EssaySnark hates to be so blunt.
But here we go.
If you’ve been plugging away at your applications for six months nine months a year or more — since that’s how long it often takes, what with the GMAT and visiting schools (you did visit schools, right?) and essays and essays and essays — and you applied to some schools last Fall for Round 1 and you applied to some more in Round 2 when the first ones didn’t pan out, and here you are in March (yes, MARCH) with no offers yet…
Please do not apply to more schools in Round 3.
Please take a step back and re-evaluate your approach.
Because there’s something going wrong here.
If your strategy was sound, and you applied to a middling number of programs (a half dozen would be an extreme number), and you didn’t get any offers, then something’s up.
Here’s the bare-bones checklist:
- Is your GMAT is in the 80% range that the schools publish?
- Is your GPA is above, say, 3.3 or so?
- Have you been working for at least two years? (a few schools want to see more work experience, but two years is do-able for many programs)
- Do you have CLEAR CAREER GOALS expressed in your essays?
- Are you CERTAIN that your recommenders didn’t throw out zingers, inadvertent or not, in what they said about you?
- Are you EQUALLY CERTAIN that you really truly answered each essay question (no copy/paste) and that each essay was tailored to the specific school and that you didn’t come off sounding like an arrogant a**?
And finally: Did you target a reasonable mix of schools, based on your profile?
If you did all those things, chances are, you’ve got an offer in hand now.
OK, sure, sometimes there are flukes. It’s been an exceptionally competitive year. We’ve seen a couple of well qualified candidates who’ve been disappointed, but we haven’t been surprised by any of the schools’ decisions this year. (OK, maybe one school’s… but whatever. You’ve heard us rant about that before.)
If you only applied to H/S/W, then we’re not feeling too sorry for you if you didn’t make it in. But if you added Booth to that list, and maybe Duke, or UCLA, or one or two other equally great schools that are somewhat less competitive (and the basic stats of your profile puts you in the running for a top 15 program), then you really should have gotten an offer somewhere. If you did all your homework.
If your heart is set on heading to bschool in the Fall of 2011, yet so far, all of them have said ‘no’, then you might want to expand your sights to schools further down the rankings (we touched on that in our earlier post).
Or, step back, re-assess, and come up with a new plan. The next admissions season will be here before you know it. Don’t throw good money after bad — and don’t set yourself up for more challenges as a reapplicant — by chasing a dream that’s sounding unlikely at this point.
* There are always exceptions, and everyone’s case is unique. Don’t get all dramatic over this. This is not meant as a blanket condemnation that there is something wrong with you if you have not gotten in this year. We’re just trying to offer a dose of realism. If you’ve applied to multiple schools and all of them have taken a pass, then there’s something wrong with the approach. When the Apple Newton flopped — oh, sorry, you’ve never heard of the Apple Newton? It was Apple’s first tablet computer. It was not a win. Apple went back to the drawing board and now we have — oh wait — you’re reading this blog on your iPad, aren’t you?