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Business School Deposit Deadlines: Decisions? Dilemmas? Do Tell!

An Opportunity to Negotiate

It’s no secret that schools use scholarship money to entice their best admits to come to their program. If you are fortunate enough to receive an offer of aid from one school but would prefer to go to another, you might try to negotiate, Brown suggests. “She might write to the other school, notifying of the award at the first school and asking if there is any possibility of some form of scholarship,” he says. “This happens, and if approached correctly, can yield positive results.” Here again, there’s little downside if done appropriately, he says. “The school cannot rescind their admissions offer, they can only say no to the scholarship.”

Defer a Year?

The occasional applicant—presented with an acceptance at a school not necessarily his or her first choice—may also request a deferral. A deferral refers to holding the admit decision to the following year. “This might be something an applicant wants to do IF they want a chance to reapply to other schools, too—with a stronger application—knowing they have one admit in the bag,” Brown offers. Applicants may also sometimes pursue a deferral if presented with a really compelling professional opportunity for the next year. “A school might be interested in that,” Brown says.

Bear in mind, the best time to request a deferral can be in the summer, he points out. In the event that a school experiences a higher yield of admitted students enrolling than bargained for, it can actually help to have a few students defer.

Read more: How deferred enrollment MBA programs work

A Trend Toward Multiple Deposit Deadlines, Larger Deposits

At some schools, this deposit dilemma may be a newer issue. In the past, Brown remembers some schools having a single deposit deadline in late spring for both Rounds 1 and 2. But today, different deadlines for different rounds seems to be de rigueur at every school we checked—precisely in order to force applicants to make the call earlier in the season. After all, those decisions do impact other applicants who may likewise be on waiting lists.

Another trend has been toward larger deposits, which can have a similar effect, Brown notes. “Also, European schools tend to have a shorter timeframe for deposits—one month after the admissions decision, for example—AND larger deposits,” he adds. At INSEAD, for example, a deposit of €9,000 is due four weeks after an admissions offer is received. At HEC Paris, admitted students have just three weeks to get their non-refundable deposits in, €4,000 for European Union students and €6,100 for non-European Union students.

If you have faced or are facing a deposit deadline decision this week, good luck in your decision-making process! And don’t forget to share your story on Clear Admit’s MBA DecisionWire. The searchable tool, unveiled last month, lets you browse to see how fellow candidates made decisions of where to attend based on the schools where they were admitted. Add your decision—it’s anonymous—for others to browse as well. So far, more than 150 decisions have already been submitted.

Posted in: Admissions Tips, Deadlines, Decision Tips, Financial Aid, MBA News, News

Schools: Duke / Fuqua, Harvard Business School, Northwestern / Kellogg, U. Chicago Booth, UPenn / Wharton, Yale SOM

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