Rejection and Reapplication
Rejection letters are common. Top business schools are competitive and as increasing numbers of applications roll in, increasing numbers of rejection letters also flow out. But if you are among those who are rejected, the opportunity to reapply remains.
It is not uncommon that following rejection from a top business school many candidates consider reapplying. Reapplication is not for everyone, nor does every school particularly encourage it, but if you have been rejected, especially on your first application, you should consider it. This consideration involves self-evaluation, contacting the school’s admission committee, inquiring into their general philosophy on reapplication and/or their particular recommendations or evaluation of your application. Reapplication should make you more knowledgeable about your experience in relation to your chosen school’s expectations and concretely improve your application.
Initial rejection may also give you the opportunity to reevaluate why and where you would like to be and what fits best for you. Once you have reached your decision to reapply, the following guidelines will assist you in improving your success rate:
- Make your application stronger. Whether this means improving your GMAT score, your international experience, professional experience, essays, recommendations or other application component, it is of little use to apply simply with the same previous application.
- Cater to the particular school. Find out what the particular admissions committee looks for out of reapplications and follow their recommendations. This should save you both time and money.
- Seek out an evaluation of your first application. You must gain a better understanding of what was missing in your application in order to improve your chances for admission. Some schools offer advice in the form of a letter and other schools by an in-person meeting. USC’s Marshall School offers deny counseling every September. The school emphasizes the need to look at their class profile in order to better understand what they are looking for in order to improve your chances.
- Pay attention to each school’s reapplication procedure. Know what each school wants when reapplying. For example, Kellogg requires an additional essay with the same application. They specifically want to know how you feel you have qualitatively improved your candidacy, and will refer to your first application (kept for two years) when judging the merits of your reapplication. Marshall, which does not discourage reapplication, requires a shorter updated version of the application, but is still looking for the same fit for incoming students.
- Reapplication should not be a makeover. Avoid completely changing your argument for admission. Rather, you should present yourself in light of the new knowledge and experience you have gained as a concrete reason for reconsideration. Also, by now you should have a good idea of what particular aspects of your application needed improvement and can make your case from that.
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