Cambridge, MA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 572 total reviews with an average rating of 4.0

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4 College Freshman

Athletics: MIT students are perfectionists. They give their best for their sports and most of us enjoy exercising. I would like more support on athletics events from students out of the sport.

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Good Living on Campus – Each dorm has its own personality. It is very unique and most of the people live in the dorm they fit at.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: Intense All the Way – MIT is known for being a rigorous school. That certainly is true. Academics can be extremely tough if you don't balance yourself, but help is always available if you're willing to go look for it. The social scence can get pretty intense, if you're that type of person. Also, make sure to look for a UROP, which is basically a program that lets undergrads do research. MIT has so much to offer and I'm only just beginning to scratch the surface of it all!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Diversity: Fairly Diverse – You definitely meet people from all over the world that it's amazing. I would say the grad international student population is even bigger than the undergrad though. And in undergrad, you still get your fair amount of Asians

4 College Freshman

Scholarships: MIT is not a cheap school but admission is completely need-blind and financial aid is fully need-based. In my opinion, aid falls off a bit sharply at higher income brackets, but the figures given to students are always manageable and more than fair. For most prospective students, dealing with financial aid won't be too much of a hassle and the financial office and programs are quite helpful. If you are considering enrollment at MIT, finances should not be an impassible wall, though it might seem like a steep hill.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Transportation: The Boston-Cambridge area has one of the best integrated transportation systems anywhere in the country. It is easy and relatively inexpensive to utilize the subways and busses that make up the T system, and there are also many cabs and other busses that one can take to get anywhere off of the main route that the T takes. Most things that one needs can be found within walking distance of a T station, although in winter a couple blocks might still seem like a trip to the North Pole and back. The biggest issue with transport in the area is if you might want to take a car with you to school. For the most part this will turn out to be completely unnecessary as most students will inform you. Parking can be expensive and hard to find and the roads can be difficult and confusing. If you don't plan on taking a car to school, there is no need to worry about transportation. If you do plan on taking a car, forget it and you'll have one less thing to worry about.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: MIT boasts an accepting and diverse student body comprised of driven individuals of all walks of life. There is a strong spirit of cooperation and support in school life which carries on into the openness and fellowship that all students can expect from their peers in their social lives. The faculty takes additional efforts to illuminate and build upon the school's varied background with events and meetings with incoming students, as well as continued programs that help to bridge any gaps one might come across during their time at school. The strongest part of the mixed cultural backgrounds of MIT students is the overall acceptance of other peoples, cultures, and beliefs, and the willingness to learn about and understand them. MIT students for a strong community that is both close-knit and open in its interactions. This is one of the many things that helps make MIT a wonderful place to be.

1 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: WTF Did I Just Eat? Dining is HORRIBLE and students are REQUIRED to buy an over-priced meal plan if they live in a dorm with a dining hall.

4 College Sophomore

Computers: I Hate Athena – It's all Linux based which is super obnoxious, but there's a lot of computers available.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Many Punishments Are Severe – During orientation, students lost their housing because of first time alcohol use. A single copied HOMEWORK problem can get a student expelled depending on the professor. The only rules on which the school is lenient are campus housing: any person can walk into a dorm without being questioned or asked for ID, which has led to armed robberies inside dormitories.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Better Than on Campus – Around the campus are the cities of Boston and Cambridge. Almost every type of dining is present within walking distance. Everything off campus is better than any of the food on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Not That Nerdy, Really! We're really not all that nerdy. We definitely do have our share of people who live for school and are socially challenged, but we also have people who are extremely social. The people are my favorite part of MIT. They're so quirky and you can find some nice, genuine people here. And, I'll admit that they throw some decent parties.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Facilities: Usually State of the Art – MIT facilities tend to be well kept and also are very state of the art. The athletics center was recently re-done and is very nice now, with multiple floors and a bay opening up to view the pool while working on cardio or weights. The libraries are incredible (smaller ones all over, so you can study wherever).

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: I only feel unsafe when I come back to my dorm really late from working in Lab or when I'm walking by myself in the dark. The police do patrol and after incidents, they become more visible. Boston is not the safest place, but it's not too bad. Still, a school of supposed "nerds" sounds like easy prey so sometimes attracts people.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Mostly Helpful, but You Have Your Moments of Course – In regards to drug and alcohol abuse, MIT offers a safety net for students in that they will have them taken, free of charge, to a hospital if needed and the student will not suffer any consequences from the local police authority or from MIT (if an isolated incident). The bill is often also covered on MIT insurance, so parents may or may not see it. This policy is to encourage students to make the right decision and call for help when they need it.
The police are pretty visible and they give students rides when they need it. They are accessible and generally friendly.
There are many hacks at MIT, but there is a code that nothing should be permanently damaged. Because this is followed strictly, there are usually no problems with authority.
Some things are awful, like shortening REX, imposing a highly strict dining plan, and extending the length of the semesters, but you have to suck it up when you go to a school like MIT.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Pretty Diverse – MIT is actually fairly international place and we have many people from different backgrounds. There's always someone in the halls speaking another language and you really get a good feel for others' cultures while you're here. There are also tons of student cultural groups where you can explore different things.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Available but No Need – A lot of students live off campus in fraternities and/or sororities, but these houses are still owned and partially funded by MIT. MIT guarantees housing throughout your undergraduate education, so there's really no need to live off-camps, except during the summer. Also, the dorms are each unique, so you can live in one that feels more like an apartment (no dining hall and kitchens everywhere) or choose the typical dorm with a dining hall. Boston in general is expensive, so it's really not worth it.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Plethora of Ways to Travel – There are ways to get anywhere in the Boston area free or cheaply with the shuttle services offered and the T system. Ride sharing or zip car is necessary to get too far beyond the limits of the city.

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Don't Be Stupid – As long as you don't do anything to put anyone (including your self) in danger, strictness is not really an issue. Academic policies tend to be flexible, if you petition the right group you can usually get what you want.

5 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greeks Are Great – The Greek community facilitates both great friendships and close bonds as well as helps organize social events for the rest of campus.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Variety If You Go Far Enough – There are lots of different places to eat, but they are all a far walk away.

3 College Senior

Transportation: Saferide Is Helpful Sometimes, the T Is Good to Get Anywhere, Otherwise Ride Your Bike – Depending where you live on campus, the campus shuttles can be useful. Students in some of the farther dorms on the west side of campus use them to get to classes, but because I lived on the east side I only ever used them to go across the river to Boston. When it's cold out or you're feeling lazy, a free ride over the Harvard bridge is really nice, and sometimes you can stay on the bus for a while longer, depending on your destination. For anyone traveling between the Boston fraternities and the campus, it's a godsend in winter.

The MBTA system of buses and subway trains is good for getting most places in Cambridge, Boston and all of its suburbs, and only costs $1.70 a ride, but for destinations close to MIT often biking is faster.

4 College Senior

Drug Safety: Drug Use Varies Wildly – The honest answer is that it varies across campus, which makes sense when you remember that different dorms at MIT have very different cultures. There are dorms known for more drugs, of mild and less-mild types, and dorms known for being squeaky clean, a number where drug use beyond alcohol and weed does happen but not with any visibility. But I don't think there is pressure anywhere on campus to try anything you're not interested in. Also, it is still MIT - 99% of the time everyone is working, not partying..

(I'm not sure what "grade" to give the drug scene - it depends on your point of view, so I'll give it an A because whatever your style is, you can find a home here.)

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Majors: I'm currently a Mechanical Engineering major at MIT and I must say that I really truly enjoy it here. The psets are pretty tough and there is much work to be done, but I absolutely adore the place and can never see myself anywhere else. Job openings are available to anyone who needs the extra cash to go out in Boston and to pay tuition, and there is a plethora of activities to be a part of! MIT is really a wonderful, cohesive community where we all enjoy being Beavers and learn and work together.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Engineering and Beyond – Even though MIT is most know for being the #1 Engineering University in the world, its breadth of classes range from phenomenal classes in Linguistics to majors in the pure sciences. Registration is easy and the amount of General Institute Requirements are manageable. The professors are extremely nice and freshman are even allowed, and actually encouraged, to take classes with Nobel Laureates since they too try to reach out to all ages at the Institute. The curriculum and workload are rigorous but it all indeed pays off when you finally get to turn over your "brass rat" and walk out into the world, a confident and qualified individual.

4 people found this useful Report

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Sun Kim
Duluth, GA
Mechanical Engineering
View all previous student authors

MIT students have a love/hate relationship with the school. They love the people and the atmosphere and hate the boatloads of work. Correction: Some people like the work and learning things, but most people hate being ignored by certain “research-oriented” professors. Most students who come to MIT had some tough decisions to make about schools before making a final decision, like “Should I go to Harvard or MIT?” and “Should I go to this in-state school with a full scholarship and a free computer or go to MIT and pay for almost everything?” Overall, every student, at some point, will think that they made the wrong decision, but it’s the fact that these people made the decision to attend MIT that sets them apart from the rest. Whether they knew what MIT was like or not, students here were willing to take the chance. As a result, the people at MIT are the most creative, helpful, brilliant, and unique in the world. MIT admissions doesn’t admit people accidentally—no matter how dumb you may feel when you fail your first exam. Everyone at MIT is incredibly down-to-earth, and everyone has the potential to do great things, even if everyone is deprived of sleep. It’s okay—you’ll find that some of the best work happens between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.

MIT will teach you how to survive on your own in the real world, and it will teach you more about yourself, too. Don’t expect to be babied—MIT is one of the most challenging schools in the country, but it is also one of the most rewarding. It is an opportunity that few are given, so don’t waste your time. While you are here, you will grow up and become an adult. You will form some life-long relationships, and if you survive, you will thrive anywhere.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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