This is an entry in the series “ How is COVID-19 affecting admission processes? ”
With the current global situation, related to the COVID-19 pandemic , various universities and several graduate programs have introduced changes in their admission processes for the fall 2020 semester. Some of them have extended their admission rounds , others have allowed to reapply , and others have surprisingly eliminated the standardized testing requirement for admission. An example of this is the Kellogg MBA , which will not require the scores of these tests, but will base its decision on the rest of the candidate’s admission portfolio.In the case of those that have allowed reapplication, an interesting case happens: there are students who are now sending applications to prestigious universities, despite already being accepted to a graduate degree. These are the “rank-climbers”, which we will talk about in this post.
It is true that the new coronavirus has caused a stir in all aspects of daily life: employment, education, even our interpersonal relationships. The admissions process for postgraduate courses starting in autumn is no exception, as they have seen the need to take various measures to secure two important issues.
The first one is to achieve efficiency in the number of students who are admitted to the programs. In this context, candidates who were rejected or are on the waiting list are reconsidered by universities, such as MIT, in order to form their groups. And the fact is that the migratory situation is uncertain and some programs run the risk of not being efficient in terms of cost-benefit due to the lack of international students that they would have due to the situation. The first rank-climbers emerge from this: all those candidates who, having already carried out their admission processes in other programs and being admitted to them, are requesting this reconsideration in better positioned postgraduates.
The second issue that matters to the universities in this admission cycle is to provide all applicants with a conscious process in all the difficulties they will have in the face of the situation . Hence the rounds of admission are expanding and certain requirements are no longer required. This has given a guideline so that some students, after having ruled out an option for not having had time to meet their requirements, are now supplementing their records and thus taking advantage of this opportunity that is presented to them.Still others, who have an exceptional curriculum, but who do not feel ready to take the GRE or GMAT or obtained a lower score than expected in universities such as Duke or Northwestern, are already applying to these before the announcement that they will not ask for these scores or they will give more time to send it.
In the words of William Boulding, dean of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, “This will be the craziest [admissions] cycle in the history of business schools . ” And it is true: there are several new aspects to consider, uncertainty regarding immigration processes, less possibility of assembling admission files, difficulty at home-office … To this list are added all the rank-climbers: students who did not plan to apply and They are already doing it, others who are admitted and are looking for better opportunities, some who have already received scholarship offers and are still applying to better programs …
If you are in this situation, you still have time to weigh your case and reflect on your postgraduate possibilities. There is little to lose if you plan to be a rank-climber, but take good care of your decision. Remember that not being Harvard or Stanford the postgraduate will have greater value for your professional fulfillment , but your consideration should be based on your vision and your ideals . Having advice to make these decisions is an appropriate step to have insights on what the next step should be for you.