3 More Top B-Schools Unveil MBA Application Changes

The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor


The 2022-23 MBA application at Michigan Ross will open “later in July,” Admissions Director Diana Economy writes in a June 30 blog post, and will contain a few changes, notably an additional short-answer essay question. The school also has made an adjustment to its exam waiver policy of the last two years — or as Economy writes, “We have a new policy on how students can demonstrate their academic readiness for the rigor of a top MBA program without submitting a standardized test score.”

Ross’s essay questions underwent significant changes, Economy writes.

“As with previous years, we are giving applicants flexibility in choosing from two sets of prompts in our short-answer essay questions, but we added a new short-answer question,” she writes. “The new question asks applicants to tell us more about one item on their resume. There is often a story behind a resume bullet point and we want to give you the chance to share it. What you choose is up to you — from why you started volunteering for an organization to a leadership position you held on a sports team.”

Diana Economy of Michigan Ross

She adds that the Ross career goal essay “will be similar to what we had in the past,” but will be split into two parts “to improve clarity and focus.” Below are the essay prompts, and we look forward to reading your responses.

Part 1: Short-answer questions

Select one prompt from each group of the two groups below. Respond to each selected prompt in 100 words or less (<100 words each; 200 words total).

Group 1

I want people to know that I:
I made a difference when I:
I was aware that I was different when:

Group 2
I was out of my comfort zone when:
I was humbled when:
I was challenged when:

Part 2: Short-answer question

Pick one thing from your resume and tell us more. (100 words)

Part 3: Career Goal

What is your short-term career goal? (25 words)

Why is this the right short-term career goal for you? (150 words)


Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Ross gave MBA applicants the option of requesting a standardized test waiver. Because the school continued to receive strong candidates even without an ironclad test requirement, it will continue to give students a chance to demonstrate academic readiness without a GMAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, or DAT score.

However, Ross isn’t calling it a waiver.

“This year,” Economy writes, “we are requiring that all candidates either submit a standardized test score or evidence of academic readiness for the Michigan Ross Full-Time MBA as part of the admissions application. If you choose the option to demonstrate your academic readiness without a test score, you will be required to respond to this prompt:

Please demonstrate why you are ready to meet the academic rigor of our program. (200 words)

She adds that academic and professional accomplishments will be closely parsed, including but not limited to:

  • Master’s degree in an analytical or quantitative discipline
  • CPA, CFA, or international equivalent
  • Undergraduate or graduate record, especially in analytical or quantitative courses
  • Post-undergraduate, full-time work experience in an analytical or quantitative function
  • Performance on an expired GMAT or GRE
  • Performance on the Executive Assessment

Economy adds an important note for those mulling a score-less application: “A strong test score can strengthen an applicant’s candidacy,” she writes, “and around 80% of last year’s class submitted a test score.”

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