This is a Frequently asked question and I tried to answer it in my FAQs in the master interview thread. There I wrote [crossposted excerpt]:
Question: Ohmygoodness! I totally forgot about the deadline. Can I still contact my EC.
Answer: Yes you can, but the EC does not have to grant your request for the interview. Depending on the circumstances, most EC's will cut candidates a little bit of slack, it depends on the circumstances. For example, if we get a candidate who has been in hospital for the past couple of weeks, then we will certainly try to arrange the interview, whatever happens. However EC's tend to be busy people, and we make no promises. From the MIT admissions website:
Schedule and deadlines |
It is your responsibility to schedule your interview. Contact your Educational Counselor as soon as you get his or her contact information via your MyMIT account. Please remember that MIT alumni/ae are typically very busy people, and may even be out of town at the time of your call or email. While most Counselors return calls and emails within several days, please allow two weeks for a response. If you don't hear back, try again.
Above all: Don't wait for the deadline! If you want to have an interview, contact your EC as soon as you get his or her contact information.
(End of Crosspost)
The deadlines can be waived but particularly in the run up to Christmas, most EC's are not thrilled about being contacted for the first time now. I should note that this year's deadline is comparatively late. The 2007 contact deadline was the first of December. In our region we get one or two last minute requests per year, and we usually try to accommodate them, but expect to be asked why you waited until now to contact your EC. "I wasn't willing to take the MIT admissions process seriously" is not an answer calculated to impress a busy EC.