Hello hello, Annie here 🙂 It’s been such an exciting summer with Launch, and I can’t believe it’s already application season again! Here at MIT the campus, tours are in full swing again and every day as I pass by the Admissions Office on my way to class, I see anxious parents and their seniors crowding around, trying to glean some insight about the college admissions process. And in this way, I’m reminded everyday that while all applications are designed to be as straightforward as possible, they almost never feel that way.

That’s why I’m starting this blog series to debunk the myths and demystify the application for the coolest summer program this side of the Mississippi River—shhhh, I might be biased 🙂 Feeling confused should never stand in the way of applying for programs that you really would like to participate in. Having “graduated” from MIT Launch myself and also having worked on the backend of things, I hope my perspectives will be helpful in understanding what the MIT Launch application is all about.

This will be a 4 part blog series and every week or so I’ll be explaining a different part of the application, so check back often as to not miss out!

  • Part 1: Deadlines and Application Form
  • Part 2: Transcript and Activities
  • Part 3: Entrepreneurial Baseline
  • Part 4: Video

Deadlines/Dates to Remember:

  • Application is released October 15, 2015
  • Early Decision Deadline: December 28, 2015
  • Regular Decision Deadline: February 15, 2016

What is the difference between applying Early (ED) and Regular Decision (RD)? Nothing! The application is exactly the same no matter when you apply. However, applying in the ED round means that you will receive your admission decision earlier (around Feb-March) which leaves you with still a few months to plan the rest of your summer. RD applicants will receive admissions decisions by mid-April which means that there might be less time for you to solidify your summer plans.

Application Form:

After you have created an account for your application you will see that within the application itself there are several “tasks”. You will have to click into each task to work on it—remember to save your progress on each page before you close the window!

Click into “Application Form” and you’ll see a lot of generic fill-in-blanks. Yes, this is the more tedious part of the form, but if you’ve already discovered the magic of Google Chrome Autofill, then it won’t take too long. You might be wondering why we’ve included certain questions/blanks and I’ve explained these below:

Personal URL/LinkedIn: This is optional, which is to say it is not a core element of review. Some students will have personal websites and LinkedIns, and some will not. These are often used by professionals as people start to develop their careers and we do not expect all high school students to have them, but if you would like to link us to either or both because you think it will give us more information, you are welcome to.  They are not a replacement for other areas of the application (like the activities section), though.

Ethnicity/Culture: We want to know who you are and how you see yourself and if you feel that the ethnicity or cultural background choices listed are too limiting, use the space to elaborate (50 word max). We are not asking for your life story in 50 words, or a multi-generational family history—we just want to make sure that we are looking at your application in the context you intend for it to be viewed in.

Financial Aid: the MIT Launch application is NEED BLIND (your family’s financial status will never affect your application negatively).  This question will only allow us to assess the potential for an application fee waiver, plus know to follow up with a financial need application if admitted.

To what other opportunities are you applying to this summer?: We want to know how you anticipate spending your summer. Whether that’s seeking out internships, working on cool projects, other summer programs, extra classes…etc. What you plan to work on outside of the school year helps us better understand where your interests lie.

That’s about it for Part 1! I know it was a lot of housekeeping and small details to remember, but next week we’ll dive into the more interesting parts of the application. In the meantime, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates!

If you haven’t already, start your application today!  And check out our FAQs on the Launch website.