Aim for the best, but be prepared for all possible outcomes of your application.
“Congratulations! You have been admitted” is the best result of your MBA or Masters application. However, it is not the only possibility. Yet things are not just black and white – accepted or rejected. Learn about all the possible scenarios and be prepared with a back-up plan:
Rejection may come at several stages, including the first screening of the application, which most likely means that you do not meet some of the eligibility criteria for admission. You may be rejected at the interview stage, meaning that you are not invited for an interview. Finally, you may not be selected for admission after the interview because there were better applicants.
Schools do not give a reason for rejecting you. Many MBA admissions consultants offer the DING analysis service – they analyse your application performance and suggest possible reasons for you not being admitted. This information will be useful to help you decide whether to reapply for the next intake or adapt your school choices.
Many MBA and Master’s programmes are highly competitive. Admission rates may be as low as 7% and the pool of all applicants can reach 10,000. It is important before applying to a school, especially if it is a stretch for you, is to find out how a rejection will eventually influence a second application for the next intake. If a rejection will negatively influence your next application then you should think twice before applying.
The waiting list means that you are admitted, but you can enrol in the programme only if some of those who are admitted do not enrol, creating an available place in the next class. So, you have to wait. But if you do not like being on stand-by you have a choice. Business schools will ask you in writing whether you would like to be put on the waiting list. If you decline, your application to the school is at an end, and you cannot change your mind later.
If you accept to be put on the waiting list you should inform the school in writing. This is an excellent chance for you to communicate with the school and provide any fresh information about relevant developments and accomplishments which have taken place since you submitted your application. Before you reply, take a critical look at your application and decide whether to get advice from an independent MBA admissions expert about what information will improve your chances for admission. Your reply to the school should be well thought through, because it is part of your application package.
Some schools may offer you a conditional admission. In this case you are accepted onto the programme, but you cannot begin your studies if you do not meet some preliminary requirements, for example, an additional test or a prerequisite course.
“Congratulations! You have been admitted to the programme for the class of …” The letter of admission is a confirmation that you can enrol on the programme of your choice and describes the next steps you need to take. The first one is usually paying your enrolment confirmation deposit. This fee is generally non-refundable, but if you enrol on the programme, the deposit will probably be deducted from your tuition fee.
If you – as with most applicants – are also waiting to hear from other schools, you might be in a situation where the deadlines for different schools will not work in your favour. To be on the safe side, you may wish to pay the deposits until you receive replies from each school and then you can decide where to enrol. This means that you will lose some deposits, but at least you will have all your choices.
Admission with a Scholarship
This is a dream letter for many MBA and Master’s applicants. The letter is basically the same as the admissions letter, but it also includes the decision for financial support (scholarship, fellowship, etc.). Depending on the school’s application and scholarship review process, the letter of admission and the scholarship letter might come separately at different times, but you need to clarify this with the admissions office in advance, so that you know what steps to take after you receive the letter of admission and if you have not received the results of your scholarship application.
In reply to a letter for admission and winning a scholarship you should send a thank-you letter to the admissions office and separately (through the admissions office unless otherwise specified) to the donor of the scholarship (if different from the business school).