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Is Harvard Receptive to Re-applicants?

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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 21 Jun 2010
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Location: CA, USA
Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, MIT, NYU, Yale, +
Is Harvard Receptive to Re-applicants? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2016, 15:51
From Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts),, email:

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as an applicant or re-applicant?

Feel free to sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel Watts, a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 25 years of work with MBA applicants, fill out the form on our homepage at


Sign up for a Ding Analysis, in which we can review your prior application and give you detailed feedback about how to improve your next application. Current Special Pricing: $265. For a Ding Analysis, send an inquiry to or visit

We welcome you to sign up for our FREE informative Newsletter, which provides useful tips, insider information and guidance for applying to top MBA programs. Sign up on the right hand side of our homepage at

Is Harvard Receptive to Re-applicants?

Most of the major MBA programs are receptive to re-applicants if the re-applicant makes certain to correct the perceived weakness(es) in their prior application. We have written a long article that discusses 7 Best Practices for Re-applicants, located here:

But what specifically about Harvard?

In our experience, Harvard can be very receptive to re-applicants as long as you fix the prior shortcomings of your candidacy or application and as long as you are still within their ideal age range. (Candidates above the age of 32 generally have a much harder time with HBS admissions even if they fix other perceived weaknesses of their HBS application.) We have seen candidates go from rejection with no interview to HBS admission the very next year – from all sorts of backgrounds, including American, African, East Asian and European.

Bear in mind that Harvard Business School has one of the most challenging acceptance rates of all of the top MBA programs. The admissions rate is often around 11%, which means that 89% of all applicants are rejected!

Nevertheless, we have helped candidates to achieve success at Harvard with a re-application. It has helped tremendously when the candidate meets the very high academic bar that Harvard has, with its relatively high GMAT average and its relatively high average GPA for matriculating students. (But please note, some of our candidates with GPAs around 2.7 and 2.8 have made it in when they have had extenuating circumstances that explain the GPA and can point to other solid evidence that they can perform academically at the school.)

What are among the most common aspects of an application or candidacy that need to be addressed with a reapplication? Certainly, what you might need to address or “fix” will be very specific to your own candidacy and the application you put forward. But the most common areas for further work include presenting a better essay – one that presents some of your best credentials, clarifies how you will fit with the HBS culture and curriculum based on your past and your future goals, and highlights your leadership and potential to contribute to HBS. Other areas that are often problems to be addressed in a prior application are recommendations that were not strong enough, a lack of adequate leadership in your extracurricular activities, a GMAT score that is too low and failure to use the HBS application form effectively in showcasing your strengths and uniqueness.

So, if you are interested in re-applying to Harvard, make sure to identify the weaknesses in your candidacy and application. If you had a solid overall application but one flat recommendation, you need to reapply with a stellar application – including the essays – and stellar recommendations. If your GPA is high but you applied with a less-than-ideal GMAT score, say around 640, you should strive to secure a much higher score, ideally 710 or above. If you did not put enough effort into your essay, but otherwise your credentials are competitive, you need to present a new application that shows clearly a great deal of effort in preparation and excellent content.

Success is possible!

Ask about our current specials – Comprehensive packages beginning at $1495 (Compare with our competitors who charge $4,400!); Basic editing of one application for $925. Valid through March 30, 2016. Opt to work directly with Dr. Shel on your MBA applications!

Best wishes,
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder of MBA Admit,.com, is a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process.

Direct email address:


Is Harvard Receptive to Re-applicants?   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2016, 15:51
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Is Harvard Receptive to Re-applicants?

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