Another Year for the Admissions Record Books

by Monica Kelly on April 23, 2013

in Student Life

MITAA Welcome Sign

Prospective students are welcomed to campus.

Pi day has taken on a special significance for the thousands of MIT hopefuls who apply for admission each year—and find out their fate on March 14. Admission to MIT has become increasingly selective, and this year was no different. In fact, it was record breaking—approximately 18,989 students applied for a place in the Class of 2017 and only 8.2% of applicants received admittance, down from 8.9% last year and 11.9% in 2008.

The decline in the acceptance rate is due to the combination of the increase in the number of applications submitted and MIT’s exceptionally high yield rate. Last year MIT experienced an unexpectedly high yield of approximately 70% and as a result no students were invited off the waitlist. This year the Admissions Office took these two factors into careful consideration and accepted fewer students to guard against over enrollment.  Despite the decline in acceptances, the lower acceptance rate should give the 4% of applicants placed on the waitlist some hope that they will be chosen to join the Class of 2017 before September.

This was a year of many firsts for MIT admissions. Thanks to the Admissions Office’s Workflow and Assignment Revision Project (WARP) the process was completely paperless. Also, the application included an optional question which asked students to describe their sexual orientation and gender identity. The question was added to demonstrate MIT’s commitment to student diversity and inclusiveness.

Of the 1,548 students accepted this year, 650 of them were accepted through MIT’s non-binding early action program.  MIT received 6,541 applications during early action, which is 9% more than last year.

While it is exciting that the quantity and quality of applicants continues to improve each year, it also means more and more highly-qualified students are being turned away. MIT Dean of Admissions Stu Schmill ’86 has emphasized that the Admissions Office deeply regrets having to reject so many talented applicants.

That said, the admitted Class of 2017 is a highly diverse and talented group. All fifty states as well as 58 countries are represented. The table below highlights the diversity of the admitted Class of 2017.





First Generation College Student








Native American







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