17 Feb 2015

Round 3 - Should You or Shouldn't You?

I've been staring at this for days. Nagged by my team: "Can you please get something up on the blog about Round 3?!!!".

Not trying to be lazy, but I can't improve upon this. It's a classic.

I hope that the message is clear.


You want to go to business school. You really do. But the fall season kind of got away from you. You were busy. Work was demanding. You simply didn't have time to hunker down and focus on b-school applications.

Now you've got it together. Ready. But there's all this noise about Round 3. Discouraging and worrisome noise. Let's try to address some of the myths.

Myth #1: There are no spots available.
Not true. We manage the selection process to ensure that there are always spots open for the candidates we want. Are there as many spots open as in Rounds 1 and 2? No. Are there as many applicants? No. Do I think a strong candidate has a fair shot? Yes.

Myth #2: We've run out of financial aid.
Not true. The very last person admitted to the class has access to the same need-based financial aid that the very first person received.

Myth #3: If I get dinged in Round 3, I can't/shouldn't apply the next season in Round 1.
Not true. There's absolutely no stigma in re-applying 5 months later. Happens a lot. Many people in our classroom today were successful re-applicants.

Myth #4: It's too late for 2+2 applicants.
Not true. Not even close to true. Round 3 is a great choice for 2+2 applicants. Why? We can be more flexible about the number of 2+2 admits given that we are not worried about a "seat being occupied" for this September. College seniors have another semester of grades to show us. And another semester of activities. I also see a 2+2 application as a good dress rehearsal for future applications - and possibly interviews - to lots of other selective scenarios. If you aren't admitted to 2+2, we like to say (over and over): It doesn't mean not ever, it means not now. Besides, it's a great deal. $100 application fee. A chance to get the standardized tests over with when you're in test-taking mode. And, best of all, two or three years to explore and then come to HBS.

Myth #5: There's no Welcome Weekend for Round 3 admits.
True. But all the interviews will be held on campus so you'll get to see us in real time. And here's some advice about visiting classes and the campus:

If you want to see the case method in action, there are many spots available to visit a HBS class this spring. Also, there will be limited availability for visiting a class before the Round 1 application deadline next fall, so this is a great time to visit. Register for a class visit through our online scheduling system. We will also be hosting several other events on campus in the next few months.

You can always meet us online, too. We will be hosting Admissions Q&A webinars to answer your questions before the Round 3 deadline. To learn more, please see the Admissions Events page of our website.

Here's a reminder: The Round 3 deadline is April 6. We'll do our usual posts right after the deadline about timing of interview invitations. As always, hope this helps.

26 Jan 2015


Greetings from Boston. Definitely the topic of the day is SNOW and everyone here is busy making Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc. depending on the strength and length of the storm.

Yes, we know that we are scheduled to send out Round 2 interview invitations on Wednesday. We have every reason to believe that will happen on schedule. If we need to delay, we will let you know via this blog, a general announcement on the admissions website, and also with a voicemail recording on our general phone line.

Here is some GENERAL (non-storm related) information about Round 2 interview invitations:

  • Our planned timing is noon, Boston time on Wednesday.
  • Lots of detail in the invitation about scheduling, dates, etc.
  • The online interview scheduler goes live the day AFTER interview invitations go out (that gives you time to think about dates/times/locations).
  • Two waves of invitations: The first one is Wednesday, January 28; the other is Wednesday, February 4. On February 4, we will also send "release" notifications to all Round 2 candidates not being invited to interview.
  • How many in each wave? We really don't know yet and that's because we're not actually finished with reading the written applications. So best guess might be 600 in the first wave and 200 in the second. I've said this before, but please don't speculate or develop theories or algorithms about first vs. second. It doesn't work that way. And it has nothing to do with when you submitted, where you live, or the first letter of your last name.
  • ALL 2+2 INVITATIONS WILL BE SENT ON FEBRUARY 4!!! That means none on January 28.

Back to the snow. Still too early to tell, but the Admissions Office may need to be closed tomorrow, January 27 if the snow is severe and travel to and from work is prohibitive. We plan to manage the general email box - admissions@hbs.edu - remotely. And watch the admissions website and this page for updates.

Most important...if you're in the reach of this snowstorm, stay safe and warm and take care of those around you. And say thanks to all the workers out there who will be doing so much.

08 Jan 2015

Round 2 Interview Invitations and Dates

Happy to report that the Round 2 application deadline went smoothly and we are now in hibernation-mode and happily reading. (Yes, it's true - it's zero degrees here today - we love it and you will too!)

Here's the scoop on "what’s next":

Interview invitations: Will go out in two waves - January 28 and February 4. Please don't waste time speculating about how many in each wave. And please don't send us any additional materials or ask others to do so for you.

Interview dates: Interviews begin on February 12 and continue through early March. Detailed information will be included in the invitation email.

As always, hope this is helpful.

05 Jan 2015

Happy New Year and Last Minute-ish Info for Round 2 Applicants

Hope your holiday break was as restorative and festive as ours.

We're back. And we're ready for Round 2.

Please note that I know it’s not really the "last minute" - it's all relative. For some of you, it may seem like plenty of time 'til noon tomorrow - for others, maybe it does feel like the clock is ticking.

For ALL of you, here's a re-cap of what happens tomorrow:

  • Yes, the deadline is at 12:00 NOON, BOSTON TIME. We anticipate lots of traffic so don't panic if it takes a while to successfully "submit."
  • Yes, the deadline for recommenders is OFFICIALLY the same. The reality is that we'll keep the system open for a few days for recommendations to arrive. We will begin to review your application when there is ONE recommendation in the file.

We'll get out info on when interview invitations will be extended as soon as we can get a handle on the size of the Round 2 application pool - probably by Wednesday mid-day.

We do know the hub cities where we'll be conducting interviews - Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, London, Paris, Menlo Park, and New York City.

So...we're here if you need us via email, slatesupport@hbs.edu, or phone, 617-495-6128.