The Tuesday Q&A: Rebounding from a Round 1 Rejection

I applied to 3 schools in Round 1 and I didn’t get into any of them. Now I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know why I got rejected. Should I apply for more schools in Round 2, or is that just a waste of my time and money? Should I wait until next year? Is there a way to find out what went wrong?


Okay, folks – if you didn’t get in for Round 1, never fear.  PE is here, and, as always, we are at your service.

Here’s the real deal: Most people will apply during Round 2, and most people will get IN during Round 2.  Take the case of, well, myself for example.  I applied to ALL my schools for Round 2, and I got in…everywhere.  : )   So yes, for sure you SHOULD apply Round 2 if you have the guts to do it.  That is a no brainer.  There is an advantage (as you have likely heard) to applying Round 1, especially if you are an international student.  But that isn’t a deal breaker.

Move on, and do it BETTER in Round 2.

Now, how can you find out what went wrong?  Tons of ways.  Most schools won’t offer feedback (and if they do it won’t happen ’til the end of the year anyway…. which is little help to anyone).  So show your app to someone who DID get in, or to a consultant. For anyone who gets the system, it usually takes 30 seconds to identify the main problems in an application.  So show it to someone who knows his/her stuff.  That is usually the EASY part.  The hard part will be…writing BETTER apps the second time around.

One last note – no matter how great your apps are, if your scores are NOWHERE near the level that they need to hit for these schools, you MAY be wasting your time.  If you write AMAZING essays, but you are, for example, an Indian male with a 630 on the GMAT applying to Stanford… well then, the real problem is your expectations.  Reset them if you must; use your experiences as a great set of data.  If you’re nowhere near where you need to be, then you may need to shoot lower.

Hope this helps, my friends.
— Jon Frank

See more of Jon’s advice right here.
Got a question you want to ask Jon? Email!

From Our Consultants: Preparing for the MBA Interview