When it comes to the upcoming 2017-2018 admissions season, there is some big news and some non-news.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has moved its round one deadline ahead by eight full days to Sept. 19th of 2017, versus last year’s Sept. 27th date. That puts Wharton more in sync with other school deadlines, including Stanford which has a round one cutoff date that is exactly the same. But Wharton won’t post its essay questions for the Class of 2020 until early summer, and Stanford has already made clear it intends to keep its iconic “What Matters Most” essay in the mix.
Meantime, Columbia Business School, which maintains its early decision deadline and rolling admissions approach without specific release dates, has switched out several essay questions. NYU Stern has added a novel emotional intelligence endorsement requirement that allows a colleague at work or a friend to convey a compelling story that demonstrates a candidate’s EQ. Michigan Ross’ admissions chief Soojin Kwon also introduced a new essay format with a short answer section containing three groups of prompts that requires applicants to select one prompt from each group and respond to it in 100 words or less. One group, for example, asks candidates to complete one of the following statements: “I want people to know that I….” or “I turned an idea into action when I…” or “I made a difference when I…” Ross also revised its 300-word career goal essay, asking applicants to share both their short-term and long-term career goals. “What skills/strengths do you have that will be relevant to your career goals? How will Ross prepare you for your goals?”
AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL THIS YEAR, THE BIG NEWS IS NO NEWS
Over at Harvard Business School, the big news is no news. Chad Losee celebrated his one-year anniversary in the job as managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid with no changes to the school’s essay or post-interview reflection note. He did move up the round one and round two deadlines by a day to Sept. 6 and Jan. 3.
It’s also always wise to follow the links to the web pages of the school’s admissions office. It’s always possible that there could be slight changes in the dates, or greater detail. At Dartmouth Tuck, for example, the early action round is Oct. 3, with decisions revealed on Dec. 15th, as noted in the table below. But the school also expects applicants to initiate an interview with the school no later than Oct. 31, if they apply in the early action round. And if you’re admitted in that round, you have to fork over a nonrefundable deposit of $4,500 no later than Jan. 19 of 2018.
Similarly, Notre Dame’s Mendoza School also boasts an early round deadline for applicants who are strongly committed to the school’s MBA. Early applicants are expected to withdraw their candidacy from other business schools and have to provide a non-refundable $4,000 deposit within a month of their Nov. 3rd acceptance.
Of course, at this early date, there are still plenty of schools that have yet to announce new deadlines (we’ll be updating this list on a daily basis as they come in). And even schools that have attached deadlines to their websites haven’t yet made up their minds on the essays they want applicants to complete. Both Wharton and MIT Sloan, for example, don’t expect to issue their new essays until early-to-mid July.
APPLY AS EARLY AS YOU CAN BUT NOT UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE THE BEST JOB POSSIBLE
No matter what you do, there’s some helpful general advice: If you can, apply in the first round when none of the seats in the class are filled. At most schools, early applicants have an advantage over those that complete their applications in later rounds. There are some other reasons why you want to get your app in early:
- The ability to receive a scholarship award from the school’s Financial Aid Office prior to the date by which you must respond to your offer of admission.
- Ample time to complete recommended quantitative and/or language coursework prior to arrival on campus.
- Access to on-campus housing lottery systems at some schools.
- Sufficient time to complete the visa application process for international candidates.
- Attendance at a school’s Admit Weekends. Sometimes, round three candidates lose out on this opportunity.
All that said, the best time to apply is when you believe you’ve done the best job possible with your application. If you have to rush and cut corners to make round one, don’t. Hold off until another round. At all the highly selective business schools, admissions officials are looking for reasons to cut you from the pool. After all, the odds are substantially against you and as many as 80% of the candidates in any school’s applicant pool are usually fully qualified to attend. So you want to make sure you are putting your best foot forward when you do apply.
We’ll update this list continuously as more schools provide info on their new deadlines. If a school has released its essays for the 2017-2018 admissions season, you can access them by clicking on the “Yes” in the table below.
EARLIEST DEADLINES AT TOP BUSINESS SCHOOLS
|INSEAD||July 26, 2017 (Round 4: Jan. ’19 Intake)||Sept. 29, 2017||Yes|
|Harvard Business School||Sept. 6, 2017||Dec. 12, 2017||Yes|
|Cambridge (Judge)||Sept. 8, 2017||TBD||Yes|
|Duke (Fuqua)||Sept. 12, 2017 (Early Action)||Oct. 19, 2017||Yes|
|Yale SOM||Sept. 13, 2017||Dec. 6, 2017||Yes|
|London Business School||Sept. 15, 2017||Nov. 22, 2017||Yes|
|Stanford GSB||Sept. 19, 2017||Dec. 14, 2017||Yes|
|Pennsylvania (Wharton)||Sept. 19, 2017||Dec. 14, 2017||Yes|
|Northwestern (Kellogg)||Sept. 20, 2017||Dec. 13, 2017||No|
|INSEAD||Sept. 20, 2017 (Round 1:Sept. ’18 Intake)||Nov. 24, 2017||Yes|
|Chicago (Booth)||Sept. 21, 2017||Dec. 7, 2017||Yes|
|UC-Berkeley (Haas)||Sept. 21, 2017||Dec. 14, 2017||No|
|MIT (Sloan)||Sept. 25, 2017||Dec. 19, 2017||Yes|
|Notre Dame (Mendoza)||Sept. 29, 2017 (Early Decision)||Nov. 3, 2017||Yes|
|Michigan (Ross)||Oct. 2, 2017||Dec. 15, 2017||Yes|
|Columbia Business School||Oct. 4, 2017 (Early Decision & Jan. ’18)||Rolling Admissions||Yes|
|Dartmouth (Tuck)||Oct. 4, 2017 (Early Action)||Dec. 15, 2017||No|
|Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)||Oct. 4, 2017||Dec. 13, 2017||Yes|
|Cornell (Johnson)||Oct. 5, 2017 (October round)||Nov. 15, 2017||Yes|
|Virginia (Darden)||Oct. 5, 2017||TBD||Yes|
|Rice (Jones)||Oct. 5, 2017||Rolling||Yes|
|UCLA (Anderson)||Oct. 6, 2017||Dec. 15, 2017||Yes|
|Emory (Goizueta)||Oct. 6, 2017||Dec. 1, 2017||No|
|Duke (Fuqua)||Oct. 10, 2017 (Round 1)||Dec. 15, 2017||Yes|
|Texas-Austin (McCombs)||Oct. 10, 2017||Dec. 19, 2017||Yes|
|Georgetown (McDonough)||Oct. 10, 2017||Dec. 20, 2017||Yes|
|Univ. of Washington (Foster)||Oct. 10, 2017||Dec. 22, 2017||Yes|
|NYU (Stern)||Oct. 15, 2017||Jan. 1, 2018||Yes|
|Indiana (Kelley)||Oct. 15, 2017||Dec. 20, 2017||Yes|
|North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)||Oct. 16, 2017 (Early Action)||Dec. 11, 2017||Yes|
|Notre Dame (Mendoza)||Oct. 17, 2017 (Round 1)||Dec. 15, 2017||Yes|
|IESE Business School||Oct. 17, 2017||Dec. 15, 2017||Yes|
|Vanderbilt (Owen)||Oct. 23, 2017||Dec. 8, 2017||Yes|
Source: Business school websites