Students always ask which round to apply. Associate Dean of Student Recruitment and Admissions for Chicago Booth, Kurt Ahlm shares his perspective on this question in the Chicago Booth Insider:
When should I apply?
One question that commonly comes up this time of year is, “When should I apply?” The basic answer is – apply when you can provide the most compelling application. Make sure you give yourself time for self-reflection and to develop an application strategy, to draft your essays and to provide your recommenders with enough notice to write their letters. It is obvious when an application has been put together hastily, so if you need time to better prepare your application, take it. However, if you feel confident in the quality of your application and are trying to figure out where you have the greatest chance of admission, then you should consider the following.
Each round is competitive and there is really no difference in your chances for admission between rounds 1 and 2. Round 3 can be more challenging. We admit the class as we go so even though we accept people in round 3, admission to the program can be more competitive.
At the end of the day, if you are confident in your application and are looking for direction on when to apply, then I would recommend applying to your top schools in round 1. Applying in round 1 allows you to get your decision early in the application cycle. If you are admitted, and Chicago Booth is your top choice, then your search is over and you can spend the rest of the year getting acclimated to our program and taking full advantage of preparing for life as a student here. If you are waitlisted or denied, you will still have the opportunity to submit an application to other programs to pursue your MBA.
Again, always apply when you are most prepared and we’ll look forward to seeing many of your applications in round 1.
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