Across the board, MBA admissions officers recommend that you apply in the earliest round you can — as long as you’re submitting your best possible application, of course. Particularly for candidates from overrepresented industries such as finance and consulting, applying in a later round can be a significant disadvantage. This means that you should begin working on your applications now, in time to submit the best applications possible, as early as possible.
Here are the top 5 reasons to start your MBA applications early and apply in Round 1:
1. Significant MBA school research is imperative to your success.
Schools are looking for candidates who have approached business school with a mature and thorough decision-making process. To write impactful essays that also demonstrate fit, you will need to do more than check rankings and click through websites. Effective research often includes conversations with current students and recent alums, visiting campus and attending info sessions, or at least diving into comprehensive resources like the Veritas Prep Essential Guide to Top Business Schools. Lack of research leads to generic essays that are not compelling to admissions officers.
2. Demonstrating “fit” is a more arduous process than you think. It takes time. You can recycle surprisingly little among different schools’ essay questions.
Every year, we see clients who expect that they can write essays for one application and simply strip out the name of one school and insert the name of another. This is especially tempting with the current trend in open-ended questions. It’s more important than ever to consider the culture and environment of the school. Admissions officers see thousands of essays every year, and they can spot a repurposed essay from a mile away. Applying to multiple schools takes time!
3. You won’t just identify and explain your weaknesses — you will work to improve them.
One of the first steps in working on your applications is evaluating every element of your profile. Are there any weak areas? Red flags? Leadership? Low GMAT score? Low undergraduate GPA? If you identify any areas which may be less than solid, when you start early you can take steps to improve your weaknesses rather than finding yourself in the unenviable position of trying to explain them in an optional essay. This might include tackling a new project with your volunteer organization, taking a calculus course from your local community college, or retaking the GMAT with the proper strategy to raise your score. There are numerous strategies to improve your application profile — and if you start on your applications now, you have time to implement them!
4. You will increase your chances of receiving financial aid awards and scholarships.
It is well known that schools operate with a limited budget — this means that there is more money to go around for financial aid, scholarships, and awards toward the beginning of the admissions season than there is toward the end. Why not give yourself the best chance of receiving a financial aid award?
5. It will allow you to avoid late application pitfalls.
In an exclusive Veritas Prep survey, we asked the top 30 MBA admissions officers to name the most common mistakes they see in MBA applications. Their No. 1 response: careless errors. Admissions officers view your application as a reflection of your commitment, so careless errors can doom your chances for admission. However, let’s face it: Most of us love to procrastinate! About 80% of MBA applications are submitted within three days of each deadline, most within 24 hours. These rushed, last-minute applications are often rife with careless errors — a missing comma here, an incorrect spelling of “they’re” there. By starting the process early, you and your Veritas Prep Head Consultant can craft your Personalized MBA Game Plan™, providing structure to the application process and ensuring there is plenty of time to catch careless mistakes and add the perfect polish before you hit “Submit.”
What should you be doing now?
Even before the schools release their updated essay prompts, you can work to significantly improve your applications by working with an expert MBA consultant to:
- Identify the ideal programs for your personal and professional goals, even some you may not be currently considering.
- Thoroughly research your target schools beyond rankings and school websites.
- Discuss how to maximize the value of your campus visits, information sessions, and conversations with students and alumni.
- Prepare your recommenders to write stellar letters on your behalf.
- Craft your resume to emphasize accomplishments that will resonate with the admissions committee.
Secure your ideal MBA consultant now.
With the lowest client-to-consultant ratio in the industry, Veritas Prep ensures your consultant is focused on your success. However, this also means that many of our consultants can get booked up early. We will ensure you work with a consultant who best fits with your personal and professional background, career goals, target schools, and working style so they can clearly understand your story and know how to best portray it to the admissions committee.
Want to work with the ideal consultant for your needs so that your applications truly shine? Call us at 800-962-2069 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or sign up for a free consultation. As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Veritas Prep is the largest privately-owned test prep and admissions consulting company in the world. Since 2002, Veritas Prep has helped thousands of applicants gain admission to their dream schools using its team of experienced consultants and a personalized game plan for each client.