Posted on April 2, 2020

Changes in MBA Admissions to Tackle COVID- 19 Crisis

COVID-19 has turned human lives upside down globally. Like all the other industries, it has significantly impacted the education industry as well. The universities are working tirelessly to make policy changes to deal with the unprecedented challenges and uncertainties posed by this pandemic. The universities have moved in-person classes to online classes, canceled admission events, and global immersion trips, and are scheduling all interviews online, and much more.


Additionally, to help Round 3 and the next admission cycle’s applicants navigate through these exceptional circumstances, the business schools around the world have taken several steps. Some schools have extended Round 3 deadlines, while some have introduced an additional round, waived GMAT/GRE, moved to the rolling admissions, waived application fee, and have allowed applicants to submit GMAT/GRE after submitting applications, and so on.

At MER, we have compiled information about a few significant changes made by some business schools:

1. Extension for Round 3 Deadlines: Some schools have extended deadlines for Round 3 applicants– Stern (May 1), Mendoza (May 1), Emory (for both 1-year- April 15 and 2-year MBA- July 1), IMD (May 1), Columbia (June 1), Ross (May 29), Darden (July 15), and W.P. Carey (June 1). Rice has converted Round 3 to rolling admissions.

2. No Extension of Round 3 Deadlines but other changes:

Instead of extending Round 3 deadlines, some schools are being flexible in different ways. For example, Marshall, Yale, Cornell, Kelley (April 15), SAID, HEC, Tepper, and Stanford haven’t extended Round 3 deadlines. However, Yale is adding a Round 3 extending deadline of May 27 for applicants who could not apply by the Round 3 deadline of April 14. Also, it has allowed applicants to submit their test scores by April 24. Cornell and INSEAD have allowed applicants to submit their test scores by June 1. Tepper will accept unofficial test scores by May 21, and Kelley will accept the applications on a rolling basis.

Harvard has extended the deadline for 2+2 applicants. Ross is maintaining the Round 3 deadline of March 30 but adding an extension of the deadline to May 29. The applications received after March 30 will be evaluated on a rolling basis. SAID allows applicants to submit their applications for the fourth and final round (deadline April 3) without GMAT/GRE/English Language test scores, provided all other components of their applications are complete.

3. Introduction of Round 4: Some schools have introduced Round 4 to offer a chance to those applicants who couldn’t apply in Round 3 because of these exceptional circumstances- Tuck, Haas (Deadline May 4), Foster ( Deadline May 19), Owen, and McCombs (Deadline April 24 for domestic applicants). Tuck’s Round 4 will be on a rolling basis from April 1 to June 1.

4. GMAT/ GRE after Application Submission: Since GMAT Test testers are closed, some schools have allowed applicants to submit GMAT/GRE after submitting their applications: Kellogg, Wharton, Kelley, INSEAD, Rochester, SAID, IESE and HEC. McCombs allows international applicants to apply without test scores, but the application decision will be made after the applicants will submit their scores. WP Carey may waive GMAT/GRE based on a strong GPA, work experience, and interview.

Rochester and Terry will also be accepting applications without test scores. Darden has offered to accept ACT and SAT in place of GMAT and GRE. In addition to the onsite GMAT/GRE, Georgetown is now taking the online GMAT/GRE and expired GMAT/GRE scores, the Executive Assessment, MCAT, and LSAT. Tippie has simplified the admission process and no longer requires GMAT/GRE scores for its online and PMBA programs. All the schools will be accepting online GMAT, GRE, or TOEFL exams.

5. Rolling Admissions: Some schools have moved to rolling admissions- Rochester and Kelley. After the Round 3 deadline of April 8 deadline, Kellogg is moving to rolling admissions for Round 3 through June 1.

6. Waiver of Application Fee: Some schools have gone ahead and waived the application fee to help the MBA applicants: W. P. Carey, Rice, Kenna Flagler (through April 30), Mendoza, Emory, Vanderbilt, and Tippie.

MBA applicants for the last rounds of this application season and the next admission cycle may want to take advantage of these flexibilities and utilize this difficult time by working towards pursuing their MBA plans. Undoubtedly, we are living in exceptionally uncertain times, but life must go on. Hopefully, things will get better soon, and students will be able to have their regular MBA experience at their chosen campuses.

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