Is Applying to Business School in Round 3 a Good Idea?

The final round of the business school application process is often referred to as “no-man’s land,” with scarce slots still left for b-school hopefuls and time literally running out.  Still, there are many who end up applying in round three, some who simply put off the process because they were busy in the fall, or perhaps others who were rejected in round one and are trying one last time.   But is it a good idea?

One reason the third or final rounds are so competitive is because applicants in these late rounds are not only competing with fellow applicants, but also with everyone on the waitlist from rounds one and two.  This makes for a very difficult and competitive run at one of the few remaining seats.

Since business schools rarely hold out slots for the third round, they are simply left with what they have, and it’s often not much.  To make matters worse, we find that many applicants in the third round are highly qualified, since it becomes something of a self-selection process with only the best applicants even bothering with the time or expense it takes to apply, knowing it’s a difficult round.

Still, the third round can indeed be the charm in certain circumstances.  For example, if you have some very unique profile characteristics, you could be in luck in the third round, since b-schools now have the luxury of seeing the cultural, academic and professional profile of the soon to be incoming class.  In other words, b-schools are now looking for some very specific attributes to fill the few remaining seats in order to round out the class and offer the ideal diversity they seek.

If they find themselves short on women or international students in round three and you fill the bill, you could have an advantage.  If they had too many bankers and number crunchers accept their offer and not enough salespeople or non-profit types, you have an edge.

Even if you don’t feel your profile is all that unique, but you have had a significant promotion at work or a key achievement either personally or professionally in the past few weeks, this could be just the bit of juice your profile needed to stand out in the dreaded round three.  Regardless, if you find yourself trying to get in during this round, know that whether you succeed or fail, it’s only six months until they release next year’s applications…and re-applicants have a higher rate of admission success.

If you want to talk to us about our round 3 guarantee, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. Click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

Scott Bryant has over 25 years of professional post undergraduate experience in the entertainment industry as well as on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs. He served on the admissions committee at the Fuqua School of Business where he received his MBA and now works part time in retirement for a top tier business school. He has been consulting with Veritas Prep clients for the past six admissions seasons.

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