Harvard Business School’s Round 1 Ding Reports

Harvard Business School is about to disappoint thousands of extraordinary MBA applicants on Thursday, Oct. 4th, at noon EST.

That’s when the school will issue its euphemistically dubbed ‘early release’ notices to candidates who failed to get an invite to an admissions interview in round one. As Chad Lossee, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at HBS, puts it: Early release means “we are not able to move you forward in the process.”

Some applicants, of course, will get good news because HBS held back roughly 25% of its interview invites from the first wave that went out on Oct. 1. And a still smaller group of applicants will get so-so news, that they have been put in the “further consideration” bin which means you’ll be assessed alongside the school’s round 2 applications in January.

FIND OUT FROM SANDY WHY YOU’VE BEEN REJECTED

Get Sandy Kriesberg's advice to make handicapping your odds of getting in possible

Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru.com

Many of the candidates who have been dinged by the school will undoubtedly be perplexed by their rejection. But you only have to look at the odds of each person in an already self-selecting group of high achievers to realize how difficult it is to get even an interview invite. Last year, 9,886 applicants vied for the 930 seats in Harvard’s incoming class of MBA students.  That’s 10.6 applicants per seat.

HBS interviewed nearly 2,000 of those applicants and offered admission to roughly half of them to get to an acceptance rate of about 10%. The bottom line: Just one in five candidates get an interview and one in ten ultimately are admitted.

How do extraordinary people routinely get rejected from HBS and other elite schools? Many people are just unlucky. They are passed over because the school has already said ‘yes’ to its allotment of seats for consultants, bankers or engineers. Others miss the mark due to having a red flag in some aspect of their application profile. Typically, the most common reasons for getting dinged are varied–and often there is a combination of them. Bad timing. Poor execution on the application. A low GPA. Graduating with your bachelor’s from a less-than-stellar college. Working for an employer that is not known for sending candidates to Harvard or Stanford. No visible advancement in your job.

POST YOUR OUTCOME AND YOUR STATS BELOW IN THE COMMENT SECTION TO GET SANDY’S FEEDBACK TODAY

Once again, HBSGuru Sandy Kreisberg, a prominent MBA admissions consultant, has agreed to lend some insight into why a person didn’t quite make it through this round one hurdle. Sandy has been analyzing the profiles and raw stats of jilted candidates for Poets&Quants for several years. You’d be hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable reader of admission tea leaves at Harvard Business School. In the past ten years alone, he has done more than 1,000 mock interviews with candidates who won an invite, a process that allows him to look over each applicant’s full application and their ultimate outcome.

If you’ve been dinged, let him know your stats in the comment section below and he’ll tell you why he thinks you’ve been turned down. (Please only post if you were rejected. For forthcoming applicants, Sandy’s regular handicapping series will resume shortly.)

Many candidates who take a shot at HBS usually apply to an array of business schools. In fact, many other elite schools report a cascading effect on acceptances of their admits when HBS releases waitlisted applicants. So just because you’ve been dinged by HBS doesn’t mean you won’t be getting an invite from another great MBA program, one that may even suit you better than Harvard. And each year, as much as 10% of the admits at HBS are re-applicants who were initially turned down for admission.

Meantime, we’ve reached into our archive for a few articles we think you might be interested in right now.

DON’T MISS

REJECTED BY HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL? YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!

YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHO HARVARD JUST REJECTED

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 17,034 MBA APPLICANTS REJECTED BY HARVARD & STANFORD

SANDY’S LATEST ADVICE FOR THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO GET AN INTERVIEW INVITE

 

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.