HBS, Stanford, Wharton - Earlier 1st-round Deadlines

Important news for 2009 1st-round applicants: HBS, Stanford and Wharton have all moved up their 1st-round deadlines, in the case of HBS by 2 weeks, Stanford by 3, Wharton by 1. That's the bad news. The good news is that with all 3, you'll get the final results this year. Take a look: [table id=10 /]

This is a pretty big change for HBS and Stanford. For as long as I can remember, they've always set a new year deadline for their 1st round decisions. My take is that they want to be more responsive to applicants, who used to have to wait much longer on average to get their decisions, and they wanted to start the new year fresh for 2nd-round applicants. (Maybe the shift is somehow meant to boost their already high "yields" as well. Any thoughts?) This meant that they had to move their 1st-round deadlines back by a few weeks. Given the winter holiday, I don't see them gaining a lot of extra time to review applications, unlike Columbia, which extended their early decision review period from 8 to 10 weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if other schools make similar changes, which means October is going to be busy, busy, busy.

One difference from previous years then is that, for those of you dreaming about HBS and Stanford, if you get that golden e-mail later this year you'll have the most amazing winter vacation ever. If you don't, you'll have to bounce back quickly to apply in the 2nd round. Smart applicants won't get caught unprepared.