With most R2 applications closing around us, a natural question arises for those of you who haven’t applied yet: do I apply to R3 this year or push things back and go for R1 next year? This is a pretty personal decision and there are a lot of things to consider. This post is to help you figure out where you fall and what you should be thinking about as you make a decision. If you have any questions or want to talk about your plan with us, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Let’s address the 800lb gorilla in the room first. R3 (or R4 or R5…a handful of programs even have a R7) isn’t ideal. There aren’t a lot of seats left on the bus and you’re going toe to toe with a ton of other applicants from those who are behind on applying to those who didn’t see the R1 or R2 results they were hoping for. It’s a madhouse when it comes to R3. Not to mention, most scholarship money is allocated at this point so not only are you fighting tooth and nail for the few spots left, there’s also less aid to be had. R3 simply isn’t the ideal round but there are a few things to consider.
Is there something in your life that makes it imperative you apply this year? By that, we don’t mean you WANT to start school in the fall, we mean do you HAVE to start school in the fall. When put that way, most of you probably don’t have to do that. But some of you might. Make sure you delineate between WANT TO and HAVE TO. Another thing to think about is if you have the time to put forward amazing R3 applications. For that matter, will you have similar bandwidth for R1 deadlines? If you’re going to be swamped at work or out of the country during R1 next year, maybe R3 makes sense. The opposite is also true. But once again, you should be sensing a common theme here. R3 is ok if you have absolutely have no other choice. What about your career and trajectory? Are you young? Would postponing a few months give you the opportunity to develop key skills or get on that cool project you’ve had your eyes on? Or are you pushing the age limit threshold and need to get the ball rolling. Is another year not an option given where you are in your career and life?
There’s no right answer to whether you should apply R3 this year or postpone your apps until R1 next year but you should think it through. There are distinct advantages to applying in earlier rounds that could greatly outweigh the perceived benefits of hitting R3 this year. But, then again, folks get admitted during R3 at every single MBA program out there.
If you want to chat about your personal situation or need to talk things out with someone, we’re here for you. Feel free to sign up for a free consultation here
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