From talking to people, the consensus seems to be that wharton/booth/kellogg are re-applicant friendly while columbia/sloan are not. I'm thinking of re-applying to columbia/wharton if my GMAT re-take goes well, but i got dinged 2 years ago and also dinged 4 years ago on my first attempt. With Sloan I applied just once before. I'm wondering if re-applying to those programs would be futile. Have you guys ever heard of people getting into columbia/sloan as re-applicants? Did they fundamentally change their work experience or was it more minor tweaks?
Firstly, Columbia is definitely a re applicant friendly school. Why do you say they are not? 10% of applicants at columbia are re applicants, and 20% of them make it - higher than the overall selectivity of 15-16% (Source: Businessweek, stats from last year). I am not sure about Sloan. Kellogg is definitely reapp friendly and probably the other schools you mention. The only schools I know of which are perceived to be reapplicant unfriendly are HBS and INSEAD.
To get into a Columbia as a reapplicant, more than one of the following should definitely help (not in order of importance):
1. Very good improvement in your GMAT score - assuming you are below 700, taking it above Columbia's GMAT average of 710-720
2. Strong career progression at work - promotions, additional responsibilities, large team. Changing jobs from a smaller company to a bigger company, OR the other way round with a highly exciting role in the smaller company
3. Great recommendations - last time you could have had a weak/bad recommendation, maybe even lukewarm. You'll probably want to select your recommenders much more carefully and monitor their enthusiasm much more closely
4. Excellent essays - hit them out of the park! Columbia of course doesnt give you enough room to do this, requiring only one additional essay from a reapplicant. But you can shine through if your overall profile captures the above + you write a fantastic essay
Hope this helps.
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