Advice from the Assistant Dean: Building a Strong Application for Fall 2020

The following blog post was written by Rebekah Lewin, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid

Rebekah.LewinEach year around this time, we begin to hear from applicants wondering if it’s “too late” to apply or worrying about submitting their application after several rounds of applications are already under review. This year in particular, there may be even more uncertainty around your plans and questions you may have about specific elements of the application, such as transcripts and test scores.

Feeling like so many things are up in the air can be intimidating, but here’s my advice: Don’t wait on business school. If this is a goal you’ve set for yourself, now is a great time to refine existing skills and develop new tools that will empower you to make an immediate impact in your next professional role.

Now more than ever, it’s important to choose a business school that will deliver strong ROI. After a bold move to lower our MBA tuition in 2015, Simon tuition has risen just over 2% since that time.  Additionally, more than 85% of MBA students receive scholarship support from the school. The MBA Class of 2019 earned an average base salary plus sign-on bonus of $142,166—up 17% from the previous year—and 91% of graduates were hired within three months of graduation. It’s easy to see why The Economist ranked us No. 3 among private US business schools for ROI, based on percentage increase on pre-MBA salary (2019).

Prospective Simon MS students should consider that our specialized master’s programs offer shorter programs of study, so there is lower opportunity cost and a quicker re-entry to the workforce. Pair that with the fact that all four programs boast employment rates of over 90% within four months of graduation, and it’s clear that a Simon MS degree is a great way to invest in your future career in analytics/STEM-related fields that are in high demand.

We know these are unprecedented times, and we at Simon have continued to monitor the evolution of COVID-19 carefully. As you know from a previous post, the University of Rochester is taking social distancing seriously—our current students have been taking online courses since mid-March and Simon faculty and staff are working remotely. In addition, we’ve made a few adjustments to simplify the application process for our prospective students:

  • Flexing the methods of assessment for some of our application requirements (learn more on our MBA and MS FAQ pages)
  • Waiving our $90 application fee for those applying for Fall 2020
  • Adding a June 15 application deadline for Fall 2020 entry
  • Canceling our Pre-Fall orientation and academic coursework so that the fall semester will begin on Wednesday, August 26

If you’re working through your application to begin business school this fall, I want to offer a few tips that will help you stand out to the Admissions Committee as a competitive candidate:

Be confident. Regardless of your reason(s) for applying in the spring, you should be confident in your talent and work diligently on all aspects of the application. Show the Admissions Committee how you will be an asset to the school not only as a student, but as a member of its alumni community as well.

Do your research. Be thorough in researching your target B-schools so you understand the culture of the schools and can clearly express why you are a “good fit” for the program. Typically, the essay and interview components are good opportunities to express this to the Admissions Committee.

Be ready to interview. The interview timeline will likely be compressed given the time of year, so be prepared to quickly respond if/when an offer is extended.

Here’s one more tip if you’re admitted: Don’t wait to secure your spot in the class. This time of year the deadline to respond to our offer will likely be roughly one or two weeks. Our goal is to give you the opportunity to start career on-boarding activities as soon as possible—make sure you ask critical questions up front so that you are prepared to commit and enroll if you are admitted.

Each year we admit—and award merit-based scholarships to—great students in the spring, and this year we hope you will be among them! Our remaining application deadlines for 2020 entry are as follows (rolling admission occurs in between the deadlines):

  • May 1, 2020
  • June 15, 2020 (deadline added in response to COVID-19)

Most importantly, please accept my best wishes for health and safety for you and your loved ones. The well-being of our Simon community is paramount, so we’ll continue to monitor over the coming weeks and months to ensure we provide an excellent learning experience in a healthy and stable environment. 

In the meantime, we are here to support you as you put the finishing touches on your Simon application and through the entire application process, so please reach out to us if you have any questions.

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