MALIBU, CA--(Marketwire - February 22, 2010) - To apply in Round Three or not to apply in Round Three? That is the question facing many business school applicants as this year's MBA admissions cycle nears its conclusion. In an effort to help prospective applicants make appropriate Round Three application decisions that result in the highest likelihood of admission, Veritas Prep, a leading MBA admissions consulting firm, today released the commentary of admissions directors from elite business schools detailing their perceptions of Round Three and the applicants therein.

"Many students mistakenly assume their chances of admission are significantly lower at the later stages in the admissions cycle," explains Scott Shrum, Director of MBA Admissions Research at Veritas Prep. "The following sentiments, captured through recent proprietary research conducted among admissions directors from top schools, reinforce our advice to prospective Round Three applicants and underpin the notion that thoughtful, compelling applications will stand out at every stage of the admissions cycle."

-- Applying in Round Three is not a bad idea, but rushed applications in Round Three are. Many "last-round" applications are also "last-minute" applications. Unsuccessful late applicants often attribute their results to Round Three when, in reality, their applications were rushed and therefore ineffective. "Last-minute applicants give Round Three a bad name," explains one Director of Admissions. "The majority of Round Three applicants are well-prepared and have compelling reasons for applying later in the admissions cycle, and we review each application starting from the assumption that the applicant will be strong."

-- Applicants are often overly pessimistic about their chances in Round Three. While applicants have come to see applying in Round Three as somewhat of a MBA admissions death sentence, admissions offices try to communicate that great applicants are often accepted in the late stages of the application cycle. "I suspect that potentially good candidates do not apply because they are overly pessimistic about their chances for admission," says another Director of Admissions at a top-ranked business school. "As always, however, the successful late-stage applicants have taken sufficient time to submit a well-crafted application."

-- Students are waiting longer to apply in general, meaning more Round Three applicants. Given the uncertainty in the market, top schools have found that many applicants are waiting longer before making big decisions like what job offer to accept and whether or not to go to grad school at all. "We believe that accepting applicants in later stages gives us an advantage in attracting applicants who want to wait for legitimate reasons," explains a leading MBA program's Admissions Director.

-- Some schools are more open to Round Three applicants than others. Policies for evaluating late-stage applicants vary by school; in fact, some top MBA programs have gone on record saying that applicants are better off applying in Round One or Two. "I think we are more open to Round Three applicants than other schools are," comments one Director of Admissions on their institution's approach. However, another Admissions Director at a different top-ranked MBA program concedes that applying in Round Three poses heightened risk at their institution. "We can usually find room in the class for strong applicants, regardless of the application stage," he explains. "Although it does depend on space, which is what makes Round Three significantly riskier from an applicant's perspective."

-- Round Three allows U.S. schools to compete for top students with international programs. At many leading international MBA programs, the admissions deadlines are significantly later than at top U.S. schools. "We compete for applicants not only with U.S. schools, but also with schools from around the world," explains one Admissions Director. "We want great candidates to also consider our school, and not just apply to international programs because that is their only option at the later stages of the admissions cycle. And that means competitive schools must be open to March applicants."

"Round Three is a melting pot of attractive applicants with legitimate reasons for waiting to apply, as well as last-minute applicants who -- whether due to poor planning or unforeseen circumstances -- hastily throw together ineffective applications," continues Shrum. "The key takeaway for a prospective Round Three applicant is that great candidates can be admitted in the last round, but their applications must effectively position their candidacy to rival those of applicants admitted in Rounds One and Two."

For more information about Round Three application strategy or for assistance in creating a compelling Round Three application, contact Veritas Prep at 1-800-925-7737 or visit

About Veritas Prep

Veritas Prep is the world's largest privately-owned GMAT preparation and admissions consulting provider, offering industry-leading programs to help applicants improve their test scores and gain admission to the world's best graduate schools. Founded in 2002 by graduates of the Yale School of Management, Veritas Prep now offers live GMAT prep instruction in more than 80 cities worldwide, as well as interactive online courses available everywhere. Additionally, Veritas Prep offers industry-leading admissions consulting services for applicants seeking admission to the most competitive business schools, law schools, and medical schools in the world.

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