So you wanna get an MBA and confused about the best time to apply? Round 1, definitely!
Many business schools accept applications and admit students according rounds. Typically, the rounds coordinate to the following schedule:
Round 1: October - December
Round 2: January - February
Round 3: March - April
(For the exact rounds and deadlines, visit to the MBA program website for your school of choice.)
In the past, schools claimed that outstanding candidates could be admitted during any round. Now, business schools are finally admitting that students are more likely to be accepted during Round 1. Here are a few of the recommendations provided on top school websites:
Kellogg, Northwestern University
"We strongly recommend One-Year and international applicants apply by the Round 2 application deadline.
Applicants applying in Round 3 will be at a disadvantage since the Kellogg School typically admits One-Year
and international applicants during Rounds 1 and 2 to allow adequate time for relocation and visa processing."
"Within each round, we encourage you to submit your application as early as possible.
If you are considering applying in either Round 1 or Round 2, we strongly encourage you to consider Round 1. Over the past few years, we've noticed more applicants applying in Round 2 and, as a result, this round has become bigger and a bit more competitive. You should never rush your application. But, on the margin, earlier is better.
While we admit outstanding individuals in all three rounds, there are some advantages to applying in either the first or second round.
- The ability to receive an aid award from the Financial Aid Office prior to the date by which you must respond to your offer of admission.
- Ample time to complete preliminary quantitative and/or language coursework prior to arrival on campus.
- Access to the on-campus housing lottery and/or Schwab Residential Center housing.
- Sufficient time to complete the visa application process (international students)."
Now that you know, what should you do?
1. Prepare for and take the GMAT. Your GMAT score isn't a formality; it's the key to the beginning of the selection process. Many schools will accept your unofficial GMAT score, the one you get the day you take the test, so you can prepare properly and take the test just before the Round 1 deadline.
2. Take any required language exams. Many schools require the IELTS or TOEFL for students who did not attend undergraduate school in a country in which the official language was English or in a school in which the language of instruction was English. Prepare for and take these exams now to get them out of the way.
3. Request transcripts and references as soon as possible. These parts of your application typically take the longest time to acquire.
4. Start thinking about your short, medium, and long term goals. Every school will ask you what your aspirations are at different points in the future. You can prepare for the essays and interviews by thinking about what you want to do in 5, 10, and 20 years.
5. Get help if you need it. In addition to private GMAT tutoring, APPLY ME offers admissions consulting services. Whether you need help with the entire process or just editing your essays, APPLY ME can help with each step of the confusing process. Previous students we have worked with have been admitted to Pace University, Columbia University, INSEAD, Dartmouth, and many more. Schedule a FREE consultation with us to discuss how we can help.