How come no-one gets into MIT from New Zealand?
“We limit the number of international students we can accept because of our generous financial aid.” MIT is open about that fact that they limit the number of international student they accept. Each year only around 150 are accepted from around the world. Therefore very few are accepted from NZ. Sean Fraser got in so it is possible, just very difficult since they do have a quota system going on for international students
Especially from the King’s Scholars, there have consistently been 3-4 admits to MIT from Thailand each year, some without perfect or even near perfect SAT scores and/or TOEFL scores.
I’d also note that applying from New Zealand and getting in with and without an American passport is very different. It is a lot easier to gain admission with an American passport than without one because in one case you are considered in the domestic pool of applicants (not in the international quota) and the other is within the international quota.
Kids from New Zealand do get into MIT. For example, Ben Kornfeld, the Dux of King’s College a few years ago got into MIT (although later chose to study at Yale). MIT doesn’t have as much emphasis on broad extracurriculars when it comes to international students and tend to look for raw academic intelligence measured through winning olympiad medals or international science or robotic competitions. Quite simply, there isn’t strong enough applicants from New Zealand some years to be competitive.
In 2015-2016, for example, one student that got in from Australasia was a gold medallist in the Math Olympiad scoring in the top 15 or so in the world. In most years in New Zealand, the best kids in the Math Olympiad win a Bronze or Silver so they just don’t get to the level to be competitive in Math very often.