24 Mar 2015

To Round Two Interviewees: What’s Next?

Greetings from Dillon House.

Many of you heard the "What's Next" talk when you were here on campus for your interview. Does that seem like a long time ago?

We'll be ready to release decisions tomorrow at 12:00 noon, Boston time.

Here's a recap of how it will work:

  • No phone calls ahead of time. While we love to give happy news, we don't want to create an anxiety zone where you are watching your phone constantly. We know you've been out-of-control throughout much of this process - we can give you the control of where you are and with whom when decisions go out.
  • After the decisions, we will be making congratulatory calls. We'll also send a poll to make sure we set up conversations that would be most helpful to you as you are making the decision to join us in the fall.
  • There will be candidates asked to join the waitlist and we definitely plan to be making offers to a significant number - but we can't be exactly sure when. All waitlisters will get detailed information about "next steps" in the decision letter tomorrow.
  • We DO mail hard copy admit letters - these are the "official" offers of admission. These will be mailed in early April.

We're all set...and want to say thank you one more time to everyone who is waiting for tomorrow's news.


17 Mar 2015

Round 3 FAQs

Believe it or not,  it’s actually beginning to feel like spring here in Boston. Temps hit the 50s this week and there are even patches of grass visible on campus.  But we also got the news on Monday morning that Boston had broken its historic record for snowfall -  so I guess you can say we are champions!

Every year spring means one thing for the Admissions team at Dillon House: Round 3. 

For those of you thinking about Round 3, here are some of the FAQs we field once application anxiety kicks in:

FAQ #1: Do I have to wait for my recommenders to finish before I can submit my application?

That's an easy one to answer: no.

We hope that all recommendations will be received by noon on April 6. Of course, that rarely happens. Our advice: don't wait until you get the notice that your recommendations have all been submitted before you hit the "submit" button for your application. "Late" recommendations received within a day or two after the deadline will be added to your file.  It's your responsibility to make sure that both recommendations have been received -  and for you to understand that we may render a decision based on whatever recommendations have or have not been submitted.   

FAQ #2: Can I submit my application without an official GMAT or GRE score? What about the TOEFL?

The key word here is "official" -- you must have either a GMAT or a GRE score in order to submit your application, but your unofficial score (i.e., the score you receive the day you take the test) is perfectly acceptable. Please do have your official scores sent to HBS. We will verify scores of all admitted candidates later in the spring.

TOEFL scores are different. You can't wait until the last minute to take the TOEFL because you won't be getting a score on the test date. 

FAQ #3: Is there any advantage to being "early" in a given deadline period?

No, not really. We don't begin to read applications until after the application deadline. On the night of April 6, we will begin to distribute applications to the Admissions Board. Contrary to lots of speculation, there is absolutely no correlation between when an application is submitted and when, or if, a candidate is invited to interview. Applications are not reviewed in the order in which they are received.

That said, I wouldn't advise waiting until 11:59 am to upload your application. We anticipate that server traffic will be high and you will be frustrated and anxious with the time it will take to have a successful submission.

FAQ #4: How should 2+2 applicants plan for interviews?

We understand that your school obligations come first -  please don't worry that we will ask you to skip exams in order to travel to Boston!  We will have set on-campus dates but we will always offer our 2+2 applicants a Skype interview if the dates present a conflict for you. 

As always, hope this is helpful - we're here if you need us!

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.