The 2019 Michigan Ross MBA Application is Now Live -- Here’s What’s Changed


For those of you who are ready to get started on your applications for Fall 2019, the Michigan Ross application is now live. If you took a look at last year’s app, you’ll see that it’s largely the same.

Here’s what’s different from last year:

  • The number of short essay prompt choices went from three per group to two per group. They’re still 100 words or less each, and three to answer overall.
  • The career essay has been reworded to focus only on short-term goals, not long term goals.

I talked about these small tweaks earlier this year in this blog post.

That’s it. The rest is the same as last year’s application.

Here are some of the differences between our app and other schools’ apps:

  • We require only one recommendation letter.

Why? Because one supervisor’s perspective - if you choose well - is enough to give us helpful insights about you. A second rec letter didn’t seem to shed new light on an applicant that we couldn’t get from the other parts of the app.

How can you “choose well?” Select someone who can speak about your professional performance and work style. Current supervisors provide the most relevant insights. If you don’t want to ask your current boss, you can ask a former supervisor, a project manager, a client, or an investor (if you’re an entrepreneur).

  • We use the Common Recommendation Form.

Why? To make it easier on you and your recommender. Your recommender will answer the same questions and use the same rating grid for each school that’s adopted it. We’re one of four Top 10 schools that use it.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions we’ve been hearing at admissions events:

  • Am I at a disadvantage if I don’t apply in Round 1?

No. We admit more applicants in Round 2 than we do in Round 1. That’s because we get more applications in Round 2 than in Round 1. Like other schools, we’ve been seeing a trend toward Round 1 becoming a bigger pool than in the past. But the important thing for you to know is that a great app in Round 2 is better than a mediocre app in Round 1. Focus on making your application as strong as it can be. Only you will know when your app is at its best.

  • When should I visit (to give me the best advantage)?

The only sub-optimal time to visit is during the summer, because students aren’t around and classes aren’t in session. That’s not to say you shouldn’t visit then, but you just won’t get a good sense for what a school is like during the summer.

The benefit of visiting schools before applying is that could help refine the list of schools you spend time applying to. You can schedule a visit on our website. If you’re interested in learning more about the experience for women, under-represented minorities, or military veterans, you should consider attending one of our weekend visit experiences.

If you choose to visit after you get an interview invitation, you’ll have a chance to meet potential classmates, have lunch with current students, and demonstrate your teamwork and communications skills through the Team Exercise.

To be clear, we don’t give “extra points” in the admissions process if you visit.

It mainly helps you get a better sense of culture and fit. And if you visit multiple schools, you’ll find that there really are differences - not only across schools, but in how a school markets itself and what it really feels like. At least that’s what applicants tell me.

You’d test drive a car before buying it, wouldn’t you? Or go out on several (many) dates before committing to someone, right? You should do the same thing with business schools. It’s an investment and a commitment. It’s important to pick the right one for you.

  • Quick clarification on our career goal essay.

Some applicants reported being unclear on what “this” is referring to in our essay prompt: “Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. Please share your short-term career goal. Why is this the right choice for you?”

“This” refers to your short term career goal, not Ross. Hope that clears things up!


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