Everyone has an opinion about submitting your MBA application in Round 3—including us here at SBC—and a lot of the conversation circles around how competitive it is and how scarce spots are.
While it may seem only candidates who are also Olympic athletes, chess champions, or have scaled Mount Everest stand a chance, the reality is there is always a spot for a great applicant in the final round. That’s why the schools have one!
The MBA admissions blog at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business recently published a useful post on the realities of applying in Round 3, complete with anecdotes and advice from three recent graduates who applied in the April round (as it’s known at Tuck).
Key takeaways from the post include using the optional essay to explain why you waited until the final round; making sure you share something unique about yourself with the admissions committee that will differentiate your candidacy; and obviously, only applying when your application is as strong as it can possibly be.
The good news is that applicants in Tuck’s final round still have a shot at a scholarship, can join a pre-term program with everyone else, and can definitely get a room in the dorms because the housing lottery happens in June.
If things don’t work out this season, the Tuck admissions teams says, “Have a plan B. While you may not get the outcome you hope for, the process will no doubt teach you something about yourself and help guide your next steps.”
In our experience, Round 3 is far and away the most difficult round for MBA applicants. A lackluster application will most certainly find its way to the reject pile, so be strategic when deciding the best time to apply for you.