MBA Dilemma: I've Been Accepted but Should I Reapply?

Dilemma or Opportunity?

Dilemma or Opportunity?

A lot of MBA results are in and hopefully you’re on the champagne and lobster train destined for your MBA dream school. But what if you’ve been accepted to a good program, but maybe not your top MBA choice? Are you considering forgoing the certainty of, say, Columbia, for the uncertainty of reapplying to HBS or Stanford?

It’s certainly a dilemma, and I don’t have the answer for you, but hopefully I can help your decision-making process.

To maximize your odds of success, you should re-apply in the first round, when the largest number of spaces are available. So the question becomes: how much can you improve your candidacy between now and the first round deadline window in September and October? (Assuming you plan to re-apply for next year.)

Can you improve your test scores or take classes to prove your academic potential? Can you increase your responsibilities or leadership at work? Can you up your extracurricular commitments? Can you gain international or language experience? Can you get more deeply involved or take leadership in your community? Can you take steps towards your goals? Most importantly, can you improve any weaknesses in your application? (These questions are similar to the ones you should be asking yourself if you are waitlisted. For more on waitlist strategies, see here and here.)

The more you can say “yes” to these questions, the more it might make sense to risk reapplying. The variables are too numerous and personal to cover thoroughly here, but if you would like an objective outside opinion, please get in touch.

On a final note, there is nothing preventing you from re-applying in the second or even later rounds, but the competition will be stiffer and adcom expectations for your improvement might be higher.