From the HBS Admission Director's blog (bold added):
And now for something NOT about Round 2 Interviews...http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/blog.html
This is about a change in the mechanics of the 2+2 Program and isn't meant to be headline news. These are details of a "merge" of college senior applicants into the 2+2 Program application cycle. In other words, the mechanics of the 2+2 Program are changing to include ALL college seniors.
Here goes: beginning with the next application cycle—the 2+2 Class of 2016 Cohort—we're expanding the 2+2 Program umbrella to include all college senior applicants. What does this mean? It means that if you are expecting to graduate between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012, you can choose from one of four application rounds to apply to the 2+2 Program.
* Early Round: July 2011 application deadline; September 2011 notification
* Round 1: October 2011 application deadline; December 2011 notification
* Round 2: January 2012 application deadline; March, 2012 notification
* Round 3: March 2012 application deadline; May, 2012 notification
Rounds 1, 2 and 3 will be the same dates as the regular MBA Program application/notification dates; at this point they are TBD and will be announced later in the spring.
Are there any hidden messages about HBS strategy in this? No. It's a mechanical change to bring all college seniors under the same 2+2 umbrella which will enable us to have a cleaner outreach message to this group.
This should clarify our policy regarding college seniors without full-time post-college work experience. All will be considered for "deferred admission" - a place in a future class after two years of work experience. No college seniors without full-time post-college work experience will be admitted to HBS directly.
We are still looking for talented leaders with very strong academic credentials. We hope that roughly half of each cohort will be students coming from engineering and science backgrounds while the other half will represent a wide range of undergraduate studies. We anticipate that the 2+2 cohort size will stay in the 100-125 range, as it has historically been.
The 2+2 webpage is updated to reflect these changes.