In for the win: how to get into MIT

Recorded Wednesday, August 18 at 11:00 PM

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About this livestream

School information

Massachusetts Institute of Technology | MIT

Cambridge, MA

Join Elias as he discusses MIT’s admissions process, helping you develop strategies to maximize your chance at an acceptance at this prestigious school. Elias will cover a variety of topics including how to navigate the application and how to optimize your resume of skills in a way that will look particularly impressive to MIT’s admissions officers. We’ll also cover crafting successful college essays for MIT.

We'll have a Q&A at the end of the session, so bring all of your questions about MIT!

School information

Massachusetts Institute of Technology | MIT

Cambridge, MA
Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
0:19@Nilu:Has the session started?
0:22@mrondon:has the program started
0:24@mrondon:has the program started?
0:26@lightsaber:I can't see what's going on, has this livestream started yet?
1:17@mich5250:We would have told them Elias but like you said we could not see :_(
1:25@Arkx:Hello, good morning
3:43@mich5250:This is definitely going to be my favourite stream, I'm so excited!!!
3:49@candycute8:hi, are there any compuer science competitions or award suggestions?
4:21@aditya:How do get into MIT as a mature student?
9:35@AMTF:Are APs in science courses important for MIT admission?
9:42@Arkx:Haha! MIT vs Caltech!
16:35@lightsaber:How important are SATs for MIT applications?
17:03@AMTF:What are the main differences between students admitted to MIT vs. Harvard?
18:20@aditya:how do I get into MIT as a 35 yr old adult? ESpecially if I had illness when I did my high school.
19:35@sagrawak:Would you say MIT cares mostly about olympiads?
19:47@PolarBear:Are you able to write the SAT if you live outside of America
19:56@mich5250:@nishaDesai Are there any competitions that I can do now and be done with by October for early application
39:59@Marigonz:My school does not have IB program nor offer AP classes. I however found a school which offer AP exams. I took 3 AP exams in com science, physics and ABcalculus. I got scores of 4, 3, 3 and have an AP scholar certificate. Is this worth self reporting in MIT or other universities
41:20@lightsaber:Can you apply to MIT with just an IB Diploma, without an SAT/ACT score?
41:40@aditya::How do Imake up for bad grades during high school due to illness and how can I show that I can handle the workload at MIT?
42:40@Arkx:2 months are left for early action, can SAT be taken within this time?
43:42@sagrawak:I am not sure if you put the academic index blog in the chat, can you please do that!
43:57@mich5250:Is there anything like second-gen and does it give you any advantage?
44:26@mich5250:@Arkx you can actually take SAT on October 2 and you'll have your grade before November 1
44:44@lightsaber:does being a first gen college student give you an advantage?
47:00@Arkx:Thanks @mich5250
47:02@mrondon:Does having a learning disability, like dyslexia, have an impact on getting accepted?
47:36@aditya::Can I take a postgraduate year after high school at 35 yrs old to show that despite my grades in high school I did well later on?
48:22@J8II:Do low income students have high acceptance rate?
48:53@lightsaber:Can I submit any SAT 2 scores I have from before? (+ Does MIT allow score choice, or do you have to report every single SAT/collegeboard exam you have taken so far?)
49:11@mich5250: Here is the link for @sagrawak the first one missed one hyphen and so it says page not found
49:26@Arkx:As a student of 12th grade, if we consider the fact that since we were in the 10th grade, we are mostly stuck to our home thus reducing our chances of socialising and extracurriculars, will this have an effect?
63:39@mich5250:You missed a hyphen again 😭
64:59@lightsaber:For the challenge question, does it have to be related to academics or can it be on anything?
65:15@mich5250:I am aware that using an academic failure such as a low grade for your challenge essay is not encouraged but if I use the fact that I am younger than my classmates and have missed a few opportunities because of that (one which is run by Yale, probably not MIT's friend), would that also be cliche?
66:19@aditya::Can you explain low grades due to illness in your essays?
67:00@sagrawak:Does first generation mean your parents have not gone to college at all or they have not gone to college in America, my family has gone to college just not in America.
67:17@lightsaber:Do international students have a higher academic threshold compared to students in the USA?
68:19@mich5250:Does being an international student and not being able to access American opportunities count as a good challenge 😬 you can see, I'm struggling with finding a topic for my challenge essay haha
69:06@kdramaaddict:What about moving from a small city internationally to thr usa and adjusting to the education and college system? Or is that a cliche essay topic for thr struggle essay
70:06@Arkx:And especially in India, there aren't a lot of opportunities :( and now COVID :(
70:24@sagrawak:Which type of activities would you say would matter most to MIT admission officers, like academic accomplishments(research, olympiads) or having something unique and so forth?
75:13@dandelions_and_daisies:What is your opinion on writing about a challenge that happened a long long time ago but still had a significant impact on your life?
75:41@sagrawak:Being part of MIT programs such as RSI make a difference when applying in terms of demonstrated interest?
76:00@lightsaber:When applying, do you need a resume?
76:08@AMTF:What do think about applying to the elite schools like MIT as a junior? What quality might allow the juniors being accepted to MIT?
76:48@sagrawak:Can you have maker portfolios including engineering and programming projects you have done?
77:32@mdob:Letters of Recommendation - is a recommendation from a CS teacher fall in the category of Social Science and not Math?
77:39@Aahan:What kind of internship or research program will help to get into MIT?
78:05@aditya::If I had challenges in high school. due to high school and you got low grades and were good with everything else, can the admissions commitee overlook my gpa?
78:17@kdramaaddict:Is it okay if the humanities rec letter is from an art club teacher
78:42@Anom:Do students get recruited for mit club sports ?
78:49@lightsaber:What are some things you would count as valuable Extracurriculars (other than academic competitions)
79:29@Arkx:Given that MIT accepts only a specific number of students from a specific region, do the students who get accepted in early action from that specific region actually reduce the probability of a student getting accepted from that specific region in regular action?
80:00@mich5250: This is for the most prestigious Summer Programs
80:28@mich5250: And this is for internships XD
80:46@alex97:Do you think it’s better to use all the essays as an opportunity to bolster your spike & passion for it through stories (except maybe “pleasure of it” one), or have character, qualities & personal development take the main stage stage with your passions as more of a backdrop?
81:27@sagrawak:Is it just me or did Elias cut out for everybody?
82:06@mich5250:You haven't cut out
82:11@aditya:I heard you can get into MIT if you had low grades but you did well in everything else. Is this true?
82:45@sagrawak:My name is different but autocorrect disagrees
83:10@sagrawak:No it’s not
83:21@sagrawak:It’s not close to my name
83:41@kdramaaddict:I keep typing “thr” instead of the I’m so sorry 😭
83:59@mich5250:When do you hear of your admission if you apply early action/decision?
84:43@sagrawak:Should we try to combine our different types of interests so for the example you are giving creating some app that can help violinists practice?
85:26@mich5250:This link workksss hooraayy
85:31@mich5250:It's time for you to go rest, Elias! 😊
85:37@Arkx:Is it good if very personal things are mentioned in essays?
85:56@aditya:How can I maximise my chances of getting into MIT as a 35 yr old adult?
87:00@lightsaber:can you apply for EA, and then reapply later for RD
87:26@Anonymous8:Should you talk about how Covid impacted your academics?
88:12@kdramaaddict:This live was fun and informative 🥰
89:14@Nilu:This was really great!! Thanks a lot!
89:18@Arkx:Will be obliged to keep in touch with you, Elias😁, you are helpful.
90:10@lightsaber:thanks so much for today!
90:12@mdob:How is admissions different for recruited athletes?
90:59@Ayush:I came late
91:11@mich5250:Aaaaawww will definitely be doing that!
91:41@Ayush:Yeah I watch the recorded streams I was outside


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