Harvard Business School to Release New Essay Questions by Mid-May

Yesterday, Dee Leopold, Harvard Business School’s Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, updated the HBS admissions blog and offered some interesting news. Aside from mentioning that HBS will have more clarity with respect to the composition of the Class of 2010 as of May 9th, the final date for second round admits to accept their offers, Leopold also began looking to the future and announced that next year’s essay questions will be released by mid-May.

In the past, most MBA programs have released their essay questions in July. (During the first week of July, CBS and HBS tend to battle it out to be the first school to do so). So, why is HBS releasing their essay questions so far in advance? Well, we can only hypothesize that HBS is aware that next year will be ultra-competitive and that they view this early release as an opportunity to ensure that more candidates will start their applications and therefore more candidates will (surprise!) finish their applications. Of course, by releasing essay questions before the rush, HBS is also offering candidates an opportunity to truly contemplate their responses without any “distractions” from other schools. So, HBS may indeed receive a higher quality of responses, which will enable the admissions committee to better identify the candidates that it wants to admit. Of course, this is all conjecture – we hope that the AdCom will blog about this choice soon. Further, we expect that in a competitive admissions world, other schools will follow suit and release their questions early as well. We will keep our readers posted on developments… 

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