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What Should You Write in Your MIT FUN Form?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A students using her laptop while sitting next to a wall.

When you apply to Ivy League schools, it’s not always about having great grades. These top universities are also very interested in what makes you unique. They want to know who you are beyond your academic success. Ivy League admissions teams look for your personal qualities—how you act with friends and family, what you’re passionate about, how you help your community, and what inspires you in life.

They value authenticity and genuine character. They’re curious about your personal story: Who are you when you’re not studying? What’s your personality like? What’s your background? In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to show these sides of yourself in your application, specifically in MIT, helping you stand out not just as a student, but as a whole person who can add something special to their campus.

What is an MIT FUN Form?

The MIT “FUN Form” is part of the application update process at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This form allows applicants to provide the latest updates on their academic progress, including recent grades, and to share any new awards, achievements, or relevant developments that have occurred since the initial submission of their application.

The submission of the FUN Form is for all applicants, regardless of whether they have new information to report or not. This includes those who have already graduated high school, those who are not currently enrolled in school, and even homeschooled applicants.

If an applicant does not have new grades to report—perhaps because their school does not issue mid-year grades or they are no longer attending school—they must still submit the form. In such cases, there is an option on the form to indicate that no new grades are available.

Moreover, even if an applicant’s counselor or school has already sent MIT the latest mid-year or semester grades, the applicant is still required to submit the FUN Form. The MIT admissions office has a complete and updated record of all applicants, helping to maintain an organized overview of each applicant’s current status.

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How to Accurately List Your Grades

When listing your grades for the application, it’s important to follow the format that corresponds to your school’s grading system and accurately reflects what’s shown on your transcript:

If your school uses semester grades, list each subject followed by the grade exactly as it appears on your transcript. Use letter grades or percentages based on what your school provides.

Example
BC Calculus 89
IB Chemistry HL 97
Japanese A-

If your school uses quarter grades, write down each grade for the quarters.

Example
Biology A, A-
AP Economics 96, 92

If your school uses quarter grades with a midterm exam, but no semester grade, list both quarter grades and the midterm exam grade for each class.

Example
AP Physics A, A-, 92
World History B+, A-, 95

Students sitting on a bench.

If your school’s on a trimester system, only the first-trimester grade should be listed.

Example
AP English Lit and Comp A
AP Studio Art A

For classes that are not typical or need additional explanation (like those taken online or at a local college), provide the context along with the grade.

Example
Java I (taken at BCC) A+
Multivariable Calc (Online) Pass

What to Expect on the FUN Form

Here are some helpful tips on what to expect and how to make the most of this form:

Keep It Informal: The FUN Form is meant to be informal. You can use bullet points, abbreviations, and even casual language. There’s a 250-word limit, so brevity is key.

Focus on Significant Updates: Use the FUN Form to report any new grades, test scores, or significant achievements since you submitted your application. If you’ve received an award or started a new project, this is the place to mention it.

Don’t Stress Over Updates: It’s perfectly fine if you don’t have any major updates. The admissions team understands that not everyone will have new information to share. If your academic and extracurricular activities are continuing as usual, that’s okay.

Creative Freedom: While the primary purpose is to report updates, you’re encouraged to add a personal touch. You can share a favorite joke, quote, or even a link to your blog. The admissions committee enjoys getting to know you beyond your academic achievements.

No Major Revisions: Remember, the FUN Form is not for submitting new essays, changing your portfolio, or redoing your application. It’s a supplement to your existing application, not a replacement.

Quality Over Quantity: Focus on providing meaningful information rather than trying to fill the space. A few well-chosen updates or insights into your personality can be more impactful than trying to add unnecessary details.

By following these tips, you can effectively use the FUN Form to provide the admissions team with a fuller picture of who you are, both academically and personally.

Male student walking towards the school signage.

Examples of Creative and Authentic Responses for the FUN Form

The MIT FUN Form includes a variety of questions that aim to uncover your personality, interests, and creativity. Here are some examples of the types of questions you might encounter:

  • Describe a hobby or interest that you are passionate about but haven’t mentioned elsewhere in your application.
  • For those who enjoy solving problems: Share a fascinating problem you’ve encountered and how you approached solving it.
  • List three favorite books and explain why they resonate with you.
  • If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?

Male student lounging in the school grounds.

To give you an idea of how to approach these questions, here are some example responses:

For the question about your favorite books, you could say:

“To Kill a Mockingbird: This book deeply moved me with its themes of justice and empathy, and it inspired me to think about the impact of my actions on others.

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”: I love its quirky humor and imaginative storytelling, which remind me to always stay curious and open-minded.

“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”: This book offers a fascinating perspective on the history of our species and has sparked my interest in anthropology and history.

For the question about meeting a historical figure, you might say:

I would love to meet Marie Curie.” As a pioneering scientist, her groundbreaking work in radioactivity and her perseverance in a male-dominated field inspires me to pursue my passion for science and never give up in the face of challenges.

Be authentic and let your personality shine through! Your unique traits, passions, and experiences are what the admissions officers are eager to learn about. Don’t be afraid to infuse your answers with a bit of humor or lightheartedness if that feels natural to you. The goal is to provide a fuller picture of who you are and what makes you stand out.

Female student typing in a table.

MIT Selection Process

The MIT selection process is designed to be thorough, fair, and student-centered. Here’s an overview of what happens after you submit your application and how the admissions team evaluates each applicant:

Once an application is submitted, it is first reviewed by a senior admissions officer who considers the application holistically and within its proper context. This means evaluating grades and test scores, as well as extracurricular activities, personal essays, and other elements that make up the applicant’s profile.

Strong applications are then passed on to additional admissions officers who further evaluate and summarize the applications. These summaries, along with the entire application, are then reviewed by the selection committee.

The selection committee consists of multiple groups of different admissions staff and faculty members. Each application is discussed and debated significantly by at least a dozen people before a final decision is made. This process guarantees that decisions are made fairly and that no single individual’s biases can influence the outcome.

MIT’s process is student-centered, meaning that applications are not compared directly against other students from the same school or region. There are no quotas by school, state, or region, and legacy or alumni relations are not considered. Each applicant is evaluated on their own merits, ensuring a fair and unbiased review.

MIT aims to build a diverse and dynamic community. They look for individuals who are academically capable and bring a wide range of talents, interests, and experiences. The goal is to assemble a class that can support, surprise, and inspire each other, much like a team climbing a challenging mountain together. Each member adds something unique to the team, whether it be a sense of humor, compelling personal experiences, or a variety of individual gifts.

To prepare for MIT, students are encouraged to focus on becoming their best selves by pursuing their interests and education both inside and outside of school. It’s important to explore and develop a sense of self rather than narrowly focusing on the goal of getting into MIT. This approach makes students better candidates while helping them succeed on their own terms.

MIT admits less than 10% of applicants, so it is better to set broader goals. By focusing on personal growth, learning, and positively influencing those around you, students can become strong candidates for MIT and maybe for other colleges that fit them well. This “applying sideways” approach ensures that students are well-prepared for college and life beyond.

Portrait of smiling asian male student sitting at desk in classroom at university,

Final Thoughts

The MIT FUN Form is your chance to show the admissions team who you are beyond your grades and test scores. Use it to highlight your personality, interests, and experiences in a creative and honest way.

Focus on being yourself and let your unique qualities shine through. Talk about a favorite hobby, an inspiring book, or a historical figure you admire, make sure your answers reflect the real you!

There are no right or wrong answers here. Give MIT a glimpse into your world and what makes you special. So, take this opportunity to stand out and help the admissions team see how you can contribute to MIT’s diverse and dynamic community!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. If I am an international student, do I need to convert my grades to the American scale? Should I use letters, numbers from one to five, or a scale of 100?

No, you don’t need to convert your grades. Just write them as you receive them at your school. Your counselor will provide a school report letter that gives context to your grades.

2. Competition scores will be posted in a couple of weeks. Is it better to turn in the form now and email the scores later, or wait for the results and fill out the FUN Form then?

Either way works. If you know the scores will be available soon, you might as well wait. If not, you can email the scores later.

3. Is it okay to send my first quarter grades because those are the only ones I have so far?

Yes, just send them the most recent grades you have.

4. I took a midterm exam last month and already received a score, but my school doesn’t consider this as a midyear grade. The finals will be in two weeks, and the transcript will be available by then. Should I put in the midterm scores or wait for the official transcript?

It’s up to you, but it’s usually helpful to report what you can. If you report your midterm exam scores, explain that they are exam scores and not midyear grades in the Updates section.

5. What should we write in the 250-word box? Is it limited to academic circumstances?

You can write about any significant updates, academic or otherwise, that you want the admissions committee to know. If you don’t have any updates, that’s fine! You can even share your favorite joke or quote.

6. I have 249 words in the Updates section, but it still asks me to edit my response. I can’t submit my FUN Form.

The “250 words” limit is an estimate based on characters, so you may have too many characters in your response. Try shortening it a bit more.

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