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Why Now is a Great Time to Apply to Business School

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Through the toughest of times, business education can provide answers and solutions that not only heal economies, but uplift societies.  The skills offered through an MBA—from finance and analytics, to leadership, management and more—can also empower you to be nimble in times of uncertainty, and prepare you for any business career of your choice.

The journey to and through an MBA begins with reflection: Personally or professionally, what is your destination?  An MBA can help you develop your skills, provide freedom in your job and career choice, and expand your network.  Due to COVID-19, many MBA programs have extended their late round deadlines for joining in the fall of 2020.  Even if you do not feel ready to matriculate in a few months, there is still plenty to do now to get ready for the next admissions season.

Read on for why now is the best time to apply to business school, whether you plan to join the Class of 2022 or later.

5 Reasons to Apply to Business School Now

1. Better Chances of Admission

Business schools typically have three or four rounds of admissions deadlines in a given season. For the most recent b-school admissions seasons, application volume has shown signs of dipping overall. What’s more, generally speaking, the first 2 rounds of admissions tend to see the highest number of applicants. That means, right now, the applicant pool in which you’d be competing is smaller.

Still worried about some of the admissions requirements?  If you’re not a “good test taker,” you can avoid risking a poor test score in your application.  Some MBA programs are offering test waivers in light of COVID-19 restrictions, but be sure to check each school’s website before counting on one!

2. Better Options

Due to the fact that there will be fewer applicants in these later rounds, you can aim higher. There will be less competition against peers due to the smaller applicant pool, but more competition among the schools to secure the strongest applicants. In light of this, you may consider targeting programs of a higher tier as well as securing higher scholarship funding.

3. Time is on Your Side

The COVID-19 pandemic has yielded a high unemployment rate and hiring freezes. Job opportunities are currently limited. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the average recessions lasts 22 months—the same amount of time it take to earn an MBA.

With this in mind, applying for an MBA now means that you would be able to enter a more robust job market with a more valuable skill set at the time of graduation.  The novel impact of this disease has yet to conclude, and an MBA can also hone your ability to adapt and rise to meet pending challenges.

4. Research is Now Easier & More Cost Effective Than Ever

Now is a great time to save on travel expenses. Instead of flying coast to coast to visit business school campuses, you can see them from the comfort of your own home. Many programs are currently offering campus tours online, as well as webinars with current students and admissions representatives.

Engaging students and admissions members online can also help you determine your “fit” with a program.  These interactions can further inform you current applications or even refine your application strategies for the fall.

5. Plan Ahead

If you do not feel ready to head off to school this year, there is still plenty you can do to prepare for applying for matriculation in 2021. Start doing your research now—dig into websites, contact current students, join webinars with admissions staff. You also have plenty of lead time to request recommendations.  Current college students should reach out to their advisers to ensure their materials are ready for deferred MBA options.  Professionals can connect with current supervisors.  Start studying for the GMAT or GRE while you have time, even if you plan to wait until the exam is offered in person again before taking it. You will also need a resume for the MBA application, so start putting your work in there.

The path to a new future is just an MBA away, and now is a great time to prepare and apply.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.