TheFutureIronMan
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I'm from England, and I'm in year 12 (Junior year in America High Schools), and I will be applying to MIT this winter... But I was just wondering if anyone could offer me any advice and whether or not I have a chance of obtaining a Scholarship.

I attend Loughborough College, and I'm studying Space Engineering - the most prestigious course at the college, which is in partnership with the UK Space Agency and The National Space Academy. I am studying A Level Physics and Maths and a BTEC Level 3 Diploma at grades B, B and D*D* ( Equivalent to 2 A grades)

I am the student representative for my course
I am a black belt Kickboxer, for which I've been training for 8 years
I have tought children for 3 years in martial arts voluntarily
I have a 4.2 GPA
I am hoping to go to the European Space Camp in Norway this summer and be part of a team, building a rocket
I have work experience coming up at a local university, or company in the fields of Astrophysics/ Aerospace
I am joining Model United Nations at my College
I have tought myself computer programming in the programming languages Python, PHP, Java and Javascript
I'm teaching myself to write, speak and read Russian
I document everyday of my life, with the ambition of writing a book
I'm hoping to go to a University this summer and study there for up to 2 weeks
I play the Piano
I am learning to cook
And I am currently in the process of creating my own society/ club at my school - programming, helping other students, etc.

And that's about it. So I was just wondering if I would actually stand a chance, whether I would stand out in the admissions process as I know it's very competitive.

Thank you
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Helloworld_95
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Finance at MIT is primarily based upon how much your parents earn.

Admission is going to be based upon your A level grades and how you do in the SATs alongside your extracurriculars. My guess, given how competitive MIT is and what I've seen from UK students applying there in the past, is that 2 B grades at A level won't be enough and they're not really going to pay attention to the BTEC.
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TheFutureIronMan
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
Finance at MIT is primarily based upon how much your parents earn.

Admission is going to be based upon your A level grades and how you do in the SATs alongside your extracurriculars. My guess, given how competitive MIT is and what I've seen from UK students applying there in the past, is that 2 B grades at A level won't be enough and they're not really going to pay attention to the BTEC.
Although I appreciate your reply, a little more knowledge would have been nice.

First of all, although finance does matter, MIT have a need-blind admissions process - they don't judge people on their parents income, as everyone has an equal chance of getting in, no one is disadvantaged. I know my parents wouldn't be able to fund me to go, and that's why I'll be applying for an international scholarship.

Next, not every UK applicant is going to be the same. Therefore your statement about what you've seen in the past is irrelevant. Plus, the two B grades are a prediction, not actual grades. And in fact, just because someone gets two B's, won't disqualify them in the slightest. Ivy league universities, although very competitive in required academics, also value the individual a great deal, possibly more than academic qualifications. Hence, a good range of extracurriculars, which I feel I have, will stand out.

And why won't they pay attention to a BTEC? BTEC's are a lot more highly regarded than you think... Universities such as Cambridge and Oxford in fact accept them, as they show good research skills and prepare you better for university studies. Plus, the MIT admission offices have people that specialises in different countries qualifications - and their worth. So in my opinion, I don't think the BTEC will be a problem, and won't disadvantage me in any way.

I just need to get the average and above on the SAT's and the ACT, which I'm more than confident I will, as they're said to be easier than A Levels from past students who have took them.

Thank you again though, I appreciate your reply. A little better knowledge would have been more helpful though.
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adil_
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MIT is one of the best universities in the world. If you aren't able to get As in maths and physics then you probably won't be able to do very well at MIT
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TheFutureIronMan
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(Original post by adil_)
MIT is one of the best universities in the world. If you aren't able to get As in maths and physics then you probably won't be able to do very well at MIT
As I've previously stated in a previous comment, MIT doesn't just look at grades, they look at the individual. Plus, I never said I wasn't capable of getting A's in Maths and Physics. B's are merely a target/ prediction grade. And even if I do get B's, I consider that a huge achievement, seeing as the added coursework and deadlines of the BTEC makes my course a lot harder than the average A Levels. MIT look for people who are willing to challenge themselves, have passion and ambition in whatever they do. They don't just look for straight A's and excellent academics (although the academics are of course very essential), they look for people have more to them.

Therefore, I think people who don't get straight A's, and still get accepted in to MIT (which they do), may actually perform, and do better than people who do - because they know how to work extremely hard, and commit, and put everything they are in to everything they do, to challenge themselves. A's aren't everything.

And quite frankly, I find your statement rather disrespectful in that regard. It also shows and extreme lack of research, and knowledge in the admissions process for MIT, and what they look for in applicants.

Thank you for replying to me.
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by TheFutureIronMan)
Although I appreciate your reply, a little more knowledge would have been nice.

First of all, although finance does matter, MIT have a need-blind admissions process - they don't judge people on their parents income, as everyone has an equal chance of getting in, no one is disadvantaged. I know my parents wouldn't be able to fund me to go, and that's why I'll be applying for an international scholarship.

Next, not every UK applicant is going to be the same. Therefore your statement about what you've seen in the past is irrelevant. Plus, the two B grades are a prediction, not actual grades. And in fact, just because someone gets two B's, won't disqualify them in the slightest. Ivy league universities, although very competitive in required academics, also value the individual a great deal, possibly more than academic qualifications. Hence, a good range of extracurriculars, which I feel I have, will stand out.

And why won't they pay attention to a BTEC? BTEC's are a lot more highly regarded than you think... Universities such as Cambridge and Oxford in fact accept them, as they show good research skills and prepare you better for university studies. Plus, the MIT admission offices have people that specialises in different countries qualifications - and their worth. So in my opinion, I don't think the BTEC will be a problem, and won't disadvantage me in any way.

I just need to get the average and above on the SAT's and the ACT, which I'm more than confident I will, as they're said to be easier than A Levels from past students who have took them.

Thank you again though, I appreciate your reply. A little better knowledge would have been more helpful though.
I know they're need blind for internationals, that's why I said "Finance depends on your parents income" and not "your application depends on your parents income". The amount of financial aid you receive is dependent on how much your parents earn. I could quite easily have guessed that your parents wouldn't have been able to fund the full amount, it's $65k per year, however you need to fund a minimum of $5500 of that yourself (MIT's numbers, in practice you will need more). MIT also has a relatively low point for when you start paying above the minimum (about $80,000pa from what I remember) and they tend to require full payment at around $250,000pa so it's entirely possible your parents could both be earning reasonable amounts but you would still be paying $20,000 per year out of pocket).

As for the rest of your reply you are way off base. The list of extracurriculars you've said aren't anything out of the norm for a US applicant to MIT, they're certainly not going to outweigh your academic record, MIT and similar universities are competitive enough that they can afford to reject people that don't have both. The kind of UK applicants they will see will have As and A*s, they're people who thought 'I've applied to Cambridge, maybe it's worth applying to MIT too'. And while those grades are just predicted they are also the grade that they are making the decision based upon, they are not going to assume that you will get higher.

You seem to have been sadly misinformed about BTECs. They don't really have an international reputation, and you have to remember that amongst applicants to MIT the number who have applied with BTECs is probably in the double digits, it's not going to be well known. As for the preparation for university: I started my foundation year in a class of 40, 10 of those students had BTECs in engineering with D*DD at the low end. None of those students passed the foundation year. Your situation is different because you're taking A levels too (I can quite easily see how someone with a BTEC and A level maths could do well at somewhere like Oxbridge because most of the problem was with taking exams), but they really aren't good preparation for university, or at least for engineering.

You don't need average in the SATs, you need high 700s, while that seems easy because SATs are a lot easier than A levels it's not that simple. The grading system can make it rather problematic to get high marks in certain sittings e.g. it's not unusual for 1 mark to mean the difference between 770 and 790, and at these kind of institutions that can mean the difference between getting a place or not.

I would somewhat agree with adil_ that if you can't manage an A in A level maths you may struggle at MIT, teaching of maths in the UK is pretty appalling and the background that most MIT entrants will have will be closer to that of someone that took FM. I would imagine that you'd catch up relatively quickly though either through the maths courses you take or out of sheer necessity.
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adil_
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(Original post by TheFutureIronMan)
As I've previously stated in a previous comment, MIT doesn't just look at grades, they look at the individual. Plus, I never said I wasn't capable of getting A's in Maths and Physics. B's are merely a target/ prediction grade. And even if I do get B's, I consider that a huge achievement, seeing as the added coursework and deadlines of the BTEC makes my course a lot harder than the average A Levels. MIT look for people who are willing to challenge themselves, have passion and ambition in whatever they do. They don't just look for straight A's and excellent academics (although the academics are of course very essential), they look for people have more to them.

Therefore, I think people who don't get straight A's, and still get accepted in to MIT (which they do), may actually perform, and do better than people who do - because they know how to work extremely hard, and commit, and put everything they are in to everything they do, to challenge themselves. A's aren't everything.

And quite frankly, I find your statement rather disrespectful in that regard. It also shows and extreme lack of research, and knowledge in the admissions process for MIT, and what they look for in applicants.

Thank you for replying to me.
MIT DO look at grades and you're being naive and stupidly optimistic. The reason that they don't care THAT much about grades in comparison to extra curricular activities is cause pretty much everyone that applies to MIT has the best grades possible. They want people with great grades AND a great personality and from what I've seen here, you look both.
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Sam579995
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Did you just say BTEC's are harder than A levels?

You off your nut or something?
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jpxw
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(Original post by TheFutureIronMan)
As I've previously stated in a previous comment, MIT doesn't just look at grades, they look at the individual. Plus, I never said I wasn't capable of getting A's in Maths and Physics. B's are merely a target/ prediction grade. And even if I do get B's, I consider that a huge achievement, seeing as the added coursework and deadlines of the BTEC makes my course a lot harder than the average A Levels. MIT look for people who are willing to challenge themselves, have passion and ambition in whatever they do. They don't just look for straight A's and excellent academics (although the academics are of course very essential), they look for people have more to them.

Therefore, I think people who don't get straight A's, and still get accepted in to MIT (which they do), may actually perform, and do better than people who do - because they know how to work extremely hard, and commit, and put everything they are in to everything they do, to challenge themselves. A's aren't everything.

And quite frankly, I find your statement rather disrespectful in that regard. It also shows and extreme lack of research, and knowledge in the admissions process for MIT, and what they look for in applicants.

Thank you for replying to me.
I'm pretty sure you're trolling to be honest but I'm gonna reply anyway

To get into MIT, you need pristine grades. Yes, they "look at the person" too, but you need both. If you're predicted Bs, unless you are severely underestimated by your teachers, you're not going to be able to handle the level of difficulty at MIT, and as such you don't have much of a chance. MIT will not look at BTEC, you said earlier that Oxbridge do, which is also false.

If you're serious about wanting to get into somewhere as prestigious as MIT, you need perfect grades, and that means 3 or 4 A levels, with the top grades (and probably top UMS).
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Doones
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(Original post by TheFutureIronMan)
And why won't they pay attention to a BTEC? BTEC's are a lot more highly regarded than you think... Universities such as Cambridge and Oxford in fact accept them, as they show good research skills and prepare you better for university studies. Plus, the MIT admission offices have people that specialises in different countries qualifications - and their worth. So in my opinion, I don't think the BTEC will be a problem, and won't disadvantage me in any way.
If you have a BTEC for Engineering, Cambridge also require an A* in A-level Maths. Your predicted B won't cut it, and I doubt it will for MIT either.

MIT has an international acceptance rate of 3% - so you may have a chance but you need to be absolutely outstanding in all aspects to make a truly competitive holistic application. Exemplarary SATs may help.
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