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Deepu ShahMemberApril 17, 2018 at 7:01 am
As a high school student from Nepal, you have one advantage over many other international applicants:
You come from a small country, and it is “possible” that you had to over come tremendous odds against you to be as good of a student as you are. It is something to consider when writing about yourself in the application, and certainly something to discuss with the MIT alumnus or alumna who interviews you.
Given that, and the fact that only 3% of international applicants for a freshman class are admitted:
An application for undergraduate studies at an elite private college in the USA is a two-step process:
Required (but Not sufficient): You must prove to MIT that you have the academic capability to attend MIT, do the work well, and graduate within four years. That is “proved” through your
Transcript and complete secondary school report (major)
MIT’s knowledge of your high school program (minor component)
Your SAT/ACT/TOEFL test scores (minor component, except for the TOEFL)
Your two SAT subject test scores (major component)
The three mandatory recommendations from two teachers and a guidance counselor (or principal). These are Essential and must tell a compelling story about you as a student.
Given that, Almost 60% of the applicants could be admitted to MIT
Then MIT uses this essential piece of information to whittle the 60% to 3% for international applicants:
“What do you Offer to the MIT undergraduate community outside of the classroom?”
That is proven by:
Extracurricular activities (in your school or community) that show you as a complete person with a passion for an activity, a commitment to an activity and hopefully from at least one of the activities the capability for Leadership.
NOTE: Just listing activities is Not enough.
If those three mandatory recommendations or an extra recommendation or two do Not tell a compelling story about you as a whole person including glowing verbiage about your extracurricular activities, then they did not occur and you stand a great chance of Not being admitted.
Of course, you do get a Bonus in that, for MIT, it is strongly recommended to get an interview with an alumnus or alumna of MIT who is a “trained Education Council member” such as I am for my area. As long as you get that interview performed Several weeks prior to any due dates, the EC member can assist you in their write-up, recommendations and contacts.
For many applicants, their applications are solid and complete and the interview is mere icing on the cake. But for a fair number, the interview can make or break the application, based solely on that second criteria of “What do You offer to the MIT undergraduate community outside of the classroom.”
…and the MIT admissions web site is Loaded with great information..