"Early Bird Eats the Worm" - Advantages of Early Decision and First Round Applications. General Admissions.  

"Early Bird Eats the Worm" - Advantages of Early Decision and First Round Applications

Business schools’ enrollment statistics show the largest number of applicants takes place during their second rounds of admissions, which are usually in December and the first half of January.

In fact, almost 80% of classes are used to enroll admitted MBA students during winter rounds, though most b-schools underline great advantages of early application submission.

So what are the reasons of the second round popularity? They reflect personal and professional needs:

  • It takes 2-3 months to prepare for taking a GMAT before applying to business schools. Being engaged in active professional life, most candidates are not ready to do this on summer holidays, and plan to start their GMAT preparation in September. So it’s natural for them to be ready for their schools’ application by December the earliest

  • Personally, most business school applicants (including many of our clients) heavily rely on the statistics we’ve shown in the beginning and prefer to go alongside the largest pool of MBA applications. Some of them say they feel more comfortable running together with others and believe the AdComs are most prepared to finalize the selection process for 80% of their classes.

While those arguments may seem conventional, they do contradict many success stories of early applications. How are these stories traditionally different from the others?

  • MBA candidates, who apply during August-September, can get admitted with lower GMAT score (e.g. one of our customers got admission to Columbia Business School with 650, while another one with score under 600 got admitted to several top-30 business schools)

  • Successful MBA candidates, who apply in August or September, get good tuition discount offers (from 2000 to 5000 USD)

  • International applicants are usually first to get grants for their education abroad, because they know the results of their application 2 months ahead of other 80% applicants.

  • The schools, who get them onboard, welcome their early application with better scholarship opportunities. That does not mean, of course that the second round applicants will not have to reckon their scholarships up. More competitive scholarship candidates however, are those who apply ahead.

Why business schools appreciate early applications? Because AdComs have well-grounded reasons to value early birds:

  • Early Decision and First Round queries demonstrate strong motivation of the applicants. By being ready with GMAT scores and time and effort-consuming application package (CV, essays and recommendations) by the end of summer days, these guys have proved to be working very hard for the whole summer! It’s impressive for AdComs, indeed.

  • August and September applications strengthens commitment of the candidates to the very specific school – the thing many top business schools value a lot and may even add an additional score to their candidates’ profile. Interest to the particular school is one of core criteria for AdComs to understand the depth of applicant’s intentions and devotion to post-MBA career to assure he or she will become the graduate, who a school will be really proud of.

Following your personal early-bird strategy with significantly raise your chances to become a successful MBA candidate:



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Author: Victoria Dudka, MBA Strategy Consultants Team Lead

MBA Admissions Consulting Services


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