This is an excellent question, both in content and structure.
Bottom line - You do not if you want to apply round three. You have to weigh the probability of getting into a school that you would actually want to attend in R3, the number of seats still available in R2, the effect that a re-applicant status would have on any subsequent application and how the admissions committee would you your age.
Let's start with the age factor – the reality is that you will only be six months older than you would have been if you had applied in round three. I believe that you are over weighting the impact that this factor will have on your candidacy. I know that you may feel like a graying man every subsequent day, but the reality is that their status – either old or young – is really not going to change in six months. How ever the admissions committee will you your age in round three, is pretty much how they will view it in round one of next year.
So what could happen if you applied in round three anyway?
The doomsday scenario would probably play out like this – you apply with a rush application to approximately five or six schools because you know there are only a limited amount seats left. You hedge your bets and choices along the top 15 schools. The schools at the top of your list simply have very little room for another consultant. The schools at the bottom of your list will think that you got rejected in round one or two and are now throwing darts to see what comes up. Schools at the bottom of your list accept you.
However, after you receive your acceptance letter you realize that there are only three more months before you can apply again to round one. So then what you decide to do is to reapply to your top school choices in round one -- the schools that rejected you.
Remember, the schools you were accepted to in round one need an answer from you ASAP. You decide not to attend any of the lower ranked schools -- wasting their time and yours. As a re-applicant, you are now under the gun to show the school how you have improved since you last applied. Basically, you have about five or six months worth of time to show that you made an improvement. This is a short time - generally not enough time to have any type of meaningful impact work. It could be, but it is not likely. Schools generally hope – when they ask this question – you will have had approximately a years worth of time to improve.
Trust me on this one - apply round one of next year ... I hope this helps.
- White, American male
- Age: 30 (31 as of summer 2012)
- GMAT: 770 (Q49, V48, AWA 6.0)
- GPA: 3.3 from tier 1 public school
- Solid volunteer experience post-undergrad, some undergrad activities
Wharton, Booth, Columbia, Kellogg, NYU, Darden (in order of preference)
I am currently a manager in the strategy & operations (S&O) consulting function of a Big 4 firm (the only one that still has a true consulting function). I transferred into the S&O group from our tech consulting practice in 2009, after teaming with the group on post-merger integration projects for about 1.5 years. MY post-MBA goal is to return to the firm and expand my role in our M&A practice beyond post-merger integration and into M&A strategy, target screening, etc., with a long-term goal of becoming a partner in this practice.
I began planning for an MBA in mid-2010, and took the GMAT in late December of that year. Effective 1/1/2011, my firm suspended its full-time education assistance program, which would have paid for my MBA in full.
Given that change, I considered applying to an EMBA program, which my firm would partially cover. I ultimately decided against an EMBA because my travel schedule (which includes international travel) would make it difficult to consistently attend Friday classes. Additionally, I would like to concentrate on finance, and most EMBA programs offer very limited electives.
As of 1/1/2012, my firm re-instituted the full-time education assistance program from my group. I'm now torn between applying in round 3 this year and waiting until round 1 next year. I understand that the odds of being admitted in round 3 are slim, but my age is also a consideration. I have a pretty valid reason for the late application, but I realize that most spots are simply taken by round 3. Applying to lower-ranked schools is not really an option, as my firm will only pay for certain schools (basically top 15).
Given my age and profile, could it make more sense to apply this year? If I apply this year and am not admitted, is there a disadvantage to being a reapplicant next year?