It's Not too Late to Apply to B-School

Posted by: Alison Damast on May 4, 2009

If you thought the window for applying to an MBA program has passed, think again. Penn State’s Smeal College of Business has added a new June 1st deadline for MBA applicants who didn’t manage to get their applications in by the round three, or April 15th deadline. It’s an unprecedented move for the B-school, which is extending the deadline because they want to reach potential MBA applicants who may have been recently affected by the economic climate, said Carrie Marcinkevage, Smeal’s admissions director. The new deadline is a “safety net” for people who want to apply to business school, but didn’t have time to get their applications and essays together in time, she said. The school is targeting applicants who may have been recently laid off or are worried about their job security.

“We wanted to make sure that we gave people an extra opportunity to apply to business school,” Marcinkevage said. ”Otherwise, anyone affected by the financial crisis in the first quarter or early second quarter would have to wait an entire year to apply to business school and that just didn’t seem fair.”

The school announced the new deadline in late April and, so far, several potential applicants have expressed interest, Marcinkevage said. She expects more will come forward in the next few weeks as word gets out. “I think it’s only recently that people have started to come out of crisis shock and started thinking about their future in a more productive way,” she said.

The school plans to review all applications and interviews in a condensed two-week period and will let applicants know if they’ve been admitted by June 17. Admitted applicants will need to let the school know by July 1st if they plan to attend, Marcinkevage said.

Do you think extending the B-school application deadline is a good move? Should more B-schools be following Smeal’s lead?

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