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# Dilemma: to what schools to apply first?

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Dilemma: to what schools to apply first? [#permalink]

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16 May 2010, 22:27
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Hi guys,

My dilemma is to what schools to apply in first round and to what in second round? I know that the more one completes applications and writes essays, the better the application package is. However, If I apply in R1 to the schools from 3rd and some from 2nd category (see below), it is high probability that I would be accepted, and than I would not be able to apply in R2 to my top choice schools, because of higher competition and because of requirement to pay deposit, etc).
If I apply in R1 to my top choice schools, then my application package would not be so perfect.

should I somehow mix up schools for R1 and R2? How many applications it is advisible to perform at once?

thank you a lot, guys.

I have classified all schools in the following categories:
1."my top choice schools" - for me its a DREAM to be accepted there. (examples are HBS, Columbia, Booth)
2. "not my dream schools, but where I would go, if accepted, just because of school's high rank" (i.e., Kellogg, Yale, Duke - are classified in this category due to some reasons).
3. "safety schools" - (some european/UK schools of course I am not talking about INSEAD, LBS here)

If such a topic was discussed before, please redirect me.
Thank you BB .
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Re: Dilemma: to what schools to apply first? [#permalink]

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17 May 2010, 05:12
The differences among rounds is a bit overblown, if you ask me.

I would just try to come up with a schedule that allows you to include some schools from each category in each round, without getting burned out. Part of this will have to do as much with the schools' individual deadlines within a round as anything else.

I would do maybe something like this:
Rd 1: Euro School 1, Yale, HBS, Columbia (in that order)
Rd 2: Booth , Kellogg, Duke, Euro School 2 (in that order)
Rd 3 (optional): Euro Schools 3 & 4

My reasoning is that--no matter how confident you are in your abilities--your application will evolve and your process will get much tighter as you progress through the first round. For that reason, you don't want to begin with your dream school. Rather, it's best to develop your application using a "backup" school. For round two, the effect is less pronounced, and I'd rather just attack my top choice immediately.

This is, of course, subject to your personal school preferences, and actual deadlines.

Also, don't dilute your candidacy by applying to too many schools. If you know deep down that you'd rather wait a year and reapply than to go to a program, you might as well save the time and money.

Finally, plans fall through. I didn't get to apply to a lot of my top schools because I simply got sick of spending all of my free time on applications. I was lucky to get into a couple of amazing programs, but I still wonder whether I would have gotten into some of my other targets.
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Re: Dilemma: to what schools to apply first? [#permalink]

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17 May 2010, 05:43
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My advice is to only apply for the schools you actually want to go to, unless you want an MBA now. You don’t want to end up in a situation in which you only have an acceptance to your safety that you don’t want to attend, but are tempted to do so. Like “bonethugnhominy” said, don’t dilute you candidacy with too many schools. Successful candidates typically apply to 3-5 schools.

If you dream school is CBS, you should just apply ED for them. You’ll improve your chances, and if you get in there’s no regards.

So here’s how I would apply:
ED: CBS
R1: Yale (Yale has really early R1 deadline)
R2: (1 dream school) (1 or 2 of your R2 schools)

I also would say if you are not accepted at CBS, to concentrate on your other dream schools. Although a bschool admission is semi-random, but observing the forum the past 2 years, I don’t remember seeing any HBS admit who are dinged at CBS.
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Re: Dilemma: to what schools to apply first? [#permalink]

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18 May 2010, 11:09
I really think you should apply to your first chioces, then move on to others.

I focused on all applications and ended up applying to all schools in round two. I was fortunate to be accepted to all schools and had the hardest time choosing...
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Re: Dilemma: to what schools to apply first? [#permalink]

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18 May 2010, 11:42
hwiya320 wrote:
I really think you should apply to your first chioces, then move on to others.

I focused on all applications and ended up applying to all schools in round two. I was fortunate to be accepted to all schools and had the hardest time choosing...

thanks.

I think that everyone has to find its own unique set of applications for each round.
The most important thing is not to end up in applying in round three instead of one.
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Re: Dilemma: to what schools to apply first? [#permalink]

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18 May 2010, 12:12
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Pkit wrote:
Hi guys,

My dilemma is to what schools to apply in first round and to what in second round? I know that the more one completes applications and writes essays, the better the application package is. However, If I apply in R1 to the schools from 3rd and some from 2nd category (see below), it is high probability that I would be accepted, and than I would not be able to apply in R2 to my top choice schools, because of higher competition and because of requirement to pay deposit, etc).
If I apply in R1 to my top choice schools, then my application package would not be so perfect.

should I somehow mix up schools for R1 and R2? How many applications it is advisible to perform at once?

thank you a lot, guys.

I have classified all schools in the following categories:
1."my top choice schools" - for me its a DREAM to be accepted there. (examples are HBS, Columbia, Booth)
2. "not my dream schools, but where I would go, if accepted, just because of school's high rank" (i.e., Kellogg, Yale, Duke - are classified in this category due to some reasons).
3. "safety schools" - (some european/UK schools of course I am not talking about INSEAD, LBS here)

If such a topic was discussed before, please redirect me.
Thank you BB .

Here's what I would do in your situation:

ED:

R1:
Kellogg-They have a pretty standard application that includes several essays that form a great base for the rest of your applications and can be easily molded into a variety of questions. Apply there and leverage this foundation for other applications. Also has open interview policy so provides great practice for future interviews (at your dream schools).
Duke-A little different than Kellogg's application but could do nicely to round out different essays. Also has open interview policy in October so provides great practice for future interviews (again, at your dream schools)

After these three you'll have a terrific foundation to really put together strong essays should they be needed in R2 for your other DREAM schools (HBS, Booth). I can honestly say my R2 essays were at least 3-4 times better than my R1 essays and all of them were based upon the essays I submitted R1.
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Re: Dilemma: to what schools to apply first? [#permalink]

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18 May 2010, 13:41
ACNguy wrote:
Here's what I would do in your situation:

ED:

R1:
Kellogg-They have a pretty standard application that includes several essays that form a great base for the rest of your applications and can be easily molded into a variety of questions. Apply there and leverage this foundation for other applications. Also has open interview policy so provides great practice for future interviews (at your dream schools).
Duke-A little different than Kellogg's application but could do nicely to round out different essays. Also has open interview policy in October so provides great practice for future interviews (again, at your dream schools)

After these three you'll have a terrific foundation to really put together strong essays should they be needed in R2 for your other DREAM schools (HBS, Booth). I can honestly say my R2 essays were at least 3-4 times better than my R1 essays and all of them were based upon the essays I submitted R1.

thank you, this is smart to have easy to modelled essays, and just to improve them over the time. MOreover, this will give me more self-confidence when applying to other schools.
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Re: Dilemma: to what schools to apply first? [#permalink]

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20 May 2010, 01:34
I also noticed that my essays (reasoning, contents, clarity of what I wanted to convey) improved A LOT in the later rounds, compared to the first applications I sent. In my case, I applied to my two first choice schools last - because they required the GMAT to be done by the time the application was submitted. The other schools allowed results to be sent a little past application deadline. So I ended up sending IMHO the most polished essays to my top choices - and I got admitted to both.

That said, the CBS ED would probably have been my first application, for practical reasons. And I would definitely try to send in all my top choices in late R1, or alternately R2, not wait any longer.
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Re: Dilemma: to what schools to apply first? [#permalink]

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23 May 2010, 22:09
ery interesting discussion:

DSs: CBS, LBS, NYU (in that order)
Other: Booth, Duke, Yale, Corneel, INSEAD

thanks - greatly appreciated
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Re: Dilemma: to what schools to apply first? [#permalink]

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30 May 2010, 07:49
asimov wrote:
My advice is to only apply for the schools you actually want to go to, unless you want an MBA now. You don’t want to end up in a situation in which you only have an acceptance to your safety that you don’t want to attend, but are tempted to do so. Like “bonethugnhominy” said, don’t dilute you candidacy with too many schools. Successful candidates typically apply to 3-5 schools.

If you dream school is CBS, you should just apply ED for them. You’ll improve your chances, and if you get in there’s no regards.

So here’s how I would apply:
ED: CBS
R1: Yale (Yale has really early R1 deadline)
R2: (1 dream school) (1 or 2 of your R2 schools)

I also would say if you are not accepted at CBS, to concentrate on your other dream schools. Although a bschool admission is semi-random, but observing the forum the past 2 years, I don’t remember seeing any HBS admit who are dinged at CBS.

Look here, it is a profile of gregory he was dinged from Columbia and accepted to HBS. It seems to me that I know him.

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Re: Dilemma: to what schools to apply first?   [#permalink] 30 May 2010, 07:49
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