The Round 3 MBA: is it worth it? Whereas most of you think it’s probably too late in the game to apply for your MBA at a top school if you’re even looking at Round 3, and that you would just be wasting your time, I’m here to say that isn’t necessarily true. While most students have in fact already submitted their MBA applications and got them in either right before or right after Christmas, applying for a Round 3 MBA can still work and actually be a valuable strategy and course of action in certain situations.
The biggest deterrent here is that, yes, most of the top business schools have already made a large chunk of their admission decisions, so by the pure math alone, the smaller number of spaces left for Round 3 students are going to make admission in this round more cut-throat and harder, BUT there are still spots left at every single one of the schools, and if you’re qualified, have strong professional experience, a viable GMAT score for the school you’re targeting, and perhaps just didn’t apply Round 1 or 2 because of various time-intensive projects you were involved in at work, excessive business travel for a global client, finishing up your time in the military, or were in the process of switching jobs…a Round 3 MBA can and does make perfect sense, and will to the admissions committee too.
In other words, there are still spots, and if your reasons for waiting seem perfectly professionally understandable and valid then wouldn’t it be so much better to apply now and get your life going in the direction you want it to go in (a Fall 2016 admission to a solid MBA program) versus waiting an entire full year in order to even begin the process and try again.
There is a lot to strategy in this too – if for some reason you don’t get in this Round, you will have something to examine and go over for months (and at that point, I would recommend a consultant who can help you fortify your application as well as analyze what happened and what perhaps went wrong) before you then apply again. In other words, if needed, it gives you a second chance to make the best application possible.
Again though, let me stress, there are spots. Every admissions officer I’ve talked to tells me, year after year, that they always hold spaces for the student who comes in late, yet they know would make a strong contribution to the class. If the admission committees didn’t believe this, and put action behind their words, there would be no “Round 3.” Everyone would apply Round 1 and Round 2 and that would be it. It’s there for a reason, and yes, people do actually get in.
So, wouldn’t it be nice if it was you? Don’t delay another year. Worst case scenario, all you lose is your application fee, but what you can gain by taking the challenge is a serious start to your future THIS year.
Remaining MBA deadlines for 2016: