MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology Admissions Statistics

SAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, Financial Aid, and More

The great dome over MIT's Barker Engineering Library in Building 10.
Chun-Teh Chen/Getty Images

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the most selective schools in the country. MIT had an acceptance rate of just 7 percent in the 2017-18 admissions cycle. Students will need grades and test scores significantly above average to be considered for admission, and they will also need to excel outside of the classroom.

Why MIT?

  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Campus Features: MIT's 166-acre campus stretches along the Charles River and overlooks the Boston skyline. Dozens of Boston-area colleges are a short walk or train ride away.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 3:1
  • Athletics: The MIT Engineers compete at the NCAA Division III level for most sports.
  • Highlights: One of the best schools in the world for engineering, MIT can also boast of having one of the nation's best college dorms and a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong programs in the liberal arts and sciences.

MIT Admissions Statistics 2017-18

For students entering the institute in the 2017-18 academic year, MIT's acceptance rate was just 7 percent. SAT and ACT score percentiles for matriculated students are presented below.

SAT Score Percentiles

Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 720 770
Math 770 800
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

Only Caltech rivals MIT on the SAT score front. Typical SAT scores for admitted MIT students are slightly higher than SAT scores for the Ivy League. Especially for math, MIT applicants tend to be in the top one percent of test-takers.

ACT Score Percentiles

Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 34 36
Math 34 36
Composite 33 35

As with the SAT, successful applicants tend to have ACT scores that are in the top percentile. Note that MIT isn't just about Math—applicants also excel at English.

MIT GPA, SAT Score, and ACT Score Graph

MIT GPA, SAT scores, and ACT scores for admission.
MIT GPA, SAT scores, and ACT scores for admission.  Graph courtesy of Cappex.

The GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data in the graph is self-reported by students who applied to MIT. Grades are unweighted. You can see the real-time graph and calculate your own chances of getting into MIT with a free account at Cappex.

Discussion of MIT's Admissions Standards

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students, and you can see that most students who were accepted by MIT had 4.0 GPAs, SAT scores (ERW+M) above 1300, and ACT composite scores above 28. Also realize that there's a lot of red hidden beneath the blue and green in the upper right corner of the graph (see the same graph with just rejection data). Many students with perfect GPAs and test scores in the top 1% still get rejected from MIT. Applicants should always consider a highly selective school like MIT or one of the Ivy League schools to be a reach school even if their grades and test scores are on target for admission.

You'll notice that there are some accepted students who had grades and/or test scores that were a bit below the norm. You certainly don't need a 4.0 and a 1600 on the SAT to get into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (although it helps). This is because the institute has holistic admissions, and the admissions folks are looking at the whole student, not just numerical data. GPAs can be scaled quite differently for international students, and students for whom English is a second language will obviously have added challenges when taking the ACT or SAT. Also, a strong application essay, meaningful extracurricular activities, glowing letters of recommendation, and even legacy status can play a role in the admissions process.

Also extremely important for MIT is not just a high GPA, but a strong academic record, particularly in the sciences and math. The strongest applicants have taken physics, chemistry, biology, and calculus. If you complete Advanced Placement BC Calculus, all the better.

Rejection and Waitlist Data for MIT

Rejection and waitlist data for admission to MIT
Rejection and waitlist data for admission to MIT.  Graph courtesy of Cappex

The graph above shows GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data for students who were not admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The previous graph showed that the great majority of admitted students had grades and test scores mostly in the upper right corner of the graph. With the data for those accepted students removed from the graph, you can see that many students with 4.0 grade point averages and extremely high SAT and ACT scores still get rejected by MIT. This is the reality for colleges that have a single digit acceptance rate.

This graph makes clear that admission to MIT is about more than grades and test scores. The institute wants to admit interesting students who will contribute to the campus community in meaningful ways. Consider two students: one is an accomplished tuba player and successful entrepreneur with a 3.8 GPA and 31 ACT; the other student has a 4.0 GPA and 35 ACT score but only superficial extracurricular involvement. MIT is more likely to admit the former student than the latter, for the former student is more likely to enrich the campus community.

More MIT Information

MIT is hard to beat for an undergraduate or graduate education in STEM fields. The school also does well on the financial aid front. MIT meets 100 percent of student need, and the average grant aid package is over $43,000 a year.

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 11,466 (4,547 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 54 percent Male / 46 percent Female
  • 99% Full-time

Costs (2017 - 18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $49,892
  • Books: $1,000
  • Room and Board: $14,720
  • Other Expenses: $1,818
  • Total Cost: $67,430

MIT Financial Aid (2016 - 17)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 84 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
  • Grants: 58 percent
  • Loans: 16 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
  • Grants: $43,248
  • Loans: $7,530

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science (#1 most popular major), Electrical Engineering, Math, Mechanical Engineering, Physics
  • What major is right for you? Sign up to take the free "My Careers and Majors Quiz" at Cappex.

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 99 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 85 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 94 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Football, Lacrosse, Rowing, Track, and Field, Fencing, Baseball, Water Polo, Volleyball, Cross Country, Basketball
  • Women's Sports: Lacrosse, Sailing, Softball, Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Track and Field, Tennis, Swimming, Field Hockey, Fencing

If You Like MIT, You May Also Like These Schools

MIT applicants tend to apply to some of the other top STEM schools in the country. Popular choices include Caltech, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Cornell. While Cornell is arguably the best of the Ivies for engineering, MIT applicants frequently apply to some if not all of the 8 Ivy League schools.

All of the above schools are highly selective and should be considered reach schools. UC Berkeley may seem a little less selective than places like Stanford and MIT, but the admissions bar is higher for engineering than it is for general admission. MIT applicants will want to have some schools in their college wish list that have a lower admissions bar to assure they get at least one acceptance letter. Some good choices include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Alfred University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Data Sources: Graphs courtesy of Cappex; all other data from the National Center for Education Statistics