The Tuesday Q&A: Reapplying in R3 or Next Year?

Question:

So, I just found out that I got dinged in R1. Should I reapply in R3, or should I just wait to reapply next year?

Answer:

Yeah, this is the bit of the process that nobody reeeeeeally wants to think about. What do you do if you get dinged early on in the admissions cycle? Well, if this is one of your dream schools, the feeling like you want to reapply NOW will be all the more tempting. BUT…

No way should you reapply in the same year. Why? Well, the key to a good reapplication revolves around a single question: “How much have you improved since last time you applied?” Now, let’s get real. How much CAN you improve in two months? Three months, even? Not much, right? Right. So, go back for nine months and come up with some goooooood stuff.

You’re going to work yourself up an entirely new brand over the months. If you don’t CHANGE anything, then you’re the same dude that they dinged, so you have to change your approach. Remember, they’re also judging your judgment. How can someone with “good judgment” possibly argue that, after being dinged a month ago, they are a whole new brand now? A whooole new person, who has improved their app a LOT? Hahaha, no way. NO WAY!

At the very least, if you DO have to apply R3, do it at DIFFERENT schools. Not the same ones; that’d be a BIG waste of time. Pick two or three NEW schools for R3, like one dream, one match, and one safety school. Your “I’ve improved so much” speech will surely fall on deaf ears if you go back to the same schools, so open up fresh opportunities with new programs. Otherwise, step back up to the plate next year.

–Jon Frank

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