Are Cuts in MBA Essays the Exception Rather Than the Rule? MBA News |

Are Cuts in MBA Essays the Exception Rather Than the Rule? MBA News

By Tim Dhoul

Updated January 14, 2015 Updated January 14, 2015

Examples of top business schools in the US cutting back on their MBA admissions essay requirements since the 2013/14 application cycle have been well-documented. However, it seems that this is one trend that has yet to take root in the larger sphere of the country’s MBA admissions processes – at least for the foreseeable future.

However, a not insignificant 13% of those included in a new survey of 204 business schools in the US said that their institution had cut the number of MBA admissions essays they demand of applicants for the 2014/15 cycle. For the next application cycle, a further 3% said they already had plans to reduce the number of MBA essays required.

“While it’s true that some of the most competitive business schools have cut the number of admissions essays or reduced the word count, our survey finds that the overwhelming number of MBA programs continue to see value in applicants submitting more information about themselves,” said Brian Carlidge, an executive director at Kaplan Test Prep, which carried out the survey.    

Changes to MBA admissions at business schools in the US

Last year, a number of the most reputable business schools in the US, such as Wharton and Yale SOM, asked applicants for fewer MBA essays as part of the admissions process.

Even though the Kaplan survey suggests that MBA essays - in their traditional format and number - aren’t an endangered species just yet, it admits that it’s worth watching this space for future developments. 

“From what we’ve seen, the business schools that have cut their number of admissions essays are doing so to streamline the process, believing they can get what they need from applicants through fewer, more focused essays,” Carlidge added.

Aside from MBA essays, other facets of the MBA admissions process have also been scrutinized for improvement potential by business schools in the US.

Some of the most prestigious US schools have been looking to inject a bit of creativity in order to bring the MBA admissions process into the 21st century – for example in a video format now being used at the Kellogg School, or Harvard Business School’s efforts in making their process a less formal affair.

You can read more about the growing variety of MBA admissions techniques being used across the US here.

This article was originally published in January 2015 .

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Written by

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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