Helping the Re-Admitted Student
By David W. Randall
Making the transition from high school to college is challenging enough. But at every university, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, there is a special group of students each semester who are making the transition to college for a second time.
At MIT, each year we receive about 120 applications for re-admission from students who have withdrawn for various reasons. We re-admit about 65 percent of them. They like to joke that they are in an elite class of students who have the distinction of being admitted to MIT twice. Once re-admitted, these students begin a unique and challenging journey, and MIT has made it a priority to provide them with comprehensive support.
Whether they’re coming back after a leave of one year or five years, they are returning to a place that is substantially different from the one they left. Their peers have pressed on and, in some cases, graduated. Professors have left, dorms have been built, academic majors have been created or disappeared, and core graduation requirements have been changed. The hallways look the same, but the faces are different.