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Harvard, Wharton, Stanford Release Class of 2017 Application Updates

Following the Round 3 notification details that went out to applicants to the Class of 2016 on Wednesday, Harvard Business School (HBS) Admissions Director Dee Leopold wasted no time in looking ahead to the application season for the Class of 2017.

In a post to her Admissions Director Blog yesterday, she outlined what prospective applicants should expect in the year ahead. Not to be outdone, Stanford Graduate School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School also released application updates this week.

In her post, HBS’s Leopold shared the optional “essay” question that applicants will encounter when they look at the application for the Class of 2017, unchanged from last year:   “You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, academic transcripts, extracurricular activities, awards, post-MBA career intentions, test scores, and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?”

In terms of length of response, Leopold instructed applicants to use their judgment. “We don’t have a ‘right answer’ or ‘correct length’ in mind,” she said. “We review all the elements of your written application to decide who moves forward to the interview stage.”

HBS decided to repeat the question, even when it went on record saying it would change each year, because it liked the diversity of responses it drew. “When we look at the responses of admitted candidates, there was a wider-than-usual range of how folks approached it. Some are completely about professional lives, others barely mention work experience. Some are very brief, others are not,” Leopold wrote.

Leopold also shared the questions that recommenders will be asked to answer and noted that the application itself will go live in mid-June. Finally, she shared that the Round One application deadline has moved forward a week, to September 9, 2014. Interviews, by invitation only as usual, will take place between mid-October and the end of November, and Round 1 notification will take place on or around December 10th.

Wharton also posted its application dates for next year this week, as did Stanford. In terms of 2017 application updates, Stanford also revealed that it will require fewer essays and recommendations from its applicants than in prior years, cutting each down from three to two.

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