And yes, that’s true.
But the people who are saying that have never struggled with the challenge of figuring out what to write as a reapplicant.
And so what we say to their advice is: DON’T LISTEN
We touched on this marginally in the Be careful about applying to Columbia now post earlier this week, but Columbia is in a different category, and we need to make it super explicit and clear if you’re thinking about a traditional Round 3 (or last-round) application to any other school.
Here is it in black and white:
In an era of possibly-softening app volumes then yes, maybe. Possibly. Perhaps.
But none of these schools are admitting that many candidates.
Harvard has implicitly acknowledged that they’re not gonna accept anyone in Round 3 — because they ditched their Round 3. Which we were really pleased to see, especially as it demonstrates an about-face from previous attitudes in the HBS admissions office which we were seriously unhappy about.
These other schools? They just can’t quit Round 3.
It is in the school’s interest — not yours — for them to be encouraging you to apply right now. The admissions teams are all interested in making sure they collect the most applications possible. There is literally no downside to them in encouraging you to apply. It’s only upside. More apps is a benefit to them — regardless of whether or not they will be admitting large numbers.
Just like with the waitlist, in most seasons, all the schools will accept at least a handful of applicants in Round 3. In some seasons, they will accept zero. This season, they’re all likely to accept a few. How many, though?
And oh hey while we’re at it: Why do they have a Round 3 if they still have candidates on the waitlist?
That just doesn’t seem fair.
The biggest issue for you, though, is not that you have little chance.
Yes that matters, but who cares, if it’s about the app fee alone (not that app fees are cheap, but they’re not a reason for most people that tips the scales of whether or not to apply).
Instead, it’s that applying now changes your profile if you don’t make it in.
It is ALWAYS easier to get in as a fresh applicant. Doesn’t matter how much the schools say you can reapply and they’ll welcome you to do so next Fall. It will be HARDER for you as a reapplicant becuase it’s HARDER to put together a stronger second attempt.
We cover this in the many posts on applying in Round 3 elsewhere on this blahg so instead of recreating the wheel with this post, we encourage you to dig into that ‘snarchive. Or you can pick up the What You Need To Know for Round 3 little guidelet-thing.
There are definitely programs where a Round 3 application still has a good chance, and profiles where it does, and those are covered in the previous posts on the blahg. If there are questions on any of these things that we can help with, fire away! Comments are open, or if you’ve signed up for stuff in the past, you can pose questions to us through My SnarkCenter.
Make sure you’re keeping the long game in mind. Yes, a Round 3 app is alluring, as it means you could be sitting in a classroom in the Fall. But that’s only if the stars align and you’ve chosen the right school and your profile is a good-enough fit, and differentiated enough, that the school will want to add you to an already-full class.
Either way, good luck with your apps, and we’ll be around if we can help!!!