3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Can MIT accept students with really less extracurricular experience? If yes then How?

About the activities- I’m from India where students rarely do any extracurricular activity except for the ones their school provides. I even came to know about all this in 12th standard when I was given the INTERNET for the first time. I took part in almost all the activities of interest in my school. In India, a job is thought to be everything So around me no one ever talked about innovation even though I did, therefore, I only tried the activities of my interest at home and none official. I made some rockets even though I didn’t have any kind of help, not even the internet


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

Hi! Thanks for asking the question. At most selective schools (US top 40 schools), and in this case MIT, having high school grades and standardized tests scores will only get you so far. By that, I mean, having high academic scores will give reason for MIT admission committees to review the other components of your application (e.g. extracurricular list, letters of recommendations, essays, etc.).

After having met these high scores criteria, the admissions committee will really dive into what you do in and out of school. What selective schools care about is if you have a "specialized" profile towards your area/major of interest at the select school OR if you have really strong "all-round" activities. However, the former is highly preferred. This "specialization" in your portfolio can come through in activities/hobbies, classes you have taken, jobs, etc. So, if you have these things that relate to your area of interest, and you have done this at a high level, be sure to make note of it in your essays and activities list. Maybe even have a teacher of yours could write about your skills on your behalf in a letter of recommendation.

In short, having less extracurricular experience is okay. However, to impress MIT admissions officers and stand out from the crowd, I would suggest highlighting these specialized hobbies in your application (in essays and the activities list) and continue doing things that align with your major of interest. Building rockets with little-to-no help is incredibly impressive! :)

3 years ago

Firstly, you have asked this question 3 times. Please don't do that.

However, you can write about anything as an extracurricular activity. Home responsibilities, school activities, and your "rocket" activity would all be things you can consider as activities of interest. You are going to want to write some essays regarding these responsibilities, as well as probably explain in your activities section if able to do so concisely.

For instance, one of my activities is election forecasting, which is a really unofficial thing -- it isn't something my school offers or anything. I basically just made a computer model that simulated results for fun. I put this in my activities section and had my common app essay mention this experience. So that is something you can do.

Hope this helps!

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