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Harvard Business School (HBS) eliminates Third Round of MBA Application – R3

Dated May 15, 2018, in an update on the “Direct from the Director” Blog, HBS Admissions Director Chad Losee informed that Harvard Business School is eliminating its third round of MBA application for admissions into the class of 2021. The focus from now on will be on first and second round only – with updated deadlines for Admissions as follows:

1. Round 1 Deadline for MBA Application – September 5, 2018

2. Round 2 Deadline for MBA Application – January 4, 2019

HBS Third Round 3 Application

This is one of the most significant change that the director has made in the admissions policies of HBS. Chad explains that this change has been made after careful consideration and to ensure the enrolment experience is as smooth as possible for the students. He further assures the candidates, “We have no preference between the two rounds — truly.” Notably, there will be no change in the Spring Round, for the 2+2 deferred admission program.

In this article, we will discuss the following aspects of this change:

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What are the Consequences – Third Round of MBA Application discontinued at Harvard Business School (HBS)

hbs eliminates round 3

In recent years, there have been fewer applications in round 3. As per this article in Poets & Quants, “Consultants estimate that round three accounts for fewer than 5% of Harvard’s incoming class of roughly 930 MBAs in recent years.” For students admitted through Round 3 applications, there has always been an issue of time crunch. This change is expected to give more time to all the applicants, whether admitted or rejected, to better plan their next steps.

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Quoting Losee from his interview with Poets & Quants, “When we bring students to interview on campus, we plan the whole day of events for them with Students and faculty to get a sense for what that’s like here. That has been harder to do in round three because since students and faculty are in finals and those types of things, so they won’t have as complete a picture of what HBS is. We get to know the applicants and we hope the applicants get to know us as well as they can so they can make an informed decision.”

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This change is also being seen in a positive light by the admissions consultants as most of the serious aspirants prepare well in advance for their applications. The elimination of the third round will reinforce the planning and thoughtfulness required in the applications process.

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How does this decision impact rival Business Schools’ Admission Process?

While this decision is limited to HBS, it has an impact at each of the top 10 schools. Here is why – Earlier, with HBS having Round 3 Applications, top 10 schools would keep more seats in R3. This is because they knew that some of the students who are accepted in R2 in these schools will likely drop out when HBS releases the waitlist and R3 results (waitlisted results come with R3 only). Note, Harvard is a big school with an incoming class of 900+ students.

Stanford GSB is a rival business school of HBS which attracts talented individuals. Learn, what is the Stanford X-factor to get an admit from Stanford GSB.

Now with R3 applications at HBS gone, schools would know that students who accept offers in R2 will most likely stay with them. Hence, they may not hold out as many seats in R3. This means that students have to put forward their best scores in R1 and R2 because it’s likely now that more offers will be made in R1 and R2 applications.

Good luck with your applications!

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