Each year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology receives nearly 20,000 applications from high school hopefuls. Only 8% of them get a MIT acceptance letter.
For example, in 2014, MIT accepted 1,447 applicants from 18,356 candidates. That’s a small 7.9% admission rate.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of applicants get a rejection letter. “I'm very sorry to inform you…”
When I was in high school, I was one of the lucky few to apply to MIT and receive an acceptance letter in the mail. This validated years of hard work, especially in the sciences and research. It was inspiring to know that they wanted me to be a part of their amazing community.
Here’s my complete, official MIT acceptance letter.
Want to learn what it takes to get a MIT admit letter yourself?
Read my How to Get Into Harvard, MIT and the Ivy League guide. I'll take you through the philosophy behind how to become the world-class student that schools like MIT, Harvard, and Princeton are looking for. You'll learn what it means to develop an application Spike, why being well-rounded is the path to rejection, and how to craft a compelling application yourself. Read this guide now before it's too late.
Here's a scan of the original admissions letter sent to me by the Office of Admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Even though I attended Harvard as an undergrad, MIT holds a special place in my heart because I attended Research Science Institute as a high school student at MIT. I also later joined the MD-PhD program at the Health Sciences and Technology program run between Harvard and MIT. You can learn more about RSI in my complete college application.
Afterward, I'll give you tips on what it takes for you to get an acceptance letter like this for yourself.
On behalf of the Admissions Committee, it is my pleasure to offer you admission to the MIT Class of 2009. You were identified as one of the most talented and promising students in one of MIT’s most competitive applicant pools ever. Your commitment to personal excellence makes you stand out as someone who will thrive within our academic environment as well as contribute to our diverse community. At MIT, you join kindred spirits: scholars, builders, entrepreneurs, and humanitarians. We believe that you and MIT are very well matched for each other.
You’ll our have offers from many fine schools, but we hope that you’ll choose to enroll at MIT. The deadline to accept our offer is May 1, and there’s a reply form enclosed in this packet. Between now and then, though, we look forward to building our relationship with you so you can get to know us better. Over the next several months, we’ll be in touch by email, over the phone and via your MyMIT portal account (http://my.mit.edu).
Many of our students believe that the campus visit experience was the deciding factor in their choice to enroll at MIT. Therefore, we’d love to have you be our guest for Campus Preview Weekend (CPW), held on the MIT campus from April 7 through 10, 2005. CPW is an excellent way to experience MIT student life firsthand. You will go to classes, eat the food, listen to hallway conversations, and meet your future classmates. We encourage your parents to attend as well. Please see the enclosed CPW invitation for all the details.
If you can’t come to CPW, please try to visit campus before May 1. To make arrangements to stay overnight with an undergraduate host, complete the online request form on the MyMIT website or just call the Office of Admissions at (617) 258-5515. If you are unable to visit the campus at all but are eager to get to know MIT, you’ll have the chance to speak with a current undergraduate soon; an MIT student will be calling you in April.
I hope this letter is the one you were expecting and that it brings you the exhilaration you deserve to feel. I also hope that you will take the night off to celebrate with your loved ones. But as a mother, I expect you to get right back to work and finish up the year with top grades, since we don’t admit slackers to MIT and this offer of admission is contingent upon your successful completion of the school year. No senior slump allowed!
Finally, I hope you’ll agree with us that MIT is the perfect place to prepare you for your future role in a world that badly needs you. Congratulations and welcome to the MIT Class of 2009. I look forward to seeing you on campus.
Dean of Admissions
Compared to the Harvard acceptance letter, this is a lot more casual and informal, which I like. The second to last paragraph is pretty funny.
OK....so now what?
You probably have a reason for looking at this acceptance letter. Let me try to help you out.
If you just received a rejection letter from MIT, I'm sorry. When admissions officers say rejecting students is a gut-wrenching decision, they're being sincere.
The good news is that you're in command of your future. There are MIT graduates who end up aimless and frustrated, and there are graduates from many other colleges (and even people who never went to college) who make amazing achievements throughout their lives. You're in control of your own fate. So if you're disappointed about a MIT rejection, I hope you pick yourself up and excel from this point forward. Here's a guide on how to study effectively in college and prepare yourself for the future.
If you're in high school and plan to apply to MIT, I hope this acceptance letter inspires you to work hard to get your own.
Make no mistake, it took a lot of hard work to get to the point where I felt I was likely to pass MIT's tough admission requirements. I knew it was a very technical school, and my math and science game had to be on point. I had to strategize carefully and spend my time effectively so I could balance a high GPA, the toughest AP science coursework, high test scores, and challenging extracurricular activities.
To help you out, I've written everything I know about succeeding in high school and college admissions. If you want your own Stanford acceptance letter, these are must-read guides:
This is the most fundamental guide to help you understand what top colleges like MIT and the Ivy Leagues are looking for. Here you'll learn:
- what kinds of students are most attractive to MIT and why
- why being well-rounded is the path to failure in selective college admissions
- what a Spike is and why an effective Spike will get you admitted to every college, including MIT
- how you can develop your own compelling Spike
Make no mistake: this isn't easy. But in my experience with thousands of high school students across the country, far too many have the wrong idea about what colleges actually want.
In the process, most students waste far too much time on things that aren't important and do nothing to raise their admissions chances to MIT. Even worse, they feel miserable and hopeless.
That's why I wrote this guide. Read it before it's too late - it might totally change your high school strategy and get you into MIT.
To complement my "How to Get Into Harvard" guide, I share my entire college application, page by page, word for word. You'll see the exact application that the admissions committee at Harvard saw, including the Common Application, my personal essays, letters of recommendation, and transcript.
Even though MIT uses its own application form, the elements of the application are pretty much the same.
Even more importantly, my Spike was deep achievement in the sciences. I ranked #6 in the US National Chemistry Olympiad as a junior, and I participated in Research Science Institute at MIT. Both those things made me a very attractive candidate to MIT admissions. I discuss all these details and how I achieved them here.
I've never seen anyone else provide this level of analysis and detail, so I believe you'll get something out of it.
Your coursework is a critical component of your college application. Not only do you need great grades, you need great grades in what MIT says is "the most stimulating courses available to you." For MIT, you especially need strong grades in the toughest AP science and math courses.
Thus it's no surprise that a lot of high school students are stressed out and anxious.
The biggest problems I see in the students I work with are in mindset, habits, and strategy. Thus I've written a complete guide on how to excel in high school coursework.
I take you through three levels of detail, from high to low:
- Mindset and Psychology: Do you have the confidence to know you can even improve? Are you prepared to work hard?
- Overall Planning and Habits: Do you make the most out of every hour? Do you understand what teachers care about, and how to give them what they want? Do you know how to avoid procrastination?
- Individual Class Strategies: How do you excel in English classes? How is this different from math and science classes?
I learned a lot of these lessons the hard way, throughout high school and college. This is the guide I wish I had before starting high school.
Take the time to read it and you might get better grades while saving hundreds of hours of study time.
Besides GPA, the other critical number on your application is your SAT/ACT score. This score is so important because it compares you to high school students across the country on a level playing field.
Top schools like MIT expect you to be in the top 1 percentile of the country. You especially need near-perfect scores in math and science (for the ACT). If you don't show this, MIT will doubt whether you can really thrive in their super tough academic environment.
Also, check out my series on getting perfect scores in each of the sections on the SAT/ACT:
Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:
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As co-founder and head of product design at PrepScholar, Allen has guided thousands of students to success in SAT/ACT prep and college admissions. He's committed to providing the highest quality resources to help you succeed. Allen graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude and earned two perfect scores on the SAT (1600 in 2004, and 2400 in 2014) and a perfect score on the ACT. You can also find Allen on his personal website, Shortform, or the Shortform blog.