After Harvard Business School last year cutback on the number of words required of MBA applicants, several other schools did the same, prompting us to write about “The Incredible Shrinking MBA App.”
Well, it’s shrinking again.
The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has now reduced the total maximum word count of its new application essays by 450 words. The reduction was accomplished by the elimination of an essay requiring applicants to tell the school what they are most passionate about and why. An optional open essay question, providing applicants the chance to discuss anything not addressed elsewhere in the application, has also not changed, but the length has been reduced to a maximum of 300 words, from 500 last year.
ROSS TO SCALE UP TEAM-BASED INTERVIEWS AFTER A SUCCESSFUL PILOT
Ross also plans to roll out a team-based admissions interview format that it piloted in January in three locations: Beijing, Shanghai and Ann Arbor. “We found that it provided useful insight into applicants’ potential to fit in our highly collaborative and interactive community,” wrote Admissions Director Soojin Kwon in a blog post. “The scale of the roll out will be determined this summer.”
The school expects to go live with the new app for MBA candidates on July 1. Ross kept its first and second essays from last year which ask applicants to introduce oneself in 100 words and share your career goals and why you want an MBA).
“As predictable and prone-to-stock-answers as the second essay may seem, we still do want to know what you want to do and why you think an MBA makes sense,” explained Kwon. “As we tell students at graduation, we won’t withhold your diploma if you don’t pursue the career goal that you wrote about in your essay. But we do want to know that you’ve given your considerable thought to your future.”
ROSS NOW SCREENING FOR PLAGIARISTS AND FOUND A NUMBER OF CASES THIS YEAR
Kwon also noted that the school has begun to use a service to review essays for plagiarism. “The software detected a number of cases of plagiarism among this year’s applications,” she said. “We did not and will not admit students whose applications are found to contain plagiarized content.”