UPDATED APRIL 20: BRIEFING OF THE LATEST COVID-19 CHANGES FROM MBA ADMISSIONS
The Fortuna team continues to receive a flurry of Coronavirus-related updates from the senior leadership of the nation’s top business schools.
Among the daily developments are unprecedented changes in the MBA application process – from the ability to submit applications without exam scores (INSEAD, LBS, Wharton, Columbia) to larger waitlists (HBS), app fee waivers (Kellogg, Darden), and extended R3 deadlines (Haas, Fuqua, Booth, Kellogg & many others).
Following is our briefing of the latest changes related to MBA admissions at the top b-schools, Fortuna Admissions will continue to update. Last updated 4/20/20.
COVID-19 Changes to MBA Admissions at the Top Schools
Berkeley Haas pushes back its R3 extended deadline (April 16)
Haas opened a Round 3 extended deadline last month, but today announced it will push the deadline back until June 1 (decisions released July 2). Its standard R3 deadline will remain on April 2, with decisions released on May 7. Haas has also increased in the number of live question and answer sessions it hosts with members of its admissions team.
McCombs debuts Petition Form for COVID-19 Test Exception (April 16)
UT Austin McCombs announced it will provide applicants who have been directly impacted by COVID-19 the opportunity to petition for a special test score exception (view petition criteria). The Admission committee will review and respond to petitions within 5 business days, and exempted students won’t have to submit a test score for their application to be complete. McCombs also introduced a Round 4 deadline of April 28, 2020, along with a post-deadline rolling admissions for Fall 2020 enrollment for US and Canadian applicants (only).
INSEAD pushes back deadlines for January 2021 Intake (April 15)
INSEAD is extending deadlines for Round 2, Round 3 and Round 4 for the January 2021 intake (class of December 2021):
R2: May 20, 2020 (previously May 6th)
R3: July 1, 2020 (previously June 24)
R4: August 5, 2020 (previously July 28)
INSEAD has also moved the application interviews fully online. Candidates can apply for the program without a GMAT, GRE, EA or TOEFL test score, with the option to submit a score as soon as testing becomes available again.
Kellogg waves exams for R3; invites waitlisted/denied candidates to appeal (April 14)
In an extraordinary move, Northwestern Kellogg announced that candidates who were waitlisted or denied in Round 1 and 2 can submit an appeal to have their application reconsidered (instructions to follow “in the coming days”). The program will also waiving the GMAT/GRE/TOEFL/IELTS requirement for candidates applying to Round 3 for the Full-Time MBA Programs and a Summer Quarter start for the Evening & Weekend MBA Program. It’s R3 extensions till stands for June 1; those who apply after the original April 8 deadline are considered on a rolling basis.
Registration for the GMAT Online Exam is now available (April 14)
Candidates can now register to take the GMAT Online Exam in most countries (there are exceptions); appointment dates are available beginning April 20, 2020 through June 15, 2020. “While open to all test takers, the GMAT Online exam format is intended to support candidates working to meet upcoming b-school application deadlines,” says GMAC’s website. Each section will contain the same number of questions and time per section as the current in-person GMAT exam. The GMAT test can be taken on both Mac and PC platforms (unlike the at-home GRE exam, which has been available to PC users only since March 27).
UCLA Anderson extends R3 deadline, test score date (April 13)
With Anderson maintains its April 16 deadline for Round 3, the program will accept R3 applications until June 1 (decisions on May 21, or 5 weeks after application submission). In an April 13 webinar, UCLA Anderson affirmed that the program will accept test scores through July 1, for Round 3 applicants on extension. “Our evaluation of the application can begin without a score, but we may not be able to issue a final decision until the required official test score(s) are received. Applicants who do not have a score yet should put June 1, 2020 as the default test date on their application and have the official score from the actual test date sent to us electronically as soon as available.”
Sloan Fellows MBA (SFMBA) extended application round (April 7)
MIT Sloan will continue to accept applications for the SFMBA Class of 2021 until May 1, 2020 (decisions released on a rolling basis). Admitted students will join the new SFMBA cohort and begin the program in June 2020.
MIT Sloan announces extended R3 deadline (April 7)
While MIT Sloan will maintain its Round three deadline of Thursday, April 9th, today the school announced by email an extended Round 3 Deadline of June 15. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis for the extended deadline (while decisions for applicants who submit by April 9 will be delivered on May 7). The MIT Sloan Admissions Team will also be hosting weekly MBA Online Chats throughout April to answer candidates’ questions.
Carnegie Mellon Tepper waves MBA app fees, adds new rolling admissions round (April 6)
Tepper announced several changes to its MBA admissions process to be more flexible, including waving application fees through July 31 and introducing a new rolling admissions round from June 1 through July 31. Tepper has also reduced the deposit amount to hold a seat in this fall’s incoming class. In addition, it is “temporarily allowing candidates with robust quantitative backgrounds to apply without a GMAT or GRE. Admitted candidates will be required to pass the Tepper Mathematics Prep course, attend our Math Skills Workshop, and achieve a 3.0 GPA in their first semester of the program.”
Duke Fuqua shifts start dates for incoming class, adds new R4, accepts EA (April 3)
Fuqua announced a new Round 4 application deadline for May 19 in an email update to its community with changes to its admission process (details on its website). It’s also waiving the application fee for R4 and inviting prospective students to schedule a 15-minute chat with a member of the admissions team. While Fuqua accepts both GMAT and GRE scores, it will now accept the Executive Assessment (EA) without prior approval starting with R4, stating: “We do not have a preference on which exam you provide, and scores can be updated after your application is submitted.”
Fuqua has also taken the extraordinary step of shifting the start dates for its incoming class to accommodate students grappling with travel restrictions and visa processing delays: Orientation will now start on August 31, with classes kicking off on September 3. In a March 30 message to its community, Duke adds: “However, should you not be able to make it to campus for this new start date – we are prepared. Our goal is to offer an option in which individuals can begin the program online, with their classmates who are on campus, and then join everyone in Durham as soon as they are able.”
Chicago Booth extends deadlines for R3 & Booth Scholars Program (March 26)
While Booth’s original Round three deadline of April 2 remains in place (decisions on May 21), it is allowing a “one-time extension” and will accept R3 apps for this cycle through May 31 (decisions released on a rolling basis). It will also continue to accept test scores through an extended deadline of July 1. The Admissions Committee has also decided to extend the Chicago Booth Scholars deadline to June 1, allowing applicants until July 1 to submit their GMAT/GRE scores.
Cornell Johnson will accept R3 apps without exams up until June 1 (March 25)
You can submit your R3 app for the fulltime MBA to Johnson on April 8 without exam scores, as long as you send them by June 1. (If you’ve sat for exams, Johnson asks that you submit current test scores for GMAT/GRE/TOEFL even if you plan to retake, indicating this in the Option Essay.) If you’re unable to meet the exam deadline, Johnson will move your application will move to the 2020-21 season.
UVA Darden transitions to rolling admissions, accepts undergrad exam scores (March 24)
In an expansive message to applicants on March 24, Darden announced that it’s added flexibility on multiple fronts to support applicants to its full-time MBA program for the Class of 2022. This including rolling admissions through July 15, and consideration of expanded test credentials. It makes Darden the first top MBA program now accepting undergrad entrance exam scores – SAT, ACT or country-specific exam score – from R3 applicants who have not taken the GMAT, GRE, LSAT or MCAT exams. (Caveat being that “if test centers reopen in the near future, applicants may submit a test score up until 15 July.”)
Candidates with completed applications are still encouraged to submit by the original R3 deadline of April 6. It’s also added an additional app deadline of June 1 to its deferred admission Future Year Scholars Program (this in addition to the existing April 6 and August 1 deadlines). Darden’s Executive MBA program will accept apps through end of June.
Wharton extends Advanced Access Deadline (March 24), allows R3 apps without exam results
In response to feedback, MBA Director of Admissions, Blair Mannix announced a new Advance Access Deadline of Wednesday, May 27. She also reiterated that Round 3 and Advance Access applicants can hit submit without having sat for a standardized test. “We reserve this option for anyone who had their test canceled or cannot travel to their test location due to social distancing restrictions,” cites Director of Admissions, Blair Mannix.
MIT Sloan Early Admissions deadline extended; interviews via Skype (March 24, 2020)
The timeline for MBA Early Admission applications has just been extended, with a new deadline of June 2, 2020 at 3:00pm EST. Applicants invited to interview will be notified in mid-June and all interviews will be conducted via Skype.
MIT Sloan Early Admissions also accepts apps without exams, only 1 letter of recommendation
Earlier this week, Sloan Early Admissions confirmed that applicants who are unable to take and/or secure official test scores due to limited access to test facilities can request a temporary waiver to complete the exam. Any offer of acceptance will be conditional. (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org) It is also allowing Early Admissions candidates to submit just one letter of recommendation, plus two additional references (who may be contacted by the committee if they have additional questions).
Kellogg Future Leaders deadline moved back (March 24)
The Kellogg Future Leaders deadline moves back two months to June 3; the new decision date is July 29. In a March 24 statement, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Kate Smith writes: “Given the closing of many testing centers, I also want to remind current Northwestern students who qualify for KFL that the GMAT/GRE requirement is completely optional — and we mean it.”
GRE & TOEFL testing available online (March 23, 2020)
As of today, March 23, the GRE is offering an option to take the test at home (in selected areas), proctored via video camera. View the ETS criteria or register for taking the GRE online. TOEFL® testing is scheduled to begin on March 26, and GRE testing will begin on March 27. GMAC, the entity who administers the GRE exam, is targeting a mid-April release of the online test.
HBS extends 2+2 deferred admissions application deadline (March 20)
The HBS 2+2 deadline changed to June 1, 2020 (from April 2) at noon ET for college seniors applying for deferred admission. HBS plans to release final decisions on July 28, 2020. As campus visits are suspended, HBS is ramping up virtual tours and online events. R2 applicants can expect to hear from HBS on March 30.
Dartmouth Tuck adds R4, suspends applicant-initiated interviews (March 20)
Tuck is initiating a “one-time Round 4” cycle for Round 3 candidates who need more time. Now you can submit a Round 4 application on a rolling basis from April 1 to June 1, and Tuck will return decisions on a rolling basis from May 11 to July 1. As of March 20, applicant
Stanford GSB goes online for the quarter, cancels commencement event (March 19, 2020)
Following along its March 10 announcement to move courses online, Stanford GSB announced that courses will be taught online for the duration of the spring quarter (ending June 10). Last Saturday, Stanford’s president issued a letter to the Stanford community detailing both COVID-19 related changes and institutional commitments. As of March 24, there are no deadline or application changes.
INSEAD & London Business School will accept applications without exams (March 13)
Given the closure of testing centers worldwide, both INSEAD and LBS will allow applicants to apply without a GMAT, GRE, EA or TOEFL score. This is a good faith gesture to encourage applicants to follow through with submission while implying a conditional acceptance – the expectation is that applicants will continue prep and take the exam when centers reopen. (LBS asks candidates to submit older scores if they have them.)
Dartmouth Tuck creates a one-time round 4 application deadline (March 20)
While maintaining its March 30th deadline for round three applicants, Tuck is creating a one-time round 4 application on a rolling basis from April 1 to June 1. The school is maintaining its March 30th deadline for round three applicants. Tuck has also suspended all applicant-initiated interviews for the remainder of this application cycle.
Columbia extends its DEP deadline to June 1, allows submission without exam results
Columbia Business School (CBS) Director of MBA Admissions Michael Robinson announced the extension of its Deferred Enrollment Program (DEP) application deadline from April 10th until June 1st, and expects to be admitting more people later in the cycle this year. Applicants may now submit their online application without a test score, or scheduled test date, but final decisions will not be rendered until standardized test scores are submitted.