Around this time of year, amidst the Round 1 celebrations, we hear of some already-successful BSers breathlessly announcing their plans to submit more applications.
We covered this phenomenon last year, in a post where we talked about people getting excited about their successes to date and deciding to throw their hats into the ring for an even higher-ranked school.
This post is to report on the results that some of those BSers saw last year:
BSer #1 – admitted to MIT in Round 1 (while also denied from HBS same round)
- denied from Stanford in Round 2
- matriculating at MIT
(We actually have multiple examples of that.)
BSer #2 – admitted to NYU in Round 1 (while also denied from three “better” schools in the same round)
- denied from MIT in Round 2
- waitlisted at Booth in Round 2 – and with a killer waitlist strategy, got in!
- matriculating at Booth
Most people would say that Booth is “better” than NYU, though EssaySnark does not actually agree. Still, this person did try for the trading-up strategy and made it work, but it was far from a slam-dunk; they paid their NYU deposit and thought they’d be matriculating there before finally getting the Booth waitlist to convert many months later. Can you say “emotionally grueling”?
BSer #3 –
UPDATE: Uhhhh…. apparently we got interrupted in writing this post and never came back to finish up the third example! If we recall correctly it was a case with a BSer who made it into Cornell in Rd 1 last year and then tried for schools like Kellogg in Rd 2… there was potential but nope, that one didn’t work out either.
These are obviously all success stories, and there’s no downside to trying again at higher-ranked schools – after all, maybe you’ll be different!! We did see one person last year who got into Wharton and MIT in Round 1 and tried for Stanford in Round 2 and actually got the interview, but as far as we know, was unable to convert it.
At the same time, we’re all about being practical and dealing in reality. We so rarely see a strategy like this work out. If you made it in somewhere great – somewhere that you research and hand-selected for a reason, because you like that place – then what’s wrong with sticking with your great good fortune and just calling it a day? More apps is not more fun (we’ve rarely seen someone do a better job on their subsequent apps after already having one admit locked up – the motivation is just not there – and the other risk when someone gets in in Rd 1 is that they think they know how to write an essay; the BSers listed as examples above all did not get our help on their Rd 2 essays, which could’ve – perhaps – made outcomes go differently).
Of course, if you’ll always regret that you don’t try at Stanford and you don’t want to be left forever wondering about what could have been, then sure, toss that app out there. We hope you’ll become the statistic that proves us wrong! When that happens, be sure to come lord your success over us. We will happily come back and update this post to offer your story instead.
Update October 13, 2015: We have yet to have someone come back with a different outcome.