Why Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a Top Rated School

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is regularly named a top-rated school and 2024 is no exception. Also known as MIT, the institution was named #3 on the College Raptor’s Top 50 Best Colleges List for 2024.

So what exactly makes MIT a great school and worthy of the number 3 spot? We dive into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and its history to find out – plus give you some tips if you’re planning to apply.  

Flickr user Matthew Robinson

MIT Ranked #3 by College Raptor for 2024

For the 2024 Top 50 Best Colleges in the United States by College Raptor, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT as it’s more commonly known, came out at #3. Our rankings account for a number of factors including diversity, endowment, student-to-faculty ratios, first-year retention rates, graduation rates, and more.

In addition, MIT was also named to a number of our other Top School lists including:

A Short History of Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1861, MIT was created in response to the industrialization of the United States during that time period. However, just two days after its foundation, the Civil War started and the first classes wouldn’t be held until 1865.

From the very beginning, the school focused on applied science and engineering with an emphasis on laboratory work. Over the years, the curriculum has seen a number of changes and today the school remains at the forefront of technology and related education.

The Quick Facts

  • Number of Students: 11,858
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • School Motto: Mens et Manus (Latin for “Mind and Hand”)
  • Newspaper: The Tech
  • Student Nickname: Engineers
  • School Colors: Cardinal red and steel gray
  • Mascot: Tim the Beaver
  • Some Famous Alumni: Buzz Aldrin, Illene S. Gordon, Jonah Peretti, Richard Feynman, Robin Chase, Shirley Ann Jackson

Why is MIT A Top Rated School?

MIT is extremely well known for its STEM focus – especially since “Technology” is right there in the name. The school boasts amazing STEM-related programs, opportunities, and resources including the Abdul Latif Jameel Water & Food Systems Lab, Computation and Cognition interdisciplinary major, Haystack Observatory, and Innovation HQ, among others. 

Many graduates of MIT will also go on to outstanding careers in their fields. Over 40 alumni have won Nobel Prizes, 48 were named Rhodes Scholars, and 26 won the Turing Award. With a solid focus on business and entrepreneurship, many graduates go on to become leaders of well-known organizations or even found their own companies. Intel, Dropbox, and Texas Instruments are three companies that were founded or co-founded by MIT alumni!

The Stats

The statistics give us another window into why MIT is a top-rated school:

  • Four Year Graduation Rate: 89%
    • #27 in the United States
  • Student-to-Faculty ratio: 3:1
    • #6 in the United States
  • First-Year Retention Rate: 99%
    • #4 in the United States
  • Endowment: $18,381,518,000
    • #5 in the United States
  • Diversity: #107 in the United States

How Can You Increase Your Acceptance Odds?

In the 2022 admissions cycle, MIT received 33,767 applications. Out of those, only 1,377 were accepted – or 4.1%. Out of those accepted students, 85% would decide to attend MIT the following fall. There’s no denying that MIT is a desirable school for students. 

Thankfully, there are ways you can increase your acceptance odds at MIT (and other top rated schools). Start these tips:

1. Maintain a Rigorous Academic Schedule – Especially in Math and Science

With any selective school, it is important to maintain a rigorous academic schedule during your high school years. This showcases your self-motivation and your ability to tackle advanced studies. A high GPA alone is not enough to gain you an acceptance letter to MIT – you need a strong GPA with a schedule that shows off your capabilities. It’s even better if you can demonstrate your advanced skills in math and science-related courses as well as any related to your intended major.

2. Write Authentic Essays and Question Responses

Unlike other colleges and universities, MIT doesn’t require one single long essay from its applicants. Instead, students must answer a series of short response questions and essays. It is highly recommended that you be authentic and show what makes you unique when writing your answers. 

Some questions for the 2023-2024 MIT application cycle center around your field of interest and why it interests you, activities you participate in just for fun, your dreams, examples of collaboration, and challenges you overcame. These questions can change from year to year. Every answer should be about 100 – 200 words.

In addition, there is an open-ended question where you can write anything you think MIT should know about you.

3. Read About MIT”s Selection Process

MIT is very open about its application and selection process – and details it on its website. They highly recommend that you read the 5 blog posts featured on their website as this will give you further insight into their admissions process and could help you better identify what the school is looking for in a future student.

4. Submit a Solid Application

Of course, you will also need a well-rounded, solid application to MIT if you want to increase your chances of receiving an acceptance letter. 

MIT still requires that applicants take the SAT or ACT in order to apply. During the last admissions cycle, the average ACT Composite score for accepted students was 35 with a 36 in Math and a 34 – 35 in English. For students who submitted their SAT scores, the Combined average was 1,540 – 1,560 with a 790 – 800 on the Math section and a 750 – 770 on the Reading/Writing portion.

In addition, this college requires:

  • Two letters of recommendation (one from a math or science teacher and one from a social science, humanities, or language teacher)
  • A full list of activities, and creative portfolios if relevant to the student’s intended major.
  • Applicants are to submit an update in February that includes their mid-year grades – so no senioritis!

With an acceptance rate of just above 4% and being one of the top-rated schools in the country, getting into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology isn’t easy. However, by understanding what to expect and taking the time to develop a well-rounded application, you could increase your odds of receiving that acceptance letter!

To learn more about MIT, their acceptance rates, campus life, and rankings, be sure to check out their page on College Raptor here.

If you’d like to learn more about your chances of getting into MIT or  top-rated schools, we highly recommend using College Raptor’s College Match tool. All you have to do is:

  1. Sign up here for free
  2. input your information
  3. Get matched with schools that align with your interests and goals.
  4. Plus, you’ll see how you stack up against other applicants.

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