Behind the Scenes with the Admissions Committee

The following blog post was written by Rebekah Lewin ’02 MBA, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid

We recently started making admissions decisions for 2017 entry and I am sure every prospective student is at least a little curious about what happens when the Admissions Committee meets. Are there are certain aspects of the application that are weighted more heavily than others? What about minimum cut-offs?

Here are some insights on how it works, with a hope that this will help you put your best foot forward when you apply to Simon. Every application is reviewed by an Admissions officer who is assigned to a specific program. The MBA and MS Finance programs are split betweeMelioraImagen two officers due to the size of the applicant pools for those programs. It’s the responsibility of the Admissions officer to review the entire pool, provide feedback to the Admissions Committee on the profile of the pool, as well as to recommend final admissions decisions.

The application credentials of each candidate are carefully reviewed, including essays, interview feedback, and recommendations, and candidates are ultimately recommended into one of three categories: admit, waitlist, or deny. For each decision, there are usually at least two reviews – one by the Admissions officer and a second by the Committee.  When a candidate is interviewed, this is usually an additional piece of feedback from yet another Simon affiliate (current student, alum, or admissions officer).  Beyond the recommended outcome for each candidate, there is also a justification for the decision (i.e. how the candidate compares on both an absolute and relative basis to the pool of candidates).

In about 80% of cases, there is a straightforward discussion and Committee agreement on the final decision for the candidate.  In cases where there is not full consensus on the recommended application outcome, the Committee will carefully review the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate, and a final vote by the Committee will determine how to proceed.  In some cases, the committee may defer a decision while we ask for additional information from the candidate (i.e. clarification on a question from the application or interview; official score report from a recent GMAT, GRE, TOEFL or IELTS score; or grade from class(es) that are currently in progress).

As we move through the application cycle, we will review our wait list candidates during each subsequent round of applications (a new process for 2017) to ensure that we are admitting the best possible candidates from the overall pool of applications.  And to dispel speculation – we do not have any stated or unstated minimums for admission consideration. We encourage you to make every effort to present your candidacy in the best possible light – take the time needed to study and prepare for standardized tests, the application itself, and an admissions interview if requested by the Admissions Committee.

I hope this information has been helpful as you are planning for B-school, and I invite you to reach out to the Admissions Office with your questions at or +1 (585) 275-3533. We hope to review your application soon!

Apply by our January 5 application deadline for maximum scholarship consideration and the opportunity to be invited to Scholarship Weekend, where you compete for additional scholarship beyond what is awarded at the time of admission. 

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