Harvard Business School Puts New Word Limit On MBA Essay

Harvard Business School, Baker Library

Harvard Business School has decided to place a 900-word limit on the single essay required of all MBA appilcants. Previously, applicants could write as long or as short as they liked.

Chad Losee, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, said the change is occuring due to feedback from candidates. “We have heard from some applicants that, without a word limit, sometimes questions (and stress) arise about the ‘right’ word length,” he wrote in a May 11th blog post. “We hope that including a limit provides applicants with a little more direction and eliminates the stress about how much is too much to write.”

He confirmed that HBS will retain its current essay prompt for 2022-2023 applicants: “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?”

Losee also made clear that applicants could write fewer than the new word limit. “Do you need to submit 900 words?,” he asks. “No, certainly not. Successful applicants may share what they wish to in 500 or 700 words, for example, or go up to 900.”

Even while many MBA candidates are still deciding where to go to school this fall and other applicants are applying in late rounds, HBS also has announced its new application deadlines for the Class of 2025.

HBS set the first-round deadline of Sept. 7, with notification of admission decision on Dec. 8. The second round deadline is Jan. 4, 2023, with notification on March 29th.

Harvard, which charges an application fee of $250 to apply to its MBA program, is one of the most highly selective MBA options in the world. Last year, the school admitted just 12.5% of its applicants, up from 9.2% a year earlier. Some 9,773 candidates applied for admission to the Class of 2023 and 1,222 were accepted. Harvard ended up enrolling an extraordinarily large class of 1,010 first-year students last fall. More typically, HBS enrolls a class of about 930 but made last year’s incoming class larger to account for deferrals taken during the pandemic by a large number of admits.

Harvard Business School Has Two Main Application Deadlines For MBA Students

Harvard Business School Class Profile for entering first-year MBAs in 2021

The school’s class profile shows that incoming students this past fall had an average grade point average of 3.69 at their undergraduate institutions with the biggest chunk having majored in engineering (see chart above).

Harvard Business School Class Profile for incoming first-year MBA students in the fall of 2021

Incoming students worked in a variety of industries, though 17% came to HBS from a consulting background and 15% had worked in either private equity or venture capital (see above chart). The average work experience was five years.

Harvard Business School Class Profile for first-year MBA students entering in the fall of 2021

The median GMAT of incoming students has remained constant over a good many years at 730. A record 29% of the entering class this past fall submitted a GRE score to get into the school (see chart above).

The school has not yet posted its deadline for 2+2 applicants seeking deferred admission. This year the deadline for those candidates–generally undergraduate seniors or soon-to-graduate master’s students–was on April 28 at noon Eastern Time. Each 2+2 applicant will receive news on next steps–either an invite to interview or a rejection–on June 1

The Class of 2025 application will open in June 2022. Applications received after Sept. 7, 2022, will be considered in Round 2. Applications received after Jan. 4, 2023, will not be considered.

DON’T MISS: Read The Essays That Got These Women Into Harvard Business School or She Applied To Harvard & Stanford With These Two MBA Essays

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