You Oughta Know
When should I apply? SOM uses a standard three-round system for applications. This means that you may submit your application in any of its three rounds for consideration. However, 90% or more of the class will be filled with the first two rounds of applicants, so we do not encourage you to wait until the final round without compelling circumstances. Round 3 candidates will be considered alongside waitlisted candidates from the first rounds. (Waitlisted candidates from Round 1 will be considered with Round 2 applicants, but we’ve seen a number of R1 waitlistees who were held on the waitlist again and admitted in Round 3.)
Traditional applicants. If you are a traditional candidate from management consulting or finance, we encourage you to apply in the first round (assuming you have a strong GMAT score), as you’ll be competing against many candidates with very similar profiles. In a later round, it’s possible that the school may see you as a viable candidate to the school but may have already admitted several other applicants with similar profiles, so it might pass on you to bring greater professional diversity to the class. (Plus, the school knows you’ve been planning on an MBA since the day you graduated from undergrad, so there’s no reason to delay!)
A stronger app is better than an earlier one. Please note that even though the top schools encourage you to apply in the earliest round possible, this does not mean that you should apply with a rushed application or a mediocre GMAT score. There’s no sense in applying early if you’re just going to be denied. A GMAT score that’s above the school’s average will do more for your candidacy than applying in the first round.
Navigating deadlines. Yale’s three round deadlines are similar to last year’s: September 14, 2016; January 10, 2017; and April 19, 2017. Note that, if you apply to Yale in Round 1, you will receive your decision by December 6. This gives you plenty of time to get your Round 2 applications deadlines together for other MBA programs if you don’t get good news from Yale.
College seniors. If you are a college senior who will graduate after December 1, 2015, then you are eligible to apply for the Silver Scholars Program. Just a tiny number of Silver Scholars are admitted each year—usually in the low single digits. The school’s website has more information about admission criteria for Silver Scholars, so we won’t go into great detail here.
One key criterion, however, is impact. As the website states, each Silver Scholar “has made a difference and distinguished him- or herself in a particular field of interest.” Showcasing your impact and leadership potential in your field of interest is challenging, but vital to your successful application. Note that Silver Scholar applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation, but one must be from a professor and another from an employer while you were in college (from a full-time internship or part-time employment).