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College Students: Is an MBA in Your Future? Consider Deferred Enrollment

This article is sponsored by Stratus Admissions Counseling.

More and more top MBA programs are offering admission to exceptional students in their senior year of undergraduate studies or students who started working on a master’s degree directly after college. Although deferred enrollment programs differ, the gist is that if students know they need an MBA degree to achieve their goals, they can secure admission to a top MBA program before graduating and then work for two to five years before beginning their MBA studies.

Getting the GMAT or GRE out of the way while studying is still second nature and securing a spot in an MBA program a great idea. For business schools, deferred enrollment programs are a way to lock in the best talent early.

Since nearly all MBA programs are looking to increase their percentages of women, female college seniors who know an MBA is in their future should strongly consider applying. Deferred enrollment programs offer a golden opportunity for talented women to get in front of admissions committees early.

Some programs give admitted students access to career and other resources to help them in the several years before beginning the program. Women who are admitted not only get the test and applications out of the way years earlier than their peers but they can use their time to explore passions and interests that might not strengthen their MBA profiles.

“I truly feel like I have a greater ability to take risks and raise my hand for more responsibilities and opportunities that before, I might have been too cautious to ask for,” said C.B., admitted to Columbia Business School’s deferred enrollment program in 2020.

“The peace of mind I have that, in a few years’ time, I will gain more experience and have more opportunities to explore a totally different career path has imbued me with an intense curiosity and desire to 1) make the most of my experience in my current role and 2) to push myself to be as well-rounded and prepared to enter the amazing community that is CBS.”

Like full-time, two-year MBA programs at top schools, these early acceptance programs are extremely competitive. For example, Harvard’s 2+2 Program has a median GMAT of 730, an average GPA of 3.79, and an acceptance rate around 10%, similar to the full-time MBA program.

Following is a list of top MBA programs that offer early acceptances:

Yale’s program, which is open to college seniors, differs a bit from other top programs in that students enter Yale SOM directly after their undergraduate studies and complete their MBA in three years.

Applying for deferred admission to an MBA program is a low-risk way to potentially secure a seat in a top program and be able to focus on your work and outside activities for the next few years. Stratus has worked with students to help gain admission to many of these programs.

Jennifer Jackson

Jennifer Jackson

Stratus Admissions Counseling is a premier admissions counseling firm committed to helping clients achieve their dreams of going to business school, law school, and graduate school. Stratus has served thousands of clients from more than 50 countries with our unique team-based approach. Jennifer Jackson is a Senior MBA Admissions Counselor at Stratus Admissions Counseling, where she coaches applicants on the entire MBA admissions process. She received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSJ from Northwestern and has experience in public relations and human capital consulting.

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