MIT Admits More Early Applicants, Anticipating More Will Decline Offer

Both the number of early applicants and the Early Action admittance rate rose this year, resulting in 522 early admissions (out of 3,928 total applicants) for the Class of 2012. Last year, 390 students were admitted early (out of 3,493) for the Class of 2011.

The Early Action admittance rate increased two percent to 13.3 percent this year. Of this year’s early applicants, 322 were not admitted and 3,084 were deferred. Of the applicants admitted early, 47 percent are women and 31 percent are underrepresented minorities.

The 522 early applicants admitted represent an increase over previous years; 390 early applicants were admitted for the Class of 2011 and 377 for the Class of 2010. (For additional data from previous years, see the table on page 12.)

Stuart Schmill ’86, interim director of admissions, said the “larger number of really outstanding applicants” was one reason for the rise in acceptances.

Schmill also cited a predicted decrease in the yield for admitted applicants as another reason for the increase in admissions. This year, Princeton and Harvard Universities ended their early application programs; both programs prohibited applicants from applying early to other schools. Because of these changes in the early application landscape, Schmill said that the Admissions Office was expecting fewer admitted students to actually enroll in MIT.

No changes are planned for MIT’s early action program, which does not restrict applicants from applying to other schools and does not require admitted students to enroll. Schmill said, “We are convinced that our early action program is a positive program for students.”

Schmill said that the high number of deferred applications illustrated that MIT’s applicant pool was very strong. “The number of high-caliber students who apply to MIT has continued to grow, a strong sign that the excitement surrounding our campus and community is being recognized throughout the world,” he said.

Of admitted students whose high schools rank students, 43 percent are valedictorians and 94 percent are in the top 5 percent of their class. For all students admitted early, the median SAT math and verbal scores were 780 and 730, respectively.

Demographically, 277 men and 245 women were admitted, including 160 underrepresented minority students: 9 percent of the admitted class is African-American, 19 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent Native American.

Admitted students represent 400 high schools across 44 states and six foreign countries of residency. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are admitted during the early action period; international admissions is conducted during regular action admissions.

“The admissions staff is very excited about the students we admitted to the Class of 2012 from this outstanding applicant pool,” Schmill said. “They are an exceptional group of students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and talents, and we look forward to the contributions they will undoubtedly make to the MIT community.”

The Admissions Office is currently reviewing regular action admissions applications. More applications were received this year than last year; though the admissions deadline was Jan. 1, the number of applicants is not yet available.

The Tech previously reported that there were a total of 3,937 Early Action applications. Nine applications have since been withdrawn.

Austin Chu contributed to the reporting of this article.