If you didn’t bother to go through our wonky decision tree recently, then we’ll offer a recap for you now (we can’t call it a tl;dr since all of our posts are tl, even the summary stuff, but you knew that already). This is for those of you in that special pocket of h3ll called “Will I get in?”
If you submitted in Round 1 and are sitting here unsure if any of those will pan out — and if you’ve already been rejected from, say, Columbia or Duke or HBS or somewhere — then getting some ideas on why those other apps didn’t make it would be the first plan of attack. Our Post Mortem Reject Analysis will tell you where things went sideways.
If you landed at least one by-invitation interview so far in Round 1, then first, that’s AWESOME, but second, you cannot assume you’ll end up with an admit by December. Yes things are looking good — which means you actually should feel confident in planning for more apps in Round 2 if you feel the need. But you’re in this difficult position of yeah sorry maybe yes you really should be sorta starting on Round 2 essays now while at the same time you really put in a lot of work in Round 1 already and maybe that work will be paying off in a few weeks so why put in all this new work on something you may never end up submitting — it’s really hard to get motivated to write essays when you believe one of your existing in-process apps may turn out. But if you don’t pull the trigger on your Round 2 essay-writing project until after all Round 1 decisions come in, then you’re facing a very unpleasant scramble to make those deadlines happen in January.
All that we know about the current state of MBA admissions is that it’s changing. There had been a definite downward trend in numbers of international applicants, which means all of you trying from those oversubscribed regions of the world had an easier go of it. But that’s apparently stabilized, and the schools really didn’t have trouble filling their classes last season.
And “easier” is relative.
There once was a time when it was “easy” to get into Duke — meaning, you put the work in on your essays, you had a decent GMAT, your GPA was in the average-ish zone…. you got in. Then about five years ago that changed, and it changed suddenly (Class of 2017 admissions season, Fall 2014). We saw BSers who we thought had a really good shot in Round 1 come up emptyhanded. That was the beginning of the craziness.
The craziness seems to have subsided somewhat, but GMAT scores are still ridiculously high and apparently staying there. Even when Stanford’s average GMAT dipped, that’s hardly worth celebrating when it’s a change from 737 to 732. We heard some admissions pundits lauding Stanford for being more flexible on their admits, but really? C’mon. A 732 is So. High. It’s not like they compromised their standards in a significant way.
What we know is that 1) the political environment in the U.S. remains nasty, and very anti-immigrant, and, very unfortunately, more and more policies are being enacted by this administration seemingly every day that are broadcasting to the world that America doesn’t want anything to do with you if you’re not from here (which is the most quintessentially anti-American sentiment you could ever develop).
What we know is that 2) the stock market is volatile, yet the stock market is not the economy, and the economy itself in the U.S. and much of the world is still showing signs of strength — even though wages are stagnant and there are many uncertainties and the stupid trade wars are starting to cause problems for certain sectors.
The impact of #1 is that international app volumes are likely to stay lower than they were — but not “low”.
The impact of #2 is that domestic app volumes are apparently staying stable, but how and if that changes really depends on how bad things get, if they do get bad at all, and if people start to see layoffs happening in their sector, and which sector it is.
So given all of these variables, it’s really hard to make predictions for how Round 2 will go. Will schools see fewer applications again, as they have been over the course of around the past 18 months? Which slices of the application pool will go down?
And given all of THOSE questions, it’s totally impossible to predict what will happen for YOUR applications, in Round 1 or otherwise.
Some things are really up in the air.
And…. For those of you who already have an admit in hand, who deservedly got to the “YAY!” section yesterday, what we’ll offer as a rain-on-your-parade type of caution which may (or may not) be applicable in the current season, given that there are signs of app volumes softening, so it’s possible that past-season rules may not stick as strongly this time, but: Trading up rarely works.
So. Hopefully between that prior post and today, you were able to use some tools of reality-check review-on-your-status, and figure out what may be happening, and where you stand, and what may or may not need to be done further.
If you’re sitting here saying, “Shoot. The Snark says I need to look at Round 2” then (shameless self-promotion) our Complete Essay Package is an ideal way to do that! Heck, you can start with the Comprehensive Profile Review which is like saying you’re working without doing any work (because we are the ones doing the work in that service).
Or you can just go back to endlessly refreshing your inbox like that lab rat looking for a pellet, to see if an interview invite has come in in the three minutes that have passed since you last looked.