How to Make the Most Out of a Reapplication

Two students looking at a laptop screen

The MBA application process takes time, money, and effort. It can be time-consuming to collate all of the information and gather your stories and recommendations for each application you submit. This work is often amplified for reapplicants (candidates who applied but were not admitted in a prior year), especially when they don’t receive feedback from the admissions committee about why they were not admitted the first time around.

Due to the volume of applications we receive, and to maintain equity for all applicants in the process, Michigan Ross does not provide feedback to students that are admitted or denied.

Even though we are unable to provide individualized feedback, we want to make sure that you know we encourage candidates to reapply. Each year, we have found that reapplicants’ grit and focus frequently help them refine their stories and successfully gain admission. Once they arrive at Ross, we see them excel academically, and they are some of the most involved students on campus.

To help dispel any misconceptions, here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from reapplicants.


Top three FAQs of reapplicants

How can reapplicants succeed the second time around? 

Self-reflection is key. Candidates who review their original application and fine-tune the areas that may have been less competitive tend to do well. They might have retaken a test, taken on or led a new project at work, clarified their career goals, or selected a recommender who could speak firsthand about their professional strengths. By the way, all of these actions are relevant for first-time applicants, too.

Do I need to redo the entire application?

The short answer is no, you do not. If you reapply within a year of your original application to Ross, you can submit an abridged application. Many reapplicants reuse their essays and recommendation letters from the previous year, but reapplicants are welcome to submit all new materials as well. 

As part of our evaluation, we will look at your previous application and interview report to get an idea of what your candidacy looked like before, and how that compares to where you are now. Our focus will be on where you are now and what you have been working on improving since your last application. 

Should reapplicants apply in Round 1?

While many reapplicants aim to apply in Round 1, it is not a requirement or expectation. Some candidates may need more time to improve their test scores, wrap up a key project, or earn a promotion to highlight in their new application. The bottom line is, candidates should reapply when they feel their application will be strongest. 

Our Full-Time MBA admissions team hosted a webinar with tips for reapplicants, where we were joined by an MBA2 who was successful in the reapplication process. We encourage you to check it out to hear more advice on submitting a strong application as a reapplicant.