Do you have advice for specific circumstances?
Part-Time, EMBA, International and MBA programs outside the top 10
If you’re applying to pretty much any program that is NOT a full-time, U.S.-based, top-10 MBA program, Round 3 is completely fair game. Most part-time and EMBA programs admit qualified applicants equally across rounds. In fact, many programs have “rolling” admissions, meaning that they may continue to admit applicants until just a few days or weeks before school starts. Full-time programs outside the top 10-15 or so also tend to admit higher percentages of their classes from Round 3. MBA programs outside the United States such as in Europe or Asia also tend to admit candidates fairly equally across rounds. Many of these programs do not use a standard three-round process, and may have many more rounds of admission. We recommend that you simply apply in the earliest round for which you can submit your best application.
HBS 2+2 and other “deferred enrollment” programs
Some schools have special admissions policies or programs for current college seniors who wish to apply now and wait for 2 or more years to gain some post-undergraduate work experience before they attend. For example, Harvard Business School has a specific program called HBS 2+2
and Stanford Graduate School of Business has a policy called deferred enrollment
. Candidates for these programs may apply in any round with no disadvantages. Because you’re applying for an MBA class that doesn’t start for at least 2 years, there is no limitation to the number of available spots. You will be compared only to other 2+2 or deferred enrollment candidates – not the Round 3 applicants of the current class.
Some applicants have extenuating circumstances that prevented them from applying in an earlier round. Admissions Officers will certainly keep this in mind while reviewing your Round 3 application, so feel free to include legitimate circumstances in your optional essay. This might include an overseas military deployment, atypical professional obligations such as working on a political campaign, or other circumstances where it is easy for the admissions officer to see that submitting an earlier application would have been nearly impossible. Do not feel an obligation to list an excuse for applying in Round 3, but if you have extenuating circumstances you may include them. Our Veritas Prep consultants can help you determine whether to mention a possible extenuating circumstance in your application or leave it off.
For candidates with GMAT scores that are significantly below your target school’s average, you may want to postpone your application, supplement your GMAT prep, retake the exam, and apply in a later round. While a strong GMAT score will never get you into a top school on its own, a low GMAT score could certainly keep you out. In fact, the GMAT score is often cited as the top reason admissions officers deny a candidate to their program. At Veritas Prep, we’ve found great success in encouraging applicants to postpone their applications until they achieve a more competitive score, even if it means applying in the third round. Your admissions consultant will bring their MBA admissions experience to help you determine the best course of action in your individual circumstances.