What to Expect After You’ve Applied Early Action

Photo of cover of Business Administration viewbook that is maize and blue.

Way to go! You’ve applied by the Early Action and Ross priority deadline. You should feel proud of the hard work and time you put into your University of Michigan application and the Michigan Ross Admissions Portfolio. Now is the time to sit back and be patient as the process moves forward (I know that sounds a lot easier than it really is!).

This year of application review will certainly keep us on our toes! Preliminary application numbers are around 7,500 for Fall 2024, which is up from 6,650 this time last year. While it’s always a little bit of a shock to see the increase in applications year-over-year, we are ready and excited to review your application and to learn more about you!

Our commitment to bringing in a broadly diverse and talented class through a holistic review process remains the same. But what happens between now and then? And what exactly do we do with your application after you submit it?

Let me take you through it.

U-M and Ross Review

After you submit your application, it gets reviewed by the U-M Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Their management team, regional counselors, and trained readers will examine and carefully consider your transcripts, essays, test scores (if submitted), extracurricular activities, and awards.

During this same time period, we begin to review your Common Application and Ross Admissions Portfolio. We will review all 7,500+ Early Action applications, which includes your Ross Admissions Portfolio and your entire Common Application (all of the essays too). 

Insight into the Review Process

The Ross review process is a little different than you might think because we separate quantitative and qualitative information. The reader that reads your essays and portfolio submissions is not the same reader that reviews your transcripts, test scores (if submitted), and letters of recommendation.

From years of doing this work (and consulting research studies), readers can be biased by your transcript and other academic factors, and that can impact the way one views essays and other important qualitative information. Thus, since 2016, we separate the reviews into quantitative and qualitative categories. Doing this has created a more holistic admissions approach that looks for co-cognitive qualities and competencies that we value in an undergraduate business student body.  

And while we are on the topic of essays, I want to assure you that we do not use Artificial Intelligence or a computer to review your essays and application materials. There has been a lot of talk about the use of AI in college admissions, both from the user (you and your application) and the reviewers that read your application. At Ross, there are real humans on our team who review your application materials and essays to learn more about who you are, what you are interested in studying, and how you reflect on your learning and your best self.

We are also not too worried about applicants using AI in the admissions process. If you follow any of my blog posts (and I hope you do!), you know that our admissions process is focused on authentic forms of student learning and reflection; not writing the most creative essay, or using business jargon or buzzwords (which is what AI does). Our focus is on how you reflect and AI tools are not great at reflection just yet. So, I am not too worried about it, and I don’t want you to stress over it either.

Timing of U-M and Ross Decisions

After several thorough reviews by U-M’s OUA and the Ross Admissions team, the process of notifying applicants will begin. You’ll hear first from U-M about their decision by the end of January. You will hear from Michigan Ross shortly after (I will release a blog post in January with our exact decision release dates).

When the OUA decisions are released, the Ross Admissions team can begin our decision release process! A few things to know about this:

There’s no need to contact us to see if we received your application, nor do you need to ask OUA to forward your application — this has already occurred because we are already engaged in reading your application shortly after submission. Similarly, there’s no need to contact us to ask  if you need to submit more information – we’ll reach out to you if we have questions.

For those admitted to U-M by OUA, we will send you an email confirmation in early February letting you know where we are with your application and next steps. My team believes deeply in timely communication and transparency in our process. 

Please continue to check your Enrollment Connect portal for any updates on your application status. 

Timelines to Keep in Mind

The earliest you could hear an admission decision from Ross is early February — but not everyone will hear at the same time, and some decisions are not finalized until April.

To help make that timeline a little more transparent, we will post a decision release schedule in January that will let you know when we plan to make admission announcements. It will not be personalized, but it will tell you when groups of decisions are going to be released. This will give you a clear idea of when you may hear from us.

Until then, our best advice is to hang in there and bear with us while we read through all of your hard work.  

I also recommend you take some time to relax, continue to be curious, and engage with your studies.