Update April 19 2020: This post was only written a month ago - A MONTh! OMG the world is changing so quickly right now. What the 'Snark offered here may or may not be totally accurate in terms of what the MBA admissions environment looks like for you based on when you're reading this (and if you're reading this any year besides 2020, it totally won't be accurate at all). Please check out all of the coronavirus posts to get the latest thinking from the 'Snark on how this situation might impact you and how you can take best advantage of it, depending on your timing and profile.
What we know: Nothing.
What we suspect: Round 3 will be much more of an option this year than it has been ever before!
All the schools are worried that they’re not going to get any more applications this season. They’re pulling out all the stops to try and attract applicants, by advertising their webinars and sending emails with application tips and all sorts of other encouragement to get you people to apply.
If you’re like many people we know, though, your state of mind is frazzled and your concentration is shot to hell under the stress of this virus thing.
You’re in no position to write essays right now.
And even though the schools are trying to make allowances in letting you take the GMAT later, well past the actual app deadline, what good will that do when nobody even knows when they’ll be allowed back to work?
Lots of regions are putting shelter-in-place orders into effect now. It’s not an actual quarantine, but it’s not that far off from one.
There’s no way that you’re going to be able to ignore all that’s going on in the world and hunker down and write essays. Not with this uncertainty and the fear that’s going ’round. Not when the stock market is in the midst of another 1,000-point swing.
If you’ve already got an application all built out for some school and were already planning on submitting in Round 3, then by all means, submit it! The only reason not to do so is if you’re concerned that the school won’t be back in service as a regular school by the time Fall rolls around. However, if on the outside chance they stay a virtual or online-only program that long, you won’t have the option of declining to enroll if you don’t apply now. So go ahead and apply. You can decide later if online isn’t your thing. We’re doubtful that the schools wouldn’t be back in session with on-campus classes by that time, though.
What if you would be starting from scratch with the essay-writing? If you’re someone who’s unfazed by the worldly chaos we’re living through now — or you’re someone who best deals with stress by getting a task and being productive with it — then sure, dive into some essays. See what you come up with. Now is a prime opportunity to go for it, if you’re feeling up to the challenge.
But for many BSers, applying to bschool now would only introduce one more variable of massive uncertainty, and the level of uncertainty that many of us are already dealing with because of coronavirus is vast.
If you want to try now, absolutely go for it, since it could totally work out well in the end. Even applications with rather significant weaknesses could still have a good chance at lots of very good schools — places like Duke and Yale and Ross and Darden. That’s because those schools also are facing all this uncertainty, and they’re going to be more open to candidates with lower GMAT scores right now than they would otherwise be.
It also means that the chances could be higher that you end up on the waitlist. Which would be even more uncertainty and stress.
EssaySnark’s bet is that come May or early June, the coronavirus problems will have peaked in the U.S., and some semblance of normal life will be resuming. That’s when many students planning to matriculate at a grad program in the Fall are quitting their jobs and getting ready to move. It’s a little late in the year to be only first making the decision to attend bschool at all, but it’s not too late to pull everything together and get ready to do so, if the cards play in your favor.
Will there still be all this uncertainty about coronavirus in the May/June timeframe, such that the bschools won’t even know if they’ll be able to resume on-campus classes for Fall?
Somehow we doubt it.
But we don’t really know.
Essentially, the main thing you risk with a Round 3 application right now is your app fee. But hey, maybe some entrepreneurial-minded admissions folks will get the idea to waive app fees for the final round, too, and make it that much easier for you people to apply.
If you want help on your Round 3 essays, we’ve reduced prices today* too! The standalone Essay Decimator is $549 and the Complete Essay Package is $879. And we always have the option of sending in a draft for a possible freebie review on the blahg.
* Please review terms of purchase carefully before buying. All services are sold by subscription and must be used before the stated subscription expires; again, read carefully so you know how it works. No adjustments or refunds for prior purchases. Offer may change at any time without notice.