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Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!?

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Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2008, 15:40
So I'm planning to apply to a few schools during their round one (Oct/Nov time period). I have some back ups for Round 2. However, there's some schools with multiple rounds ie: Nov / Dec / Feb / March another school even have 5 rounds: Oct/Dec/Feb/April/May. Is there a difference between the 1st two rounds? Is there a difference in competition wise?

Also, I'm assuming if I apply to round 1 (Oct/Nov) period, I will know if I can get in by say December. In case I need to venture into round 2...some schools have a dec round two, another january round two. Won't it be really difficult to gather information to make it to some school's round two. What do people usually do? I'm assuming I don't apply to my backup schools because I don't want to spend so much time filling out applications/writing essays unless I can't get into my Round 1 choices, but if the time gap is so short, I would have had to started on the application on the round 2 essay before I even hear back from round 1 schools?

What's your suggestions and experience?
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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2008, 17:30
There are quite a few threads regarding this subject, and I would recommend searching around a little bit. However, I think you will find a general consensus on points -

1. Apply in the earliest round you can, as they are usually thought to be a little easier.
2. Only apply once you feel your app is ready. Don't apply in Round 1 with a sub-par app just because it is Round 1. If an extra month will make a difference in the quality of your app, wait, and submit it during Round 2.

As for schools with 5 rounds, I think generally that the first three or so rounds are usually easier, and the last couple harder. Similar to schools with three rounds, the first two are pretty similar, and the third is quite difficult.

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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2008, 09:45
definitely do a search or look in the Knowledge vault, hopefully that'll help. If not, ask away and we'll try our best to help.
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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2008, 10:21
Some factors you need to consider are:

- Learning curve (i.e. your last application will be better than your first).
- Have time to adjust your strategy as you get results.
- Avoid round 3 (or 4 if the school has 4 rounds).

As you see, there are tradeoffs to be made. You don't want to apply to your dream school first, because your application will be probably be weaker than if you applied later, but at the same time you don't want to have to decline an offer from a backup without any positive answers from your first options.

A way that could work is:

- Apply to 2 - 4 schools in Round 1. Make those schools 2-3 backups and 1-2 reach schools, but apply to the reach schools last. Based on results, decide on your round 2 options or be done.
- Apply to 2-3 schools in Round 2. Try to apply to schools that make quick decisions (eg: Wharton or Chicago with their interview deadlines) so that you have a sense of your chances before the Round 1 acceptance deadlines.

That way, the following possible outcomes occur:

- You get into a reach school in R1 and take the offer.
- You get into a backup school in R1 and ask them for an extension/ take the offer or decline the offer only if hearing positive things from the R2 reach schools.
- You get nowhere in R1, then adjust down your expectations in R2 (adding more backups), but still apply to a couple of reach schools just in case R1 was only bad luck.

It's not an easy game to play and it can be nerve-wrecking at times, but in the end most people have a favorable outcome.

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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2008, 05:46
Definitely be mindful of the notification dates / methodologies as well as the deposit deadlines.

Certainly not a factor in which schools to apply to but can help guide your strategy. Already mentioned is Wharton's mid-round decision. Interview invites mid-round can definitely be instructive in knowing the outcome of future rounds. Also, schools with rolling or Kellogg's pseudo "rolling" decisions (in a personal example) can often guide your decisions on 2nd round apps.

I had applications for Darden and Yale ready to go, but Kelloggs early decision saved me mucho money and frustration. On the flip side, an early rejection would have allowed me to spend more time polishing those apps (or perhaps not getting interview invited from other schools).

Also, be mindful of Round 1 deposit dates. You are often forced into making choices before you have all your decisions. Again, shouldn't affect your course, but can make for a couple nervewracking weeks. Keeping these things in mind earlier in the process can help smooth that out (at least from an expectations perspective$.

On the other points I agree with L, though definitely believe Round 1 is the round to apply if at all possible. Very hard to correct course if you save all your apps (or the vast majority) to round 2. A friend of mine applied to just Stanford round 1. Got interviewed than rejected. He had only prepared top 5 apps for round 2 and got rejected from them all. Had he more data from round 1, might have had more data, he might have been able to alter his strategy.
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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2008, 15:58
So say I apply to in R1: 1 reach, 2 ok, 1 safety and I only get into the safety but was waitlisted at my reach or ok school. How long does schools usually let you know when you're off the waitlist (either in or out)? Would they make me wait til end of R2. By that time, my safety school would def have the deposit deadline and I'm pretty sure 4 weeks extension is rare to none. What would I do? So would it make more sense to apply to the safety in round 2 so I wouldn't run into that situation? I suppose my goal is not to get greedy and end up with nothing at the end!
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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2008, 06:26
A Round 3 application for a school is almost a waste of time. Some schools like Duke and UNC announced that they didn't admit any R3 candidates. Schools like Columbia have said they were working with few spots back in March before my application was even under reivew.

By the time you submit your R3 application, the class is almost full and you are competing with all the waitlist candidates too. The selectivity for R3 applicants is really, really tough even for well qualified people since AdCom is trying to round out and fill in the gaps of the class. Good luck.

*I applied to NYU (still no decision) and Columbia (WL) really late.
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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2008, 06:30
The amount of time you spend on the WL can vary. Some people get waitlisted in R1 and later admitted in R2, other people get waitlisted and are stuck there until the summer, others never get off. It is a complete crapshoot.

I would recommend applying to 1-2 reach schools and 2-3 "sweet spots" in R1. Save your safety application(s) for R2. Another option is applying to a safety in R1. Then, if your scenario comes true, you could pay your deposit and later eat it if you get accepted off the WL.

I have not been keeping a close watch on the waitlist situation this year, but I seem to recall some people mentioning that they are not moving too much due to the higher application volume this year. If this is the case, I would expect something similar for next year.
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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2008, 07:37
How much are deposits (generally)? I've read a school that requires 1st deposit 4 weeks after the decision and the final deposit 4 weeks after that. Does that mean if your first deposit is just to secure a spot but the second one is binding that you'll attend? What is the general practice with bschools? It is bad practice to put down a deposit and later not go after hearing from a "dream" school?
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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2008, 09:03
navy01 wrote:
A Round 3 application for a school is almost a waste of time. Some schools like Duke and UNC announced that they didn't admit any R3 candidates. Schools like Columbia have said they were working with few spots back in March before my application was even under reivew.

By the time you submit your R3 application, the class is almost full and you are competing with all the waitlist candidates too. The selectivity for R3 applicants is really, really tough even for well qualified people since AdCom is trying to round out and fill in the gaps of the class. Good luck.

*I applied to NYU (still no decision) and Columbia (WL) really late.


Actually, UNC is one of the schools that has 4 rounds, so their round 3 would be like a "normal" round 2.
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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 05:42
natuago91 wrote:
How much are deposits (generally)? I've read a school that requires 1st deposit 4 weeks after the decision and the final deposit 4 weeks after that. Does that mean if your first deposit is just to secure a spot but the second one is binding that you'll attend? What is the general practice with bschools? It is bad practice to put down a deposit and later not go after hearing from a "dream" school?


Deposits are generally $1000. Many schools require a decision after 4 week or so. Some give extensions (Haas), some do not (Kellogg, though they're flexible by 2-3 days). Most schools will have a decision date after their first Admit Weekend, so things may work out.

There is no "second" deposit as far as I know based on the schools I've applied to. They are also not binding, so all you lose is the $1000. Many people do that so they have more time to decide between two schools.

It's not bad practice to put down a deposit and then leave, it has happened before.

I would strongly suggest 1 safety school (one which you'll attend if that's the only school you get into) in R1 so that you are more relaxed after January in case you don't get into your other reach/sweet spot schools. Nothing is worse than still waiting for that one admit in late-March. Read some posts on this forum from this past year and you'll see the anxiety. :)
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Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2009, 10:18
navy01 wrote:
A Round 3 application for a school is almost a waste of time. Some schools like Duke and UNC announced that they didn't admit any R3 candidates. Schools like Columbia have said they were working with few spots back in March before my application was even under reivew.

By the time you submit your R3 application, the class is almost full and you are competing with all the waitlist candidates too. The selectivity for R3 applicants is really, really tough even for well qualified people since AdCom is trying to round out and fill in the gaps of the class. Good luck.

*I applied to NYU (still no decision) and Columbia (WL) really late.



Where did u get this info about Duke? I am going to apply to R3 at Duke.
Re: Round 1 vs Round 2 vs Round 3 ... ?!?   [#permalink] 04 Jan 2009, 10:18
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