How to get into MIT 2021: Acceptance Rate & Tips

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, more commonly known as MIT, is the most eminent technical school in the world for good reason: over 85% of MIT undergraduates engage in high-level and groundbreaking research during their four years in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Yet the university’s Sloan School of Management is also renowned for its excellence in business. Ambitious young inventors and entrepreneurs aspire to attend Sloan’s undergraduate program because of its unparalleled emphasis on scientific and quantitative management techniques. For those seeking to engage with the most brilliant scientific innovators while learning to bring products to market and influence corporate strategy, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has few peers. 

MIT recently released admissions decisions for the Class of 2025, showing that the university had admitted 1,340 out of an unprecedented 33,240 total student applicants. The Class of 2025’s overall admission rate was 4%: of those accepted in Regular Action (621), 66% more applied this year than last. The university also earlier announced that 719 students were granted Early Action admittance from just over 15,000 applications, leading to a marginally higher early acceptance rate of 4.8%.

MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Acceptance Statistics: Class of 2025

Application RoundTotal ApplicantsTotal Admitted StudentsAdmitted Percentage
Regular Decision18,2046213.4%
Early Decision/Action15,0367194.9%
Overall 33,2401,3404.0%

When compared to last year’s numbers, for the Class of 2024, the difference is striking:

Acceptance Statistics: Class of 2024

Application RoundTotal ApplicantsTotal Admitted StudentsAdmitted Percentage
Regular Decision10,7827707.1%
Early Decision/Action9,2936877.3%
Overall 20,0751,4577.3%

The numbers are daunting to say the least. But they don’t always give the full picture. And they’re representative of macro trends in worldwide education that are outside any single person’s control. That’s why it’s more effective to first understand these numbers in context, then use your time to focus on preparing your own personal application as best you can. 

More Data on MIT Admissions

MIT fortunately provides a level of detailed data that goes beyond the established Common Data set. For information on SAT scores, ACT scores, gender and geography demographics, and international student acceptances, see below:

SAT/ACT scores

Geography

International Students & Gender

TESTRANGE
SAT Math[790, 800]
SAT ERW[730, 780]
ACT Math[35, 36]
ACT Reading[34, 36]
ACT English[35, 36]
ACT Science[34, 36]
ACT Composite[35, 36]
Note: Middle 50% score range of admitted students (25th and 75th percentiles)
New England8%
Mid-Atlantic22%
South & Puerto Rico16%
Midwest & Plains states12%
Southwest & Mountain11%
West Coast, Alaska & Hawaii20%
Other U.S. Territories0%
Abroad10%
Applied4,149
Admitted142
Male51%
Female 49%
Others<1%

What do you need to apply to MIT?

MIT has waived its standardized testing requirement, though you are still able to submit your SAT or ACT scores if you feel they will enhance your application. These are all the materials that every applicant will need to prepare and submit in order to be considered for admission to MIT:

More information: MIT Application Requirements 

MIT also gives applicants the option to submit supplemental materials, including supplemental recommendations, in support of their candidacy. The university strongly encourages applicants to submit these materials digitally. MIT also offers a limited number of interviews with Educational Counselors. 

For details on submitting financial aid materials to MIT, use the university’s helpful site.

What is MIT looking for?

Beyond exceptional grades and test scores, MIT lays out some clear criteria used to assess a candidate’s fit for the university. The admissions office emphasizes the “match” between the applicant and the school above all else. But what exactly does a student need in order to be a compelling match for MIT?

  1. Belief in MIT’s mission and collaborative approach
    • MIT believes in making the world better and  the admissions department wants to see meaningful evidence that applicants are driven to uplift others and improve lives using a cooperative mindset. The Institute exemplifies this with many of the problem-based interdisciplinary group projects it prioritizes on campus.
  2. Proactive and bold engagement 
    • MIT wants students who seize opportunities rather than wait for them. The institution provides countless avenues to procure funding, mentorship, and other invaluable resources for innovation. They’re looking for students comfortable with failure: risk-takers who won’t hesitate to identify a problem they can solve and try whatever they can to solve it.
  3. Applied creativity and intellectual curiosity
    • MIT believes innovation is built on trial and error, and that problem-solving takes many forms. The institution looks to accept students who have the potential to generate ingenious and unconventional solutions because they are thrilled by intellectual adventure. The university wants to see applicants diving deep into niche questions or specialized topics with the potential for broad application.
  4. Values of community and balance
    • MIT seeks to craft a group of world-changers who sincerely care to uplift and support one another. Though the school is renowned for its astronomical workload, the admissions committee wants to see dedication and rigor mixed in with hobbies and social time.

How can you get into MIT?

There’s no golden formula for being admitted to a school as selective as MIT: it is a high reach for every student in the world. That said, there are a few concrete things you should do if you’re really committed to increasing your chances of admission at MIT:

If you’re able to achieve a near-perfect GPA in the hardest classes, engage meaningfully with personal interests and community problems, and demonstrate an ability to take charge of your own goals by acting on your principles, you’ll set yourself up for submitting a strong application that the MIT Admissions Committee will remember. None of this is easy, but if you’re deeply motivated to be at MIT, you can find ways to show it.

What are your chances at getting into top colleges?

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