You may have seen that last week, we gave Darden the Radcom of the Year Award for 2020.
They’re not the only school doing anything noteworthy right now.
One runner-up is Berkeley-Haas, for (thank you!) deciding to, uh, change the status quo in how they communicate with their prospect community. This happened in the still-early-days of covid-19, when so many schools were doing a full court press on any candidate who’d ever even mentioned the name of their program in passing.
Kellogg also was willing to throw out the rules and do things differently in the midst of coronavirus, and they led the way for other schools like MIT also. These schools deserve kudos for embracing change and finding ways to quickly adapt.
Actually, Kellogg gets an even special-er mention today, as they were one of the few highly (highly) competitive and selective programs to toss the status quo. Most of their peers — schools like Wharton or Columbia and we’ll even say Stanford — made very few changes to their processes and policies. Why didn’t schools at the top do things differently? Because they didn’t have to. Their applicant numbers weren’t affected by a global pandemic. Those highly prestigious, highly elite, in-demand schools didn’t need to flex to accommodate. So they didn’t. Except for a few. Kellogg stands out. Yes and MIT also, definitely. We’re simply giving a more distinct hat tip to Kellogg for going first.
Harvard actually did implement changes, specifically in allowing any admitted applicant to defer to another year, no questions asked — hardly any other school allowed that. And, they significantly increased their class size, which has been maintained at least for another season. These are very big changes and they’re worth noting too. Harvard is often the trailblazer in this space; most of the big innovations in admissions actually have come from Harvard.
If you’re starting the process of researching schools, then hey, maybe factors like how forward-thinking the school is, or how responsive in a crisis, might be important to you. Or if you’re currently in that agonizing phase of deciding between multiple offers, then these aspects can give a hint for school culture, which we suggest may be a very useful metric to use in evaluating which school to choose.
Now we’ll be waiting and watching for the real changes to happen in terms of who these schools decide to admit, and how they report on their data, and how glued to the rankings they continue to be, in what they are optimizing for in admissions.
It’s a new year, and now finally this country can start to settle into a new phase — one of healing, both literally and figuratively, and growth. There are big and bold things ahead. We can’t wait to see what comes next.