If you’re lucky enough to be choosing between multiple admits, then before we go into the specifics of what one BSer is struggling with, we’ll point you towards the full ‘snarchive of posts in the category: Deciding on a school (multiple offers) Today’s conundrum comes from a BSer who has gotten accepted to two schools…
First of all: CONGRATULATIONS IF YOU’VE RECENTLY BEEN ACCEPTED TO BSCHOOL!!! And good luck if you’re still in the limbo of waiting! It’s perhaps the hardest part of this entire process. We’re seeing a lot of posts on the bschool forums from BSers who’ve been admitted to multiple places and are now facing the agony…
Thinking about seeing if your school will let you push out the start to your MBA?
Most schools will say, no problem! All you need to do is reapply next year and we’ll see about letting you in again.
They want you to apply for the year that you want to start. They’re not interested in managing their admits to future classes. Plus, most who ask for a deferral are only doing it to see if they can get accepted at some other school, and they want to keep their admit to this school in their back pocket as a backup. The stats show that a high percentage of deferrals that are granted never show up on campus. The schools often just issue a no-deferrals policy to nip all that nonsense in the bud.
It’s a case where YMMV, both in terms of how your specific school (and program) handles deferral requests, and whether you might be one that they’ll grant an exception to. Let’s look today at some policies we’ve seen schools post in the past – and please recognize that this data was gathered over a period of many years and some of it may have changed since then.
If you’re actively considering seeking a deferral for your current MBA admit, you’ll want to research the specifics carefully before proceeding with your approach to the adcom.
DEFERRED MBA ADMISSION – A FEW CASES
Duke is unusual in spelling out the full policy publicly — this is part of their FAQ as of 2/15/18:
What is your policy on deferred admission?
We encourage applicants to apply for admission in the year in which they wish to matriculate. If circumstances prevent you from enrolling in that year, you may request a deferral by writing to the Associate Dean of Admissions outlining all details surrounding the request. Requests for deferral will only be considered after May 1 for students who have already submitted their tuition deposit.
They then go on to specify that “Deferrals are granted only in the case of significant, unanticipated, and unavoidable personal emergency” and they give some examples.
If a deferral is granted, you are required to pay a non-refundable deferral fee of 3,000 USD. This fee will be credited toward tuition upon matriculation. If a scholarship is awarded in the year the applicant applies, this award is not guaranteed for matriculation the following year. Scholarship awards will be re-evaluated during the admissions cycle prior to matriculation.
So that means you need to first pay the deposit, and then pay an additional deferral fee. We’ve not seen a deferral fee before but it makes so much sense, and we wouldn’t be surprised if other schools adopt this practice, too.
Some other programs at Duke including their master’s in analytics don’t allow any deferrals . So it’s not only case by case (they’ll consider your circumstances individually) but it’s also program by program, not just one blanket policy for an entire school.
As of a few years back, Stanford built logic directly into their app form that will tell you whether or not you’re eligible for deferred admission, and they ask you what you want to do with the time between (only current students are eligible). They specifically say that you are NOT eligible if you simply fail to secure a visa as an international student.
Most people don’t apply to bschool with the intention of asking for a deferral later, though, so that’s unlikely going to help you much now. Also, if you were accepted to Stanford and now you’re thinking that you don’t want to go, well there’d better be a pretty good reason for it!!! Don’t assume anything. Yes they like you enough to admit you, but we’d be careful about pushing the limits of that. Stanford is very clear that they’ve admitted candidates into a specific class, and there are no guarantees that they’d find a spot for you in next year’s class just because you made it into the mix this time. We’d be pretty nervous about testing fate by taking a pass on a Stanford admit under the assumption it would work out again the same next year.
Other schools just say “no deferrals” and you can of course still ask, but like with a post-admit request for
free money a fellowship grant, be careful how you do so.
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You were admitted to bschool?? CONGRATULATIONS!!! It was another super competitive Round 1, so it’s incredibly amazing that you’ve seen such success. You must be one amazing candidate!!! Before you get too far with thinking how hot you are and go and shoot yourself in the foot, we need to issue a strong warning: If…
So you decided for whatever reason has come up in your life that you are going to ask to defer your MBA start till next year. You read our post yesterday and you know that most schools don’t often grant them, but you really feel that you need to fully explore your options and it’s…
You did it. You took the GMAT. You sweated through the essays. You corraled your recommenders together and got those apps done. Then lo and behold, you were invited to interview, and now, many months after you started this whole applying-to-bschool rigamarole, you’ve found out you’ve been accepted. Whoopie! But…. Now that you’ve actually got…
Well no, not really. When you’re reading their websites or looking at their core curricula, or checking out their job placement reports, they may seem like it. The MBA degree is the MBA degree. They teach a lot of the same things. They spit grads out into the world as consultants and associates and product…
We got this super exciting update from a Round 1 BSer who’d been waitlisted at a Very Good School, and we just had to share it with you (with permission, of course). Enjoy and be inspired!
I know I have been radio silent for the past few months, but I did want to touch base to give you an update. Just a refresher on who I am – I used your waitlist assist service in the fall after I got Further-Consideration-ed at HBS. I am a former management consultant and currently work as a [career in education, exact details redacted for privacy]. I had originally applied to the Harvard MBA/MPP joint degree program, so I applied to both HBS (R1) and HKS, and I had planned to apply to MIT Sloan in round 2.
First of all, your feedback – though hard to hear at times – was very helpful. I used your feedback on my resume to totally re-work my resume for the HKS app, and I used your comments on my essay to similarly improve the level of detail I gave in my HKS essays. I guess I am probably not the best judge of my own work, but I did feel that both my resume and essays were stronger for HKS in terms of detail about me and my accomplishments.
Second, the status update: In the end, I was not invited to interview (as you predicted). I was, however, admitted to HKS. After going through the application process, though, I began to re-evaluate my choice to apply to business school at this stage of my career and my choice to narrow my options to HBS and MIT (which, granted, was largely driven by location). I realized that 1) I am fairly young, so I don’t need to rush to business school right now – I could decide to apply again in two years, and I wouldn’t be too old to be admitted; 2) I had my heart set on HBS because my colleagues all went there and many of my peers attend, and if I’m being honest I was enamored by prestige, etc., but there are actually several schools I did not strongly consider that I think could be a better fit, such as Yale SOM and Berkeley Haas, and 3) going to business school certainly could help my career in education, but having classroom teaching experience is also something that I’ve seen can massively bolster the credibility of leaders in education, and that is something I’ve long considered doing.
As a result of this thought process, in the end I decided not to apply to MIT or to attend HKS. Instead, I applied (and was accepted to) Teach for America. I’ll now teach in a public school for at least 2 years starting in the Fall, after which I may still apply to business school.
All of this may seem a bit random, but I am very excited about the path that I am taking, and the HBS rejection might have turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Again, I appreciate your candid feedback, which I think was definitely crucial to the strength of my application to HKS (and for the resume I submitted to TFA). Look out for me again in 2-3 years!
See? Toldja it was inspiring! We say it all the time and stories like this are proof: The MBA is not the be-all / end-all. There are lots of ways to get where you want to go. Sometimes it takes getting rejected (or even sometimes, getting accepted!) before your next steps become clear to you and you see what the right decision is.
Good luck to this BSer! We do hope that we hear from them again in a few years’ time — provided that the MBA is in fact the best next step for them then.
Bob Bruner, Darden’s former dean, said this in his speech to newly-minted undergrads at UVA’s Commencement Day 2015. We’ve also heard him say it as advice to eager-beaver MBA applicants who are trying to figure out where they should apply to bschool. We’re offering it today as wisdom to consider, in particular for those who…
The story you’re about to read actually came from a former BSer who’s heading into finals of their first year at a Very Good School. So, yeah, a little dated. This BSer first approached us for a Profile Review way back in November 2014 – which is shocking for us to say, since truly it…