The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College made some slight tweaks to its pair of required essay questions for MBA applicants for the forthcoming 2015-2016 admission cycle. The school, which eliminated one essay last year, also decided not to make any further cuts in its application requirements.
The new questions, for which applicants are being encouraged to limit each response to 500 words, are largely a re-wording of last year’s prompts that could lead to somewhat different replies from candidates. The questions will be made public shortly.
The first question: “What are your short and long-term goals? Why do you need an MBA to achieve those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically?”
SLIGHT CHANGES TO LAST YEAR’S ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR TUCK
That question replaces last year’s first prompt: “Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck?”
The second new question: Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. How will that experience contribute to the learning environment at Tuck?
That query is a changeup from last year’s second question: “Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?”
The school retained its optional question as well as its additional question for re-applicants to Tuck:
- (Optional) Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.
- (To be completed by reapplicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.
DECIDED AGAINST TRIMMING THE MBA APPLICATION
Dawna Clarke, director of admissions at Tuck, said that when her team discussed the new questions last week a lively conversation occurred about whether to drop to one question, as Harvard Business School has done, or to adopt a standard recommendation form. The consensus was to stay with the two questions for new applicants, the three for re-applicants, and an optional question as well, because admission staffers felt they needed to have that information to make a more fully informed decision on candidates.
The team also decided to keep its recommendation form which asks recommenders to rate applicants on 21 attributes from “self-confidence” to “overall drive, motivation and energy level (see following page).” Recommenders are ask to grade applicants on six levels that range from the top 5% to the bottom 20% in each of the 21 categories. Then, they are asked to “categorize” their level of support for the candidate on the basis of whether they “champion” the applicant, “strongly support” or “support” the person, “moderately support” or “oppose” the candidate’s application. Tuck requires each candidate to have two recommenders.
The school set an “early action” round deadline of Oct. 7th, a day earlier than last year, with decisions released by Dec. 17. Early action offers are nonbinding, giving admitted students the chance to explore other options until a Jan. 15th response deadline. At that point, applicants are required to submit the $4,500 non-refundable deposit to secure a spot in the next class.
Unlike many of its rivals, Tuck has four deadline rounds. It’s Nov. 4 deadline allows for a decision no later than Feb. 12, a January application round sports a Jan. 6th deadline with a decision by March 11, and a final round deadline of April 4th, with a decision no later than May 13th.
Tuck School of Business Deadlines For 2015-2016 Application Cycle
|Round||App Deadline||Applicant-Initiated Interview Deadline||Notification (No Later Than)||Enrollment Deposit Due|
|Early Action||10/7/15||10/30/15||12/17/15||1/15/16 — $4,500|
|November||11/4/15||11/13/15||2/12/16||4/29/16 — $2,500|
|January||1/6/16||1/29/16||3/11/16||4/29/16 — $2,500|
|April||4/4/16||4/4/16||5/13/16||6/3/16 — $2,500|
|R1 Consortium||10/15/15||10/30/15||12/17/15||4/29/16 — $2,500|
|R2 Consortium||1/5/16||1/29/16||3/11/16||4/29/16 — $2,500|
Source: Tuck School of Business