Round One Apps Soar 33% At Ross

The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business says that its round one applications surged by 33% this fall with an average GMAT score for the applicant pool that was four points higher than last year.

Though few schools release round one numbers, it is the second major business school to report an increase. Yale University’s School of Management saw round one apps rise by 10%. Those tea leaves signal strong potential for another increase in MBA applications at top business schools.

For Michigan, it’s an impressive jump after MBA applications fell 7.7% last year to 2,442 from 2,647 a year earlier. Ross ultimately enrolled a class of 447 MBAs this fall with an average GMAT score of 702 and a grade point average of 3.4.

“If I had to use one word to describe this year’s Round 1 apps it’d be ‘impressive,’” wrote Soojin Kwon, director of admissions at Ross in a blog post. “More importantly, the AdCom reported reading better files and interviewers found candidates to be well-prepared, professional, clear, thoughtful, and self-aware.”

UNUSUAL RESPONSES FROM CANDIDATES WHO WERE GIVEN ADMITS IN ROUND ONE

After finalizing scholarship decisions on round one candidates until 2 a.m. on Monday, the school began calling U.S. admits on Wednesday (Dec. 17) and international admits on Thursday (Dec. 18). All of its round one decisions were posted today at noon EST.

During those calls this week, Kwon relayed a couple of interesting conversations that she had with applicants who were given news of an acceptance. “Perhaps the most unexpected response we heard was the admit who asked when our admitted student weekend was going to be so she could plan her wedding weekend around it,” she said.

“Another cautioned that his speech might be hard to understand because he had answered the call in the middle of a dentist appointment and half his face was numb. He had told his dentist ahead of time that he was hoping to receive a call and would want to answer it.”

HOLIDAY-INSPIRED POETRY FROM AN ADMISSIONS DIRECTOR 

Kwon tried her hand at a bit of poetry in her blog today, reflecting an upbeat mood from those phone calls:

‘Twas the night before Round 1 calls
and all through the web,
MBA applicants wished their anxiety would ebb.

The call list was made
By the AdComm with care,
In hopes that a new Ross class
Soon would be there.

The applicants were ready,
Attached to their phones,
With visions of excitement,
Lectures and new learning zones.

When out of the silence
What should appear?
Area Code ‘734’.
Their worries now cleared!

Kwon also posted a YouTube video of a recent webinar hosted by her and Senior Associate Director Diana Economy (see above). The school’s round two deadline is Jan. 5, and Kwon said she expects to send out interview invitations on Jan. 19.

“Interviews will take place January 22  – February 23,” she wrote. “We will hold team exercises on campus every Friday and Monday, starting on January 30 during that period, and a few Saturdays.”

DON’T MISS: 2014-2015 MBA APPLICATION DEADLINES AT TOP BUSINESS SCHOOLS or AMAZON TOP EMPLOYER OF ROSS MBAS IN 2014