COVID-19 Won't Spike MBA Deferrals at Tuck School

by Stacy Blackman Consulting, Jun 15, 2020


Don't expect to see a raft of MBA deferrals at Tuck School of Business due to the COVID-19 crisis. In a recent update on the Tuck 360 Blog, admissions director Luke Anthony Peña explained why---unlike Harvard Business School---the team has decided against offering admits the choice to postpone their start dates.

To be clear, Peña does not shut down the idea of allowing MBA deferrals at Tuck outright. The admissions team will consider all requests on a case-by-case basis, he explained. However, Peña noted that Tuck School has a robust plan for instruction in the fall, either in person or remotely. Therefore, he said they do not expect to offer many deferrals.

"Given Tuck's distinct scale, granting mass deferrals significantly changes our class composition, more so than if our community was larger," Peña pointed out. Keep in mind, an incoming MBA class at Tuck School has fewer than 300 students. Meanwhile, that figure more than triples at HBS.

"Mass deferrals also dramatically reduce our available seats next year, and make applying for our Class of 2023 more artificially competitive," he continued.

"We want to ensure this year’s class is strong and next year’s seats are attainable."

Fairness and Equity Drive Round 4 Requirements

Unlike Kellogg School of Management, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, or CMU Tepper School of Business, Tuck will not waive the GMAT/GRE test score requirement for final round applicants.

"Fairness and equity are paramount to the integrity of our evaluation efforts," Peña explained. "We required a complete application for all applicants in our first three rounds, and we made admissions decisions accordingly."

"Changing or waiving application requirements now would introduce unfairness and inequity for candidates who applied earlier in this application year," he added.

Also, Peña noted that the team would not reconsider any applications that were denied earlier in the cycle.

Waitlisted applicants from the first two rounds remain enthusiastic about joining the Class of 2022, he shared. They will continue to evaluate those candidates alongside later round applicants to fill the final seats in the class.

Finally, Peña said the team empathizes with admits who choose not to enroll this year. In such cases, they will work personally with those admitted students to encourage their applications, he added.

You can read more about MBA deferrals at Tuck and other COVID-19 admissions FAQs here.

Photo courtesy of Tuck School of Business


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