The Ivy Coach Daily

December 13, 2023

Deferred From MIT Early Action: Statistics and Next Steps

Were you deferred by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Early Action round for the Class of 2028? If so, you’re likely not jumping for joy at this moment. But know that it’s not the end of the world either. You’ve still got a shot of earning admission to MIT in the Regular Decision round. So, what are your odds of earning admission to the MIT Class of 2028 after your deferral? Let’s dive in!

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Early Action Statistics

MIT Early Action Admission Rates

Below are the Early Action acceptance rates for MIT over the last 11 years — from the Class of 2028 through the Class of 2018.

Admissions CycleMIT Graduating YearMIT’s Early Action Admission Rate
2023-2024Class of 20285.26%
2022-2023Class of 20275.74%
2021-2022Class of 20264.72%
2020-2021Class of 20254.78%
2019-2020Class of 20247.4%
2018-2019Class of 20237.36%
2017-2018Class of 20226.95%
2016-2017Class of 20217.83%
2015-2016Class of 20208.45%
2014-2015Class of 20199.59%
2013-2014Class of 20188.97%

MIT Early Action Deferral Rates

Unlike many of its peer institutions, MIT often releases the percentage of its Early Action applicants who are deferred admission. Those figures are included below for the Classes of 2027 through 2022, except for the Class of 2025 (the numbers were not published that year).

Admissions CycleMIT Graduating YearMIT’s Early Action Deferral Rate
2023-2024Class of 202864.09%
2022-2023Class of 202766.19%
2021-2022Class of 202664.2%
2020-2021Class of 2025Not Released
2019-2020Class of 202473.1%
2018-2019Class of 202364.4%
2017-2018Class of 202264.98%

MIT Early Action Denial Rates

Below are the Early Action outright denial rates for MIT over the last six years — for the Classes of 2027 through 2022, except for the Class of 2025 (the numbers were not published that year).

Admissions CycleMIT Graduating YearMIT’s Early Action Denial Rate
2023-2024Class of 202830.65%
2022-2023Class of 202728.07%
2021-2022Class of 202631.08%
2020-2021Class of 2025Not Released
2019-2020Class of 202419.5%
2018-2019Class of 202328.24%
2017-2018Class of 202228.07%

5 Steps to Take After Being Deferred by MIT

After being deferred by MIT, a school which filled 51.71% of its Class of 2027 with Early Action admits, your game plan should be as follows:

  1. Meditate or do yoga for a few hours. It’s not the outcome you want. Thus, before you begin taking proactive steps to optimize your chances of Regular Decision admission to MIT and the other schools to which you’ll submit applications in a couple of weeks, clear your head. You need a clear head before you wage a winning attack.
  2.  Hop on a call with Ivy Coach for a free consultation to learn about our services for deferred MIT applicants. Each year, we help students turn their deferrals into offers of admission (even for those who have all but given up hope!). Just don’t burn days before enlisting our help because you’re going to need all of the available days before Regular Decision deadlines to reposition your case for admission based on our feedback.
  3.  Complete a PostMortem application review with Ivy Coach. We’ll go through every section of your MIT application so you know what went wrong. This way, you can correct some of these mistakes for the other schools to which you apply in Regular Decision since many of the same questions on The Common Application are on the MIT application. Besides, we have to go through the full MIT application anyway to help students prepare Letters of Continued Interest that will wow MIT’s admissions committee. After all, the narrative a deferred candidate presents in their letter can’t be out of left field. But in addition to the MIT application, we’ll have time to go through and offer feedback on the full Common App. as well as a school’s unique supplement.
  4.  Submit a Letter of Continued Interest that wows with Ivy Coach’s assistance. Most students are inclined to brag and update MIT on all they’ve achieved in the six weeks since they applied. It’s certainly not the approach Ivy Coach’s students take — and it’s a big reason why our students have the success they do. In a word, Ivy Coach’s students’ letters are weird. They showcase how a student will contribute to MIT through the Institute’s unique programs, research, activities, traditions, and more. Notice we didn’t suggest that students should name-drop professors or list classes. Let our students’ competitors do that. Admissions officers weren’t born yesterday. They know applicants can replace one school’s professor name for another school’s professor name and one school’s class for another school’s class, like in a game of Mad Libs. Successful Letters of Continued Interest are filled with genuine specifics. One comment we often hear after reading aloud Ivy Coach’s students’ past successful letters? “That is not at all what I thought should be a Letter of Continued Interest, but it totally makes sense!”
  5.  Bring the Letter of Continued Interest to your school counselor in the hope that they’ll make an advocacy call to MIT’s admissions committee on your behalf, armed with how you positioned yourself in your letter. While some school counselors will decline to make an advocacy call on a student’s behalf — often citing issues like equity or fairness — good school counselors will pick up the phone and call. It’s their job!

What Not to Do If You’ve Been Deferred by MIT

After being deferred by MIT, we at Ivy Coach urge you to avoid doing any of the following (or anything like it!):

  1. Call the MIT admissions office to find out why you didn’t get in. First, an MIT admissions officer will never tell you the real reason why you didn’t get in. If they thought you were arrogant, do you think they’ll tell you as much? Of course not. Second, you’ll present to them as annoying. They don’t wish to speak with you, so why are you calling? Are you trying to be a Karen? That’s not a good idea!
  2.  Encourage your parents to call the MIT admissions office. MIT’s admissions committee doesn’t wish to hear from deferred students. So, it should go without saying, but we’re saying it anyway, they certainly don’t want to hear from these students’ parents. Who is driving this admissions process: the student or parent? A call from the parent signals it’s the parent in the driver’s seat.
  3. Try to sabotage your peers’ cases for admission to MIT. Do you think you’re the first high school student who ever thought of sending a little note about a peer to a college admissions committee? That’s cute. You’re not! Such a move is wrong and will come back to haunt you. Don’t even consider it for a second!
  4. Ridicule your high school counselor for your MIT deferral. It’s not your counselor’s fault you didn’t get in. It’s yours. Hurting the feelings of your school counselor or irritating them in any way is an unwise move. After all, your school counselor can be your greatest advocate post-deferral and with your Regular Decision schools.
  5. Send in weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, or any other updates beyond your initial Letter of Continued Interest after your deferral. While many students are inclined to bombard MIT with calls, emails, and snail mail, it’s the wrong approach. Such an approach will only serve to drown out the power of your Letter of Continued Interest and render you a gadfly in the eyes of MIT’s admissions committee.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Deferral FAQ

Are more MIT Early Action applicants accepted, deferred, or denied?

Most students who apply Early Action to MIT are deferred admission. Why the school chooses to defer most applicants has long confounded us since most will never earn admission, but the Institute does it to keep its options open. After all, it’s always possible their Regular Decision pool will be smaller and/or weaker than anticipated.

Because such a large swath of MIT’s Early Action pool is deferred, does a deferral mean less than at some of MIT’s peer institutions?

Yes, since MIT’s Early Action deferral rate has been between 64% and 73% over the last several years, a figure that is higher than many of MIT’s Ivy League peers, there’s no beating around the bush that an MIT deferral doesn’t carry quite as much weight as, say, a Brown University deferral. Over the last three years, Brown’s Early Decision deferral rate has fallen from 30% for the Class of 2027 to 25% for the Class of 2026 to 19% for the Class of 2025.

Does MIT typically defer fewer students than Harvard?

Yes, MIT tends to defer a somewhat smaller chunk of Early Action applicants than Harvard. But both schools defer many more EA applicants than they either accept or deny admission. At Harvard University, for the Class of 2028, 83.06% of Early Action applicants were deferred. For the MIT Class of 2028, that same figure stood at 64.09%.

Beyond submitting a Letter of Continued Interest, what else can a student do to make their case to MIT?

Students can bring their Letter of Continued Interest, once completed, to their school counselor and ask them to make an advocacy call to MIT’s admissions committee. This way, the counselor can present the applicant as they presented themselves. While not all school counselors will make advocacy calls, good ones will.

Does a deferred student really have a shot of earning Regular Decision admission to MIT?

Yes, over the last 30 years, 28% of students who first come to Ivy Coach after being deferred by MIT have earned admission in Regular Decision, compared to less than 10% of overall deferred MIT applicants.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Your MIT Deferral

If you’re interested in optimizing your chances of admission to MIT (along with your Regular Decision schools), fill out Ivy Coach’s free consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to outline our services for deferred students.

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