MIT admits Class of 2021, works to ensure students from travel ban-affected countries can attend

New financial aid budget affords significant awards increase

MIT released its regular action decisions for the Class of 2021 last Tuesday, bringing the total number of admitted students to 1,438 out of the 20,247 who applied, for an acceptance rate of 7.1 percent, down from 7.8 percent last year.

The admitted class represents all 50 American states and 9 percent of its members hail from outside the United States. Approximately half of its members are women, a quarter are African American, Latinx, or Native American, and 18 percent are first-generation college students (up from 15 percent last year).

Admissions is hoping to enroll about 1,100 students in the freshman class next fall, down slightly from 1,120 last year, Dean of Admissions Stu Schmill ’86 wrote in an email to The Tech.

Schmill clarified in a phone call that the administration is not reducing the number of students admitted due to the overcrowding in dormitories which resulted from the New House construction. However, Admissions “wanted to be a little conservative” in admitting students, he said, adding, “we don’t want to over-enroll if we can help it,” especially with the crowded conditions.

Due to a higher financial aid budget, Schmill wrote, all students — not just freshmen — will receive a financial aid package which reduces the self-help expectation component by $2000 per year.

A number of admittees (fewer than 10, Schmill said) hail from the seven countries either currently or previously impacted by the executive travel ban, specifically Syria, Iran, Sudan, and Iraq (the last of which is no longer affected by the restrictions).

One student from Syria, who was admitted early action, was previously quoted in an amicus brief filed by MIT which urged the local federal district court to oppose the travel ban.

The MIT administration has been in touch with these students regarding their ability to travel to the United States, and has reached out to government agencies and lawmakers to work towards allowing the students to move freely in and out of the country.

“Everyone at MIT [administration]” wants to allow the students to get here, Schmill said. “We consider these students to be a part of our community.”