MIT Acceptance Rate

February 12, 2022
By AdmissionSight

MIT Acceptance Rate: 6.6%

Shortcut to sections offered for MIT prospective students MIT acceptance rate:

Successful Applicant Profile

  • Demographics
  • Majors
  • SAT/ACT scores

Entry Requirements

  • Tuition
  • Scholarships
  • Checklist of Application Requirements
  • Application Deadlines

What Should You Expect

  • Student life
  • Academics offered
  • Athletics offered
  • Notable Alumni

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the top engineering schools in the country. Low MIT acceptance rate also makes it among the most selective. This private research university is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is regarded as one of the most profound institutions in America, if not the world.

MIT acceptance rates may be one of the lowest in the country, but you still have a chance to get in with help from a leading admissions counselor like AdmissionSight.

We know what it takes to beat MIT acceptance rates and help students secure a place. For instance, not many applicants are aware that MIT follows a holistic admissions process.

The admissions committee shall look at extracurricular activities and achievements beyond your test scores and grades. However, this doesn’t mean that your grades and standardized test scores are not important.

You can work the odds of MIT acceptance rate in your favor with glowing letters of recommendation and strong application essays.

This post will help you understand the kind of applicant profiles that get selected, entry requirements, and what to expect when you secure a place at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Successful Applicant Profile

MIT acceptance rates are known to be in the single digits. It is a very selective school and comes only after Harvard and Princeton.

For the 2021 admissions cycle, the acceptance rate was 6.6% which means 6 students were selected for every 100 that applied. Most selected applicant profiles had a well-rounded quality. The candidates had participated in meaningful extracurricular activities while following a rigorous course schedule.

Where are the applicants from?

Get ready to join a diverse and culturally rich class if you get selected to matriculate at MIT. There are minds from all over the US and the world here. The gender ratio is a bit skewed at MIT with 46% female and 54% male. 40% of selected applicant pool attended private schools while 67% were from public schools. 8% were from religious schools.

Students posing for a picture

Each year, 11% of selected applicants are from foreign countries. Most students selected from the US are from California.

There is a large pool of people of color at MIT. 9% of each class is African American, while 35% being Asian American. Native Americans make up 3% of the selected candidate pool with Latinos or Hispanic population comprising of 14%. About 48% of students admitted at MIT are white.

What are the more common programs?

There are a plethora of fields on offer at MIT. Even though the school is technically known to specialize in engineering, other science fields and humanities are not far behind. This university has a lot to offer but most students are drawn to its technology programs.

Almost half of the freshman class is enrolled in the School of Engineering and the School of Science. Other popular fields at MIT include Nuclear Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Economics. You can rest assured that you can major in a field of your choice once you get past the single-digit MIT acceptance rates.

What is the average SAT/ACT score of admitted students?

There is no denying the fact that MIT is a very selective institution to get into. You would need above average test scores and grades to get your foot inside the door.

Low MIT acceptance rates do not make matters easier for students. You should know that you can compensate for a slightly lower standardized test score with an exceptionally high GPA and other non-academic achievements (community service and so on).

For admitted students in 2019 who took ACT score:

  • 25th percentile score: 34
  • 75th percentile score: 35

For admitted students in 2019 who took SAT score:

  • 25th percentile score: 1500
  • 75th percentile score: 1570

MIT follows the Score Choice policy of “Highest Section”, which is also called “super scoring”. You can choose the SAT test scores that you want to send to MIT. The application readers shall only consider the highest scores of all the test scores you receive.

Students on their desks answering questions in a classroom

There is a huge advantage to taking the ACT as compared to SAT. You have absolute control over the test scores you send when taking the ACT. For instance, you can take 5 tests and only send the highest score. However, with the SAT, all scores go to college automatically. They are required to consider only the highest, but your other scores are part of the file too.

You would require a GPA of at least 4.17 if you want to get into MIT which makes sense when you consider the fact that MIT acceptance rate is 6.6%. The school is exceptionally competitive when it comes to GPA and test scores. You need to be at the top of your class or at least in the top 10%.

This means you need nearly all straight A’s to have a fair chance against other applicants. You should also have taken several IB and AP classes to establish your ability to take up college academics.

Entry Requirements

MIT is located in the Boston area. This elite private university is a small institution with a total enrollment of just 4,557 undergraduate students. The less number of places doesn’t help your case. You need to be exceptional and should know how to portray that in your personal statement. Admission in this school is particularly competitive with acceptance rates at just 6.6%.

However, before you get started on completing your personal essay, you should know what it costs to attend MIT and whether you qualify for financial aid or not.

How much will it cost to attend?

The typical cost to attend an undergraduate year at MIT comes to $76,150. The good part is that most students are not required to pay the complete amount.

You could qualify for financial aid, student loans, and other grants. MIT offers full-need financial aid, which means the university may pay 100% of the demonstrated financial need.

Here’s a breakup of the annual cost of attendance:

  • Tuition – $49,892
  • Books and Supplies -$1,000
  • Room and Board – $14,720
  • Other Fees – $1,818

MIT is among the five American universities that offer need-blind admissions. This means that no applicant is judged on their capability to pay the tuition fee.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology prides itself on meeting the full financial needs of all admitted students applying for aid. Financial aid is purely based on a family’s demonstrated financial need instead of merit or achievements.

What financial aid opportunities are available?

MIT is committed to helping all students pay for their college education. They believe in making education affordable to all bright minds. To this effect, they try meeting 100% demonstrated financial need of every applicant. On average, $49,317 is awarded to students applying for financial aid for the year.

This means that you would just need to pay about $23,442 in a year to attend MIT. When you do the math, this comes out to be less than the cost of attendance at average public universities for in-state students. There are typically 850 applicants in a year. Last year 633 applicants got the approval to receive financial aid.

Overall, 90% of candidates studying at MIT receive some sort of financial aid in the form of work or scholarships. In fact, 76% of students graduate from MIT debt-free.

It is important to note that debt after graduation is quite common with financial aid – so you want to major in something that matters which is probably not economics or humanities – see AOC. Most MIT students graduating with debt have to pay an average amount of $19,819 back to their lender which is not too hard because most graduates obtain top-level jobs upon graduation.

This is when the starting salary of an MIT graduate is around $89,710. All in all, MIT is a sound investment even if you have to take up a student loan. You need to remember that you can earn a steady income while working on campus. These can easily cover the cost of attendance.

MIT, like many other schools, has several work-study programs allowing students to make money on campus while pursuing their studies. The average amount of money you can hope to make with on-campus work is $2,417.

What are the application requirements for MIT?

It’s vital to note that MIT does not follow the usual application process like other premier universities. They don’t accept general applications, such as Common Application. Instead, applicants need to fill out their application in MIT’s own application system called MyMIT.

The information in MyMIT application is similar to that of Common Application. This includes your biographical information, teacher recommendations, essays, and a list of accomplishments and activities.

In addition, MIT strongly encourages all students to do an interview with the MIT Educational Council if possible. You can arrange for a Skype interview as well if there are no interviewers in your area. The interview is scheduled by an educational counselor from MIT once you submit your application.

This is what the MIT application includes:

  • Biographical Information
  • Essays, activities, and academics
  • Evaluation from a math or science teacher
  • Evaluation from humanities, social science, or language teacher
  • Secondary School Report including the high school transcript
  • SAT or ACT test scores including two SAT Subject Tests
  • Midyear grades

Application for 2021 should be available online in August 2020. Make sure you check all aspects of your application before hitting the submit button. You can ask an education counselor to schedule your interview once you submit Part A and Part B of your application.

What are the timelines for MIT application?

MIT offers both Early Action and Regular Decision programs. However, acceptance rates through Early Decision are significantly higher than the ones from Regular Decision. You should consider applying through the Early Decision program if you believe MIT is your dream school and if selected, you are sure to attend it.

Deadlines for freshmen starting fall 2021

Single-choice Early Action Candidates

  • Application deadline – November 1st, 2020
  • SAT/ACT test – November 2020
  • Financial aid – February 15th, 2021

Regular Decision Candidates

  • Application deadline – January 1st, 2021
  • SAT/ACT test – December 2020
  • Financial aid –February 15th, 2021

Decision notification

Early Action candidates are notified of the admissions decision by mid-December. They are required to send in their replies by May 1st. For Regular Decision applicants, the notifications are made available online by mid-March. Regular Decision candidates are also supposed to send in their replies by May 1st.

What to Expect?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a beautiful campus located along the Charles River in Cambridge. Massachusetts Avenue cuts the campus in half with most student life buildings and dormitories to the west. Academic buildings are located on the east side of the campus.

An aerial view of a school campus

The most interesting fact about the MIT campus is its functional nuclear reactor which is on-campus. This is one of the most powerful nuclear reactors in any university in the US.

What do students think of life at MIT?

There are 18 residence halls for all students. Each hall has a unique community and personality. MIT claims to have the best college dorm scene in the entire country. The campus is both urban, yet walk-able and encourages students to make use of sustainable practices. There are several green areas, gardens, free shuttles, and bike-share stations.

The campus merges with several Cambridge neighborhoods at the edges, including Kendall Square. This square mile is regarded as one of the most innovative places on the planet with its close association of research and industry experts.

Students lounging in the school grounds in front of a building.MIT is known as the best school on Earth for engineering, but that doesn’t stop them from having an active Greek social scene. They have a well-performing chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for students pursuing strong programs in liberal arts and sciences.

Eleven months ago, a senior posted a testimony about MIT University on a college-ranking site Niche expressing that:

“I’ve had a somewhat unique experience at MIT because unlike the majority of students, I’m not an engineering major. (GASP!) I majored in Brain & Cognitive Sciences (essentially neuroscience) and minored in Anthropology. I adored both of those departments – the classes, the teachers, the admins, the research opportunities. I know some other majors like chemical engineering are more difficult and aren’t quite as adored by their students.

If you ask a student what their favorite part about MIT is, 90% of the time they will say the people. Being a specialized and somewhat quirky school, students at MIT have so much in common.

Usually, that commonality is a passion to make a difference, open-mindedness/acceptance, and a desire to play hard when not studying. Our student groups are varied and vibrant and our party scene is known as the best in Boston, but ultimately, we thrive on our close-knit community and appreciation for one another.”

There are hundreds of student-led organizations in this college covering a wide array of creative and performing arts, academic interests, cultural and racial initiatives, government and political interests, gender and sexuality affinity groups, and several media and publications.

Few of the more popular MIT student groups include Gluten-Free @ MIT, Philosophy Club, Kung-Fu Taichi Club, Queer Women, UrbanAfrica, Skydiving Club, Improv-a-Do!, Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Hillel, Floorball, Effective Altruism, Flying Club, Constructs Dance Crew, Beekeepers, Caribbean Club, Art Club, Archery Club, Applied Physics Club, Black Women’s Alliance, and Chess Club.

Want to know more about campus life and what you are getting into? You can get more information about MIT campus life and admissions process by calling the undergraduate admission office at 617-253-3400 or by emailing them at

What academics are offered?

There are dozens of majors on offer at MIT. A few of the more interesting fields are Design, Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences, History of Architecture & Art, Materials Science & Engineering, Middle Eastern Studies, Russian & Eurasian Studies, Statistics & Data Science, Urban Studies & Planning, and Mathematical Economics.

There are a few humanities-related majors as well that are quite popular among students. These include Latin American & Latino Studies, Comparative Media Studies, Business Analytics, Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Art, Culture & Technology, Archaeology & Materials, and Astronomy.

What athletic options are available?

There are a large number of sports on offer at MIT. The college has extensive varsity and club offerings for both genders. You can play plenty of intramural sports and club levels if you are not up to varsity level.

Students playing soccer in a field.

A few of the more popular MIT sports include Baseball, Crew, Basketball, Cross-Country Running, Football, Fencing, Lacrosse, Swimming & Diving, Squash, Rifle, and Water Polo.

Who are some famous MIT alumni?

MIT has produced dozens of business tycoons, politicians, musicians, entertainers, and media figures among various other leaders.

Few particularly well-known alumni are:

  • Former Secretary of State George Schultz
  • Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke
  • Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan
  • Sculptor Daniel Chester French
  • Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Charles Koch, Chairman & CEO of Koch Industries
  • Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy
  • John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile
  • Nobel Prize winner and New York Times formerly respected columnist Paul Krugman
  • Tom&Ray Magliozzi, hosts of NPR’s Car Talk
  • Highly respected actor James Woods
  • Actor Dylan Bruno

See your name on the list?

You have a great shot at entering MIT if you have particularly compelling achievements and stories. AdmissionSight can help you showcase these achievements in the best possible light. Everything is not lost if you couldn’t get the right grades or test scores. There is a lot you can manage with strong personal essays and letters of recommendation.

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