT) and 34-36 (ACT). To be competitive, you’ll need to score above 1580 on your SATs and score nearly perfect on your ACTs.
It’s not all about testing and numbers though. MIT ranks applicants based on qualitative factors like their ability to take the initiative, willingness to take risks, and capacity to work with others. These qualities are harder to measure, and you’ll have to demonstrate them through your personal essays and resume of extracurriculars.
How to Prepare for an MIT Interview
MIT offers interviews when possible, but if you are unable to schedule one it will not be counted against your application. MIT interviews for 2021-2022 will be virtual because of COVID-19. You can prepare for your interview by talking to people who have been through an MIT interview and practicing the college interview questions below.
MIT Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why are you interested in MIT?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What do other people think of you?
10 Tips for Getting Into MIT
When you send in your application to MIT, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is competing with thousands of other qualified applicants. If you want to get admitted, you need something to make you stand out in the application process. Below, we’ve outlined 10 tips you can incorporate to improve your chances of getting accepted into MIT.
1. Retake Your Standardized Tests
Take the SAT and ACT as many times as possible, even if you got a good score the first time. MIT applies score choice, which means they will use the best score from each section from all the tests submitted to create a “Superscore.” You can exploit this rule by focusing on your worst section score when you retake the test.
2. Enroll in Advanced Courses
If you want to get admitted to MIT, you have to show that you chose to take difficult courses that were available to you. MIT looks at the rigor of your coursework to determine whether you are a right fit. Taking advanced placement (AP) or international baccalaureate (IB) courses, especially math and science, is a great way to prove to MIT that you can handle challenging courses.
3. Find Your Spike
A spike is an extracurricular activity that you specialize in. Instead of stretching yourself thin by trying out multiple extracurricular activities, choose one thing and stick with it. A spike can help you stand out by showing that you have a passion for that activity. Find your spike and nurture it.
4. Get Organized
You need to know the application deadlines for both early and regular action. It will help you to create a strategic timeline for completing your application before it is due. MIT’s early action deadline is November 1, while the application deadline for regular action is January 5.
5. Get Involved in Your Community
MIT’s mission is to cultivate students who will apply what they learn to improve human life. A great way to demonstrate your alignment with this mission is to get involved in your community. Volunteer in community development projects, or even better, start your own.
6. Get Great Recommendation Letters
Ask for recommendation letters from teachers who know you. You won’t get to see what’s written about you, so make sure you ask teachers who you know can give great comments about you. MIT accepts supplemental recommendation letters, so consider asking a coach or mentor whose recommendation would show a different side of you.
7. Write Engaging Essays
Focus on writing essays that accurately represent you rather than what you think would look good to an admission officer. Be thoughtful about your essay, but don’t overdo it. MIT wants honest, not perfect answers. MIT splits its essay into several short-answer essays, so make sure you answer all of them and leave enough time for editing.
8. Balance Work and Play
Work and play are not mutually exclusive, and MIT believes that students must work hard and make time for relaxation to be successful. Make sure you take time to rest. It will help you work better in the long run and make you a more attractive applicant to MIT.
9. Take Advantage of Enrichment Opportunities
Enrichment activities complement learning outside of the classroom. In a strong applicant pool of impressive grades and test scores, participating in enrichment opportunities can help you stand out. MIT has a list of enrichment opportunities offered at MIT and beyond that interested applicants can explore.
10. Apply Sideways
Applying sideways means prioritizing being yourself over admission into MIT. Ironically, you become a stronger candidate for admission by doing what interests you rather than what you think will look good to MIT. You’ll have better chances of admission as yourself, with unique personalities, goals, and dreams, than as the perfect student.
What Does It Take to Get Into MIT?
To get admitted into MIT, you’ll need good grades and impressive test scores, but also collaboration skills, passion, and a desire to improve the world. If you don’t get in, that doesn’t mean you aren’t a talented student. You can always apply as a transfer student after attending a different university for a year or two.
How to Get Into MIT FAQ
MIT says that 98 percent of first-year students are so happy there that they choose to continue their program there. MIT provides resources for its students to pursue their passions, and it fosters a community where students can work together and positively impact the world at large.
A four-year program without any financial aid will cost you around $72,000 a year, including housing. After financial aid, the average cost of an MIT education is $22,969. Scholarships and work-study programs can further offset this amount.
MIT is well-known for its engineering and science programs, which are considered some of the best programs worldwide. It conducts groundbreaking research and has also produced several notable alumni, including Kofi Anan, Buzz Aldrin, and Ilene S. Gordon.
A degree at MIT is a worthwhile investment. Thanks to MIT’s reputation as a prestigious university, its graduates are in high demand. The average starting salary of an MIT bachelor’s degree holder is $104,617 and 82 percent of graduates graduate without any debt.
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