From what I've read on this forum, my understanding is it really depends.
First, I recommend reading the Best MBA application tips
thread as it's got some great suggestions.
Second, I recommend sifting through the forum as there are some other threads that discuss these exact questions.
But, based on what I've read, here's what I would say.
- It's better to not apply to all your schools in the same round for a few reasons. (1) You would have to get all your applications and essays done at the same time, which I would imagine can be very stressful; (2) Your applications, especially essays, supposedly get better over time (makes sense to me), so the first couple of schools to which you apply might not have the best application packets.
- While it is true that deposits are often due before you hear back from Round 2 schools, some programs will allow you to extend a few weeks if you ask. I've seen a few posts on this forum of this happening to people. If you do apply in two different rounds and have to pay a deposit on a Round 1 school, consider it an investment in case you don't make it through in your Round 2 schools. Not ideal, I realize.
Bottom line, I think it depends on what is most important to you and with what you would be most comfortable.