We exhorted all you BSers yesterday to manage expectations when you go for a last-round app to one of these schools that are promoting them.
And we kept thinking about why this was so bothersome to the ‘Snark.
And then it dawned on us.
But the truth of the matter is that the schools are not being fair.
Because check it out:
ALL THESE SCHOOLS HAVE A GAZILLION OTHER HIGHLY QUALIFIED CANDIDATES ALREADY HANGING OUT IN THE LIMBO THAT’S KNOWN AS THE WAIT LIST.
How can they in good conscience actively be encouraging more applicants now?
If you’ve got these great applicants from Round 1 – Round 1!!! – who have told you that they love your school, who had their act together and were motivated enough to apply at one of the earliest stages of the season, who went through the whole interview thing, and waiting for their decision thereafter, and have now dealt with the emotional rollercoaster of not being accepted but instead decided to take the offer of sticking around in the wings, waiting waiting waiting with hope and prayers through not one, but TWO decisions dates, and they’re STILL willing to stick it out for your school…
And you reward them not with saying, “OK, look, we have seats available, we’re going to give one to you” BUT INSTEAD the school says “Hey, we have seats available, why not ask for more apps? Maybe there’s some last-minute schmuck who rolled out from under a rock yesterday and decided to slap together some essays who’s better than you. Maybe we’ll give them a spot!! But you BSers who were crazy enough to think that the waitlist means we want to admit you when there’s room, sorry. Would you mind waiting around a little longer? Maybe some of these Round 3 admits will decide not to accept us, and then we can think about offering that spot to you in the end anyway.”
Again, doesn’t seem fair.
It’s like that boy/girlfriend that gets squirmy when it’s time to try and take the relationship to the next level and really commit, the one who likes the “benefits” of your dating situation but who doesn’t want to lose out on their options, who’s always looking over their shoulder in case someone better comes along.
We’re not saying that every school with a Round 3 should ditch that Round 3 and just admit more of their waitlisted peeps from Rounds 1 and 2. (OK maybe we are.)
Instead we’re calling out the schools that seem to be actively promoting these last-round applications (or in the case of Duke, changing their policy so that now they are still accepting apps even after the last round) when we KNOW they have strong candidates already on deck.
EssaySnark has no visibility into the behind-the-scenes realities at these schools. Maybe when the data comes out, we’ll learn that schools like Duke had a hit to app volumes this season and they were scrambling to make up for lost numbers. If that’s what’s going on here, we apologize (though it seems unlikely; Fuqua is considered a #1 school by at least one ranking system ). It still doesn’t change the fact that they appear to be scrounging for more candidates when they already have had a whole slew of excellent ones come through their process.
It would certainly be in EssaySnark’s best interest to be encouraging applicants to try for business school right now, given that that would encourage people to sign up for our services. But we just cannot do that. Not when we see how things typically play out for people. Accordingly, it’s hard for us to understand why it’s OK for the schools to be encouraging applicants now. Maybe if they cleared their waitlists completely before opening the last round up?
For many years now we’ve been complaining about the system that now exists – that the schools themselves have created – where there are a bunch of people left hanging on the waitlist at this time of the season, which is partly due to the way the schools have made it easier to apply. It’s become a systemic problem, and just like other systemic problems – like the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, for example – it’s easy for everyone to just shrug their shoulders and say, “Nothing I can do about it, it’s how it works these days.” We say that’s bullsh!t.
When a school already has gobs more applicants than they could ever admit – when they’ve already given lukewarm “maybes” to a bunch of you earnest souls – why are they out in the marketplace trying to drum up more apps?