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Interested in attending MIT and playing an NCAA varsity sport? Consider these helpful tips!

This past summer, one of our students enrolled in the 1-on-1 university advising program we offer because he had been chosen for a junior hockey program in the USA.


He expressed interest in applying for the engineering program at MIT with the hopes of being selected for the NCAA hockey varsity team. Without having any previous information about university admissions processes or understanding the preparation and requirements necessary before applying to U.S. schools he became completely overwhelmed.


If you’re in the same position right now starting your grade twelve year, then this article will give you greater insight and helpful tips if you have similar aspirations.



As we all know, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the most highly regarded and sought-after engineering universities in the world.

Getting accepted into this university is exceptionally challenging considering the low admission rate. In 2021/2022, MIT’s admission rate was 4.7%. While this percentage is quite low, there is some key information you can leverage to make your application stand out from the crowd.

While this percentage is quite low, there is some key information you can leverage to make your application stand out from the crowd. The good news is, MIT is always looking for prospective students interested in playing varsity sports.


Almost a fifth of undergraduates attending this university play at least one varsity sport. Not only that but MIT also happens to foster the top Division III athletic programs in the U.S.A. Interested in going to MIT and playing an NCAA varsity sport? Consider these helpful tips.



No.1: How/where to apply online?


You can either apply to MIT early action or regular action. Applicant components include general information, essays, activities, and academics. They also require two letters of recommendation from a math or science teacher and from a humanities, social science, or language teacher. Being an international applicant does not affect when or how you apply, nor the financial aid you can receive, according to the university. In addition, students also need to supply a secondary school report including a high school transcript. You can apply to MIT online here [2].


No.2: Courses and GPA to consider


Because MIT education is rooted in analytic thinking and creative problem-solving, students must take two semesters of calculus, two semesters of calculus-based physics, one semester of chemistry, and one semester of biology in high school. In addition to these courses, students are also required to take humanities, arts, and social science classes. Since the university is extremely selective, having a high GPA can boost your chances of admission. This means aiming for a GPA of 4.17 or higher. In case your GPA is lower, you will need to compensate with a higher SAT or ACT score.



No.3: SAT/ACT test & scores


MIT does not have recommended scores for the ACT or SAT. Instead, each student’s scores are examined within their applicant context. But you can still check test score statistics [3] and admissions to get a better idea of what to expect. Moreover testing deadlines to apply for first-year admission must be taken before November 30 for early action and before December 31 for regular action -more info on that in the Test & Scores MIT webpage [4].


No.4: Applying for NCAA sports


When you apply for NCAA varsity sports like hockey, the NCAA determines your eligibility as a student-athlete depending on your academic preparedness and amateurism status. Academic preparedness boils down to your SAT or ACT test scores, high school coursework, and GPA (calculated using the NCAA core courses)*.



Amateurism, on the other hand, means as a student-athlete, you’re not allowed to receive a reimbursement for participating in varsity sports nor are you allowed to sign a contract, receive benefits, or receive money for promoting products and services. Division III eligibility requirements are not set by the NCAA but rather by Division III schools that have their own rules. Find out more on NCAA eligibility requirements for student-athletes on the Next College Student Athlete website [5].


*Core courses include:

English 1-4, American literature, creative writing, algebra 1-3, geometry, statistics, biology, chemistry, physics, American history, civics, government, comparative religion, and Spanish 1-4.

MIT also offers many forms of financial aid, whether it’s grants and scholarships, work and research opportunities, or even student loans based on the cost of attendance and how much the student can afford. You can apply for financial aid by creating a CSS profile that will help the university determine if you qualify for a need-based scholarship. This entails providing the university with bank statements, records of investments, records of untaxed income, in addition to your parents’ income tax or wage statements [6].

Your MIT Admission Checklist:

● Work hard to get high grades

● Take AP courses to boost your GPA

● Complete the courses MIT recommends

● Invest your time in extracurricular activities and research opportunities

● Practice before your SAT or ACT tests

● Get help from a coach or tutor to facilitate the application process

● Start the application process early

● Write a unique essay that best conveys your focus, interests, and personality to connect with the admission team and show them why you want to get into MIT

As you read in this short blog, when it comes to applying as an international student to a university like MIT, there are many factors you need to consider and prepare yourself for years in advance of your application.


Staying organized and planning ahead will have you feeling more in control of your future and less overwhelmed. So, begin your planning NOW!



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