Our Must-Read Tips for Applying this Year


Happy New (Admissions) Year! With the Common Application opening at the beginning of August, we have officially started to recruit, admit, and enroll a new class of students. 

If you have previously looked at the Common Application, you should note there have not been any major changes to the application or the materials you need to submit to Michigan Ross this year. Your application is an important part of the admissions process, and one of your first steps on your journey to college, and hopefully into the Ross BBA Program. 

As we kick-off the 2022-23 application cycle, I wanted to share best practice advice with you. Below are a handful of my top tips to keep in mind when you are applying. 

Tip 1: Read the instructions

This means ALL of the instructions. I know this sounds a bit obvious, but it really is a very important tip. There are a variety of materials that are submitted beyond the Common Application, including your high school transcript and school report, letters of recommendation, any test scores you are submitting (the TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS scores required only for non-native speakers of English), and your Ross Admissions Portfolio. When submitting your Common Application, remember to go slowly as you fill in the application fields and upload your essays. And, make sure you understand the instructions for: 

  • Requesting your high school transcripts be sent directly from your high school; 
  • The forms or links your recommenders need to use to submit their letters of recommendation on your behalf; 
  • The school code to request that the testing agency submit your test scores to the institution you are applying to (the U-M code for ACT is 2062 and for the SAT it is 1839);
  • The SlideRoom link for your Ross Admissions Portfolio.

Tip 2: Answer the essay or portfolio prompt as directed 

You might be surprised to hear that many applicants do not follow the essay or portfolio prompts very well. Please ensure that you are reading, understanding, and writing a response that meets what the prompt is asking for. A good exercise I often suggest is to give the final draft of your essay to a friend, teacher, guidance counselor, family member, or someone else you trust. But do not give them the essay prompt or essay question. Once they have read your final essay, ask them what they think the question was that you are trying to answer. If their answer comes close to the actual essay prompt, then you have done your job well.

Tip 3: Have someone proofread your essays and portfolio submissions 

While it's beneficial to have someone else review your application materials, have them pay more attention to the overall content and any typos. Do not have them edit heavily so that your voice stays intact. Remember that this is your story to tell. It is not about  your parents who work in business, or the cousin who is pursuing an MBA, it is about you. This is self-reflective writing, so reflect on why you want to study business, or the moment you knew what direction you wanted to take your college degree, that is the story we want to hear. 

Tip 4: Don’t overthink it  

This is not a creative writing competition. A college admission essay is where we want to learn about you, your interests, accomplishments, and goals. We look for storytelling rather than creativity. Show (don’t tell!) us about an experience you have had, a contribution you have made, or a time you experienced growth and learning. (Hint: This is especially important for your Artifact reflection.) What do I mean by “show, don’t tell”? Instead of telling us what you did in the Artifact (often exhibited by giving us a play-by-play account in your 250-word reflection), show us through a story on what the experience was like for you, how you contributed, or what you learned from the experience. 

Tip 5: Submit by the Early Action Deadline

The Early Action deadline is Nov. 1 this year, and it is also the Ross priority deadline. If you are reading this in August, and you have an interest in the Michigan Ross BBA, then you have plenty of time to apply by Nov. 1. Early Action is non-binding (we do not have any application deadline restrictions or Early Decision deadlines at U-M), and applying by the Nov. 1 deadline is in your best interest. We receive, review, and make decisions periodically for the BBA program, and the later you apply, the higher likelihood that we are filling up and will have less space for admission offers later in the process. 

I hope these application tips were helpful. Remember that our website is a wonderful resource for more information on applying, and we have many ways to connect with us. I look forward to reading your applications this winter.