At The Art of Applying®, this is what we call a “champagne problem.” An amazing business school loved you and your application enough to give you a full ride to their top 15 ranked program. That’s amazing! But, it’s not the top three program you had your heart set on. What should you do? Should you take the scholarship and go to a world-class business school, or reapply next year for the dream MBA program to see if you get in?
Welcome to another installment of our Ask The Art of Applying® series where we give you a peek into what it’s like to be a client asking a question in our Q&A Vault. We bring you answers to your questions about getting into graduate school. This month, Adam, one of our consultants and a graduate of University of Virginia Darden School of Business, is answering a question about whether to reapply for a dream program or not after getting into other great schools with full ride scholarships.
Our client asked: What should I do if I didn’t get into my dream business school, but got into other great MBA programs with full ride scholarships?
Here’s the full question from one of our amazing clients, “Team, I got a complete ding for my application to Stanford Graduate School of Business and their Knight-Hennessy Scholars fellowship. But since I graduated this year, I’m still eligible [to apply] for another year. I’ve been admitted to some schools with full scholarships and am waiting to hear back from two more. So, should I forgo all of these acceptances and try all over again this coming fall? I know exactly where the holes are in my application and can work aggressively now to fill them in, but I’m not sure if it’s worth considering it since there’s no guarantee I’ll get the scholarship or get accepted into Stanford. But, I might! What are your thoughts?”
Let’s get specific.
Kaneisha Grayson, Founder & CEO of The Art of Applying® and graduate of Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School asks, “What are your results for this season so far and which schools are pending? Do you have any offers from the previous year that are still open?”
The client replied, “I withdrew from Wharton and was admitted with full scholarships from University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, and The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business. And, I’m waiting on Columbia Business School and NYU Stern School of Business.”
How does trying to apply to both Harvard Kennedy School along with Stanford Graduate School of Business complicate this matter?
When this client began the process, her goal was to get into Stanford GSB and Harvard Kennedy School for a dual-degree program. More from her, “And, if another opportunity opens for me to pursue my preferred route [of applying to HKS] since I didn’t apply to any Harvard programs, should I take it?” At this point in time, UT Austin, Georgetown, and Ross don’t have dual-degree programs with Harvard, so if she goes to one of those, she’ll only get an MBA.
What about deferrals?
The client also said, “Or, should I get a deferral for a year from some of these schools? What does that process look like?” This is an interesting option. If she approaches a school like Ross and asks for a deferral due to the pandemic or other reasons, she may be able to wait for a year and sit on the offer while she reapplies to Stanford’s Knight-Hennessy program. She can later apply to Harvard Kennedy School for the dual degree program.
Get good advice, but ultimately, you have to make the choice that’s right for you.
Kaneisha closes this Q&A by encouraging the client to get this question answered with the help of a consultant or one on one time with her. But, I was curious what the client ended up choosing to do with her “champagne problem.”
When I looked into it, she did exactly what I think I would do, which is choose to attend University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. It’s an amazing school and the client chose not to hold out for Stanford and Harvard since going to Ross would help her achieve her goals in both the short term and the long term. It’s a tough call, but she made a really good one. It’s painful to wait another 12-18 months when you’ve got an awesome school ready to take you and pay for you to be there.
Where can I get help with my tough questions about getting into business school?
If you want any help applying to or choosing between the right MBA programs, book a Quick Call with us, and we’ll make sure you get the help you need. If you enjoyed this post, keep your eyes peeled for another edition of Ask The Art of Applying®!