HBS Admissions FAQ Highlights

If you haven't visited the FAQ pages of your target schools, I highly recommend it. Among a lot of standard information similar across schools, there are often school-specific policies and procedures that may impact your application strategy. These include whether or not applying in earlier rounds is advantageous (UCLA - yes, Kellogg - no difference between round 1 and 2); whether you can submit additional materials/test scores after you've submitted your application (HBS, Stanford - no, Wharton - yes, but no guarantee it will be considered, Kellogg - only changes in data, but that includes test scores); and do campus visits strengthen an application (Wharton, Kellogg - no). I'll be sifting through them over the next few weeks and posting what I think are the most interesting bits, starting with HBS. (link) How closely do I need to adhere to the word limit? Please respect the word limit specified for each essay question.

My Note: Sounds silly, but other schools do have some flexibility regarding word limitations.

In which part of the application may I enter additional information, including special circumstances? Please enter important information that you want the Board to know in the Additional Information section of the application.

My Note: There is no "Optional Essay" for HBS, and the space for this answer is very short, 500 characters - not words - maximum.

How do I add new information if I have already submitted my application? Once the application has been submitted, the Admissions Board is unable to accept application updates other than contact updates.  If invited to interview, applicants may inform the Board of updates at that time.

My Note: If you are thinking of re-taking a test and trying to submit a higher score after submission, HBS's official policy says no.

What is the latest date test scores will be accepted? When submitting your application, you must report the unofficial GMAT or GRE score given on the day of the test. This is the only score that the Admissions Board acknowledges. Your official score report may arrive from Pearson (for the GMAT) or ETS (for the GRE) after the deadline dates, and this score will be used for verification purposes. GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years.

Please be advised that in order to apply for admission in 2010, GMAT scores must be dated January 1, 2005, or more recently. Please note that the HBS code for the GMAT is HRLX892. The HBS code for the GRE is 4064. For more information on the GMAT, please visit www.gmac.com. For more information about the GRE, please visit www.ets.org/gre.

TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years. These tests must be dated January 1, 2008 or more recently to be valid. Please note that HBS only accepts the Internet-based (IBT) version of the TOEFL.

If you have applied to HBS in the past and decide to reapply, report your scores on your application. However, you will NOT need to have the testing services resend your official scores to us if the ones we have are still valid.

My Note: HBS doesn't mention this specifically, but apparently you can self-report your TOEFL/IELTS scores as well as long as you have the unofficial (online) scores by the deadline.