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Harvard Business School Admissions Continues Transparency Trend with Note to Round 1 Applicants

Applicants who submitted an application earlier this week as part of Harvard Business School (HBS)’s Round 1 received a prompt confirmation email direct from Dee Leopold, HBS director of admissions and financial aid. In it, Leopold continued HBS’s increasing trend toward transparency in the admissions process by spelling out in clear, down-to-earth terms just want applicants should expect from this point forward.

A senior team will begin reviewing submitted applications within a day or so of the September 16th Round 1 deadline, Leopold wrote, and this team will make decisions about who moves forward and who doesn’t.

“’Moving forward’ means being invited to interview,” Leopold explained, adding that she expects interview invitations to be issued in early October and interviews to be conducted from mid-October through November. “’Not moving forward’ means that we are unable to admit you,” Leopold continued. “We want you to be able to move ahead with other plans so we will send these decisions out in October.”

A third group of Round 1 applicants may be asked to remain under consideration, for review again with Round 2 applicants. “We call that ‘further consideration’ and the details will be communicated to this group in mid-October,” Leopold wrote.

Leopold asked Round 1 applicants to refrain from submitting any additional materials at this point, except for those students who need to send official GMAT or GRE score reports. “If we’re missing something, which is unlikely, we’ll contact you via email,” Leopold said. She added that her team will begin reviewing applications with self-reported test scores while awaiting official scores from the GMAT or GRE.

Leopold’s note, as well as its tone, represent a shift in recent years by HBS toward providing greater transparency and insight into the admissions process for applicants, a departure for a school that had a history of being much more opaque. Now, the Boston school is setting itself apart from several of its peers by sharing an increasing level of detail with applicants throughout the process.