Waiting For MBA Decisions

Waiting For MBA Decisions

Are you waiting to hear back from business schools? Whether you are waiting for MBA decisions or interview invitations, it’s hard. Here are some glimpses into what’s going on behind the scenes, and tips to help you survive.

  • Don’t read the forums.

I know it’s tempting, but please stay away from the forums. There is a stunning amount of misinformation out there – and people also post things that are completely untrue. When I was at Tuck I once read a post on a big forum from someone who claimed that I had just called to admit them with a Consortium Fellowship. This was totally fabricated, I hadn’t called anyone yet, and it set off a completely unnecessary panic. Please try not to take anything that you read online too seriously, unless it comes directly from the school.

  • Don’t assume that you are out of the running.

Along the same lines, even if people you know have gotten interview invitations and you haven’t, it doesn’t mean that you are no longer being considered. Although a few schools (Harvard, Wharton, Stanford) synchronize the process and release interview invitations on specified days, most schools aren’t that organized. I have worked with people who were literally invited to interview the day before the decision release date, and who then got in.

  • Don’t read too much into random emails.

It’s human nature to look for clues after you have applied, including analyzing all email communication from the schools. However, the mass emails that you get from MBA programs are not really all that customized, even after you apply. Basically, the marketing departments (yes, MBA programs have marketing departments) create a series of outreach emails that go to all active candidates at various points in the cycle. They aren’t targeting your subscription much beyond that.

  • Pass the time constructively.

After all of the time and energy that you have devoted to your applications it can be hard to unwind. If you feel compelled to keep busy, consider reaching out to students and alums at your target schools to learn more about the program. You can also submit another application or two – sometimes those add-on schools wind up being the best fit.


Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Duke, Georgetown, Haas, Ross, NYU and more. Over the last three years, clients have been awarded more than 10.3 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 95% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.