As we discussed yesterday, many schools are extending deadlines for Round 3. If you’re an active Round 2 candidate, you’re also likely to see some impact from coronavirus.
While few have announced Round 2 admit decisions so far, it’s highly likely that they will be more generous in the time they allow accepted applicants to pay deposits and commit to matriculating at their school. A lot of colleges have been announcing an extra month for high school seniors to decide — though other colleges have intentionally kept their original deposit schedule in place.
If a bschool gives you more time to decide whether to accept their offer, does that really help you?
It’s a nice gesture, but it could be only prolonging the agony.
In our experience, the hardest part of the process for many BSers is the final one, where they have to actually decide on which school they’re going to attend.
Having multiple offers may seem like a wonderful thing when you’re outside the process.
But even in a normal year, getting admitted to more than one school can be tremendously stressful. It’s your LIFE that you’re deciding on, in the most high-stakes way possible.
And this year?
If you get accepted to multiple schools, then not only do you need to evaluate the financial aid packages that they offer, and whether School X without money is better than School Y with a scholarship, but you also have to figure out if the school you’re leaning towards will even have an on-campus class when August rolls around.
The admissions teams are gearing up to answer those questions as best they can before they start these admissions phone calls in the next week or so, but in most cases, they’re not actually going to be able to answer things very definitively.
You can expect to get questions from the admissions person about your situation and whether you’re still planning on going to bschool this year. They may try to feel out how likely it is for you to accept their offer, by inquiring about your current situation, whether you’ll be able to continue working at your job, or if you’ve even been laid off already, which some people unfortunately have. They’ll be taking notes on whatever you share with them, so that they can try to gain some visibility into the direction that the class will take and who might end up depositing or who probably will not.
And, they will definitely be using the waitlist. A lot.
There will be lots and lots and lots of you offered a spot on the waitlist in Round 2. Some schools have been massively overusing the waitlist in recent years. This year? It’s going to be through the roof.
If you got to the interview stage then there is a very strong chance that you’re going to be waitlisted. The schools might extend a few more offers than they normally would, because their models are just not that useful right now and they might want to hedge their bets in having more confirmed admits than usually rather than less. So the odds could be slightly better that you get in outright at many schools.
And 100% for sure, the odds are high that many people will be asked to hang out on the waitlist, instead of the school cutting them loose completely.
If you end up collecting a string of waitlists and no outright offers, then that’s going to S-U-C-K because you won’t be able to make any decisions at all on your life until most likely middle of June. That’s our prediction of the earliest that any school would be able to start issuing offers to their waitlisted candidates. Could happen by end of May, but it’s just going to be too murky all the way around for these schools to make concrete calls on those they have kept waiting in the wings.
If you end up accepted at any school that you really like, but waitlisted at one or two others, then our advice is to take the offer that you have in hand, and don’t try to play the odds with the waitlisted programs. That’s just our opinion, sight-unseen, without having looked at your profile or understanding the schools. If you can stomach the uncertainty, then sure, you could hang out on the waitlist elsewhere to see what happens. But we believe it may be tough to get in from the waitlist this year, as a general rule, since there will be so many others on the waitlist with you.
As we said up top, it’s very likely that many schools will give you more time to make your final decision if you were accepted during the regular Round 2 cycle (not, though, if you’re accepted under the extended/rolling coronavirus rounds that many schools have announced). So, if School A accepts you, and School B waitlists you, then you probably will have some breathing room before you need to make a decision on School A and pay a deposit. And, even if the school does not have a formal policy of extending their deposit date, you could call them up and ask for an extension. It is almost guaranteed that schools will be flexible on this in the current year. Their willingness to be flexible could even extend to possibly refunding deposits if you decide not to go to school at all this year. Or, as we mentioned in a previous post, they are likely to consider a request to defer to next year, which typically would have been refused outright.
So much is changing. We’ll do our best to share insights and impact and consequences for how these changes might affect you in your MBA ambitions. And feel free to leave questions in any post if you have a situation you want input on.
Stay safe, BSer!
Coronavirus and the MBA
- Coronavirus and scholarship opportunities
- When will business schools reopen for on-campus instruction?
- Coronavirus: Standardized testing and Round 3 apps
- Coronavirus and You: What if you’re graduating this Spring 2020?