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Will an unsuccessful application harm you?

This topic has 1 expert reply and 0 member replies
yangxuandudu Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
12 Aug 2008
9 messages

Will an unsuccessful application harm you?

Post Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:59 pm
I really need some help here and I appreciate your inputs.

I have my mind set on two of the top ten schools. And I'm debating if I should apply this year (2009 admission) or next year (2010 admission)

My primary goal is to get into one of these two schools regardless the timing.

However, I would prefer to go to B-school in 2009 rather than 2010 due to personal reasons.

Yet I think I'll be a little better prepared if I apply for the 2010 admission, mainly because it should give me some time to add some community work experience.

My strategy is to apply this year and if I don't get in, I'll apply again for the same two schools next year.

Now my question is: if I don't get into my "dream schools" this year and reapply next year, will my unsuccessful applications actually harm my next year's applications?

Thank you very much!

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Graham MBA Admissions Consultant
18 Sep 2008
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Post Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:17 am
Dear Yangxuandudu,

Thanks for your post!

You pose an excellent question about reapplying to business schools and whether or not doing so can hurt one's chances for admission. As you may know, there is a great deal of debate surrounding this matter (with no shortage of theories and rumors in the various discussion forums, etc). I will do my best to clarify with my response below, but I should also state that your personal approach here will largely depend on your candidacy. Feel free to send along your resume (info@clearadmit.com) if you want a more tailored response.

Are reapplicants to b-school at a disadvantage?
The general answer to this question is that there is no harm in reapplying to business school. Unlike law school, college or even medical school, where reapplicants may be frowned upon, there is no such stigma in the MBA admissions world. The reason for this is because many of the key admissions critera (work experience, career trajectory, XCs, GMAT performance, knowledge of the target program) can be easily enhanced between a first and second application. In fact, most b-schools admit reapplicants at a higher rate that the first-time portion of the pool. Several leading programs even offer rejected applicants feedback to help them plan a successful reapplication.

When it comes to reapplication, the most common misperception is that there are business schools that are "reapplicant friendly" and busines schools that are "anti-reapplicant." This is simply untrue. While some programs may provide more guidance than others (via feedback or abbreviated applications for reapplicants) this does not mean that schools which provide limited guidance or require reapplicants to start from scratch with their essays and materials (like HBS and Stanford) are anti-reapplicant.

One caveat to all of this discussion is that a reapplication decision should ideally come down to the candidate and their profile. In other words, if a candidate has a 600 on the GMAT, a 2.5 GPA, poor work experience and limited XCs he or she may want to reforumulate their target schools following rejection from H/S/W the first time around. This is not to say that he or she can't aim to improve and reapply, but oftentimes one can use a negative result in the admissions process to better calibrate where they stand in the applicant pool overall.

Best of luck,


Graham Richmond
Clear Admit, LLC
215 568 2590

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