At a time when many business schools are taking a hard line on deferrals for international admits, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business yesterday (June 18) opened the doors for those students to start the MBA program a year or two later.
Michigan Ross is expected to make an announcement about the shape and form of the fall term over the next week. Thus far, several business schools have said they will expect students to be on campus for what will something of a hybrid start with both face-to-face classes and online sessions.
The announcement of the deferral policy was made in a blog post by Soojin Kwon, managing director of Ross’ full-time MBA admissions and program. “Organizations around the world have had to rethink their policies and goals as they strive to continue operating in the ‘new normal’ and attempt to plan for an uncertain future,” she wrote. “Michigan Ross is no different. One of the student groups deeply affected by the pandemic are incoming international students. Most visa offices around the world are closed with no confirmed reopen date. Those that are open are scheduling appointments well after classes will have started this year, and travel restrictions remain in place in many countries. Given these unique challenges, we have offered international students the option to request a deferral to Fall 2021 or Fall 2022.”
EXPECTS ‘A GOOD NUMBER’ OF INTERNATIONALS TO ENROLL THIS FALL AS PLANNED
Kwon also sought to allay any concerns by forthcoming international applicants about their chances of admission in the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. “We are granting deferrals to Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 so we can spread deferred students across two classes,” she said. “And we anticipate that a good number of international students will choose to enroll this fall as planned.”
At Harvard Business School, the first prominent MBA program to openly allow deferrals for any admitted student who wanted one, the incoming MBA class will be more than 200 students shy of its more typical 930-to-940-student cohort. After dipping into its waitlist, the school expects to welcome a class of only 720 students, nearly a quarter less than normal, because many students decided to defer their enrollment by a year or two (see Harvard Business School’s Next MBA Class Will Be More Than 200 Students Short.)
In last year’s entering class at Ross, 27% of the 421 students were international, representing 32 countries.
MBA RECRUITMENT WILL BE VIRTUAL FOR THE ENTIRE ACADEMIC YEAR
Kwon said that the pandemic will cause all recruiting to be virtual for the next academic year. “After talking with Ross recruiters and Ross student leaders, we have decided that all recruiting activities will be conducted virtually this academic year. This approach will offer the most accessible, equitable, and consistent recruiting experience for all students in these challenging times.
“We are actively planning for several scenarios for the fall and awaiting a decision from the university’s leadership team by the end of June. Our priority is to provide students the best learning and development opportunities possible while keeping our community safe. In all scenarios, classes and recruiting will be accessible remotely so that students who are unable to move to Ann Arbor in the fall can stay on track to finish their MBA on time.”
Kwon will be one of three admission officials to appear at The MBA Summit, a virtual event that will be live-streamed on Poets&Quants’ homepage and Facebook page, on Thursday, June 25, at 11 a.m. EST. The panel discussion, moderated by Poets&Quants’ Editor-in-Chief John A. Byrne, will also feature the MBA admission directors from Columbia Business School and Yale School of Management.