MBA Admissions Tip: Late Round Applications

After a relatively sleepy February, March is now upon us with its extensive list of application deadlines and decision notification dates. Let’s take a look at the long list of Round 3 (or 4 or 5) deadlines spread over the next two months:

March 3: Wharton R3
March 8: Duke R3
March 9: INSEAD R3 (Sept. intake)
March 15: NYU R3
March 16: Haas R4
March 17: Yale R3
March 22: Cornell R4
March 30: Darden R3, INSEAD R1 (Jan. intake)
March 31: HBS R3

April 1: Tuck R4
April 6: Stanford R3
April 7: Kellogg R3
April 13: Columbia RD (US-based), Chicago R3, UCLA R3

While it’s always best to apply as early as possible, the difference between applying in Round 1 and applying in Round 2 is, for most applicants, a marginal one. However, the later rounds are a very different game. Because most of the seats in the incoming class will have been given away by the time round two decisions are released, the acceptance rate in the third round is dramatically lower than that for the first two deadlines of the season.

To maximize your chances of a later round acceptance, demonstrating your interest in the school and submitting thoughtful and error-free written materials will be crucial. Just as applying in Round 1 is generally taken as a sign of interest in a given program, applicants submitting their materials in a later round need to work extra hard to convince the adcom that they are genuinely interested in the school and are not simply applying as an afterthought because interview invitations didn’t come through in round two. Demonstrating that you would make a valuable contribution to the community and providing evidence that you have taken steps to engage current students and alumni will work to your advantage.

As always, we’d like to recommend the in-depth Clear Admit School Guides to those applicants who are targeting the later deadlines and just beginning to investigate certain programs, and to encourage those who’ve visited the campus and interviewed to share their experiences in the Clear Admit Wiki. Potential R3 or R4 applicants are also welcome to contact Clear Admit directly to discuss the strength of their later round candidacies and learn more about our one-on-one counseling services.

About Clear Admit:

Ivey Consulting has partnered with Clear Admit to provide comprehensive admissions information and consulting services to business school applicants.  We’re excited to feature their regular guest postings here on the Ivey Files. Learn more about them here.