Round 3 deadlines for MBA programs are approaching.
Stacy Blackman, of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently discussed how admissions officers view round 3 applicants and whether or not the final round is a viable option for applicants.
“I often get asked if it makes sense to apply in Round 3,” Yale School of Management Assistant Dean for Admissions Bruce DelMonico says in a recent blog post. “While it is consistently our smallest round, we do still receive very strong applicants who end up gaining admission and becoming strong contributors to our community.”
Making Round 3 Application As Strong As Possible
Experts say when applying in round 3, it’s important to make your application as strong as possible.
“With fewer slots available, fine-tune your focus on schools where you’ll be a compelling candidate,” Blackman writes. “A strong, well-thought-out application is critical. Make sure your academic profile aligns with the school’s median GMAT and average GPA. Also, consider whether you add something special to the class that the admissions committee didn’t see earlier in the season.”
Blackman also suggests applicants applying in round 3 to help the admissions team understand your timing and why you’re applying in round 3.
“You should definitely use the required or optional MBA admission essays to explain your reasons for waiting until the third – or final – round to apply,” Blackman writes. “You don’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that you are using round three as a last-ditch effort to get into business school in the fall after receiving rejections from other schools in earlier rounds.”
Have a Plan B
Round 3 is the final round. That means you’ll need to hit the ground running if you get an acceptance.
However, admissions officers say they don’t want that to dissuade applicants from applying in round 3.
“Each year, these final applications help to round out and complete our class, and they’re an essential part of the admissions life cycle,” according to a Duke Fuqua representative. “Again, it all comes down to your readiness—and if Round 3 feels like the right time, we encourage you to go for it.”
Above all, have a plan B just in case things go downhill.
“Finally, it’s important to have a Plan B in case things don’t go your way,” Blackman writes. “You can always apply to a set of schools in round three knowing there is a good chance you will need to reapply to them and add in some new ones next season.”