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Why do Adcoms hold decisions?

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Why do Adcoms hold decisions? [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2007, 05:47
I have contemplated for quite some time as why Adcoms will not release decisions as soon as they are made? It is clearly impossible for them to make 100% of decisions the day prior to the deadline. So why not release them as they are made?
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2007, 05:56
two reasons I can think of, off the top of my head:

- they are well aware the melee that a long period of interview calls creates, so why do that when you can avoid it
- because the pack will keep changing all the time. I honestly believe it is like a gigantic game of musical chairs in those meetings

It is to try and manage their situation best, and look after applicants worry levels. Imagine, if in three weeks time someone got an admit. It would be on Business Week, Ad411 and here within the day. Everyone else who had gone to interview would put themselves through the mill for three weeks or so, purely because the adcom felt like revealing one admit. People go mental over known unknowns, so keeping it as tight as possible is fairest to everyone.
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Re: Why do Adcoms hold decisions? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 09:36
squali83 wrote:
I have contemplated for quite some time as why Adcoms will not release decisions as soon as they are made? It is clearly impossible for them to make 100% of decisions the day prior to the deadline. So why not release them as they are made?


Depends on if they do rounds or rolling admissions.

We really don't know exactly what these guys do behind closed doors but some students are more easily admitted than others.

Like it is with most college admissions, I think it's fair that there are rounds where applications are examined, and then decisions are released at the same time. If the adcom reaches all decisions for a round earlier than the published deadline, then if they want to release them then, I think they should. However, I also don't mid if there is an early decision option as well (not a fan of early action at least to me).

Last edited by novanative on 29 Feb 2012, 09:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why do Adcoms hold decisions? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2012, 09:58
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There are four reasons I can think of as to why they do this:

1. What do they have to gain by giving out admissions early?
There is no benefit, and there is a chance that they will change their mind. And as more people apply, the more information they will have available.

2. For the sake of the applicants
It is a painful process to wait and hear back. We all know this, and this is probably the reason why you are asking the question. But at the same time, once the admissions committee starts releasing decisions it becomes increasingly painful for the applicants. If they started rolling out admits people would be checking their email and phone every 5 seconds hoping that next email is an admit. If you know they won't post anything until a day or two before the deadline, the wait isn't so agonizing.

There is also another reason to this respect. If they started rolling out admits, you would know that the first people to get the admits would have been the "no questions asked, admit". And the closer it got to the deadline, the more you would know you were on the edge. It would feel like you were the last one picked by the captains at the kickball game. No fun. Or imagine if you were the first to recieve a ding. You'd be the "you suck, ding" applicant. NOOO THANKS.

3. Efficiency
Business school admissions processes are probably one of the most efficient processes around. I mean, you can't work at the business school without all that learning rubbing off. It's most efficient as a team to work through the process, then release all admits, then field questions, then help waitlisters, then start the process over... or something to that effect. This is one of the main reasons why so many schools have turned away from rolling admissions. It just makes more sense to find a process, and repeat it over and over, to maximize efficiency. With more applicants in this down economy, this make more sense then ever.

4. The harder you work to get in, the more you want to be a part of it:
Think of the fraternity brother who gets hazed during rush. This is the worst few months of his life, but when he's done, he feels like part of the group and has created a bond with his fellow members. This is kind of the same with a Bschool. It has been scientifically proven that the harder you work towards something, the more you feel a part of it, and a better sense of achievement you recieve if you accomplish it. So the harder they make you sweat it out, the more you want to be a part of it. It also gives them some leverage. I've heard of some applicants being weary of a bschool where they gained acceptance too easily. For example, if you applied and they accepted you 2 days later, you might think "hey, they really like me, I bet I can do beter!". In some ways its a negotiation tactic. Think of the guy that is waiting for a job offer, and they really make him sweat it out for months. By the time he gets the offer, he is not going to negotiate the salary, he just wants sign the dotted line.

Anyone else with any other ideas?
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Re: Why do Adcoms hold decisions? [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2012, 12:46
[quote="GMATLA"] [quote]

I love reading your comments, you are very insightful, detailed and well-thought out :P
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Re: Why do Adcoms hold decisions? [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2012, 12:55
My best guess is class mix. They need to know exactly who's been flagged for admit internally, and then they build the class. Some of those admits turn into waitlists. Some of the waitlists turn into dings. The few days between final mix and release date are probably used to update the database for decision generation.

If you go with a rolling admissions process, you're paying no heed to class mix. You just admit every person who looks great and hope it works out in the end. You also run into issues of quality, class size and yield unless you wait. What if you've already admitted your target number, but the best applications were the ones that are on the bottom of your unread pile? Sounds like a giant headache to me!
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Re: Why do Adcoms hold decisions? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2012, 10:58
method wrote:
My best guess is class mix. They need to know exactly who's been flagged for admit internally, and then they build the class. Some of those admits turn into waitlists. Some of the waitlists turn into dings. The few days between final mix and release date are probably used to update the database for decision generation.

If you go with a rolling admissions process, you're paying no heed to class mix. You just admit every person who looks great and hope it works out in the end. You also run into issues of quality, class size and yield unless you wait. What if you've already admitted your target number, but the best applications were the ones that are on the bottom of your unread pile? Sounds like a giant headache to me!


With rolling admissions, at least to use law schools as an example, even though there is rolling admission for most law schools, it's not like the adcoms there make a decision within a month of receiving a student's application. If a student is clearly in it based on numbers alone, then yes, he/she gets the welcome packet, and if a student's numbers are clearly out of line, the rejection comes quickly. However, law school adcoms seem to be taking their time with the glut of applicants in the middle, and seem to put more students on a wait list, and they use it almost all the time as well. This year, with the considerable drop in applicants, and the apparent lack of realization or underestimation of this from the adcoms, expect the waitlists in law school to be used quite heavily this year over the next several months.
Re: Why do Adcoms hold decisions?   [#permalink] 02 Mar 2012, 10:58
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