What to Expect at MIT

Those student /athletes interested in crew at MIT have some similar questions. Below is a list of common questions that we hope will be helpful in a general way. We encourage you to contact us directly with specific questions or clarifications.
- What does it take to get admitted to MIT?
- MIT is known for math and science. Can I study Business or other majors?
- How can I afford the cost of an MIT education?
- Doesn't MIT just have a bunch of nerds?
- What does it take to make the team?
- Will I have enough time to compete and take care of my academic responsibilities?
- What does MIT offer that is so unique?
- Why should I go to MIT?

What does it take to get admitted to MIT?
Contrary to what you may have heard, it’s NOT triple 800’s on your SATs, straight “A’s” and an unblemished rowing record. Successful lightweight men's applicants are well-rounded, successful and driven student-athletes. Successful candidates generally have A's and B's for grades, (mostly A's in Science and Math); SAT scores of 700 or higher in Math and Writing and/or a composite ACT score of 30 or more. The guys interested in business, generally have similar performance in math and science as those athletes interested in engineering and science. Men’s Lightweight Crew may also support you in the application process to ensure your application is its strongest before it is reviewed by the admissions office.

Many questions can be answered at the FAQ page of admissions and by the data collected by the Office of the Provost on the class that entered in the fall of 2008. For more info, you can go directly to the 2008 report: See http://web.mit.edu/ir/cds/2008/c.html.

Is MIT only about math and science?
MIT has a strong science and math orientation but also offers majors in 35 fields, including business/management, economics, history, literature, music, theater arts and many more majors. And while MIT is ranked first in the country in more fields within engineering and undergraduate business than any other school in the country, it is also ranked #1 yet again among graduate schools.

The lightweight men's team is comprised of guys who fully avail themselves of the opportunities at MIT. Our current roster includes athletes majoring in a variety of fields including mechanical engineering, music, fluid dynamics, biology, "aero-astro", planetary science, and business. The list of athletes with minors and specific areas of study is quite extensive. For more MIT news, take a look at recent posts from the MIT news office: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/index.html

How can I afford the cost of an MIT education?
Tuition for 2007-2008 is set at $34,986, with the full cost of tuition, fees, room and board costing $45,386. MIT's admission is "need blind" with most applicants receiving over 50% aid for their tuition and fees. The approach of our financial aid office is that if you are great enough to be admitted to MIT, we will do our best to get you here. We often find our top prospects are looking for competitive financial aid - many are surprised to see how serious we are about making MIT their #1 choice financially. While we do not offer scholarships, we back up our commitment to those who are admitted.

Last year, MIT announced it will be tuition free for families earning less than $75,000.

Means of offsetting the cost of an MIT education can be found in the numerous internships and research opportunities on campus. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) is a highly successful program that gives students the opportunity for excellent research while getting paid for it. Also, summer employment through MIT is an excellent source of employment for rowers within their field. Salaries can be up to $10,000 and sometimes include a stipend for housing. There are considerable summer rowing opportunities in Boston which our athletes take advantage of while earning summer cash. When you graduate from MIT, your starting salary often makes the cost of the MIT education a bargain in the long run. Additional information can be found at the Career Services Office.

Doesn't MIT just have a bunch of nerds?
Those who visit Lightweight Crew see that the rumors of thick glasses held together with duct tape, and pocket protectors, are just not accurate. Our prospects instead see student-athletes excelling academically as well as rowing at a very high level. The resources for success are all here: the program boasts an amazing boathouse with moving water tanks, over 80 ergs, 27 eights, all located at the 1500 meter mark of one of the most historic 2k courses in the US. MIT's appeal is evidenced by the fact that over the past two years, all but one of the lightweight men's crew applicants who were admitted to MIT came to MIT.
Adding to the desirability of the school are all the attractions of Boston, including ("but not limited too"): an incredible business environment, leading research hospitals, a major high tech hub, a prosperous biotech and bio-research community, 32 other colleges and universities, and an amazing array of cultural opportunities - museums, the amazing music scene, strong performing and visual arts venues, and, of course, the tradition of our professional sports teams (whether you're a fan or not, it's pretty cool to hear the fans cheer at Fenway Park from Pierce Boathouse!).

What does it take to be a member of MIT Lightweight Men's Crew?
Men's Lightweight Crew is comprised of guys who rowed competitively in high school and athletes who first pick up an oar at MIT. In order to make the lightweight crew at MIT, you need to have an abiding passion for rowing and racing. In the spring, our athletes need to weigh 170lbs or less, and demonstrate the desire, dedication and ability necessary to contribute to the team's success. The coaches do not hold “try-outs”; typically the rigors of training provide all the selection necessary. Generally, the freshmen squad is 20-30 individuals. Regardless of your skill and experience, your first year is spent training and racing on the freshmen team.

MIT competes in the EARC Sprints league against Ivy League schools, Navy, Georgetown and St Joes University. MIT Crew is the only Division I sport on campus. The other schools in our league all separate freshmen and varsity rowers, so your races in your first year are always against other first year college oarsmen.

Will I have enough time to compete and take care of my academic responsibilities?
During your first semester at MIT you do not get grades in your classes - the goal is to ensure that you are settled and comfortable here. MIT makes scheduling academics and athletics easy for its student-athletes by setting aside a 2-hour block each day (5pm-7pm) for practices. Classes, labs, recitations, etc. are not held during this time, so you are not put in the awkward position of having to choose between school and the team.

The GPA on the Men's Lightweight Crew in 2008 was a 4.51 on a scale to 5.0. The average GPA of MIT students hovers around 4.1 to 4.2. Does rowing make you smarter? We don’t think so - but it does attract highly motivated student-athletes who want to succeed in the endeavors they choose. The guys on our team also make time for social and extra-curricular activities - about 50% are in a fraternity or other social club. Outside of school, current team members are involved in I-banking internships in Boston’s Financial District, cutting edge cancer research at a leading national hospital, and solar car research at a local start up.
The underlying key to success as a student-athlete is making mature choices about your time and life balance. We encourage our athletes to pursue those activities which give them the greatest enjoyment - for oarsmen that means training and racing at the highest levels of collegiate rowing.

What does MIT offer that is so unique?
Let's start with the obvious - MIT is arguably the best math and engineering college in the world and it is among the premier math, science and entrepreneurial hubs in the world. In addition to the cutting edge research opportunities and teachers who are leaders in their fields, the MIT experience prepares graduates to be leaders in their respective fields. A unique aspect of MIT is the networking and collaboration available among your peers – today’s brightest minds.

Should I apply to MIT?
It all depends on what you want from your college experience. For those seeking educational, athletic and cultural excellence, they are more plentiful at MIT than anywhere else in the US. Please feel free to complete our questionnaire, and we’ll be sure to get in touch with you to share more about this amazing school and how you could become an oarsman for MIT Lightweight Men.  And, as mentioned, feel free to email Coach Andy Hilton to learn more about our program and what can be available to you here.