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The MBA Application: Is it OK to Apply in Later Rounds?

Apr 26, 2024
Discover insights into the MBA application process, and how Vanderbilt Business supports candidates at every stage of their journey

By Arial Starks

Pictured: Headshot of Amanda Fend, Vanderbilt Director, MBA Recruiting

Amanda Fend

Have you been contemplating whether now is the time to pursue an MBA program? There is no time like the present and it’s never too late to further your education. If you have missed the first few application rounds and fear you may have waited too long to apply, do not fret, you still have time. Amanda Fend, Director, MBA Recruiting, shares some insight into the Vanderbilt MBA admissions process and why it is still okay to apply in later rounds. 

The components of the MBA application

There are several components to the MBA application, so it is always advised that you visit your desired program’s website before applying to learn everything you will need in order to get started. At Vanderbilt Business, candidates are provided an application checklist to keep them on track, ensuring all I’s are dotted and T’s crossed before hitting “submit”. 

In addition to filling out the online application and completing a video response and evaluative interview, candidates will need to make sure they have the following:

  • Standardized test scores or waiver; international students will need English Language Exam scores or a test waiver
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Resume and work experience
  • Short written statements
  • Application fee 

All of these components will give the candidate a chance to showcase who they are, what they have accomplished thus far, and where they aspire to go next. 

Completing the MBA application

With all of the different moving parts of the MBA application, getting started can seem intimidating. But, if you do your research and make sure you know everything you will need ahead of time, completing the application can be done in as little as 7 days. 

“Every single person who applies to the Vanderbilt MBA program gets a dedicated recruiting manager who is there to walk alongside them and be a resource to support them,” says Fend. “That really makes the process easier for candidates, whether they have 10 weeks or 10 days from the time they have started the application.”

For candidates who are concerned they may miss out on important events by applying in later rounds, Fend assures that all Vanderbilt MBA candidates will have access to the same programming and resources. Most events that take place over the summer will be recorded and available for admitted students to watch at later times, and official opportunities for MBA candidates to get together with their cohort will not begin until the start of the school year. 

It’s not too late to apply in later rounds

Before applying to any MBA program it is important to check out the school’s website and find out how many application rounds there are and the final deadline to apply. At Vanderbilt Business, there are several rounds of deadlines for the MBA program, and the timing of your returned decision is dependent on when you submit your application. The Vanderbilt MBA application deadlines slightly change year over year, and the deadlines for each round are published at the beginning of the cycle in August. 

“Generally, it’s about 2 months between the time someone applies and when they receive a decision, but with the rolling admissions, the return decision will be much faster, because we want to make sure anyone applying during that round has enough time to prepare,” Fend explains.

While there are benefits to applying earlier in the MBA application cycle, applying in later rounds can be a positive for someone looking for a quicker return decision. But, regardless of when you apply, Fend says Vanderbilt Business has an MBA application process and resources that can be adaptable for anyone at any stage of pursuing business school.

“We recognize that everyone has their own individual path to business school, and whatever that path looks like, we want to be able to support people.”

Click here to see MBA application deadlines.

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