10/22/13 This post has been UPDATED to reflect the new, more efficient processes in place at Columbia Business School.
If you’re working on your MBA application for Columbia Business School, you may be worried about timing. At least, we HOPE you’re worried about timing — people often get very lackadaisical around Columbia, because of how they list out their deadlines on their site. The final deadline for applying to Columbia in the regular round is way off in April… and it would be a SEVERE MISTAKE to put things off that long.
This is due to the rolling admissions process at Columbia, which we have covered many times before here on the blahg. This rolling-admissions/early decision thing at Columbia is probably the thing we’ve discussed more than any other thing – because people get so hamstrung and messed up with figuring out how it works and what the ideal time to submit is. In fact, we’ve written about this topic exactly before, such as right here — even titled “Is it too late to apply to Columbia?” — but apparently there’s a contingent of BSers who are research-impaired and don’t go digging for answers on their own before asking the ‘Snark questions.
So let’s state for the record once again:
As of this writing in early November 2012, you have PLENTY OF TIME to put together a solid application to Columbia Business School for the regular decision and still be in the running.
That was last year. As of this year (2013) you should strive to get your application in by MID-NOVEMBER if at all possible.
If you don’t make that date, it’s not the end of the world; see below for how things play out.
The rule of thumb for applying to Columbia in Regular Decision is to submit by the Fellowship Deadline at the very latest. That deadline is always in the first week of January; it coincides with the Round 2 deadlines of many other top schools. The way these deadlines fall on the calendar means you will have no holidays this year, most likely – you will be writing essays!
You do NOT want to wait till their final deadline in April. In fact, you don’t want to submit even too far into January. APPLY EARLY.
At the same time: If you submitted in the Regular Decision round in, like, August – you are not at any more of an advantage as someone who submitted in November. There’s no big difference between those submit dates; they just don’t get enough volumes of RD applications in that timeframe to matter. So don’t sweat it if you didn’t get in super super early.
Here’s a snapshot of our many previous posts on Columbia’s rolling admissions and when is it too late to apply – and please be cautious when reading them, all of them pre-date the changed cycletimes that Columbia has been using as of 2013:
- Should I apply to Columbia – like, now? [as in, mid-January] (January 2012)
- “How long does it take to hear back from cbs?” (October 2011)
- (And not exactly related to the ‘when to apply’ question but something we need to repeat regularly it seems) Renegging on an Early Decision offer (November 2010)
For the definitive answers on all things Columbia, you should check out the EssaySnark MBA Application Guide to Columbia Business School – it covers these strategy questions and how the rolling process works in great detail.