Harvard Business School says it is keeping MBA application deadlines for the 2019-2020 admissions cycle to just two rounds again, preferring not to have a third and final round for the second year in a row. The school moved up its round one cutoff by a day to Sept. 4th of 2019, while it moved back its round two deadline by two days to Jan. 6.
Last year, Chad Losee, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, eliminated the school’s third round. With more and more MBA candidates filing their applications in the first and second rounds, he thought an extra round wasn’t really needed, anymore.
The essay question for applicants to Harvard’s MBA program also remains unchanged for the sixth year in a row: “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?” That question originally debuted for the 2013-2014 admissions season.
2019-2020 HBS APPLICATION DEADLINES
|Round||Date||Interview Notices||Final Decisions|
|Round 1||Sept. 4, 2019||NA||Dec. 10, 2019|
|Round 2||Jan. 6, 2020||NA||March 31, 2020|
|2+2 Round||April 24, 2020||NA||June 5, 2020|
‘HBS LIKES ITS TWO-ROUND SYSTEM OR IT WOULD HAVE GONE BACK TO THREE ROUNDS’
Round 1 applicants will get final decisions from HBS on Dec. 10th, while round 2 candidates will hear back from the school if they were interviewed on March 31st. Harvard did not disclose when it would send out interview invites or dings to candidates who failed to gain an admissions interview. The deadline for the school’s deferred admissions program, 2+2, will be April 24th, with final decisions sent out on June 5.
“HBS likes its two-round system or it would have gone back to three rounds, which it had prior to the 2018-19 cycle,” says Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted.com, a leading MBA admissions firm. Her other early takeaways: “>It likes its essay question and has used it for several years now. The lack of essay limit is an opportunity for applicants to show judgment as well as communications ability, or the lack of both. HBS is interested in that information. The short answers and form fields reflect what Harvard to know, and they are a critical part of the applicant’s narrative.”
As Accepted consultant Libby Angst, who says she had three out of four clients accepted to HBS this year, advises “Maximizing every inch of real estate on the HBS application makes all the difference. Applicants who approach the application strategically and make use of all elements enhance their chance of acceptance. Those who treat those short answer boxes as an afterthought are making a big mistake.”