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2016 EA comparion: Caltech vs MIT

thetangsthetangs Posts: 14Registered User New Member
I ran though both the Caltech and MIT official EA 2016 threads and found clear and interesting differences between the two.

For each Accepted, I collected the following data if available:

1. Highest SAT/ACT score. ACT is converted to SAT as: 36/35/34 -> 2390/2340/2280
2. Sum of SAT2 Math and a highest science SAT2
3. Unweighted GPA, scaled to 4.0
4. Weighted GPA. I assume an A in AP/Honor/Regular course weighs for 5.0/4.5/4.0 points. I excluded 4.8+ scores to avoid inflated scoring system.
5. Number of AP courses completed. Most people got 5's and 4's
6. Race
7. Gender
8. Major Award / Specialty. I categorized them into three levels: National level, State level, and Recruited Athlete. I ignored common things such as AP scholars as almost everyone has it. Examples are: Intel finalist is considered at National level, USAMO Qualifier at State level, etc.
Post edited by thetangs on

Replies to: 2016 EA comparion: Caltech vs MIT

  • thetangsthetangs Posts: 14Registered User New Member
    Later I will post the collected data after some formatting. Here are my observations:

    For all the EA accepted, the average for each school:

    Caltech MIT
    SAT 2340 2284
    SAT2 1592 1546
    GPAu 3.959 3.947
    GPAw 4.447 4.337
    # AP 7.318 5.865
    Female/M Ratio 0.909 1.643
    % Awardee 0.273 0.256

    Academic-wise, there are clear edges led by Caltech over MIT. What surprised me were
    1) MIT shows a heavy preference toward female applicants, whereas Caltech shows a quite balanced female/male admission ratio
    2) Higher percentage of Caltech-admitted have won recognizable award than MIT's (including athletes)
  • Tizil7Tizil7 Posts: 1,686Registered User Senior Member
    This goes on to show how Caltech's decisions are bent more towards numbers whereas MIT does give more weightage to other parts of the application.

    Any concurrences? :p
  • thetangsthetangs Posts: 14Registered User New Member
    If I exclude those who claimed they got in because of they are recruited athletes, the averages are:

    Caltech MIT
    SAT 2340 2288
    SAT2 1592 1548
    GPAu 3.959 3.945
    GPAw 4.447 4.362
    # AP 7.318 5.971
    Female/M Ratio 0.909 1.615
    % Awardee 0.273 0.194

    The data shows that those athletes are academically as strong as others. I was under the impression before that MIT takes more weigh on academic awards than Caltech but, apparently, I was wrong.
  • thetangsthetangs Posts: 14Registered User New Member
    Tizil7: but what kinds of other parts of the application does MIT give to other than these solid achievements? Essay? Leadership? Extra-curriculum? They are schools for future engineers/scientists, not for future politicians/journalist/lawyers/artists, in most cases.
  • Tizil7Tizil7 Posts: 1,686Registered User Senior Member
    Thetangs, agreed. All I am saying is that, MIT might give slightly more importance to these extra things. Note, "slightly". Your statistics speak for you, both schools have very similar academic stats. Though Caltech's slightly higher stats make me state that observation.
  • damndexterdamndexter Posts: 29Registered User New Member
    @thetangs: From what I've read, MIT is more focused on the "person" than on the "numbers" (not that the numbers aren't important). So, it's sort of a mix of extracurricular activities, essays, interviews, grades and test scores and other factors that I can't remember.
  • crazymomstercrazymomster Posts: 1,872Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, MIT is more "whole picture" (holistic) in their admissions process, whereas Caltech is more numbers driven. This is very likely why some make it into one and not the other.

    Curious about cross-admit data in a few days...
  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo Posts: 3,055Registered User Senior Member
    But having politicians, lawyers, etc. with strong STEM backgrounds might be good.
  • LHCLHC Posts: 143Registered User Junior Member
    Caltech isn't that numbers-driven. The numbers are a prerequisite for even being considered, but once that's aside, it's more science- and math-driven. If you're a pro dancer who also likes science you might catch the eye of MIT, but you're more likely to look attractive to Caltech if you've done a ton of science extracurriculars and research, even if that makes you less well-rounded.
  • cerritoskidcerritoskid Posts: 9Registered User New Member
    you guys should read my posts in both of the official 2016 RD threads for caltech. I most definitely don't have astronomically high grades or SATs, nor did I do research or compete in any competitions. Yet somehow (I still don't know why) I got into Caltech in RD...
  • tpcc8993tpcc8993 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    Very simple - MIT aggressively tries to achieve gender balance and racial diversity. Just look at the profile of their students, vs that of Caltech's.
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