Hearing Back from Graduate Business Schools
While you wait to hear back from schools, have a game plan if you’re accepted, wait-listed, or denied.
There are many different considerations and decisions to make depending on your acceptance situation. Here are some suggestions on how to move forward:
You’ve Been Accepted
Is this school the right one?
- Go with your gut: Does the program best meet your interests, talents, and goals?
- Get confirmation: Talk to mentors, teachers, alumni and other students with interests that match your own.
- Check your wallet: Can you afford the program?
If this is THE school, be sure to respond by the decision deadline. Once you say yes, keep in mind that you are more or less committed to this program, as transferring credits to another program isn’t a given.
Several schools said yes – now what?
- Forget about the cost differences: What does your gut say?
- Re-examine your short list of schools: Why is each one on it?
- Visit (and even revisit) schools.
Can I defer enrollment?
Generally, no. Most schools will only consider deferrals for serious reasons like:
- Family crisis or illness
- Unforeseen work promotion or new project opportunity
- Inability to acquire visa papers in time to study in a foreign country
You've Been Wait-Listed
What should I do first?
It is best to call the school and ask:
- Would it be helpful to submit additional information?
- What are my chances for being added to the class this year?
- How long will the school maintain the wait list?
- What is the process for admitting students on the wait list?
What if I am not selected from the wait list?
Even though you are feeling pretty disappointed, there are some positive steps you can take to improve your chances for reconsideration next year:
- Add to the quantity and/or quality of your work experience.
- Take or repeat an economics, calculus, or statistics course to demonstrate aptitude and motivation.
- Retake the GMAT exam test to improve your score – and do a more thorough job preparing for the exam.
What else should I do?
- Meet with your admissions counselor and make a new list of schools where your credentials would be more competitive.
- Re-evaluate your options: Do you really need an MBA to achieve your goals?
You’ve Been Denied Admission
What should I do?
- Take a step back, review your criteria and develop a new list of schools.
- If you really want to reapply to the same schools, keep in mind that your admittance chances may not improve unless your application changes significantly.
- Ask people in your network to give you an honest assessment and suggestions on ways to improve your marketability.
- Consider the possibility that you could achieve your professional goals without getting an MBA.