Harvard Business School R2 Invites Go Out Feb. 3

Masked students in Harvard Business School’s Baker Library

For thousands of Harvard Business School hopefuls in what is expected to be a massive round two pike up of MBA applicants, D-Day has just been announced. The school will notify candidates on Wednesday, Feb. 3, whether they won an admissions interview, an outright rejection or places in limbo on a waitlist.

Chad Losee, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, made the long-awaited announcement in a blog post today (Jan. 28). Despite the anticipated surge of applications that Losee and his team had to sort through, the Feb. 3 date is actually a day earlier than last year’s round two D-day. If anything, it’s a testament to the efficiency of the school’s admissions staff.

“I know from my days in the HBS admissions office that it is a well-oiled machine, and I would assume that they would have planned for this scenario – after all, it is HBS,” says Devi Vallabhaneni, managing director of mbaMission, a leading MBA admissions consulting firm. For more than three years, from 2013 to 2016, she was an MBA Admissions Board member at HBS and evaluated prospects in Boston, London and Paris.


HBS Admissions Chief Chad Losee

Those who get invited to interview will be given a final decision on March 31.

If previous rates of interview invites and rejections hold true, it’s likely that HBS will “release” as many as 5,000 candidates at noon EST on Wednesday and dispatch invites to more than 800 candidates. But all bets are off this year because of a surge of applications to the top business schools. That’s especially true at Harvard because its final deadline in the previous year was before the explosion in COVID cases in March. As a result, the school did not benefit from the pandemic surge.

Last year, applications to Harvard’s MBA program rose less than a percent to 9,304 from 9,225 a year earlier. That’s significantly down by 10.1% from the 10,351 candidates who applied for admission to Harvard’s MBA program three years ago in 2016-2017. But the slight increase did reverse two consecutive years of decline. MBA admission consultants say this year’s admissions cycle is one of the busiest ever and expect HBS applications to reach or surpass record volume. The school typically accepts about 12% of its applicants and the majority of them apply in round two.


Already, the school expects to enroll its largest class ever this fall and next–about 1,000 in each of the next two intakes to accommodate earlier admits who chose to defer their enrollment. In a typical year, HBS enrolls about 930 students but last fall the class was composed of just 732 students after HBS gave all Class of 2022 admitted students the option to defer their enrollment for a year or two.

In his blog post, Losee thanked all of the school’s round two applicants. “A big thank you to all of you who applied in Round 2 for your interest in HBS and the ways in which you are making a difference in the lives of those around you,” he wrote. “We have enjoyed getting to know you through the application process so far.

“Next week, on February 3 at noon eastern, you will receive an update via the application status page on the next phase of the process as we extend invitations to interview to a portion of those who applied. As we announced previously, all interviews will be conducted via zoom this round as we continue to navigate the global pandemic.

“If you are not invited to interview, we will release you from the process next week so you can move forward with other plans. We sincerely thank all who submitted an application to HBS.”

DON’T MISS: The 2020 Round 2 Ding Report For Harvard Business School MBA Hopefuls or The 2020 Round 1 Ding Report: Rejected By Harvard Business School. Can You Believe It?

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