This blog post is part of our weekly "Application Insider" blog post series that provides insider information, tips, and advice about applying to the UCLA Anderson MBA program.
APPLICATION INSIDER TOPIC:
APPLICATION ROUNDS PROS & CONS
So you've decided that you want to apply to MBA programs and even know which schools you want to apply to (hopefully UCLA Anderson is at the top of the list!), but there are still many more decisions to make throughout the application process... and the first major decision is often when to apply. UCLA Anderson, along with many other top business school programs, offers multiple application rounds within each academic year. Which round you choose determines when your application is due and when you find out if you're admitted -- the earlier your apply, generally the earlier the decision is made (though it's not always the case if you're waitlisted...more on that below).
With our UCLA Anderson Round 1 deadline is less than a month away (October 6th), it's time to start thinking about what round you're planning on submitting your application.
Ultimately, the right time for you to apply is when you feel your application will be its best -- UCLA Anderson accepts top-quality applicants across all three rounds!
The pros and cons of each round below may help you determine which is the best round for you. That said, please remember that the relative competitiveness of each round varies, as the applicant pool changes from year to year.
APPLYING ROUND 1
Pros: In Round 1, all seats are available (for UCLA Anderson, that's 360 in our full-time MBA class) so we have room to admit all of the qualified candidates that we come across. Further, in Round 1 we have the full amount of merit-based fellowship funds left to distribute. Applying early can also show the Admissions Committee that you're serious about attending our business school. There is also still the opportunity to be put on the waitlist to be potentially re-evaluated in Rounds 2 and/or 3. And if you do not get accepted into our program, you will likely have have sufficient time to apply to another school's program in their later rounds.
Cons: Applicants may feel rushed to complete their application by a Round 1 deadline. Without proper time management, individuals may not allot sufficient time to put together the highest quality application that they are capable of, and therefore may run the risk of hurting their chances for acceptance into our program. Having insufficient time to self-reflect on short- and long-term goals, do research on MBA programs, and write the essay response may be evident on the application to the Admissions committee (especially the essay). Further, if you have not given sufficient time for your recommenders to complete their letters of recommendation, the quality of those crucial elements of the application may also be compromised. You also will have the least amount of time to complete your GMAT/GRE and TOEFL/IELTS exams, and without proper planning, will likely not have time to re-take the exams if you're not satisfied with your first score.
APPLYING ROUND 2
Pros: Round 2 is the most popular round for applicants here at UCLA Anderson, with a majority of our applications received in this round. By applying in Round 2, you have additional time to complete your application and write your essay; plus your recommenders also have more time to finish their recommendations. If you aren't happy with your score on the GMAT/GRE and/or TOEFL/IELTS, you will likely also have time to re-take the exam (we only evaluate your top score). Possibly the greatest advantage of applying in Round 2 is that you have more time to learn about our program by attending Admissions events (Access Anderson, Information Evenings, and Embracing Diversity, to name a few!). Perhaps you can even schedule a campus visit to meet with current students and observe a class! By having this time to get first-hand experience on our program, you may gain a better understanding of your own school preferences and MBA goals, all which will reflect in your application.
Cons: We receive the largest number of applications during Round 2, so competition is high (especially since we also have Round 1 waitlisted candidates still under consideration). If you do not get accepted (which hopefully won't be the case!) you may not have sufficient time to apply to another program within the same academic year.
APPLYING ROUND 3
Pros: Perhaps the biggest benefit in applying in Round 3 is that you have the most time to enhance your application profile -- the additional time may allow you to get a promotion at work, take on a new project, and/or get involved in more leadership activities, for example. With more time to self-reflect on your goals, the application, and the essay question, applying in Round 3 may give you the advantage of giving you the most amount of time to put together the highest quality application possible for you. If you applied to other programs in earlier rounds, you will likely also be equipped with acceptance information from those schools. You will also have ample time to take (and potentially re-take) the GMAT/GRE and/or TOEFL/IELTS exams.
Cons: Since our class size is capped, fewer applicants are historically admitted in the last round simply due to the availability of spots in the class. This makes this round the most competitive out of all. While you can still be placed on our waitlist, there are still likely many other individuals from earlier Rounds on our waitlist that you'll be still compared against.
Now that you have a clearer picture of the advantages and disadvantages of each round, below is a reminder of our application deadlines by round for this academic year:
|1||October 6, 2016||December 15, 2016|
|2||January 5, 2017||March 29, 2017|
|3||April 12, 2017||May 24, 2017|
Check back next week for the next "Application Insider" blog post about the application essay question!