Applying to Business School as a College Senior

Happy Veritas Prep StudentsIs applying to business school as a college senior an option? Several top MBA programs do offer college students the opportunity to apply and be admitted during their senior year. These programs are valuable recruiting tools for the top business schools that offer them. MIT Sloan Assistant Dean of Admissions Dawna Levenson states, “We want to increase MIT representation in our own MBA program, and recruit qualified college seniors from other colleges to MIT Sloan as early as possible.” From an applicant’s perspective, early admission allows one “the freedom to take risks”.

Which schools offer deferred enrollment?

The following is a list of these types of programs:

Breaking Down Your MBA Deferred Enrollment Options provides a brief overview of Harvard, Stanford, and Yale’s programs.

If you’re applying to these programs there are a few things to keep in mind.

You don’t have to be a business major to apply. In fact, HBS 2+2’s Profile for the Class of 2022 reveals that 65% of incoming students have a STEM background and 17% are from the humanities/social sciences.  

What are adcoms looking for?

HBS says on their site: We’re looking for innovative thinkers who have demonstrated leadership and analytical skills and want to develop their knowledge and passion to make a difference in the world.

Yale says: Silver Scholars are chosen for their combination of intelligence and common sense, maturity and curiosity, passion and compassion. Each has made a difference and distinguished him- or herself in a particular field of interest. We are looking for college seniors who will be future leaders in business, government, and nonprofit endeavors.

The best way to show these programs you are who they’re looking for is by putting together an outstanding application, which thoughtfully answers the questions they ask. You’ll need a strong application, as the acceptance rate for HBS 2+2’s Class of 2022 was 8%. A few keys to a stellar application: 

Academic ability. Two ways to demonstrate academic ability are test scores and undergraduate GPA. For the HBS 2+2 Class of 2022, the median GMAT was 740 and the average GPA was 3.76, though the GMAT range was 610-790. However, a high GMAT and/or GPA alone will not get you in. 

Leadership and impact. You’ll want to provide examples of your leadership that showcase your potential, as well as the impact you’ve already had in the organizations and communities you’ve been a part of. Think about what you’ve done in the course of internships, part-time jobs, side projects, and extracurriculars. Even better if these accomplishments and experiences provide insight into what you will contribute to the MBA community you seek to join.

Interesting, well thought out goals. The admissions committee wants to know what you see yourself achieving in the future and how an MBA from their school fits in with your plan. Your goals don’t have to be extraordinary, but it’s ok if they are. This can be a great way to demonstrate your passion or talk about your purpose.

Deferred MBA programs are a great opportunity for college seniors to gain admission to some of the world’s best MBA programs. If you’re thinking about applying to one of these programs, use the information above to help you create applications that get the admissions committee excited about you.

Veritas Prep has a proven track record of success with deferred enrollment applicants. One of our consultants was admitted to HBS’ 2+2 program. Applying to business school as a college senior might be right for you. If you need help preparing for the GMAT or putting together an amazing application, Veritas Prep has you covered.

Veritas Prep is the elite provider of GMAT test prep and has many valuable resources to improve your GMAT score—some of which are available at no cost, such as our unrivaled GMAT Question Bank and free practice test. We also offer the world’s highest-rated GMAT Prep Courses and Private Tutoring.

In addition, Veritas Prep Admission Consultants have vast experience in assisting clients hone and refine their personal and professional goals to resonate with admissions officers. Call us at 1-800-962-2069 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or sign up for a free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation and Consultation for personalized advice on your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

What to Do If Your College Applications Are Deferred

ReflectingIf you applied to college under any Early Application deadlines this year, you’re probably anxiously checking your email to learn the result. Early Application decisions will be released by schools shortly, and there are a few things that could happen…

Best Case Scenario: You’re accepted!

If you applied under an Early Decision deadline, it means you are bound to attend, so it’s time to buy the school t-shirt and start planning your next steps! If you applied under an Early Action or Restrictive Early Action deadline, it means you can keep this acceptance in your back pocket and choose to explore other options if you’d like. Either way… congratulations!

Worst Case Scenario: You’re denied.

This stinks, and it will probably be really disappointing news. Take time to process your feelings and accept your fate, and then focus all of your energy on finishing compelling applications to the rest of the schools on your list.

Scenario 3: You’re deferred.

If you’re deferred, it means that the admissions committee thinks you are a competitive applicant, but they want to see how competitive you are against the applicants who apply under Regular Decision. They are deferring your application to the Regular Decision round, and now you will get their final admissions decision in March.

There are a few things you can do in the next few weeks to boost your candidacy. First and foremost, do not inundate your admissions representative with emails and questions. Take the time to craft your strategy and send them just one communication.

When you reach out, you should highlight any and all of the accomplishments and updates in your candidacy from when you submitted your application until now. Did you win an award? Did you earn straight As in your classes? Were you chosen as the Captain of a sports team? All of this information should be shared with them, as they can take it into consideration when reviewing your application against the Regular Decision applicant pool.

In the end, it’s not the end of the road if you are deferred. It’s important to make sure you submit other competitive applications in the meantime, but there is still a glimmer of hope that you’ll get an admit decision soon!

How to Successfully Ask for an MBA Admissions Deferral

AdmissionA deferral is when an applicant is admitted to an MBA program they plan to attend but they desire to delay their matriculation to a later date due to some sort of extenuating circumstance. (This is different than the official deferred enrollment programs that are offered at some schools, such as the HBS 2+2 Program, which you can read about here.)

A big part of applying to business school is affirming why right now is the ideal time for you to pursue your MBA, so when a candidate asks for a deferral, it kind of flies in the face of that statement. As such, deferrals are often difficult to secure at most top MBA programs.

Generally, when deferrals are secured at top schools, it is due to personal illnesses, deaths or illnesses in the family, or military deployment – essentially, extreme circumstances that are outside of the control of the admit. Financial or work related deferrals are more commonly requested, but they are also less commonly approved. If you feel that you really need a deferral for one of these reasons by all means request one, just know the odds of the deferral being granted will not be in your favor.

If you are going to make the request to have your business school admission deferred, see if you can have a conversation about your situation with the Admissions Committee in-person, or at least on the phone, rather than over email. This will add a personal element to your request and increase the chance that the Admissions Committee will make their decision in your favor.

It also helps if you can position the reason for your deferral as a once in a life time opportunity while reaffirming your commitment to pursuing an MBA at that particular school the following year, and reminding the Admissions Committee of how you will be able to offer more to the student community upon your eventual matriculation. Remember this is a difficult decision for the Admissions Committee as well. If the school admitted you, then they are invested in you becoming a part of their community, so engaging in discussions around a deferral is equally challenging for the Admissions Committee.

Make sure to follow up your conversation with the Admissions Committee via email, and include a special thank you for their consideration as well as a reminder of the above notes, as this request is ultimately outside of the typical application process. The best thing you can do when engaging in the process of requesting an MBA deferral is to be humble. Remember, you are making a BIG request that the school does not need to grant you. Being humble and appreciative of the consideration you are receiving can only help your chances.

It is important to enter this process understanding the limited odds you have to actually secure a deferral, so follow the tips above to increase your chances, and make sure you are properly evaluating whether the alternative to matriculating in the year you applied is worth the overall hassle.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ and Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more articles by him here.