Research Phase

MBA Application Strategies for Round 1, Round 2 & Round 3 Deadlines

This week’s edition of Wednesday Wisdoms talks about application strategies for the Round1, Round 2 & Round 3 MBA application deadlines.



So one question that we keep getting asked is whether the 1st round, the 2nd round and the 3rd round of the applications – do they really matter?


First let me give you an idea of how these rounds work – when you apply to a b-school, typically, there are 3 rounds in which you can apply. You can either apply in round 1 which is in October, Round 2 which is in January or Round 3 which could be as late as March.


Now all things being equal, it is better to apply to the best schools that you want to, in the 1st round. Which means if you have a choice between say Haas Berkeley, which is your number 1 school and Krannert Purdue as your number 2 school, it is better to apply to Haas in October because you will typically get to know the decision and you would need to make a payment by say end December.
So you would apply to Krannert Purdue, depending on whether you get an admit from Haas. So all things being equal, try to apply to Round 1 as opposed to Round 2.


Having said that, one common myth that people have is that if I do not apply in Round 1, my chances are going to be slashed by 50% – not true. My advice is to apply to the school with your best possible application. Which means if you apply with a 650 GMAT score in Round 1 and a 720 GMAT in Round 2, you will definitely have a better chance in getting through that school with the Round 2 720 GMAT. So put in your best application.
Having said that, the schools that you want to most get into, try to use that in Round 1 and the second preference schools in Round 2. So that way you get to know the decisions.


Now coming to Round 3 which is going to be in March – the only problem for international applicants in applying in the last round is that by the time the decisions come, you need to take care of your I20 which is essentially required for your Visa, you need to take care of your finances, you need to take care of your tickets.
There are a lot of things that you need to do and sometimes 3 months that you get from the time the decision is made till the point you’re going to join the college could be a little too short for your comfort.

So net-net – Round 1, Round2 & Round 3, probably that’s how I would stack in order of preference. Thank you.


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