The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business yesterday (June 1) announced that it would accept MCAT and LSAT exam scores in lieu of the GMAT and GRE for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. The school also posted an earlier Round 1 application deadline as well as a new Round 4 deadline after receiving what it called a “strong response” to its R3 extension during the height of the pandemic.
In yet another change this year, Ross also eliminated one essay from its application. “Instead of requiring three responses from among six prompts, this year we are only requiring two short-answer essays from among the same six prompts,” wrote Soojin Kwon, managing director of Ross’ full-time MBA admissions and program.
The decision to allow exams used by med school and law school applicants was made due to the continued difficulty of taking the GRE or GMAT in a test center, many of which remain closed. “We want to be supportive of prospective students around the world at this time and we recognize that the pandemic has placed limitations on your ability to take the GMAT and GRE,” added Kwon. “Therefore, we will also accept the MCAT and LSAT in place of the GMAT or GRE this year. We have accepted those tests for current dual-degree students at the University of Michigan and have found that their performance in the MBA program is comparable to students who took the GMAT or GRE.”
2020-2021 MBA Application Deadlines For Michigan Ross Full-Time MBA Program
|Round||App Deadline||Interview Notices||Decisions Released|
|Round 1||Sept. 14, 2020||NA||Dec. 2, 2020|
|Round 2||Jan. 4, 2021||NA||March 7, 2021|
|Round 3||March 29, 2021||NA||May 5, 2021|
|Round 4||June 1, 2021||NA||June 25, 2021|
ROSS MOVES UP ITS R1 DEADLINE BY MORE THAN TWO WEEKS & ADDS A FOURTH ROUND
Ross moved to an R1 admissions deadline of Sept. 14th, more than two weeks earlier than last year. for applicants who apply by that date, decisions will be released on Dec. 2. The R2 deadline of Jan. 4, 2021, will allow a candidate to get a decision on March 7. R3 applicants need to file by March 29th for a decision on May 5, while candidates who apply in the new R4 must send in their materials by June 1 for a decision 24 days later on June 25. The new application will go live online in July.
Though Ross does not publish actual dates for its interview invites, Kwon writes one of the best admission blogs in the world and does an excellent job in keeping candidates informed. The school intends to dispatch its invites one either one or two dates but have yet to announce those dates for each round. Last year, for example, interview invites for R2 candidates went out in two waves on Jan. 18th and Jan. 25th, while waitlist and deny decisions for that round were pushed out on March 15th.
Instead of requiring three responses from among six prompts, this year Ross is requiring two short-answer essays from among the same six prompts:
Short Answers (choose one from each group; 100 words each)
I want people to know that I:
I made a difference when I:
I was aware that I was different when:
I was out of my comfort zone when:
I was humbled when:
I was challenged when:
Kwon notes that “the most interesting and insightful responses to these prompts remain when applicants share personal examples that allow us to learn more about who you are as a person, and what unique experiences and insights you would bring to the MBA class.”
The admissions team is reducing the school’s career goal essay from 300 words to 200. “We found that the best responses to this essay were clear and succinct,” adds Kwon. “The ones that were less successful tended to be less focused or focused too much on the ‘what’ and not enough on the ‘why.’ For the AdCom, the ‘why’ is the most impactful and differentiating aspect of each essay to me. Here’s that prompt:
Career Goal Essay
Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. What is your short-term career goal and why?
Ross is among the most selective MBA programs in the world. The school accepts 30.9% of its applicants, with 7.1 applicants for every classroom seat. In 2028-2019, Ross received 2,989 applications to its full-time MBA program, admitted 924 candidates and enrolled 421 students, roughly 50 fewer students than Northwestern Kellogg. Ross moved some of the flexibility and accommodations it made to applicants during the height of the pandemic to the 2020-2021 admissions season by adding a fourth-round and agreeing to accept MCATs and LSATs in lieu of the GMAT or GRE. The class GMAT average at Ross is 719, with international students scoring slightly higher at 727 and domestic students at 715. The mid-80th percentile range is 680 to 760. The average undergraduate GPA is 3.45, with a mid-80th range of 3.o to 3.82. The GRE exam has become highly popular for Ross admissions, with 34% of the latest class having entered the MBA program with a GRE. The average GRE verbal score is 160, while the average quant was a point lower at 159, and the average analytical writing score was 4.4. Some 418 of the 421 students in the incoming class entered with full-time work experience, with the average being 65 months.
ROSS MBA GRADS ADVICE TO APPLICANTS
Reach out to current students and alumni to get their perspective on Ross. If at all possible, visit the campus (preferably on a football weekend!) to get a real sense for what the community is all about. Beyond the basics like test scores and your resume; being able to describe why you want to go to business school and particularly the “Why Ross?” is vital. Until you get into the weeds and learn more about a program’s personality, it can seem like many of the schools are basically the same. Connecting with the community and understanding what this place is all about and the opportunities that are available is a great way to learn more about a program and determine where you would fit in best. — Kevin Carrier, Class of 2020
Be authentic! I was scared of applying to a school that I wasn’t good enough to get into a top MBA program and that my weird background would hold me back. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Ross encouraged me to bring my full self to the interview and embraced the interesting perspective I could bring to our class. It turns out the admissions team was right and I found that while I had no background in business, I was able to always contribute to the conversation in class and challenged my classmates to think beyond the bottom line. — Madeleine Carnemark, Class of 2020
Own your awesomeness and don’t let the application process define you. Also, bring your full self to Ross and take pride in what makes you unique. All of you are welcome here. I chose Ross because it wanted all of me—my failures, my incoherent professional narrative, my side hustles, and my grassroots global experiences. They saw that I was messy, unfocused, and unrefined, but they also saw that I was hard-working, hungry, and growth-minded. They didn’t invite me to Ross because of what I had achieved, but because they believed in what I could achieve. Also, when I expressed my interest in becoming a thought-leader at the untraditional intersection of people strategy and sustainability, other schools told me, “We don’t do that here.” Ross, on the other hand, replied, “Chris, how can we help you do that here?” — Christopher Lee Owen, Class of 2020
The best advice is to truly understand what it is about your career and personal aspirations that Ross can specifically help guide you towards, versus other programs. Leverage current students, admissions fellows, webinars, and alumni. Come visit our campus to research and understand what #TheRossDifference truly is – and if it is right for you. In my experience, MBA programs can distinguish between candidates who are passionate about their school specifically and those who are not. — LaTresha (L.C.) Staten, Class of 2020
MOST CHALLENGING QUESTIONS ROSS APPLICANTS RECEIVED DURING THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS
Besides the “How are you gonna pay for it?” that friends and family kept asking, the most challenging question, as cheesy as it may sound, was the one I kept asking myself: “Is my non-traditional background a weakness or a strength?” Given my unconventional work and study path, age, and gender – not to mention being an international applicant who is also a single mother – my fear was that my profile was too much outside the box to be considered appealing to business schools. However, my admissions consultant, Ricardo Betti, was supportive and reassured me it was possible, helping me shape my story in the best way possible while being true to myself and highlighting the best aspects of it. It paid off! — Deb Xavier, Class of 2021
Every interview asked something about ‘defining myself’ and I struggled with the idea of defining myself in a 30-second answer. Coming out on the other side of these interviews, I realize that inquisition and depth of character are two of the many things applicants must possess to pursue this road. Those things demand self-discovery and growth. I can guarantee that if asked this same question in Spring 2021, I’ll have a dramatically different answer than the one I gave over the last 6 months! — Marcus Tenenbaum, Class of 2021
What will you do if you are not accepted into an MBA program? — Patricio Zirion Rivera, Class of 2021
“Describe a perfect hospital” – After talking about my passion in the healthcare space and the various inefficiencies and pitfalls of modern healthcare, I was asked to describe my version of a perfect hospital. In that moment, I could envision thousands of diagrams and operating protocols but still be nowhere close to a functional healthcare system, let alone a perfect one. Weighing the sometimes-competing interests of patients, providers, and payers, I am hoping my MBA coursework will help me find a better answer to this question. — Balaji Pandian, Class of 2021
Tell me about a time that you received professional feedback that was difficult to take. — Kristin Mixon, Class of 2021
Tell me about a time when you were on a team that wasn’t successful. What would you do differently? — Kaitlyn Lo, Class of 2021