We spoke about how the MIT admissions season played out in the numbers in our post earlier this week.
One additional comment to make is to examine who they actually admitted — or at least, who they admitted, who decided to also attend.
The biggest shifts in the class breakdown were in:
Women going from 41% of 416 or 170 students in the Class of 2021, to 38% of 484 or 184 for the Class of 2022. A net increase in women, but not percentage-wise. That’s not something to write home about.
MIT also went from 41% internationals (170 students), to 33% of the Class of 2022, which means 160 students from other countries. That decrease could be due to the difficult political environment and the ever-changing immigration rules that the administration imposed through the summer rather than anything intentional with how MIT tried to shape their class. It’s highly likely that MIT wanted to have a few more international students on board, and it’s definitely true that they would have preferred to win over more women to join their class.
Recruiting women is a focus at all schools, but it’s more of a focus at some. Wharton has made it a priority. Stanford maintained their high of 47% women in this year’s entering class even while also increasing their class size. The ability of a school to meet its goals for class makeup is directly correlated to how popular the school is. It’s going to be easier for Wharton and Stanford to manage those metrics than pretty much any other school.
Should a school be measured by the absolute number of women in its class? Or the percentage?
You could look at this kind of like the percentile ranking on a GMAT score: It’s darned difficult to nail a 48 on the quant, yet that score of 48 is only at the 67th percentile. A 67%!! A few years ago, a 48Q was a 71%. Same score. Just as difficult to get there.
If MIT now has 184 women, that’s an increase of 8%.
They decided to increase their class significantly more than that, but that increase came mostly from admitting more men.
Maybe they accepted far larger numbers of women, but many of those women either chose to defer the MBA to another year, or went to a different school. It’s impossible to know from the outside what happened.
The other problem is that MIT is not releasing numbers about the class makeup from the perspective of representation — and they haven’t publicly done so, in our recollection, for almost 10 years. In an era when many other schools have committed to publishing somewhat more data (still not enough) on underrepresented minorities within their class makeup, MIT’s class profile says nothing . Literally nothing.
Are we just not finding the data? Is it hidden away somewhere on their site that we haven’t noticed? Someone, please point us to it!
They are doing the same thing other schools are doing, with a dedicated page of their website on Diversity , and talking about how they’re doing all this talking. But where is the data, people?
MIT SLOAN NEEDS TO DO BETTER.
Yeah yeah yeah, it’s quite likely that they had already issued a large number of acceptances to fill this larger-sized class before the social awareness surrounding police brutality and POC that happened in June following the murder of George Floyd. But those problems of systemic racism have been baked into the system for far, far longer, and it only managed to hit the mainstream media and public consciousness this year. We have no way of knowing, but it seems like possibly a large number of these additional students that MIT has matriculated this year are white American males.
It would be nice to get some actual data from the school so we can know one way or another.
We also believe that the rankings systems should be weighing schools on these numbers as well.
What about us?
We announced a BIPOC support program this summer. It’s small, but growing, and we hope it to get bigger.
If you identify as Black or Hispanic or another minority who is underrepresented in higher education, we encourage you to reach out!
And for schools like MIT: We hope you will do better.