Before coming to MIT as freshmen, students have already had considerable experience as student leaders, with a majority (85 percent) reporting that they served as leaders of clubs and organizations, according to the Incoming Freshman Survey, administered over the summer by the Office of Institutional Research.
Among a list of 28 broad skills and abilities, having held a leadership role was most positively related to students’ confidence level in oral communication skills, leading and supervising tasks and groups of people, and making new friends easily. In general, the incoming class was very confident in their ability to adapt academically and socially at MIT. Students tended to be more confident in their ability to succeed socially than academically. Just about all students expected to be challenged intellectually and to collaborate and learn from other students.
The survey — which asked the students about their experiences in high school, expectations for college and their confidence in certain skills and abilities — was given to all the members of the Class of 2014, with 982 members responding (92 percent).
Additional survey highlights, as well as question-by-question frequencies, can be found here: http://web.mit.edu/ir/surveys/2010MITFreshmanSurvey_Overall.pdf.