MIT Received Record 17,800 Undergraduate Applications, Up 7% From Year Ago

Massachusetts Institute of Technology said it received more than 17,800 undergraduate applications for the next academic year as students see value in a scientific or technical background.

MIT’s total increased about 7 percent to an all-time high, from 16,632 last year, Stuart Schmill, dean of admissions for the private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said today in a telephone interview. The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, yesterday also reported record applications.

Last year, MIT admitted 10 percent of applicants. The university is increasing its freshman class by 50 students, to about 1,120, Schmill said. Students are considering MIT because of the possibility of careers in science and technology and to satisfy an interest in creating and inventing, he said.

“There continues to be a growing awareness of the value of science and engineering in this country and around the world,” Schmill said. “People recognize that the kind of education you’ll get at MIT is one that will prepare you to do any kind of career, which will include jobs that don’t exist today.”

The current cost to attend MIT for an academic year is $53,210, consisting of tuition, fees, room and board expense and an estimate for items such as books and computers, Schmill said.

The university, which admitted its first students in 1865, counts among its alumni the economist Paul Krugman, who received a doctorate, and John Thain, chairman and chief executive officer of New York-based CIT Group Inc., who got a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

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