HBS Admissions Office Offers Waitlist Insight

In many ways, a “no decision” can be the most difficult decision to receive from an MBA Admissions Committee; candidates who are on waitlists must deal with daily uncertainty, as they try to make profound life choices. In the case of HBS, they have offered an unusual degree of transparency to those on the waitlist this year, offering an email update with actual stats (!) – 40 admitted from the waitlist and 295 remaining. Of course, it would be nice to know how many offers they have given out and how many places have been accepted, but you can’t ask for everything we guess….

Here is a copy of their correspondence:

“Hello Everyone: It’s Eileen Chang from the MBA Admissions Board at HBS with another monthly update on our Admissions process. I’d like to welcome those candidates receiving this correspondence for the first time. This is a regular update I send out at the beginning of each month to give all of you an update on our Admissions process.

 Round 2 decision notifications were released last Wednesday. Since my March email, we admitted approximately 40 first-round wait list candidates. With the addition of wait list candidates from Round 2, our wait list is currently at 295 candidates. Our final Round 3 submission deadline has also passed and we have begun reviewing Round 3 applications. At this point, we have received all applications that will be considered for the Class of 2010. Over the next few weeks, we will begin actively reviewing our wait list candidates and will likely make decisions on many of these wait list applications. We anticipate that these decisions will occur on a rolling basis, rather than batches of decisions at specific set points in time. We will contact you if there is any change to your status–if you do not hear from us, you can assume that you remain on our wait list.

Although we do not want to make guarantees as to the exact date when you will likely hear a decision from us on your application, we do want to emphasize that we will keep a wait list as long as there is a reasonable expectation that space may be available in the class. We realize that many of you are considering other options at this time and we continue to be very sensitive to the feeling of uncertainty you are experiencing of being on the wait list. We will make every effort to have a decision on your application as soon as we are able.

Finally, it is very important that you keep your contact information updated through the Apply Yourself system. If at any time you would like to withdraw from the wait list, please email me and let me know. Again, thank you for your continued patience.

Please contact me if you have any questions. Sincerely, Eileen Chang

MBA Admissions
Harvard Business School
Soldiers Field Road
Dillon House
Boston, MA 02163”

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