Kurt Ahlm, Associate Dean of Student Recruitment and Admissions for Chicago/Booth recently blogged his perspective on the question of when to apply to business school.
When Should I Apply?
In short, the answer is to apply when you can provide the most compelling application. This is consistent with advice MBA Prep School gives our students — our view is that a “great” Round 2 application is always preferable to a “good” Round 1 application. Kurt Ahlm goes on to add:
Make sure you give yourself time for self-reflection and to develop an application strategy, to draft your essays and to provide your recommenders with enough notice to write their letters. It is obvious when an application has been put together hastily, so if you need time to better prepare your application, take it.
Which Round(s) Should I Apply In?
In short, all the rounds are competitive and there is very little difference in your chances for admission between Round 1 and Round 2. Kurt Ahlm comments:
Round 3 can be more challenging. We admit the class as we go so even though we accept people in round 3, admission to the program can be more competitive.
His complete post is available here.