For those of you thinking about applying round 3, MBA programs DO admit candidates during MBA round 3. While in many cases, the spots left for round 3 candidates are limited, they do exist. In some cases, there is even scholarship money left for those applying round 3.
MBA Round 3 Deadlines & Details
MBA programs vary considerably in terms of how they view round 3. Some top MBA programs, such as Harvard Business School, have dropped round 3 (other than for 2+2 applicants) altogether. Other programs technically admit round 3 applicants but do so in very small numbers. However, some programs reserve space to welcome competitive applicants who for various reasons were unable to apply in earlier rounds.
Round 3 MBA Deadlines are as follows:
Does applying in round 3 make sense for you?
Here are 4 reasons why applying in round 3 might be right for you!
- You had limited tenure in your role during previous rounds
Many MBA applicants who are most successful applying during round 3 had a reason for not applying during an earlier round (of course, this is not true for everyone). If you were promoted and started a new job in the last year, it might be reasonable to wait until you had more experience in your current role to discuss. While we help applicants new to their roles apply successfully each year, MBA admissions committees easily understand the benefits of waiting for applicants new to their roles. Candidates who recently sold their companies or recently reached significant professional benchmarks would also fit into this category.
- Extenuating circumstances prevented you from applying during earlier rounds
If unique personal or professional experiences prevented you from applying during round 1 or round 2, round 3 may be a viable option for you. Examples of this may include military commitments or significant personal or medical challenges. In come case, COVID-19 could have delayed your application timeline. If candidates were unable to submit during earlier rounds due to circumstances outside of their control, they will not be penalized for waiting until round 3. However, keep in mind that with limited seats left the competition will still be fierce.
- You have a particularly unique or extraordinary profile
Round 3 is the most difficult round, by far! Successful round 3 applicants often have a profile that is well above average in multiple ways. If you do not have a strong explanation for waiting, it is even more crucial that you have an application that will be hard to turn down with above-average test scores, grades, professional experience and more! Schools have spaces for round 3 applicants, but the onus will be on you to convince them that you deserve a seat.
- Starting business school in 2022 is particularly important to you
For some MBA hopefuls, waiting until 2023 to begin business school is not an attractive option. There are countless unique personal or professional reasons why you might not want to wait and apply next year during round 1. If it is this year or bust, applying round 3 might make sense for you, even if the above reasons do not apply. In this case, you SHOULD be flexible with your school list and consider a wider range of schools. The number of strong MBA programs continues to grow, and there are many strong options beyond the M7 or T10 programs.
Who should wait for round 1?
If you intended to apply during round 2 but did not finish in time or did not feel your applications were strong enough AND none of the above applies for you, I would recommend that you wait and plan to apply during round 1. By starting NOW on your round 1 MBA applications (like many Personal MBA Coach clients) you will be better positioned for success this fall.
What about candidates who were rejected during earlier rounds?
If you were rejected during earlier rounds, I would advise you either to broaden your list CONSIDERABLY or wait another year. Applying to similar level or even slightly less competitive schools during round 3, after a rejection during round 1 and/or round 2, is not your best bet. Think about how important it is for you to start school this fall as you make this decision.
About Personal MBA Coach:
Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach has been guiding clients for 15 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading sources including Poets&Quants.
We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing, and mock interviews. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and former M7 admissions interviewers.
Last cycle, our clients earned more than $6.5M in scholarships!