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Should I apply to my top school in Round 1?

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Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 27 May 2013, 23:02
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Hello,

I'm applying to business schools this year and Stanford is my top choice followed by MIT Sloan. I've read on several blogs that one should apply to top choices later as the essays tend to get better with time. I really want to get into either Stanford or MIT and I was wondering if I should push those to Round 2 instead or apply in Round 1. I plan on concentrating on my essays in July once I'm done with the GMAT.

Please advice.

Thanks.
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Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 28 May 2013, 00:29
smock wrote:
Hello,

I'm applying to business schools this year and Stanford is my top choice followed by MIT Sloan. I've read on several blogs that one should apply to top choices later as the essays tend to get better with time. I really want to get into either Stanford or MIT and I was wondering if I should push those to Round 2 instead or apply in Round 1. I plan on concentrating on my essays in July once I'm done with the GMAT.

Please advice.

Thanks.


Well according to my research and analysis...I believe if one is targeting schools within the top 10 ranks then he should apply in round 1, so that once the decision is out and let say u do not get selected (because they are obviously very competitive owing not only to GMAT and GPA!) you have a fair chance for round 2 which is almost the same as round 1 just with a lil difference....! now the difference is that in round 2 even though most applicants apply then we still cannot forget the fact that teh formation of class (with respect to the diversity, undergrad and post grad profiles, WE,,...etc) has already began in round 1...

So i believe apply for round 1 (top schools) and round 2 (within reach schools) if u don't get selected in R1...all the best
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Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 28 May 2013, 04:25
The acceptance rate at Sloan this year was 11% in R1 and 7% in R2. In fact, Sloan is well known for taking half of its class from each round, regardless of the number of applicants (the application volume is higher in R2).

For what it's worth, I applied in R1.
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Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 28 May 2013, 11:37
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I actually think this is a really good--albeit not necessarily ideal--strategy to wait until round 2 for your top choices.

I only did 1 school round 2 (Yale) and my essays were head and shoulders above my round 1 essays. It's amazing what a few months can do to foster additional reflection and comfort with the MBA admissions process. I literally wrote my Yale essays one morning on a whim at work, made some minor edits, and was good to go. My round 1 essays, by contrast, took a lot more planning and were still not as fluid or compelling as my Yale essays (but perhaps this was some subconscious sign that Yale was the best school for me all along :P ).

Now, this strategy wasn't really intentional on my part--after receiving admission to Darden and striking out at Sloan, I basically decided that I really wanted a better chance at New England option. I really felt I had made a mistake not applying to Yale before because I kept having that "what if" feeling--I liked the curriculum, the students, the social impact focus, the location, etc.

I realize that my situation isn't necessarily representative, and it certainly isn't exactly the same as yours, but here's how I'd break out the pros/cons for round 2 (assuming you apply to a few "back-up" type schools in round 1):

Pros:
  • as you mentioned, your essays are likely to be better
  • on a less tangible level, you're more likely "get" the admissions process and how to present yourself in both your application and interview
  • having an admit from a lower-ranked school (that you'd still like to attend) gives you security and can boost your confidence for round 2 applications
  • you buy yourself extra time, generally without a penalty (as kingfalcon said, round 1 and 2 admissions for Sloan and most other schools are about equal in terms of selectivity/competitiveness)--and particularly if you're a young candidate, this few months could make a huge difference in terms of a promotion or additional project that you could mention

Cons:
  • you drag the process out longer
  • if you don't get into your round 1 schools, your confidence may take a big hit
  • if you do get into a round 1 school, you will very likely be in the position where you make multiple deposits (as I was) because you have to secure a spot at a different school before hearing from Sloan/Stanford

Bottom line: you can definitely make an argument for either. If I could do it again, I personally would’ve done more round 2s and given myself a bit more time to develop my story. Good luck!
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Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 28 May 2013, 16:57
smock wrote:
Hello,

I'm applying to business schools this year and Stanford is my top choice followed by MIT Sloan. I've read on several blogs that one should apply to top choices later as the essays tend to get better with time. I really want to get into either Stanford or MIT and I was wondering if I should push those to Round 2 instead or apply in Round 1. I plan on concentrating on my essays in July once I'm done with the GMAT.

Please advice.

Thanks.


id apply round 1 and start early. id also consider hiring a consultant.
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Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 28 May 2013, 17:53
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Applying to all my top schools in R1 was well worth it. I could not have handled waiting any longer. Sure my essays got better over time, but you can also be strategic about how you work on your applications.

Haas was my last choice (hmmm, I wonder if that's why they waitlisted me...), so I started on those applications first. I definitely improved my voice and refined my story through those essays, but I felt more than warmed up to get working on my other applications. Since I started early I was also able to come back with fresh eyes to essays I'd drafted a month earlier.

As my fellow Yalie, lb2015, points out, you could definitely be successful with either strategy. I'll just add that you must have a strategy (any strategy!) that rounds out the ENTIRE application season. You definitely don't want to bank on R3, so if you wait on your top programs until R2, you should still apply R1 to great schools that would make you happy.
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Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 28 May 2013, 19:09
I would also add that how many schools you plan on applying to can weigh into this too. I applied to a lot of schools (ended up withdrawing my two Rnd 2 apps once I got in Rnd 1) and by round 2 was totally burned out. I would say the sweet spot for me came around my 3rd/4th application. At that point I felt like I knew how to attack the essays and was comfortable with interviewing. I think everyone else above has mentioned the pros and cons. But I gotta say that if felt really good being done with this process early, like Machichi, there is no way I would have been able to wait to Rnd 2 to hear the results! Plus I felt comfortable knowing that I had Rnd 2 as a backup if I didn't get into my top choices in Rnd 1.

If you're able to start this early, seems like you can knock out a few applications for schools that aren't at the top of your list before doing your top choice applications. Unfortunately interviews will totally depend on the school's timeline, but just practice, practice and you should be fine!
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Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 29 May 2013, 18:25
I'm a little weird in that I staggered my applications almost entirely based on deadline and what would keep me in an even flow of writing essays. That said, Sloan and CBS were the two exceptions; I was dead set on getting those in early because of the impact of ED on other applicants (CBS) and the two-round system (Sloan).
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Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2013, 00:55
Hi,

Starting early is always beneficial. I would prefer applying in top b-schools in R-1. You may start writing essays by devoting 30-45 minutes everyday. Try your chances in b-school(s) by clicking http://www.apphelp.co.in/b-school-selector.php

Hope this helps!!

Regards
Erina


smock wrote:
Hello,

I'm applying to business schools this year and Stanford is my top choice followed by MIT Sloan. I've read on several blogs that one should apply to top choices later as the essays tend to get better with time. I really want to get into either Stanford or MIT and I was wondering if I should push those to Round 2 instead or apply in Round 1. I plan on concentrating on my essays in July once I'm done with the GMAT.

Please advice.

Thanks.

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Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2013, 02:39
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Actually there are a lot of considerations you need to take into account when you figure out your application schedule, and only one of them is which schools you want to go to the most. Other things are - when you are starting, how much free time you have, what the essay questions are, what the deadlines are, how many schools you are trying to hit, etc. And I do agree with those who wrote that your essays will get better with each school, and that you want to always keep writing, so that's two more!

All things considered, the best thing you can do is to have applied to your entire list by R1. And then you have all of R2 for leeway.
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Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1? [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2013, 22:26
Also consider the number of recommendations you can get per recommendor and the time it would take for that.
Re: Should I apply to my top school in Round 1?   [#permalink] 05 Jun 2013, 22:26
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