HBS Kicks Off 2018-19 MBA App Season

Harvard Business School’s fellowship spending grew by $2 million in 2017, to $36 million total

It’s official!

Harvard Business School has kicked off the 2018-2019 MBA admissions season.

Even before making final decisions on its round three applicants for this coming fall, Harvard today (April 17) announced that deadlines for next year. HBS set a Sept. 5th cutoff date for round one applicants for the Class of 2021 and a Jan. 3rd, 2019, deadline for round two applicants. For R1 candidates at HBS, that deadline is a day earlier than last year’s Sept. 6th date. Most notably, however, Losee announced the new deadlines a month earlier than he did last year.

It’s that time of year again when a new flood of MBA hopefuls begin to prep for the GMAT or GRE, peruse MBA rankings to get an idea of schools to consider, decide whether to get the help of an admissions consultant, and wonder if they have what it takes to get into a top-ranked MBA program.

NO CHANGES TO HARVARD’S SOLE ESSAY QUESTION

In a blog post, HBS admissions chief Chad Losee also noted that Harvard will retain its one essay question with no word limit on the answer: “As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA Program?” This will be the fifth year that HBS has used that question, hatched by Losee predecessor Dee Leopold.

“You can start working on the Class of 2021 application in early June 2018 when we open up the application, but in the meantime feeel free to start thinking about the one required essay, which has remained the same,” wrote Losee, who noted that on June 6th the school will hold an optional webinar to walk would-be candidates through each element of the 2018-2019 application.

Columbia Business School also posted its deadlines for the upcoming MBA application cycle as well. For the entering class in August of 2019, the early action deadline is Oct. 3, while the merit fellowship deadline is Jan. 4, 2019. The final deadline is April 10th, 2019. For candidates who want to enter into the accelerated MBA program in January of 2019, the deadline is Oct. 3. Most other schools will soon roll out their dates, little by little, along with any new changes to their application process.

REINFORCE THE TREND TO EXTEND EVER EARLIER ROUND ONE DEADLINES

“To me these developments represent the opening of the 2018-19 MBA application cycle for the class of 2021,” says Linda Abraham, founder of accepted.com, a leading admissions consulting firm. “They also reinforce the trend to extend ever earlier the round 1 deadlines and the length of the MBA application cycle. HBS for the last few years has moved its deadline earlier and earlier in September. This year, it’s two days after Labor Day. Ten years ago, for 2008-2009, the R1 deadline was Oct. 15, 2008.

“Overall, I feel this development is beneficial to applicants because it means that many R1 applicants hear in early December if they are admitted,” she adds. “That means they can apply to their favorites/stretch schools R1 and if not admitted, prepare R2 applications. If admitted, they can avoid the expense and effort of R2 applications.and have a great Christmas present!”

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About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.