I was wondering if anyone knows which schools begin to review applications as soon as they are submitted vs. which schools wait until that round's deadline before they begin to review. I will be ready to submit some applications for Round I early, but I don't see the point in submitting early if they just go into a stack of files. The schools I am applying to include Stanford, Harvard, Booth, Northwestern, Michigan and Duke.
Cany anyone provide some insight on how adcoms review applications once submitted?
Good question paulmey23!
There's only one school where there's a definite, published advantage to submitting early, and that's Columbia. They explicitly process apps first-in/first-out, so a applicant would want to get in ahead of the crowd (regardless of ED, RD, J-Term or EMBA; the only exception is JD/MBA). NYU has rolling decisions, but it's not the same as Columbia's rolling evaluation process (yes it's confusing!!!).
For the schools on your list, Stanford used to encourage submitting before the deadline but more recently we've heard them say there's no advantage. Harvard also is very clear that they don't open any apps until the day after the deadline.
We have no concrete data to back this up but we do suspect that some schools do in fact start to look at apps when they come in early - but this isn't an advantage, it's just letting the school get a head start. Booth and Duke we believe do this, mostly due to their very fast turnaround times on when they announce interim decisions and interview calls. This does NOT mean that there's an advantage to submitting early nor a disadvantage to submitting on the deadline, it just means that they're being smart about their own workload.
Bottom line: Don't rush it! Apply when you're ready! Take the time to get it right. You can hit Submit at the very last minute before the cutoff and (except for Columbia!) you're in the running along with the rest of them.
That's a great list of schools BTW - some of our favorites - let us know if we can answer questions about them, and GOOD LUCK!
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