Avoid 4 Mistakes Wait-Listed MBA Applicants Make...

Applying for an MBA program requires patience. Once prospective students submit applications, it can be weeks or months before they know if they’ve been accepted. The waiting game can be extended even longer when applicants get the news that they’ve been wait-listed. “We try to kind of wrap up our waitlist decisions sometime in July,” says James Holmen, director of admissions and financial aid at Indiana University —Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business. New MBA students usually have orientation in August, he says. There are rules for what applicants should or should not do when wait-listed, and applicants who break these guidelines can push schools from saying “maybe” to “no.” Here are four common mistakes that experts say,​ wait-listed students have been known to make and how to avoid them. Refusing to listen to sound advice: Some applicants will call the schools that have wait-listed them to say they’ll do whatever it takes to be admitted – but they don’t really mean it, says Treavor Peterson, managing director of MBA programs at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. Certain schools, such as Marriott, tell wait-listed applicants why they’ve been wait-listed and what they can do to increase their chances of admittance, says Peterson​. Applicants don’t always agree with the school’s feedback,​ though. “They don’t want to follow the direction we gave them,” he says. In other cases, applicants will take it upon themselves to update schools with information they think will improve their candidacy, regardless of if ​the school has asked for this type of information or not, says Leah Derus, founder of the admissions consulting company fxMBAConsulting. Applicants should first listen to any instructions or feedback a school has given, experts say, and use those as guidelines​ for...