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Business School Essays Topics

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These instructions are for the previous admission period.The topics may change.Please verify from the schools web sites

Schools Covered here:

Harvard, Wharton,Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Darden, Duke,

Emory, Georgetown, ISB, Indiana, INSEAD, Kellog, LSB, MIT, NYU, Ohio State, Purdue, Rochester, Stanford, Austin, Haas, USC, University of Michigan, UNC, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Washigton, Yale.

Harvard Business School
What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit)
What have you learned from a mistake? (400-word limit)
Please respond to three of the following (400-word limit each):
Discuss a defining experience in your leadership development. How did this experience highlight your strengths and weaknesses?
How have you experienced culture shock?
What would you like the MBA Admissions Board to know about your undergraduate academic experience?
What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?
What global issue is most important to you and why?
What else would you like the MBA Admissions Board to understand about you?
The following question is for dual and concurrent degree candidates only:
How do you expect the joint degree experience to benefit you on both a professional and a personal level? (400-word limit)

Wharton Business School
All first-time applicants are required to complete four essays, with the option of a fifth essay that may be used to address extenuating circumstances. Re-applicants who applied for the Entering Fall 2006 or 2007 Class are to complete the re-applicant essays. All other re-applicants are to complete the first-time applicant essays.
REQUIRED:
1. Describe your career progress to date and your future short-term and long-term career goals. How do you expect a Wharton MBA to help you achieve these goals, and why is now the best time for you to join our program? (1,000 words)
2. Describe a failure or setback that you have experienced. What role did you play and what did you learn about yourself? (500 words)
3. Tell us about a situation in which you were an outsider. What did you learn from the experience? (500 words)
4. Please Complete One Of The Following Two Questions:
Where in your background would we find evidence of your leadership capacity and/or potential? (500 words)
Is there anything about your background or experience that you feel you have not had the opportunity to share with the Admissions Committee in your application? If yes, please explain. (500 words)
OPTIONAL:
5. If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, TOEFL waiver request, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, significant weaknesses in your application). (250 words)

Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper
Required Essays (Suggested length — 2 double-spaced pages per essay)
A. What are your short-term and long-term goals? How will a Tepper MBA help you to achieve these goals?
B. How will your academic and professional background, personal characteristics and life experiences contribute to the diversity of the Tepper community?

C. Please answer three of the following five questions or statements (your three answers should equal a total of two pages).
a. Describe an ethical dilemma that you have faced in your professional life, how you dealt with the situation, and what the outcome was.
b. Describe a failure or setback in your professional or academic life. How did you overcome this setback? What, if anything, would you do differently if confronted with this situation again?
c. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement and why?
d. Describe your most challenging experience while working in a group.
e. Of what skill or talent are your especially proud?

Additional Essay (Required for applicants with previous academic suspensions and/or a criminal record; optional for other applicants.)
D. Is there anything additional that you think we should know as we evaluate your application? Note: if you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you should not feel obligated to answer this question. This essay is intended to provide a place for you to add information that you think is important but is not covered elsewhere in the application.

University of Chicago – GSB
Essay 1: Why are you pursuing an MBA at this point in your career? Describe your personal and professional goals and the role an MBA from the University of Chicago GSB plays in your plans to reach these goals. (1500 word maximum)
Essay 2: If you could step into someone else’s shoes for a day, who would it be and why? (500 word maximum)
Essay 3: We have asked for a great deal of information throughout this application. In this portion of the application, we invite you tell us about yourself using a non-traditional application format – a PowerPoint presentation. In four slides or less, please provide readers with content that captures who you are.
Chicago offers the following guidelines on preparing slides for Question 3:
The content is completely up to you. There is no right or wrong approach to the way you construct your slides or answer this question.
There is a strict maximum of 4 slides.
Slides will be printed and added to your file for review, therefore, flash, hyperlinks, embedded videos, music, etc. will not be viewed by the committee. You are limited to text and static images to convey your points.
Slides will be evaluated on the quality of content and ability to convey your ideas.
You are welcome to attach a word document of notes if you feel a deeper explanation of your slides is necessary.
If you do not have access to PowerPoint or a similar software application, you can contact the admissions office at admissions@chicagogsb.edu for alternative methods.
Essay 4 (Optional): If there is any important information that is relevant for your candidacy that you were unable to address elsewhere in the application, please share that information here.

Columbia
1. What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals? (Recommended 750 word limit)
For Dual Degree Applicants: Please indicate the Dual Degree programs and schools to which you applied or intend to apply. Please discuss how the Dual Degree will enhance your short-term or long-term goals, and at which school you intend to begin your studies.
2. Leading in the global economy requires enabling high performance from a diverse set of employees, colleagues and partners. Tell us about a manager you’ve observed who enabled or inspired others to do their best work and analyze how this manager did it. (Recommended 500 word limit)
3. In discussing Columbia Business School, Dean R. Glenn Hubbard remarked, “We have established the mind-set that entrepreneurship is about everything you do.” Please discuss a time in your own life when you have identified and captured an opportunity. (Recommended 500 word limit)
4. Please select and answer one of the following essay questions. (Recommended 250 word limit)
a. Please tell us what you feel most passionate about in life.
b. If you were given a free day and could spend it anywhere, in any way you choose, what would you do?
5. (Optional) Is there any further information that you wish to provide to the Admissions Committee? Please use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history.

Cornell – Johnson
To ensure the depth and dynamism of the Johnson School education, we seek to enroll a class composed of students whose insights are distinct and whose actions are penetrating. The essay portion of your application gives you the opportunity to candidly demonstrate your attributes and your compatibility with our rich and vibrant program.
1. For all MBA applicants (required) – 400 words
Describe your greatest professional achievement and how you were able to add value to your organization.
2. For all MBA applicants (required) – 400 words
What career do you plan to pursue upon completing the MBA and why? How will the Johnson School help you achieve this goal?
3. Optional Essay – 400 words
Complete this essay if there is other information you would like to add regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate GPA or test scores) do(es) not accurately reflect your potential for success at the Johnson School.
4. Reapplicant Essay (required for reapplicants) – 400 words
Describe the measures you have taken to strengthen your application since you last applied to the Johnson School.

Dartmouth – Tuck
The recommended maximum length for each essay is 500 words.
1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA program for you? (If you are applying for a joint or dual degree, please explain how the additional degree will contribute to those goals.)
2. Tuck defines leadership as “inspiring others to strive and enabling them to accomplish great things.” We believe great things and great leadership can be accomplished in pursuit of business and societal goals. Describe a time when you exercised such leadership. Discuss the challenges you faced and the results you achieved. What characteristics helped you to be effective, and what areas do you feel you need to develop in order to be a better leader?
3. Discuss the most difficult constructive criticism or feedback you have received. How did you address it? What have you learned from it?
4. Tuck seeks candidates of various backgrounds who can bring new perspectives to our community. How will your unique personal history, values, and/or life experiences contribute to the culture at Tuck?
5. (Optional) Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.
6. (To be completed by all reapplicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.

Darden
1. (Required) Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? (500 word limit)
2. (Required) Each of our applicants is unique. Describe how your background, values, education, activities and/or leadership skills will enhance the experience of other Darden students. (500 word limit)
3. (Required) Choose one of the following questions. (250 word limit)
a) What would you do if you didn’t have to work for a living?
b) Describe a significant maturing experience.
c) What have been the most satisfying aspects of your work life thus far and the most dissatisfying?
4. (Optional) If there is further information that you believe would be helpful to the Admissions Committee, please provide it below. (250 word limit)

Duke – Fuqua
Two short essay answer questions and two long essays must be completed before submitting your application. Prepare your essays carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your responses to the following questions important in the selection process. Please respond fully and concisely using 1.5 line spacing.
For the short answer questions, please restrict your response to a single page each. For the long essay questions you must answer the first question and for the second essay you may select from one of three essay options. There is no restriction on the length of your response for the two long essay questions. Applicants typically use between 500 and 750 words for long essays one and two.
Candidates who applied to Fuqua between September 2006 and April 2007 are considered reapplicants. Reapplicants are asked to complete the Reapplicant Essay in addition to the Applicant Essays.
All applicants have the opportunity to submit an optional essay to explain any extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware.
Applicant Essays
Short Essays – Answer both short essay questions.
1.Why are you interested in The Duke MBA program and how will it help you achieve your goals? In answering, please also discuss your career path and state your short and long-term goals. If you are interested in the Health Sector Management concentration or a joint degree program, please address in this essay.
2. How will your background, values, and non-work related activities enhance the experience of other Duke MBA students and add value to the diverse culture we strive for at Fuqua?
Long Essays – For essay 1, please answer only one of the three essay options provided. All applicants should answer question 2.
1. Please respond fully and concisely to one of the following essay topics. Clearly identify which question you have selected.
a. To be a good team player, one needs to be an effective individual leader and vice-versa. Describe an example of where you were challenged to become a leader in a team-oriented context. What was the challenge you faced, how did you address it, and what did you take away from the experience for your future development as a leader?
b. Describe a situation in which your ability to perform ethically was challenged. What was the issue, how did you handle it, and what did you learn from it?
c. Describe a significant leadership failure in your life. What did you learn from this failure? How has it impacted who you are today and the kind of leader you would like to be?
2. How has your personal history and family background influenced your intellectual and personal development? What unique personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? Note: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have achieved professionally.
Reapplicant Essay
In addition to the Applicant Essays listed above, please answer the following question. There is no restriction on the length of your response. Re-applicants typically use between 500 and 750 words for this essay.
1. Write an essay describing how you are a stronger candidate for admission compared to the previous year’s application.

Emory- Goizueta
1. List one of your most significant professional or organizational accomplishments. Describe your precise role in this event and how it has helped to shape your management skills. Please limit your response to two, double-spaced, typed pages.
2. Please complete/address two of the following statements. Please limit each response to one, double-spaced, typed page.
A. I have always wanted to….
B. My most memorable cross-cultural experience….
C. My family background is unique because….
D. The person who has had the greatest influence on my leadership style is… because…
E. The greatest lesson I have ever learned….
F. Of Goizueta’s core values (courage, integrity, accountability, rigor, diversity, team, community), which value resonates most with you and why?
3. What do you expect to accomplish in the Goizueta Business School MBA program? How will your participation in the MBA program fit in with your experiences and responsibilities as well as your short and long-term career goals? Please limit your response to two, double-spaced, typed pages.

Georgetown – McDonough
Essay 1 (Required – limit 750 words):
a) In one or two sentences, please state your short-term and long-term career objective(s).
b) How have your prior professional, academic, and personal experiences influenced your career plans?
c) Specifically, how will your participation in Georgetown’s MBA Full-Time Program contribute to your career objectives?
Essay 2 (Required – limit 750 words):
In your own words, how do you define leadership? Please provide a specific example (professional or personal) of a time when you embodied the characteristics of a leader. Be sure to highlight the challenges you faced and the results you achieved. What areas do you wish to develop in order to become a more effective leader?
Essay 3 (Required – limit 750 words):
What is the most significant change you have made to any organization with which you have been recently affiliated? Please describe how you identified the need for change and how you managed the process of implementing change. What were the results?
JOINT DEGREE APPLICANT ESSAY – To be completed by all joint degree candidates (Limit: 250 words)
If you are applying to a joint degree program, please address how the additional degree will help you to reach your goals.
COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS, PERSONAL INTERESTS, AND AFFILIATIONS (Required)
List in order of importance all community and professional organizations and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved during or after university studies. Indicate the nature of the activity or organization, dates of involvement, offices held, and average number of hours spent per month.
OPTIONAL ESSAY (Limit: 500 words)
Please feel free to provide a statement concerning any information you would like to add to your application that you have not addressed elsewhere. For example, you may comment on your academic record as an indication of your potential for graduate management education, or you may explain any gaps in your work history. If you are not submitting a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, use this space to explain why. Similarly, if you are not currently employed full-time, use this space to provide information about your current activities.
RE-APPLICANT ESSAY – To be completed by all re-applicants (Limit: 500 words)
How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. In addition, please update the Admissions Committee on your career goals and your reasons for wishing to pursue an MBA at Georgetown

Indian School of Business (ISB)

1. The ISB culture stresses on a diverse mix of students; life at the ISB is a unique experience for the students. How will your candidature contribute to this culture at the ISB? (300 words max)
2. A million dollars or knighthood: what would you choose and why? (300 words max)
3. You have a new manager who has just joined your organisation. As a part of the handover, the outgoing manager is describing each person reporting to him. How do you think the outgoing manager will describe you to the incoming manager? (300 words max)
4. (Optional) Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. Please do not repeat information which has already been stated elsewhere in the application. You may use this to clarify any breaks in education/work, inform about any other item which you think has not been covered elsewhere etc. (300 words max)

Indiana – Kelley
Maximum length: 2 double-spaced pages.
Mandatory
1. Please discuss your post-MBA short- and long-term professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals?
Choose two of the next three:
2. Describe an ethical dilemma that you faced in your professional career. How was it resolved and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Suppose you had to choose three people—people alive now or people from another era—to travel with you on a cross-country automobile trip. Who would you choose and why? What would you hope to learn from them? (Think carefully about the company you want on those long stretches through Nebraska or Kansas.)
4. Describe what there is about your background and your experiences that will contribute to the diversity of the entering class and enhance the educational experience of other students.
Optional:
5. Is there anything else that you think we should know as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer this question.

INSEAD
Job Essays:
1. (Required) Please give a detailed description of your job, including nature of work, major responsibilities; and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, number of clients/products and results achieved. (250 words)
2. (Required) Please give us a full description of your career since graduating from university. If you were to remain with your present employer, what would be your next step in terms of position? (250 words)
Personal Essays:
1. (Required) Give a candid description of yourself, stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors, which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (400 words approx.)
2. (Required) Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date, explaining why you view them as such. (400 words approx.)
3. (Required) Describe a situation taken from school, business, civil or military life, where you did not meet your personal objectives, and discuss briefly the effect. (250 words approx.)
4. (Required) Discuss your career goals. What skills do you expect to gain from studying at INSEAD and how will they contribute to your professional career? (500 words approx.)
5. (Required) Please choose one of the following two essay topics:
a) Have you ever experienced culture shock? What did it mean to you? (250 words approx.), or
b) What would you say to a foreigner moving to your home country? (250 words approx.)
6. (Optional) Is there anything that you have not mentioned in the above essays that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (200 words approx.)
7. (For reapplicants) In case of reapplication, please use this page. Your essay should state any new aspects of professional, international, academic, or personal development since your last application. We would also like you to explain your motivation for re-applying to INSEAD. This essay should not exceed 400 words.

Kellogg
All applicants are required to answer questions 1, 2 and 3 in addition to 2 of the optional essays in question 4.
1. All applicants must complete A OR B as appropriate:
A. Master of Business Administration applicants only: Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at Kellogg (one-two pages double spaced).
B. Master of Management and Manufacturing applicants only: Briefly assess your career progress to date. How does the MMM program meet your educational needs and career goals? (1 to 2 pages double spaced).
2. Each of our applicants is unique. Describe how your background, values, academics, activities and/or leadership skill swill enhance the experience of other Kellogg students. (1 to 2 pages double spaced).
3. How have your past and current leadership experiences prepared you for Kellogg? What leadership areas are you hoping to develop through your MBA experience?
4. Applicants must answer 2 of the below essays. (Re-applicants must answer question 4D and 1 other essay).
A. Outside of work I…
B. I wish the Admissions Committee had asked me…
C. Describe the most challenging professional relationship you have faced and how you handled it.
D. (Required essay for re-applicants only)—Since your previous application, what are the steps you’ve taken to strengthen your candidacy?

London Business School
The essays are an opportunity to tell us more about yourself. Use the essays to detail your interests, values and goals. We are interested in what motivates you, evidence of leadership and team work, why you are looking to pursue an MBA at this point in your life, and what you will bring to the London Business School Community. The essays are a vital part of your application and thus we recommend that you spend a significant amount of time in their preparation.
Required Essays:
Question 1 (500 words)
In what role do you see yourself working immediately after graduation? Why? How will your past and present experiences help you achieve this? How will the London Business School MBA Programme contribute to this goal?
Question 2 (200 words)
Where do you see your career progressing five years after graduation and what is your longer term career vision?
Question 3 (500 words)
Please describe your experience of working in and leading teams, either in your professional or personal life. Given this experience, what role do you think you will play in your study group, and how do you intend to contribute to it?
Question 4 (400 words)
Student involvement is an extremely important part of the London MBA experience and this is reflected in the character of students on campus. What type of student club or campus community event do you envisage yourself leading? How would you set about becoming involved in a leadership position and how would you align and communicate the goals and vision for the club to the wider School community?
Question 5 (150 words)
Describe any significant experiences outside of your home country. What did you gain from these?
Optional Essay:
Question 6 (300 words): Is there any other information that you believe would help the MBA Admissions Committee when considering your application?

MIT – Sloan
Cover Letter
Prepare a cover letter (up to 500 words) seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Please comment on your career goals and those factors which influenced you to pursue an MBA education at MIT Sloan. The cover letter provides a chance for you to discuss your passions, values, and interests. Through what you write we hope to discover whether you will thrive at MIT Sloan and how you will contribute to our diverse community. Address your cover letter to Mr. Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions.
Essays
For all applicants:
Use the essays to tell us more about you and how you work, think, and behave. For each essay, please provide a brief overview of the situation followed by a detailed description of your response. Include what you thought, felt, said, and did. Please select experiences or events from the past one to two years.
More than that, the essays are a chance for you to discuss your passions, values, interests, and goals. Emphasize those experiences that were most important and meaningful for you — which may not necessarily be those that were most outwardly prestigious. Be sincere and be specific. There is no one “right” kind of MIT Sloan student; in fact, MIT Sloan deliberately builds each class to unite varied strengths and perspectives. Tell us what particular experiences and expertise you will bring to the mix. The essay instructions and questions are included below.
We are interested in learning more about you and how you work, think, and act. For each essay, please provide a brief overview of the situation followed by a detailed description of your response.
For MBA and LFM applicants [LFM applicants also see Essays 5 and 6, below]:
Essay 1: Please tell us about a time when you had an impact on a group or organization. Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did. (500 words or less.)
Essay 2: Please tell us about a challenging interaction you had with a person or group. Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did. (500 words or less.)
Essay 3: Please tell us about a time when you defended your idea. Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did. (500 words or less.)
Essay 4: Please tell us about a time when you executed a plan. Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did. (500 words or less.)
For LFM Applicants only:
Essay 5: Why do you wish to pursue the LFM Program? How does this fit into your future plans? (250 words or less.)
Essay 6: Why do you wish to pursue the engineering field and specialty area you have selected? (250 words or less.)
For BEP Applicants – All applicants to BEP must answer two essay questions: Answer question A and question B or C.
A. (Required of all BEP applicants) What is your definition of success as you consider a career in the biomedical industry? Provide a brief overview of your ideal career path over the next 10-15 years as you move toward that success. Explain what you hope to have accomplished at the end of that period and how your experiences in BEP will have helped make those accomplishments possible. (500 words maximum)
B. IAnswer B or C) Describe one area of science or technology that you believe is particularly promising in terms of having an impact on the practice of medicine and affecting people’s health. What is the underlying problem, why is it significant, and what are promising solutions that might address it? (750 words max)
C. (Answer C or B) Describe one medical or healthcare problem on which you hope to make a positive impact. Explain why this problem is meaningful to you and how you hope to promote progress toward solving it. (750 words max)

NYU – Stern
The admissions committee requires three personal essays. These essays give you the opportunity to provide insight into your character, experiences and goals. Your essays should be written entirely by you. An offer of admission will be withdrawn if it is discovered that you did not write your essays.
1. Professional Aspirations
Think about the decisions you have made in your life. Describe the following (500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font):
(a) What choices have you made that led you to your current position?
(b) Why pursue an MBA at this point in your life?
(c) What is your career goal upon graduation from the NYU Stern? What is your long-term career goal?
2. Fit with Stern
The NYU Stern community is one of our strongest assets. Please answer the following questions about community: (500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
(a) What is your personal experience with the Stern community? What actions have you taken to learn more about us?
(b) How would you contribute to our community as a student?
(c) How will you benefit personally and professionally from the Stern community?
3. Personal Expression
Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use any method to convey your message (e.g. words, illustrations). Feel free to be creative.
All submissions become part of NYU Stern’s permanent records and cannot be returned for any reason. We do not recommend submitting anything that must be played or viewed electronically, that is perishable (e.g. food) or that has been worn (e.g. used clothing). If you submit a written essay, it should be 500 words maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font.
4. Additional Information (Optional):
Please provide any additional information you would like to bring to the attention of the admissions committee. This may include gaps in employment, your undergraduate record, plans to retake the GMAT or any other relevant information.
An explanation must be provided in Essay 4 if:
You have been subject to academic discipline, placed on probation or required to withdraw from any college or university.
You have ever been convicted of a crime.
You cannot provide a recommendation from your current supervisor.

Ohio State – Fisher
1. Shaping Your Vision: Every year Fisher College’s MBA program admits a select group of talented young professionals with demonstrated potential to become successful business leaders in an increasingly competitive, global environment. Briefly summarize your professional accomplishments to date. Why do you want to earn an MBA degree in general and a Fisher College MBA specifically? Include your goals post-MBA and your plan for achieving them (maximum 750 words).
2. Focusing on Leadership: Another of Fisher College’s strengths is its dedication to developing leaders. Below are 10 attributes that characterize great leaders. Please select the two criteria that best describe you, your leadership style or your leadership successes to date and provide us with concrete evidence of your accomplishments. You may submit physical objects, images, photographs or photocopies, along with brief descriptions of how the objects exemplify the leadership qualities (example: to illustrate endurance, you might share a copy of a marathon medal along with a paragraph describing your marathon experience) or you may choose to write an essay for each of the two characteristics you select, describing situations in which you exemplified these leadership traits (each with a maximum of 500 words). Please note: The Fisher College will not be responsible for returning physical objects to applicants.
Integrity
Passion
Empathy
Vision
Curiosity
Self-awareness
Endurance
Communication and inter-personal skills
Creativity
Global awareness
3. Discovering You: As a Fisher College MBA student you get the best of both worlds: the up close and personal feel of a small program combined with the resources and opportunities offered by a major research university. You as an individual participant will play a key role in shaping our culture. For this reason, we would like to learn more about who you are and what unique characteristics you will contribute to the Fisher College community. Provide an honest description of yourself outside your professional context, stressing the personal characteristics you sense to be your strengths and weaknesses and the factors that have most influenced your development to date (maximum 750 words).

Purdue – Krannert
A. Discuss your long- and short-term career goals, how these goals developed, and what you hope to gain from graduate study at Krannert. Limit your response to no more than 500 words.
B. The Krannert community is comprised of a diverse student body. Describe an aspect of your personality, things you have learned, skills you have acquired, or life experiences you’ve had that could benefit potential classmates and will help you contribute to Krannert’s diversity. Limit your response to no more than 500 words.
C. In 100 words or less, describe a character-building event or situation in which your involvement made a significant difference.

Rochester – Simon
Please limit each response to no more than 500 words.
1. Describe your post-MBA or post-MS career plans. How does your past education and experience support your career objectives? What aspects of the Simon School program make it a good choice for your graduate study?
2. Discuss three accomplishments which demonstrate your potential as a successful leader.
3. Answer one of the following questions:
Cite and explain a specific situation in which you demonstrated initiative.
Describe a failure or setback that you have experienced. How did you overcome this setback? What, if anything, would you do differently if confronted with this situation again?
4. (Optional) Share any information that you think is important in the evaluation of your application, including any concerns you think the Admissions Committee may have regarding your application

Stanford
We read the essays to get to know you as a person and to learn about the ideas and interests that motivate you. Because we want to discover who you actually are, resist the urge to “package” yourself in order to come across in a way you think Stanford wants. Such attempts simply blur our understanding of who you are and what you can accomplish.
In other parts of the application, we learn about your academic and professional accomplishments (i.e., what you have done). Through your personal essays, we learn more about the person behind the achievements (i.e., who you are).
We want to hear your genuine voice throughout the essays that you write. Truly, the most impressive essays are those that do not begin with the goal of impressing us.
This is the time to think carefully about your values, your passions, your hopes and dreams. In your short answer responses, we learn more about the experiences that have shaped your attitudes, behaviors, and aspirations.
Your answers to all 3 questions may not exceed a total of 7 printed pages, double-spaced, using a size 12 font.
Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (Recommended length is 3 pages, double-spaced, using 12 point font)
Essay B: What are your career aspirations? How will your education at Stanford help you achieve them? As a Stanford MBA student, you will be assigned a team of advisors who will guide both your academic experience and your personal development. Your team will include a faculty advisor, a career counselor, and a leadership coach. Use Essay B to help you prepare for your first conversations with these mentors. (Recommended length is 2 pages, double-spaced, using 12 point font)
Essay C: Short Essays—Options 1-4
Answer 2 of the questions listed below. In answering both questions in Essay C, tell us not only what you did, but also how you did it. Tell us the outcome and describe how people responded. Describe only experiences that have occurred during the last three years.
Option 1: Tell us about a time when you empowered others. (Recommended length is 1 page, double-spaced, using 12 point font)
Option 2: Tell us about a time when you had a significant impact on a person, group or organization. (Recommended length is 1 page, double-spaced, using 12 point font)
Option 3: Tell us about a time when you tried to reach a goal or complete a task that was challenging, difficult, or frustrating. (Recommended length is 1 page, double-spaced, using 12 point font)
Option 4: Tell us about a time when you went beyond what was defined, established, or expected. (Recommended length is 1 page, double-spaced, using 12 point font)

UT Austin – McCombs
You are required to answer all three questions. The Admissions Committee is not looking for any “correct” answers to these questions; we simply want to get to know you better.
Required Essays
1. Please define your short- and long-term goals and objectives, your career progression to date, and how an MBA fits in at this time. What makes the Texas MBA the perfect fit for you? (Limit 900 words)
2. The Texas MBA is built around four key pillars of leadership. Describe an experience that you have had that clearly demonstrates your leadership as it relates to one of our four pillars: 1) Responsibility/Integrity; 2) Knowledge/Understanding; 3) Collaborative/Communication; or 4) Worldview of Business and Society. (Limit 650 words)
3. At the McCombs School of Business, you will be part of an active and diverse community. Referencing your personal strengths and unique experience, how will you enrich the McCombs community during your two years in the program? (Limit 500 words)
Optional Essay
Please provide any additional information to the Admissions Committee that will highlight your unique personality and character and/or address any areas of concern that will ultimately be beneficial to the committee in considering your application. (Limit 350 words

UC Berkeley – Haas
Essay Questions
Listed below are the short answer questions, required essays, and optional essays that you will need to provide when completing the Fall 2008 application for Haas.
Short Answer:
1. If you could have dinner with one individual in the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? (250 word maximum)
2. Tell us about your most significant accomplishment. (250 word maximum)
3. At Haas, we value innovation and creativity. Describe an innovative solution you have created to address a specific challenge. (250 word maximum)
4. What steps have you taken to learn about the Berkeley MBA program, and what factors have influenced your decision to apply? (250 word maximum)
Required Essays
1. Give us an example of a situation in which you displayed leadership. (500 word maximum)
2. What are your short-term and long-term career goals? How do your professional experiences relate to these goals? Why do you want an MBA from Berkeley at this point in your career? (1000 word maximum)
Optional Essays
1. (Optional) Please feel free to provide a statement concerning any information you would like to add to your application that you haven’t addressed elsewhere. (500 word maximum)
2. (Optional) If you wish to be considered for the Haas Achievement Award (for individuals who have achieved success in spite of significant economic, educational, health-related and/or other obstacles), please use this space to address the obstacles you have overcome. (750 word maximum)

USC – Marshall
1. Describe in a brief essay (do not exceed 250 words per section – 750 words maximum):
a) Your post-MBA short-term goals. (immediately after graduation)
b) Your post-MBA long-term goals. (3-5 years after graduation) and
c) How your professional experience, when combined with an MBA degree, allows you to achieve these goals.
2. Complete one of the following three statements (do not exceed 250 words):
a) “My most significant accomplishment to date is,” or
b) “People may be surprised to learn that I,” or
c) “I am considered a leader because.”
3. Answer two of the following questions (do not exceed 500 words per question):
a) The Marshall MBA Prime Program prepares students for doing business in a global economy. Describe a cross-cultural experience that challenged you. How did you meet this challenge and what did you learn from this experience?
b) USC has garnered national acclaim for its emphasis on community outreach and service. How have you impacted your community?
c) We all experience significant events or milestones that influence the course of our lives. Briefly describe such an event and how it affected you.
4. Optional Essay: Please add any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider in evaluating your application (do not exceed 250 words).

University of Michigan – Ross
Required Questions
Applicants must answer all 4 of the questions below.
1. Briefly describe your short-term and long-term career goals. Why is an MBA the best choice at this point in your career? What and/or who influenced your decision to apply to Ross? (500 words maximum)
2. Describe your most significant professional accomplishment. Elaborate on the leadership skills you displayed, the actions you took and the impact you had on your organization. (500 words maximum)
3. If you were not pursuing the career goals you described in Question 1, what profession would you pursue instead? (For example, teacher, musician, athlete, architect, etc.) How will this alternate interest contribute to your effectiveness in solving multidisciplinary problems? (300 words maximum)
4. Describe your experience during a challenging time in your life. Explain how you grew personally, either despite this challenge or because of it. (300 words maximum)
Optional Question
Is there anything else you think the Admissions Committee should know about you to evaluate your candidacy?
University of Michigan Ross School of Business Admission Essays
Required Questions
Applicants must answer all 4 of the questions below.
1. Briefly describe your short-term and long-term career goals. Why is an MBA the best choice at this point in your career? What and/or who influenced your decision to apply to Ross? (500 words maximum)
2. Describe your most significant professional accomplishment. Elaborate on the leadership skills you displayed, the actions you took and the impact you had on your organization. (500 words maximum)
3. If you were not pursuing the career goals you described in Question 1, what profession would you pursue instead? (For example, teacher, musician, athlete, architect, etc.) How will this alternate interest contribute to your effectiveness in solving multidisciplinary problems? (300 words maximum)
4. Describe your experience during a challenging time in your life. Explain how you grew personally, either despite this challenge or because of it. (300 words maximum)
Optional Question
Is there anything else you think the Admissions Committee should know about you to evaluate your candidacy?

UNC Kenan – Flagler
Questions 1 and 2 are required of all applicants. Questions 3 and 4 are optional.
Essay One (Required)
Describe your career progression to date, highlighting leadership and management positions and reasons for changing jobs or career paths, if applicable. Tell us how your experience, coupled with an MBA degree from UNC, will lead you to your short-term and long-term career goals. (1200 words maximum)
Essay Two (Required)
Describe the major obstacles or challenges you have faced in pursuit of your goals. Tell us how you addressed these challenges and how they have shaped you. (800 words maximum)
Essay Three (Optional)
Tell us about any international experience you have, either living or working abroad. Tell us how it has impacted your global perspective. (400 words maximum)
Essay Four (Optional)
UNC Kenan-Flagler seeks to enroll students from a variety of undergraduate majors. Regardless of your major, we strongly recommend that all students enter the program with some background in calculus, microeconomics, statistics and financial accounting. If you have not studied one or more of these subjects in college or university, please tell us how you have developed proficiency in these areas. If you have not been exposed to one or more of these subjects, please tell us how you will prepare yourself prior to entering UNC Kenan-Flagler. (400 words maximum)

UCLA – Anderson
The Admissions Committee considers your responses to the following essay questions extremely important in the selection process. We endeavor to admit an interesting and diverse group of students who will both benefit from and contribute to UCLA Anderson. Therefore, you are encouraged to prepare your essays with great care. Any personal insights you can offer us concerning the qualities and experiences you believe distinguish you from other applicants would be especially helpful.
All applicants must answer questions 1 through 3; question 4 is optional.
1. (Required) Please provide us with a summary of your personal and family background. Include information about your parents and siblings, where you grew up, and perhaps a highlight or special memory of your youth. (Limit to 2 pages, double-spaced.)
2. (Required) Discuss a situation, preferably work related, where you have taken a significant leadership role. How does this event demonstrate your managerial potential? (Limit to 1 page, double-spaced.)
3. (Required) Discuss your career goals. Why are you seeking an MBA degree at this particular point in your career? Specifically, why are you applying to UCLA Anderson? If you are a concurrent degree applicant, please incorporate in your answer how the dual program fits your professional interests. (Limit to 2 pages, double-spaced.)
4. (Optional) Is there any other information that you believe would be helpful to the Admissions Committee in considering your application? If you feel the application already represents you well, do not feel obligated to answer this essay question.

Vanderbilt – Owen
Please respond to each question below. As a guideline, required Essays 1 and 2 should be no more than 500 words in length. Optional Essay 3 should be only as long as necessary.
1. (Required) Explain your short-term and long-term career plans as specifically as possible. When combined with a Vanderbilt MBA degree, how will your previous experiences and personal attributes enable you to pursue these goals successfully?
2. (Required) Discuss significant challenges and opportunities currently facing the industry or functional area in which you plan to work after completing your MBA degree. As a change agent and visionary leader, how would you approach these issues to have a positive impact on business and society?
3. You are strongly encouraged to provide an additional statement to clarify and explain any of the following: gaps of more than three months in full-time employment, poor academic performance, weak test scores, lack of recommendation from your current or most recent supervisor, academic misconduct, violations of the law, or anything else you think is important for the Admissions Committee to know about you that is not already addressed elsewhere in your application. (Response should be no longer than necessary.)

Washington – Olin
The purpose of these statements/essays is to help the Admissions Committee get to know you. Any information you can provide concerning those qualities and experiences that distinguish you from other applicants will be especially helpful.
1. Why are you seeking an MBA and, in particular, an MBA from Washington University? How will the MBA program support both your short-term and long-term career goals? (400 words maximum)
2. You step onto an elevator and find the president of the company that is your number one choice for a summer internship. It is a tall building – but you still have only two minutes to convince her that you possess the qualities that will make you the best candidate for the position and that Olin has fully prepared you for that internship. What will you say? (325 words maximum – for your information, 325 words is about 2 minutes of speaking)
3. Please explain how you might have an impact on the MBA Program at Washington University. In other words, what legacy will you leave behind? (300 words maximum)
4. Please provide any additional information about your application that you believe would be helpful to the Admissions Committee (optional).

Yale
The two required essays provide an opportunity for you to tell the Admissions Committee about your life, your career, and your goals. Because we are interested in learning as much as possible about you, your essays must be entirely your own work. Although you may ask others for general feedback on your essays, you may not allow anyone else to edit them for you. We suggest that anyone reviewing your essays do so without a pen in hand.
1. Why an MBA? – Please describe your short- and long-term goals and how your previous experience and an MBA will help you to achieve these goals. (500 words maximum)
2. Personal Statement – Please develop a question/topic of your choice and answer it in essay form. Please state the question/topic at the beginning of your essay. (500 words maximum)
Some example questions/topics include:
Describe a situation in which your leadership and/or teamwork had a significant impact.
What personal achievement are you most proud of and why?
What activities/interests do you enjoy outside the office and/or classroom and how would you integrate these activities/interests into the Yale SOM community?
What is the most difficult feedback that you have received and how did you address it?
Where is the most exciting place you have ever been and what did you learn from being there?
Describe a situation where you questioned your values and/or beliefs.
What does accountability mean to you?
If you are reapplying: How has your candidacy changed since your last application?
Optional Essay
If any aspect of your candidacy needs further explanation, please provide any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider. (200 words maximum)

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MBA DEADLINES

Canadian MBA

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The Times Higher World University Rankings 2007

ranking-headerUNABLE TO SEE A TABLE? HIT THE HEADER

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Harvard

University of Cambridge

University of Oxford

Yale University

Imperial College London

Princeton University

CALTECH

University of Chicago

University College London

MIT

Columbia University

McGill University

Duke University

University of Penn

Johns Hopkins Univ

Australian National Univ

University of Tokyo

University of Hong Kong

Stanford University

Carnegie Mellon University

Cornell University

University of California, Berkeley

University of Edinburgh

King’s College London

Kyoto University

Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris

University of Melbourne

Ecole Polytechnique

Northwestern University

University of Manchester

University of Sydney

Brown University

University of British Columbia

University of Queensland

National University of Singapore

Peking University

University of Bristol

Chinese University of Hong Kong

University of Michigan

Tsinghua University

University of California, LA

ETH Zurich

Monash University

University of New South Wales

University of Toronto

Osaka University

Boston University

University of Amsterdam

New York University

University of Auckland

Seoul National University

University of Texas at Austin

Hong Kong University of Sc & Tech

Trinity College Dublin

University of Washington

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Warwick

University of California, San Diego

London School of Economics

Heidelberg University

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

University of Adelaide

Delft University of Technology

University of Western Australia

University of Birmingham

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität  M

Technische Universität München

University of Sheffield

Nanyang Technological University

University of Nottingham

Dartmouth College

Uppsala University

University of Illinois

Emory University

University of York

University of St Andrews

University of Pittsburgh

Purdue University

University of Maryland

University of Leeds

University of Southampton

Vanderbilt University

University of Glasgow

Leiden University

Case Western Reserve Univ

Fudan University

University of Vienna

Queen’s University

Utrecht University

Pen State University

Tokyo Institute of Tech

Rice University

University of Copenhagen

University of Montreal

University of Rochester

University of California, Davis

University of Alberta

Georgia Institute of Technology

Cardiff University

University of Helsinki

University of Liverpool

Georgetown University

National Taiwan University

Tohoku University

University of Geneva

Lund University

University of Colorado

McMaster University

Durham University

University of Virginia

Maastricht University

Nagoya University

University of Waterloo

University of Aarhus

University of Basel

University of Otago

University of California, SB

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale De L

University of Southern California

Ohio State University

University of Sussex

Texas A&M University

Université Catholique de Louvain

University of Ghent

Nanjing University

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Univ of Western Ontario

Hebrew Univ of Jerusalem

Newcastle University

Technical Univ of Denmark

Eindhoven University of Tech

Korea Adv Inst of Sc & Tech

Université Pierre et Marie Curie

University of Arizona

University of Florida

Kyushu University

University of Aberdeen

Indiana University Bloomington

Simon Fraser University

University of California, Irvine

University of Zurich

University of Minnesota

Universität Tübingen

Universität Freiburg

University of Bath

Freie Universität Berlin

University of Lancaster

Wageningen University

City University of Hong Kong

Queen Mary, Univ of London

Hokkaido University

University of North Carolina

Tel Aviv University

Université Libre de Bruxelles

Univ of Sc &Tech of China

University of Notre Dame

Ecole Normale Supérieure

Cranfield University

Michigan State University

Tufts University

Keio University

Washington University in St Louis

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Universität Stuttgart

University of Calgary

Vienna University of Tech

Universität Göttingen

Macquarie University

Helsinki University of Tech

University of Dundee

Universität Karlsruhe

University of Bologna

University of Groningen

University of MA ,Amherst

University of São Paulo

University of Campinas

University College Dublin

Rutgers,  New Jersey

University of Reading

Waseda University

Rheinisch-Westfälische Tech

Università Degli Studi Di Roma

Université Louis Pasteur

University of Leicester

University of Twente

University of Antwerp

University of Canterbury

University of Oslo

University of Surrey

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

KTH, Royal Institute of Technology

Univ Nat Autónoma de México

University of Barcelona

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen

Queensland Univ of Technology

Chalmers University of Technology

Kobe University

University of Wollongong

University of Cape Town

Rmit University

US

UK

UK

US

UK

US

US

US

UK

US

US

Canada

US

US

US

Australia

Japan

Hong Kong

US

US

US

US

UK

UK

Japan

France

Australia

France

US

UK

Austraila

US

Canada

Austraila

Singapore

China

UK

Hong Kong

US

China

US

Switzerland

Australia

Australia

Canada

Japan

US

Netherlands

US

New Zealand

South Korea

US

Hong Kong

Ireland

US

US

UK

US

UK

Germany

Belgium

Australia

Netherlands

Australia

UK

Germany

Germany

UK

Singapore

UK

US

Sweden

US

US

UK

UK

US

US

US

UK

UK

US

UK

Netherlands

US

China

Austria

Canada

Netherlands

US

Japan

US

Denmark

Canada

US

US

Canada

US

UK

Finland

UK

US

Taiwan

Japan

Switzerland

Sweden

US

Canada

UK

US

Netherlands

Japan

Canada

Denmark

Switzerland

New Zealand

US

Switzerland

US

US

UK

US

Belgium

Belgium

China

Germany

Canada

Israel

UK

Denmark

Netherlands

South Korea

France

US

US

Japan

UK

US

Canada

US

Switzerland

US

Germany

Germany

UK

Germany

UK

Netherlands

Hong Kong

UK

Japan

US

Israel

Belgium

China

US

France

UK

US

US

Japan

US

Netherlands

China

Germany

Canada

Austria

Germany

Australia

Finland

UK

Germany

Italy

Netherlands

US

Brazil

Brazil

Ireland

US

UK

Japan

Germany

Italy

France

UK

Netherlands

Belgium

New Zealand

Norway

UK

US

Sweden

Mexico

Spain

Netherlands

Australia

Sweden

Japan

Australia

South Africa

Australia

For a Commentry on this Ranking also See:

THES-QS World University Rankings 2007

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THES-QS World University Rankings 2007

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27 new universities from 14 different countries enter the top 200

The THES-QS World University Rankings 2007 reflects the internationalisation of higher education around the world, with 27 universities from 14 different countries entering the top 200 for the first time.

• Top 10: The UK and USA still dominate – Harvard University, Cambridge, Oxford and Yale retain the top four positions for the second year. University College London and Chicago join the top 10 for the first time.

• Top 50: The addition of the Netherlands sees 12 countries featured in the top 50 compared to 11 in 2006 . New entrants include; Brown University, Bristol, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Osaka, Boston, Amsterdam.

• Top 100: The top 100 sees the number of Asian universities increase to 13 (12 in 2006) but the number of European Universities dropped to

35 (41 in 2006). North America strengthened to 43 Universities (37 in 2006).

• Top 200: Universities from 28 different countries represented in the top 200.

• Increases in International Faculty: 143 of the top 200 Universities reported an increase in their percentage of international faculty to total faculty.

• Increases in International Students: 137 of the top 200 Universities reported an increase in their percentage of international students to total students.

Some country highlights from the 2007 results:

• UK: University College London joins Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and Imperial College in the world’s elite Top 10 and is the highest riser (from 25 in 2006) among the leading institutions.

• USA: Princeton University’s continued domestic success is reflected in an improved international ranking, featuring in the top 10 for the first time, whilst, Pennsylvania, John Hopkins and Carnegie-Mellon join the top 20 for the first time.

• Asia: Universities of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Kyoto, National University of Singapore, Peking, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua and Osaka lead Asian higher education, all featuring in the top 50.

• China: Fudan University joins Peking and Tsinghua Universities in world’s Top 100.

• Canada: Stronger performance with 11 universities (up from 7 in 2006) in top 200

• Latin America: In Latin American 3 universities make world’s top 200

• Ireland: University College Dublin joins Trinity College Dublin in world’s Top 200

• Scandinavia: Stronger as Uppsala and Helsinki Universities join Copenhagen University in the top 100

• Africa: Cape Town at 200 is first ever African institution in the Rankings.

According to Martin Ince, of the Times Higher Education Supplement “The 2007 THES-QS World University Rankings are the most rigorous and complete so far. They show that the US and UK model of independent universities supported with significant state funding produces great results, but they also prove that academic excellence is found on every continent.”

Nunzio Quacquarelli, Managing Director of QS, says: “The THES-QS World University Rankings has met an important need amongst universities, employers and young candidates to be able to compare and benchmark institutions across borders. They have generated intense interest in recent years – this year, over one million unique visitors have checked out the results and methodology on www.topuniversities.com.

Interested to get Ranking Table click here: The Times Higher World University Rankings 2007

‘Career Enhancement Potential’ Ranking of Business Schools-Financial Times

If you cannot view the tables please hit the header

Rankings of the B-Schools from Students Career Enhancement Perspective has been made in Table 1. It shows the world schools from a different perspective.

In analyzing the Financial Times,London data it is assumed that a MBA student opts for the program to increase his earnings potential or desires change in his career stream. Thus factors as defined in “Open New Career Opportunities ” and “Increase in salary ” are taken in consideration.

Definitions:

Open New Career Opportunities Sums the following:

1. Diversity of recruiters.Number of industry sectors.
2. Assessment of careers services.Percentage of graduates in jobs three months after graduation
3. Jobs found through the careers service.Percentage of graduates finding jobs through careers service
4.Student assessment.Meeting expectations and needs

Increase in salary considers the following:

1. How much did your salary increase after graduating? Salary change from pre–MBA to post–MBA (excluding bonuses)
25.00

2. Leaving salary.Post–MBA salary (excluding bonuses)

TABLE 1

(First twenty ranked schools in each area have been considered)

This table has been created from FT -2007 Rankings Statistics.

Rank Open new career opportunities Increase in salary
1 GSB-Chicago Ashridge
2 IIM-A Henley
3 Berkeley -Haas HULT
4 IE Business School IESE
5 IESE IMD
6 NYU-Stern Oxford
7 Virginia-Darden HEC
8 Dartmouth-Tuck Strathclyde
9 Stanford Stanford
10 Hong Kong University LSB
11 Michigan-Ross Harvard
12 Columbia University of Bath
13 MIT-Sloan Cranfield
14 IMD TiasNimbas
15 Ohio-Fisher RSM Erasmus
16 Northwestern-Kellogg Dartmouth-Tuck
17 Washington University Intl.Univ of Monaco
18 CMU-Tepper Cambridge
19 ESADE Manchester B-School
20 Penn State-Smeal Monash

Conclusion:

Table 2

Country or Region Open new career opportunities Increase in salary Schools in both category
  Number of Schools Number of Schools Number of Schools
USA 14 4 2
Europe 4 15 2
Hong Kong 1 X X
India 1 X X
Australia X 1 X
       
       
       

USA Schools

1.Considering both these criteria Stanford and Dartmouth are the only USA schools having Ranking in the range of 1-20.

2. If we consider only “Open new career opportunities” then there are fourteen USA schools in this category meaning thereby that these schools place more emphasis on creating career opportunities.

3.”Increase in Salary” has four USA schools HULT,Stanford,Harvard and Dartmouth

European Schools

1. IMD and IESE fall under both the categories.

Conclusion

It is concluded that American schools emphasize more on creating career opportunities or maybe on having better placement offices and contacts with the industry.They have a poor record of increase in salary as compared with their European cousins.

European School candidates have a better jump in income after completion of their MBA, may be because the concept of MBA is in the process of being integrated into European economies.The Americans have a head start in this as such this is not surprising.
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Extract of the article by Ronald Alsop published in Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
NATIONAL RANKING
Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business in Hanover, N.H.
Tuck received its highest ratings this year for its “well-rounded” students, their personal integrity, interpersonal and communication skills, and teamwork abilities.

University of Michigan

Michigan had rivaled Tuck with its consistently strong showing in the survey in previous years, but some recruiters now complain about both the students and the career-services office. One survey respondent said more Michigan students are demonstrating a “what’s in it for me?” attitude.

“Students weren’t as prepared for interviews and were somewhat more arrogant than in the past,” says David Gallon, a survey respondent and senior strategic research consultant, truck and SUV, for Toyota Motor Corp. in Torrance, Calif.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University is another school that tumbled in the 2007 ranking — to 12th place from sixth — after a number of years near the top of the ranking. Recruiters said they were displeased with the pompous attitudes of some students at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Some students also proved disappointing in their financial knowledge.
The Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sloan made a notable gain in the ranking, jumping six places to No. 4. It also moved up three places in the International ranking, to No. 5. Recruiters gave MIT its highest marks for students’ analytical skills and work ethic, and named it more than any other school for excellence in teaching information technology and operations management.

Anderson School of Management – UCLA

Anderson School rose to No. 15 after three straight years in the cellar. Recruiters said they are most impressed for its diversity and energy and for students’ strong leadership, interpersonal and teamwork skills.

Harvard University and Stanford University

Two schools that typically rank low despite reputations for academic excellence — again were criticized for what recruiters said were their students’ inflated egos and excessive expectations. Nevertheless, their graduates still end up landing some of the highest paying jobs.

REGIONAL RANKING

Brigham Young, in Provo, Utah

Year in and year out, recruiters rave about graduates’ maturity, competitive drive, integrity and international experience, especially from their missionary work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Academically, the Marriott School receives high marks in the Journal survey for its accounting program. Some recruiters also are finding that more Brigham Young M.B.A.s make a good fit for investment banking. “BYU has put much more emphasis in preparing their students for investment banking,” says Steven Potter, a survey respondent and managing director at Banc of America Securities in New York. “At both the B.A. and M.B.A. levels, they have had outside firms come to the school to give a course on valuation techniques that is much more practical than theoretical.”

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Last year’s top-rated Regional school, experienced quite a turnabout, slipping 10 spots in 2007. Recruiters said the school produces some stars but that it admits too many students who lack enough work experience. Survey respondents also were critical of the many international students with weak communication skills and the need for visa sponsorships to work in the U.S.
“Thunderbird attracts good students who want ex-pat careers, but also average students who can afford the steep price and want to ride Thunderbird’s above-average reputation,” says Tom Kondo, a survey respondent and human resources manager for L’Oréal Paris in New York. “Often times, the average students will claim interest in international or ex-pat careers, but don’t really have the skills or desire to follow through. When we interview there, we always have to weed these students out.” Recruiters said they still consider it the top school in the world for teaching about international business.

Among the biggest gainers this year were three Boston-area schools: Boston University, Boston College and Babson College. Babson placed highest of the three at No. 21, up 14 spots from last year.

Three new schools broke into the top 10: Indiana University, the University of Florida and Emory University. Indiana jumped 10 places to No. 5 this year, as recruiters noted that students are more polished and sharper, especially in their marketing skills, and that the career-services office has become more responsive. The survey respondents awarded Indiana higher scores this year for incorporating experiential learning into the curriculum, faculty expertise and course content, and overall recruiting value.

INTERNATIONAL RANKING
ESADE and Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development (IMD) held on to first and second place again this year, while No. 3 London Business School and No. 4 IPADE Business School in Mexico swapped places.
This year, ESADE was rated highest for students’ personal integrity, their teamwork abilities and the career-services office.

Go Here to read further

Blog Posts About This Topic

Getting into a Top MBA Program « AdmissonSync as quoted by WSJ

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MBA DEADLINES

Canadian MBA

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University Parent produces institution-specific guides in partnership with universities across the U.S. for parents of college students. 

Presently the following guides are available : 


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GRE Subject Test

In Search of Artifice is a blog written by Joshua Eckroth recently it rated some good GRE subject test preparation material:

GRE Computer Science (REA) 5th Ed. (2004) – 1 star,

GRE Computer Science (REA Test Preps)(1998) – 1.5 stars,

GRE Computer Science (Graduate Record Examination Series, Gre-21) (1997) – 1 star,

GRE: Practicing to Take the Computer Science Test (3rd ed) (1997) – 2.5 stars.

The last one in combination with ETS’s official sample test (PDF, 53 pages) should be a good start in your preparation strategy.

Another incredibly useful resource is Christopher Scaffidi’s (CMU) booklet (PDF, 117 pages).

For extra study material, check out Howard Zhou’s (Georgia Tech) notes.

Other Related Articles in this blog 

Advice for Low GRE

Engineering Schools Acceptance Rate and GRE Score

GRE Diagnostics

GRE Resources

Some Good GRE Preparation Sites

Is GRE Required? Is it worthwhile to go to a University not insisting on it?

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Getting into a Top MBA Program

Why a Top MBA?

Unlike graduates of medical schools and law schools, there is no licensing exam required to practice business in the United States. In addition, the quality of accredited schools offering MBA degrees varies tremendously. This is a degree you can obtain part-time in 4 years, in an executive program in 1 year, via correspondence courses, and from schools with near 100% acceptance rates.

As a result, the value of your MBA degree is directly related to the prestige of the university and business school which grants it. A recent study of the value of MBA programs concluded that “if you don’t get into a leading business school, the economic value of the degree is really quite limited.” The study examined consultants at McKinsey & Company and investment bankers at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and found that those without MBA’s performed as well, or better, than business school graduates. The fallacy of the study was that it did not recognize that it is much harder to get such a job without an MBA degree. Intellectual horsepower and potential – rather than business knowledge – is the primary criterion top consulting firms and investment banks look for. If someone possesses a Ph.D. in economics from MIT or a JD from Harvard – quite common at such firms – then that obviously serves as a more than adequate intellectual proxy for even a top two-year MBA.

The required curriculum at most business schools consists of courses such as finance, accounting, statistics, organizational behavior, strategy, economics, communications and technology. Schools may have a larger or smaller set of “core” courses, and many give these subjects different names. But overall, MBA programs have more similarities with one another than they do differences, and most of the same subjects are taught from the same textbooks, using many of the same cases.

Thus, the academic content of a business school education – much like a law school or medical school education – does not vary greatly between programs. But due to the tremendous variation in the standards of institutions conferring the degree, an MBA has the most value in the marketplace when it is from a school that is highly respected. In addition, the lifelong professional network which comes from going to business school is more valuable when it is from a school where graduates typically go on to the most successful careers.

Ranking the Rankings

There is no other academic degree which is ranked and analyzed by so many publications and organizations as the MBA. While the general public and the business world have intuitive ideas of which the most famous and prestigious programs are, many of these rankings have highlighted improvements in other programs and presented them as viable competitors. Nonetheless, the traditional top schools perform the best across the best-regarded rankings.

US News and BusinessWeek

US News & World Report and BusinessWeek are the most well-known and respected MBA rankings, and have each been published for more than 10 years. New rankings from the Financial Times, Forbes, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal have come out in the last few years. Each ranking has strengths and weaknesses.

US News is generally considered the best ranking for prospective MBA applicants, as their system is the most transparent, and their rankings always come closest to peoples’ common sense perception of relative prestige. This is no accident, since their ranking heavily favors “peer assessment”, which is essentially “prestige”, as one of their key factors. There are three schools which have been ranked #1 by US News in the past ten years – the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, and the MIT Sloan School of Management.

BusinessWeek is considered the next most useful ranking for applicants, since they collect a great deal of data and weight their ranking toward student feedback. Yet, none of Harvard, Stanford or MIT has ever been ranked #1 by BusinessWeek. Instead, the only schools to achieve the top position in their ranking are the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Business School Highest Ranking in US News Highest Ranking in BusinessWeek
Harvard Business School

1

3

Stanford Graduate School of Business

1

4

MIT Sloan School of Management

1

4

Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

2

1

Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

3

1

Outside of these five schools, no other school has ever been ranked #1 in either of these rankings. BusinessWeek displays some variation, but has generally had each of these schools in or near the top 5. In US News, they have consistently been the top five schools every year the ranking has been published.

Other Rankings

The newer rankings, The Financial Times, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal, are essentially specialty rankings which weight specifically chosen criteria very heavily to produce different results. The end results have some similarities with US News and BusinessWeek, but also produce many curious outcomes for individual schools and are more useful for the data they collect than the rankings they produce. A summary of the methodology issues with these rankings:

Ranking Methodology Problems
Financial Times Focuses on self-reported salary data several years post-graduation Unreliable and incomplete data: self-reporting bias
Forbes Focuses on self-reported salary data several years post-graduation; focuses on ROI Unreliable and incomplete data: self-reporting bias; penalizes schools with high entering salaries (inversely correlates program quality and applicant salary)
Wall Street Journal Based entirely on recruiter satisfaction Recruiters who tend to be unsuccessful at attracting interest from students at top schools tend to give those schools poor marks (inversely correlates program quality and graduate choices)

These methodology problems produce some questionable results, such as the Wall Street Journal ranking Stanford outside of the top 40, Forbes ranking MIT Sloan outside the top 15, and the Financial Times ranking Yale and NYU ahead of Kellogg. As such, the top business schools don’t pay as much attention to these rankings. Stanford’s dean even commented, quite justifiably, that doing poorly in the Wall Street Journal ranking was probably a better indicator of the quality of a program than doing well!

The Top Programs

Harvard, Stanford, MIT Sloan, Kellogg and Wharton stand out consistently amongst their peers, and have historically been considered the most prestigious MBA programs. They are also considered the best programs today. Two other notable programs are the University of Chicago and Columbia Business School. In fact, the deans of Harvard, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia and Chicago, meet regularly to share benchmarking information, and generally consider each other to be peer schools.

The reason that Columbia and Chicago are generally considered just below the other five is because they carry somewhat less prestige, as reflected in a couple of key statistics. Columbia used to have a 46% acceptance rate as recently as 10 years ago, far higher than any other top school, admitting nearly half of all applicants. Meanwhile, Chicago consistently has a much higher acceptance rate than any other top school (above 25-30%) and through much of the last 10 years maintained a 50% yield – in other words, nearly half of the people offered admission to Chicago choose not to attend. Nonetheless, these two schools are considered among the most prestigious after the top 5, and are even ranked in the top 5 in some finance-heavy rankings. Siebel’s “Siebel Scholars” program recognizes the top MBA students in the United States by awarding $25000 scholarships to the top five students at each of Harvard, Stanford, Sloan, Wharton, Kellogg and Chicago.

After these seven schools, other well known and highly regarded programs include:

  • Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
  • Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley
  • Yale School of Management
  • NYU Stern School of Business
  • Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
  • Anderson School of Business, UCLA
  • Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

Collectively, there are about 15 schools in the United States with a claim to “top 10 status” in one area or another.

Additional Statistics

Top MBA programs by subject area – one of the best ways to think about the top five MBA programs is to consider that they are all excellent in nearly every discipline, but are #1 in different specific subject areas:

Business School US News #1 in 2006 for… BusinessWeek “top-rated” in 2005 for…
Harvard Business School – Management – Finance
– Management
– Entrepreneurship
Stanford Graduate School of Business – N/A – Management
– Entrepreneurship
MIT Sloan School of Management – Information Systems
– Production/Operations
– Supply Chain/Logistics
– Finance
– Management
– Marketing
– Entrepreneurship
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania – Finance
– Accounting
– Finance
– Management
– Marketing
– Entrepreneurship
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University – Marketing – Management
– Marketing

Yield – that is, the % of students who accept offers of admission. While some less prestigious programs may have high yields because of a highly targeted audience, the top programs are certainly competing with one another for many of the same students. In other words, the typical explanation for someone turning down an offer of admission at one top business school is because they accepted the offer of a school they would rather attend. Since top candidates receive more offers of admission, their choice of program is a factor which can be used to gauge the quality of each program. The yields of the top schools (2004 figures) are:

School Name

Yield

Acceptance Rate

1

Harvard

85%

12%

2

Stanford

83%

9%

3

MIT Sloan

75%

18%

3

Wharton

75%

15%

5

Columbia

71%

13%

6

Kellogg

66%

16%

7

Chicago

58%

28%

Endowment – this is kind of like the market capitalization of a business school, in a somewhat silly way. If a school has many graduates who have gone on to become very wealthy, it should have a lot of money in its endowment fund. If the school is well-managed, that fund should grow and help it attract more successful students. These are the top 10 schools by endowment (BusinessWeek, 2001):

School Name

Endowment ($ millions)

Endowment per student ($ 000)

1

Harvard

1100

628

2

MIT Sloan

402

560

3

Stanford

387

530

4

Kellogg

380

152

5

Wharton

338

216

6

Michigan

267

138

7

Darden

255

523

7

Yale

255

607

9

Chicago

207

87

10

Tuck

167

420

The reason the per-capita endowment figures for schools like Chicago and Kellogg are so low is because they spread their resources amongst a large number of full-time and part-time students. Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Wharton do not have part-time programs.

Famous Alumni – so who goes on to fame and fortune with an MBA degree? Besides George W. Bush, the nation’s first MBA president (Harvard ’75), the most prominent MBA’s are CEO’s of the world’s largest companies. MBA Jungle analyzed the Fortune 200 to see where their CEO’s went to school. The list, once again, has the top schools well-represented, and shows Harvard’s strength historically:

School Name

# of Fortune 200 CEO’s

1

Harvard

20

2

MIT Sloan

5

3

Stanford

4

3

Columbia

4

3

Chicago

4

6

NYU Stern

3

7

Kellogg

2

7

Darden

2

7

Goizueta

2

7

Indiana

2

7

Texas

2

In the past 100 years, Harvard has been the most popular destination for those interested in an MBA. Of course, the MBA was a completely different animal just 20 years ago. Back then, most students went directly out of college, and the competition and prestige were nothing like it is today. It is worth noting that only 79 CEO’s in the Fortune 200 had MBA degrees at all – but the MBA accounted for more than two-thirds of all graduate degrees held by these CEO’s. Although Wharton only had 1 CEO in the Fortune 200, they have historically had more, and this particular ranking is always in a state of flux.

The rest of this document will focus on the top 5 programs, but the same principles apply to the admissions process at most top 10 or top 20 programs.

Keys to Admission

Your GMAT score, undergraduate GPA, and the number of years of work experience you possess are the primary quantitative indicators used by business school admissions committees. Here is how the top 5 schools stack up on those measures:

Business School

Median GMAT

Median GPA

Mean Work Experience (Years)

Stanford

710

3.5

4.0

MIT Sloan

700

3.4

5.3

Harvard

700

3.6

4.4

Wharton

710

3.5

5.8

Kellogg

700

3.4

5.2

As of this writing, this means that more than half of all students attending these schools scored in the top 5% of all GMAT test takers worldwide. It also means that somewhat less than half did not. The GMAT is the primary indicator of raw intellectual ability considered by admissions committees, since it is standardized, and offers an objective – albeit incomplete – measure of ability between students from different colleges and majors. If you are lower than your target school’s average on any of these measures, it should be compensated by all of the other areas. In other words, if you expect to get in to Wharton with only 2 years of full-time work experience, you should have a very high GMAT score and GPA amongst other things.

Retaking the GMAT – this is only useful if your highest score is below your target school’s median. Retaking the GMAT to get a 730 when you already have a 710 is reasonably meaningless and shows you to be focused on the wrong things. Of course, getting a 720 after previously scoring a 670 may greatly help your candidacy. While most schools say you can take the GMAT as many times as you want, you should never take the test without proper preparation, as the entire process can be quite arduous. Prepare by taking practice tests – particularly CAT simulations – and if you find that you are not scoring 700+ with regularity, you should consider taking a course to prepare.

Although admissions committees at top schools say that a low GMAT score won’t keep you out, those who get in with scores in the low 600’s are almost certainly exceptional cases. If you are the average candidate without any internationally impressive accomplishments, a low GMAT score almost guarantees you a dreaded “ding” letter. On the other hand, for the candidate who is average in all other respects, a 790 isn’t much different from a 740 from the school’s point of view. Most schools will admit two otherwise similar candidates with disparate but high GMAT scores based on characteristics other than the GMAT. As for the people who get in with scores from 650 to 700, admissions can be frustratingly random – even more so than for everyone else.

While the overall GMAT score is what will be counted most heavily, the quantitative score is more important for applicants with non-technical backgrounds while the verbal score is examined more closely for applicants from foreign countries and those with science or engineering degrees. Schools are merely looking for the assurance that a candidate will be able to both crunch numbers and communicate well. Assuming that the overall GMAT score is alright, only a seriously low score on the section that will be examined most closely for a given candidate would be a liability. For example, if you are a native english speaker and have good grades from an Ivy League college in Literature, they probably won’t be too concerned about a low score on the verbal section, and just consider it an aberration. However, a low score on the quantitative section – regardless of how strong your combined GMAT score is – could be a major liability. The AWA score is not important for most applicants, and is not factored into the overall GMAT score anyway. In some cases, the actual text of the AWA section might be compared to an applicant’s essays if the schools are skeptical about either’s authenticity.

How the GPA is evaluated – top business schools are not as focused on undergraduate grades as other professional programs. If you have a 99th percentile LSAT score, and a 4.0 GPA in Political Science from Princeton, you will almost definitely get into Yale Law School. If you score 9.2 on the MCAT and graduate with a 3.4 in music, you will almost definitely not get into Johns Hopkins Medical School. On the other hand, if you graduate first in your class in finance at NYU, get a 780 on the GMAT, and work at Boston Consulting Group for three years, the admissions committee at Stanford Business School could decide they’ve already let in enough people like you, and the spot could go to someone with a 3.2 GPA in English who worked in a NGO in Africa. The bottom line is that if you are still in school, you should try to get the very best grades you can, but afterwards you just have to live with them. If you did poorly in undergraduate, good graduate degree grades help offset the impression that you’re incapable of getting good grades, but they don’t undo the damage your GPA does to the school’s average. Thus, letting you in becomes a very context and timing-driven judgment call.

Essays – there are typically two to seven essay questions in each application, with between 2000 and 3000 words required in total. While the first application will take you the longest, and you can cut-and-paste many paragraphs into subsequent essays, overall the differing nature of school’s questions will require you to spend many days on each package to create a satisfactory product. The essays are your primary opportunity to convince the school to let you in. They will evaluate you on two dimensions: what you will bring to the school as an MBA student, and what you will bring to the school as an alumnus. The second criterion is obviously the most important. Schools are trying to select the applicants they believe will be the most successful in their careers based on their backgrounds and accomplishments to date. Put another way, the 10-20% of applicants who get into a top business school are the ones who least needed the top MBA degree to succeed in their careers. Ironic, but true.

Of course, most of the applicants to top schools are reasonably successful in their careers already, so your essays need to distinguish you from others in your peer group. Your peer group – those applicants who are most like you – is who you are competing against primarily. For example, any top school could fill up their entire class with analysts from consulting firms with high GMAT scores and GPA’s. But they won’t. Instead, they will have a certain number of spots for such applicants, and someone who was a sculptor would not be competing for one of those spaces. This makes some peer groups more competitive than others in any given year. Most schools will say that every candidate competes against every other candidate, and from a certain point of view this is true. Someone could be a consultant, and even though they have already let in more consultants than they would like, he could bring something so special to the class from other experiences that they decide to let him in too. But in such a situation, the candidate likely won’t get in on strong numbers alone.

Your essays also give the school a sense of your personality. They want to see how you work your argument and the reasons they should admit you into your writing – while still answering their questions directly. They want you to be able to list and explain your accomplishments without being boastful or off-topic. These are, of course, the same skills you will need to be successful in your career after graduation.

Many people have taken to using admissions and essay consultants, and most schools will tell you that they discourage this. It is our opinion that the vast majority of successful candidates do not use paid essay editing services, and the majority of those who do use such services do not get in. This makes sense, of course – the people that need those services the most are the weakest candidates, and they’re on their own when it comes to a final interview. But beyond that, admissions consultants are invariably not the kind of people that a candidate to a top school wants advice from. Most did not ever attend a top business school themselves, and those few that did were essentially not successful enough to find reasonable jobs afterwards – and thus got into the essay editing business. We encourage you to get someone else to look at your essays and make suggestions, but pick someone who isn’t being paid on the basis of how much of your time they take, or how many changes they suggest you make. Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with your essays at all!

On the other hand, you should collect as much information and advice on the admissions process as you can, but always take it with a grain of salt. An unsuccessful applicant may not always be right about why they didn’t get in, but alumni of a given school can usually give you a pretty accurate picture of what it takes to get in. Written information sources are also essential, and this guide assumes that you’ve probably already picked up Richard Montauk’s excellent book, “How to Get Into The Top MBA Programs”. Although his advice is more generic – and thus applicable to any MBA program, but not customized for the truly best programs – you need to learn everything about the process. You should use that book with this guide to tune your application for top 5 schools.

Recommendations – these are most certainly the least important part of your application, but you shouldn’t discount them. They should reinforce what their rest of your package says, and provide the opinion of a real person who knows you very well and can answer the school’s questions directly and honestly. Every school will tell you this, and you should listen. The truth is that school’s know that many applicants write their own recommendations and just get their recommenders to sign and send them.

When to apply – the earlier the better, in general. Schools have either 2 or 3 application deadlines (rounds) and round 3 is almost always incredibly difficult to get in. This is just because statistically, there are very few spots left open by the third round. While some people believe that round 2 can be best for candidates without extremely strong backgrounds, it’s our belief that the first round is the best if you can get your application up to a desirable standard of quality in time.

The Interview – Harvard, Sloan, Stanford and Wharton all interview candidates by invitation only. This means that if you receive an interview – and at Harvard and Sloan, nearly all accepted candidates are required to interview – then this is your last and best opportunity to convince the admissions committee that you are someone they would like to have at their school. At Kellogg, all applicants are required to interview, so this changes the dynamic of the session significantly. Instead of the interview being an opportunity for you to address any weaknesses and convince them to let you in, it is merely another data point taken with the rest of your application. Put another way, a strong interview at Kellogg can’t get you in – but a weak interview can, and will, keep you out.

Conclusion

Attending one of the top business schools in the United States is really an amazing experience that we would recommend to anyone. Our classmates from business school are some of our closest friends, and the value of the network after graduation is immeasurable. We believe that you will be best served by attending the very best school you can get into, so never set your sights too low for reasons of expense, geography or other hassles.

Take a risk, and apply to some great programs – you won’t regret it.

Good luck!

Harvard Business School

Harvard University

Boston, Massachusetts

http://www.hbs.edu

HINTS

Harvard is obsessed with leadership, and they are looking for indications of leadership ability in each of their candidates. This can be in the form of managerial work experience, extracurricular activities, or initiative taken in other forms. What is more important than demonstrated leadership is to convince them that you have the capability for taking on great responsibility and taking charge of a situation in the future. Harvard is considered the #1 general management school by US News (and most of the world), so personal well-roundedness is key.

FAMOUS ALUMNI SAMPLE

George W. Bush, President, United States of America

Louis Gerstner, former Chairman, IBM Corporation

Rajat Gupta, former Worldwide Managing Director, McKinsey & Company

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO, General Electric Company

Jeff Skilling, former CEO, Enron Corporation

ADMISSIONS STATISTICS

Application Rounds: 3

Class Size: 910

Applicants: 8,893

Waitlist Size: NOT RELEASED

Waitlist Acceptance Rate: NOT RELEASED

FINANCIAL AID

Annual budget: $54,800

Guaranteed loans available for all students.

FURTHER INFORMATION

BusinessWeek Profile

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/full_time_profiles/harvard.htm

Harvard MBA Admissions

http://www.hbs.edu/mba/index.html

Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu

HINTS

Kellogg believes that teamwork is what builds great organizations, and the ability to work with, and co-exist with others in the business school environment is their primary screening criterion. Kellogg is ranked as the #1 school for marketing, so communications ability and softer skills are more valued here – and expected – than at other top programs. As was mentioned earlier, the interview has a different nature at Kellogg than at other schools, and they want to see if you are the Kellogg “type”, and excited about their program specifically.

FAMOUS ALUMNI SAMPLE

Michael Borman, President, Blue Martini Software

Leland Brendsel, CEO, Freddie Mac

John Hoeven, Governor, State of North Dakota

James Keyes, CEO, Johnson Controls

Locke Burt, Senator, State of Florida

ADMISSIONS STATISTICS

Application Rounds: 3

Class Size: 625

Applicants: 6,039

Waitlist Size: NOT RELEASED

Waitlist Acceptance Rate: NOT RELEASED

FINANCIAL AID

Annual budget: $52,533

Guaranteed loans available for all students.

FURTHER INFORMATION

BusinessWeek Profile

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/full_time_profiles/kellogg.htm

Kellogg MBA Admissions

http://www.kellogg.nwu.edu/admissions/index.htm

MIT Sloan School of Management

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

http://mitsloan.mit.edu

HINTS

Sloan wants to admit a class of innovators. What is most important is to convince the admissions committee that your career will involve having a great impact on your organization or industry, and that you have the creativity and courage to take it on great challenges. Sloan is ranked the #1 school for technology, operations management and quantitative analysis, so strong business analytical skills are expected, but communications ability is what distinguishes successful applicants.

FAMOUS ALUMNI SAMPLE

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations

Carly Fiorina, former CEO, Hewlett-Packard Corporation

William Clay Ford, CEO, Ford Motor Company

Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister, Israel

John Reed, Chairman, New York Stock Exchange

ADMISSIONS STATISTICS

Application Rounds: 2

Class Size: 319

Applicants: 2,940

Waitlist Size: 208

Waitlist Acceptance Rate: 15%

FINANCIAL AID

Annual budget: $55,310

Guaranteed loans available for all students.

FURTHER INFORMATION

BusinessWeek Profile

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/full_time_profiles/sloan.htm

Sloan MBA Admissions

http://mitsloan.mit.edu/mba

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford University

Stanford, California

http://www.gsb.stanford.edu

HINTS

With the highest average GMAT score in the world and the lowest acceptance rate, Stanford is the most difficult business school to gain admission into on the basis of numbers alone. That being said, they have a very diverse class mix and a balance curriculum that emphasizes both hard and soft skills. The key to admission is convincing the committee that you are bringing something unique to the class. While Stanford is not ranked #1 in any sub-specialty, it is strong in many areas.

FAMOUS ALUMNI SAMPLE

Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corporation (dropped out after 1 year)

John Donahoe, former Worldwide Managing Director, Bain & Company

Philip Knight, CEO, Nike Corporation

Scott McNealy, CEO, Sun Microsystems

Charles Schwab, Chairman, Charles Schwab Corporation

ADMISSIONS STATISTICS

Application Rounds: 3

Class Size: 378

Applicants: 5,253

Waitlist Size: 243

Waitlist Acceptance Rate: 9%

FINANCIAL AID

Annual budget: $48,012

Guaranteed loans available for all students.

FURTHER INFORMATION

BusinessWeek Profile

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/full_time_profiles/stanford.htm

Stanford MBA Admissions

http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/mba/

Wharton School

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

http://www.wharton.upenn.edu

HINTS

The Wharton School is ranked as the #1 school in finance and accounting, and their emphasis is definitely on business fundamentals. Although the class has the same number of years of work experience as at other top programs, the average age skews a little higher, and thus maturity is definitely valued by the admissions committee. The admissions committee at Wharton is looking for talented, hard-working individuals that have achieved a great deal but are not arrogant about it.

FAMOUS ALUMNI SAMPLE

Reginald Jones, former CEO, General Electric Company

Shaun O’Malley, former Chairman, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP

Louis Platt, former CEO, Hewlett-Packard Corporation

Donald Trump, CEO, Trump Organization

Gary Wilson, Chairman, Northwest Airlines

ADMISSIONS STATISTICS

Application Rounds: 3

Class Size: 771

Applicants: 7,274

Waitlist Size: 371

Waitlist Acceptance Rate: 23%

FINANCIAL AID

Annual budget: $59,728

Guaranteed loans available for all students.

FURTHER INFORMATION

BusinessWeek Profile

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/full_time_profiles/wharton.htm

Wharton MBA Admissions

http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba

FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE GO HERE

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MBA DEADLINES

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Pre-Law Programs

The following colleges offer pre law programs for undergraduate students 
Abilene Christian University
Albany State University
Allegheny College
Alma College
American Jewish University
Arizona State University
Babson College
Ball State University
Barry University
Bay Path College
Benedictine University
Bennington College
Bethel College
Bowling Green State University
California Lutheran University
Calvin College
Campbell University
Carroll College
Catawba College
Cedarville University
Central Christian College
Central Michigan University
Charleston Southern University
Clarkson University
Clearwater Christian College
College of St. Mary
College of the Atlantic
College of the Ozarks
Columbia Union College
Concordia University
Concordia University
Corban College
Cornerstone University
Creighton University
Crichton College
Crown College
Dalhousie University
DeSales University
Defiance College
Dickinson College
Dillard University
Dominican College of Blauvelt
Dominican University of California
Drury University
Eastern Connecticut State University
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Nazarene College
Emmanuel College
Fontbonne University
Framingham State College
Gannon University
Hamline University
Hardin-Simmons University
Hofstra University
Howard Payne University
Huntington University
Iowa Wesleyan College
Juniata College
Kent State University
Kettering University
La Roche College
Lambuth University
Lasell College
Lawrence University
Liberty University
Limestone College
Lindenwood University
Lipscomb University
Louisiana College
MacMurray College
Madonna University
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Marlboro College
Maryville University of St. Louis
Mercy College
Michigan State University
Midwestern State University
Millikin University
Mississippi College
Mitchell College
Monmouth College
Mount Mary College
National American University
National University
New England College
Newman University
Northern Arizona University
Northern Michigan University
Northwest University
Notre Dame College of Ohio
Nova Southeastern University
Ohio State University–Columbus
Ohio Wesleyan University
Oklahoma Baptist University
Oklahoma Christian University
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Olivet Nazarene University
Oral Roberts University
Ouachita Baptist University
Pacific Lutheran University
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Pfeiffer University
Philadelphia University
Presbyterian College
Purdue University–West Lafayette
Regis University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rockford College
Roger Williams University
SUNY College–Old Westbury
SUNY College–Oneonta
Sacred Heart University
Schreiner University
Simpson College
Southwestern Adventist University
Spelman College
Spring Hill College
St. Ambrose University
St. Augustine’s College
St. Bonaventure University
St. Francis University
St. Gregory’s University
St. Joseph’s College
Stephens College
Suffolk University
Test School
Thiel College
Thomas More College
Toccoa Falls College
Tougaloo College
Towson University
Trinity International University
Union College
University of California–Santa Barbara
University of Dayton
University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Maryland–College Park
University of Maryland–Eastern Shore
University of Missouri–Rolla
University of Montevallo
University of Nevada–Las Vegas
University of Pittsburgh–Johnstown
University of St. Thomas
University of Tampa
University of Toledo
University of Wisconsin–Superior
Utah State University
Vanguard University of Southern California
Virginia Intermont College
Washburn University
Washington and Jefferson College
Webber International University
West Texas A&M University
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Westminster College
Wheaton College
Widener University
Wilmington College
Winona State University
York College of Pennsylvania
Youngstown State University

Law School Admissions: Your Questions Answered

The following questions were answered by Drusilla Bakert, Associate Dean for Admissions at University of Kentucky College of  Law and a graduate of Harvard Law School. 

Q.  How Can I Prepare Successfully for the LSAT? Q.  When should I take the LSAT?

A.  The LSAT is given four times annually: June/July, late September/early October, December and February. The earliest you should take the LSAT is the summer before your senior year of college. Of the four test dates for any given admissions year, you should take the LSAT on the earliest date that you can be completely prepared. That way, if you need to cancel your score, change the test date or retake the test, you have given yourself the leeway to do so. If you are presently a junior in college, be thinking ahead and plan your schedule so that you will have time to prepare either in the spring for the summer LSAT, in the summer for the fall LSAT or in the fall for the December LSAT. Because February scores are received when most schools have already made the bulk of their admissions decisions, you should not wait until February to take the LSAT for fall admission unless that is the only date for which you can be fully prepared.

Q.  How should I prepare for the LSAT?

A.  Prepare for the LSAT by taking practice questions over and over again until you are familiar with the types of questions asked in each LSAT section. Start by reading the sample questions in the LSAT booklet for the three LSAT question types (logical reasoning, analytical reasoning and reading comprehension) and the explanations for the correct answers. Then take the complete sample LSAT in the booklet without timing yourself. Grading the sample test will give you an idea of which sections will give you the most difficulty on the actual test. Then take sample questions over and over again, comparing your answers with the correct ones until you have a sense of the logic behind the test and how to approach each question type. Follow that up by taking individual test sections under timed conditions. Use more than one test preparation book from more than one source so that you can essentially “cross-train” for the LSAT with advice and test preparation tips from different sources. I recommend that you get to a point where you can complete a section, in the comfort of your own home, in 32 minutes or less (you will have 35 minutes per section on the test). This will give you some additional time to use when taking the LSAT to get over your nerves, to work on a question that really throws you, etc. In the weeks right before the test, take several complete LSATs under timed conditions to build endurance. The LSAT is like an Olympics for your brain – only careful, strenuous preparation over a long period of time will train your brain for the rigors of the LSAT.Q.  What test preparation materials should I use?
A.  There are a lot of LSAT preparation materials available. The LSAT is not offered in computer format, so you do not need to buy preparation in a CD-ROM format unless you prefer that. If you do use computerized prep materials, be sure to do some practice tests on paper to adjust to having only small margins for notes, diagrams for the analytical reasoning section, etc. A prep course can be helpful if you historically have not done well on standardized tests, you get very nervous about taking such tests, or you know that you will not take the time to study without paying for a prep course. However, if you do not have the funds to pay for a prep course you can use the test preparation books, old LSATs you can order from LSAC and other written materials to prepare on your own – simply mark aside a few hours each week for test preparation until the month before the test, when you should increase your preparation time to 1-2 hours each day (more in the week or two before the test). Whatever outside preparation materials you use, be sure to order some of the actual old LSATs, which are only available from Law Services, particularly the 10-pack of old tests and 3 or 4 of the most recent tests given: they may be the most similar to the LSAT you will take. The Triple Prep Plus (3 old tests, with answers and explanations from the people who write the test) is also particularly helpful. Order information is included in the LSAT/LSDAS registration & information booklet or at the Law Services website, http://www.LSAC.org
Q.  What should I do if I’m not happy with my LSAT score?
A.  Everyone walks out of the LSAT thinking that they did not perform up to their potential. However, if you are certain that you did not do well (you did not have time to reason through your answers at the end of most of the sections, much of the test is a blur, you were feeling ill that day, etc.), think very seriously about canceling your score, which you can do at the test center, or for up to 5 working days after you take the test. Law schools will only see the date you sat for the test and a line where your score would have been, and will not hold this against you. This way you avoid having a low score that may be averaged with your other LSAT score(s).
In 2006 the American Bar Association changed its rules requring law schools to use the average LSAT score in most cases. Beginning for fall 2007, if you have multiple LSAT scores, the UK Law Admissions Committee will consider only your highest score if that score appears to be a better predictor of your performance in law school than your average score. .
If you keep your score and it is lower than expected, evaluate whether you have time to retake the LSAT and what you can do to improve your preparation. If you did not finish a section, or did particularly poorly in one area, then refining your study techniques could result in enough of an improvement to make it worthwhile to retake the LSAT. If you used only commercial test materials and did not use any actual old LSATs, then you may want to purchase those from Law Services and prepare again – many students who use other prep materials do better on those sample tests than on actual LSAT questions. While many candidates who retake do not improve their LSAT score significantly, some candidates improve by ten points or better.
Finally, check out the admissions grid for the school or schools in which you are most interested, that indicates possibility of admission using LSATs and GPAs. To check out UK Law’s grid, click here. You may find that you are still in the range of candidates your preferred schools typically admit, even with a lower score than expected. If you are not, then you may need to retake the LSAT to be competitive for those schools, or rethink the schools to which you plan to apply.
     
Q.  How is the LSAT score used in the Admissions Process?
A.  The LSAT is the only standardized measure that law schools have to predict law school performance. Every student’s undergraduate record is different, even when students have the same major and attend the same undergraduate school. In fact, studies have shown that the LSAT is the best single predictor of first-year law school performance, while the best overall predictor of law school performance is a combination of the LSAT and undergraduate GPA. This is why so many schools use an index combining these two factors in the admissions process. While the LSAT is an important part of the admissions process for every law school, schools use the LSAT as only one factor to consider, along with undergraduate performance, writing skills, community involvement, leadership skills, obstacles overcome prior to law school, career achievements prior to law school, etc. In 2006 the American Bar Association changed its rules requring law schools to use the average LSAT score in most cases. Beginning for fall 2007, if you have multiple LSAT scores, the UK Law Admissions Committee will consider only your highest score if that score appears to be a better predictor of your performance in law school than your average score. .
     
Q.  How do law schools use the LSAT writing sample?
A.  Law schools vary in how carefully they review the LSAT writing sample, depending on their admissions process and the number of applications received. Some schools will compare the writing style in the sample to the personal statement to ensure that the same person wrote both. Many schools review the statement for an idea of how well you write under pressure – the same conditions under which you will be writing law school exams. To do well, think before you write (perhaps do a quick outline), use your clearest print (so that faculty reading your writing sample won’t worry that you’ll write messy exam answers), use short, declarative sentences to describe your reasons for picking one option over the other (it really doesn’t matter which) and make your answer two-sided by addressing not only why you picked one option but why you did not pick the other. Your LSAT writing sample will be reviewed most carefully by those law schools where your academic credentials place you in the possible, but not certain, admit category.
     
Q.  What is the LSDAS Report, and Why is it Important? What is the LSDAS report?
A.  Starting for Fall 2007 and at no charge to the candidate, the LSDAS Service will evaluate the credentials of any applicant who attended undergraduate school outside the U.S. or Canada for UK Law and other schools that have requested that service.
The LSDAS , or Law School Data Assembly Service, sends law schools a report with your LSAT score(s) and undergraduate transcript(s), and copies of transcripts for any graduate work or work at another law school if provided. The LSDAS report also includes a breakdown of your undergraduate record by semester and information about how your LSAT score(s) and undergraduate record(s) compare with other students from your degree-granting undergraduate school.
     
Q.  When should I register for LSDAS?
A.  You should register for LSDAS in the year that you will be applying to law schools. The service will last for five years (with payment of update fees), so if you decide to wait a year or two to apply you will still be in the LSDAS system. If you know that you will be applying to law school within the year that you take the LSAT, it is easiest to register for both at the same time. Most law schools, including UK Law, require that you register for LSDAS.
     

Q.  How do law schools receive my LSDAS report?
A.  When a law school receives your application, the school will then order your LSDAS report from Law Services. This means that, for example, if you have applied to five law schools but only paid LSDAS fees for four law school reports, then the first four schools that request your report will receive it and the fifth will not. The moral is, be sure to pay for as many law schools as you plan to apply to, and if you apply to additional schools you will need to pay additional LSDAS fees. Your report is sent out to the schools after you have a reportable LSAT score and your undergraduate transcripts have been received.
     

Q.  How can my LSDAS GPA differ from my college GPA?
A.  In order to be a consistent measure of performance from candidate to candidate, the LSDAS report includes all grades taken at all schools toward your undergraduate degree. This means that if you attended more than one college or university (or took summer school classes at another school or in a summer abroad program) those grades will be included in calculating your GPA, and not just the grades from your degree-granting institution. If you have opted for a retake option on a particular class (foe example, you flunked chemistry and then decided not to go to med school!) both the original grade and the retake grade will be included in your LSDAS GPA. And if your undergraduate GPA is not on a 4.0 scale, it will be converted to that scale for the LSDAS report.
     

Q.  Should I follow up on the status of my LSDAS report?
A.  Yes. You can check the status of your LSAC file online at http://www.LSAT.org (external website), “Online Services.” If you have requested transcripts from your undergraduate schools and they have not all been received by Law Services, then follow up to make sure the transcripts were sent. Law schools will not be able to act on your application for admission without an LSDAS report, so it is important to make sure your file is complete.
     

Q.  How do law schools evaluate my undergraduate performance?
A.  Law schools look very carefully at your undergraduate performance to determine how well prepared you are for law school, and to try to predict how well you will perform as a law student. Schools will consider the difficulty of your courses and major, the number of upper-level courses you took as an undergraduate, whether your GPA was at the same level throughout, improving or declining, whether two semesters in the wrong major pulled down your overall GPA, etc. etc. Law schools also note if a candidate had a large number of withdraws on a transcript, indicating that he or she may have been “shopping” for easier course work. A lower GPA in a more demanding major can be a better measure of your ability than a high GPA in a program that does not require the analytical ability or the reading and writing skills demanded in law school.
     

Q.  What if I am in a particularly hard program or major, and my grades reflect that?
A.  Some programs are more difficult on their face – molecular biology, for example–and require no explanation for a lower GPA. But if your degree is from a program known to be difficult at your particular college, but perhaps not in the world at large, be sure to include a letter of recommendation from a faculty member who can explain why your undergraduate work should be given particular weight, even if your grades are not as high as that law school generally admits.
     

Q.  What if I had one bad semester that really pulled down my GPA?
A.  Most law schools will see the breakdown by semester when they review the LSDAS report. But if you have particular reason for the bad semester (a personal problem, family illness, etc.) you should include a statement explaining what happened to your grades as an addendum to your application. Do not try to explain the problem in your personal statement, which should be reserved for positive information about you and what you can offer that law school (See FAQ on Personal Statements).
     

Q.  What if I attended a lot of undergraduate schools to obtain my degree?
A.  If you have attended more than two undergraduate schools (exclusive of summer abroad programs) and there is a reason for that (spouse in the military, etc.) then include an explanation as an addendum to your application. Faculty members reviewing your application may look askance at your transcript if you have moved from school to school and not included an explanation for that.
     

Q.  How do law schools evaluate post-graduate work?
A.  Law schools vary in the way that they evaluate studies after undergraduate school. Some will overlook a less-than-stellar undergraduate career if the candidate has done well more recently in graduate-level courses, even if not taken for a degree. Others will not give much weight to graduate courses unless a degree is obtained. At UK Law graduate work will be considered in the admissions process, but is not given the same weight as the undergraduate degree work.
     

Q.  What if I have already attended another law school?
A.  This needs to be fully disclosed in the admissions process and your reasons for leaving explained in full. You will probably be asked to provide law school transcripts and a letter from that school confirming your status there and reasons for leaving.
     

Q.  When should I update my LSDAS report, and how?
A.  LSAC sends the updates of your LSDAS report automatically whenever you retake the LSAT within the 12 months of your subscription, when they receive letters of recommendation for you if you are using the letter of recommendation service, or when you have your undergraduate school send in an updated transcript. If you register for LSDAS and have transcript sent before fall semester grades are recorded for your senior year, some law schools may request that you send in an updated transcript before reviewing your file. Others will leave that decision to you, so if your fall grades bring up your GPA, be sure to send in an updated transcript, and if not, well, then don’t.
     

Q.  What undergraduate GPA do I need to be competitive at UK Law?
A.  The median GPA for the entering class at UK Law has ranged from 3.44 – 3.64 over the past few years, with the 25th percentile GPA ranging from 3.24 – 3.37 and the 75th percentile GPA ranging from 3.68 – 3.85. Candidates with a GPA of 3.50 or better have the best chance of admission to UK Law, but because every GPA is different (every GPA reflects different colleges and majors, different course selections, different grade patterns, etc.) UK Law has accepted candidates with GPA’s all over the range. For more information, see the UK Law grid.

Q.  What Do I Need to Know About Law School Application Forms? Why are all law school applications different?
A.  Every law school has a unique mission and therefore a unique admissions process. The questions on each school’s application are important to that school and its admissions committee and should be answered whenever possible. If you are applying to a number of different schools and are finding the process of completing applications burdensome, consider using LSAC’s we-based application service that enables you to complete all the basic biographical information only once and have it inserted automatically in the application forms for all of your selected schools.
     

Q.  What are Character and Fitness questions and how should they be answered?
A.  Law schools are interested in each candidate’s “character and fitness” to practice law because new law graduates must pass the character and fitness requirements of a particular state’s Board of Bar Examiners before being permitted to sit for the bar examination. For that reason, law school applications ask about prior disciplinary proceedings in college, prior arrests or convictions, and other questions that bear on the candidate’s moral character, reputation for truthfulness, etc. When answering these questions, be as complete and accurate as you can, and take responsibility for any prior mistakes (don’t blame your friends for a DUI arrest or your professor for an academic disciplinary problem, for example). Keep in mind that when you are a third-year student, your law school will be providing your application to the bar authorities for the state where you have chosen to sit for the bar, and the bar will investigate any discrepancies between the character and fitness answers on your law school application and your bar application. Few acts you have committed will be serious enough to keep you out of law school, but a lack of candor on the application can be a very serious matter indeed when it is time to sit for the bar. And keep in mind your duty to update your application, both after it is submitted and during your time as a law student. Also, any attorney who tells you not to report something because it was expunged or for other reasons is giving you bad advice. In this process your candor in answering is more important than the answer in almost all cases.
     

Q.  Why do I have to sign my law school application?
A.  By signing your application, you are verifying that all the information given is true and correct. Because a lawyer’s word is expected to be his/her bond, this is another reason to give complete information in your answers to the character and fitness questions. Again, a copy of your signed application will be provided to the bar authorities at the appropriate time.

Q.  How Can I Write an Effective Personal Statement? Why do law schools require a personal statement?
A.  Because writing skills are key to your success as a law student and a lawyer, law schools want the opportunity to evaluate your skills at writing a piece of work that is expected to be well-edited and well-thought-out. Law schools also want to learn more about the personal qualities, values, goals, and aspirations of candidates to their schools, in order to enroll as interesting and diverse a class as possible. Few law schools have the staff to conduct personal interviews for all interested candidates, and so must use the personal statement to get some feel for the individual behind the application. Rather than dreading the personal statement as the most challenging part of the admissions process (which it is), try to think of it as your opportunity to present your best qualities to the admissions committee.
     

Q.  How long should my personal statement be?
A.  Your personal statement should be two, or at most three, typed pages. A statement that is too short does not give the Admissions Committee ample evidence of your writing skills and looks as though you are not serious about your application to that school. A personal statement that is too long is evidence that you do not know how to edit your work, and tries the patience of the Admissions Committee.
     

Q.  What pitfalls do I need to avoid in writing my personal statement?
A.  When writing your personal statement, keep in mind that your audience will be law school admissions staff and/or law faculty, all of whom do a significant amount of reading and writing and have pretty high standards. Mistakes in spelling, grammar and syntax are simply not acceptable. Do not use large words simply to impress the Admissions Committee if you do not have a good understanding of their proper context.
Your personal statement should be written in the first person, but avoid beginning every sentence with “I.” Steer clear of gimmicks–your statement may be read by a 50-year-old law professor who is not amused that you have written in the format of an LSAT test segment, put your statement on video, decorated your statement with computer graphics, etc. If you want to make your statement “stand out from the crowd,” do so with short, declarative sentences, well-structure paragraphs and an interesting topic, not with purple paper or a photograph of your pet.
A pitfall in the opposite direction is to play it so safe that there is no life in your statement. Remember, this is your opportunity to tell the admissions committee something about you that they will not learn elsewhere, and if your personal statement is just a recitation of your resume you have missed that opportunity.
Finally, remember your audience – law school faculty and administrators. Law faculty are not persuaded by “I learned more in my extracurricular activities than I ever learned in class” or “Varsity football was the most valuable part of my undergraduate education.” If admissions committees were made up of coaches that might be the right idea, but as it is…
     

Q.  How are the best personal statements written?
A.  The best personal statements resembled short, well-crafted college essays. Write about a person who really influenced your life, an incident that caused you to consider law school, an achievement of which you are particularly proud, a trip, community service opportunity, etc. that brought you out of your daily routine and made you think about your goals and values. Limiting your statement to a full description of one particular event or activity will make it more compelling than a laundry list of your every accomplishment (see above about not reciting your resume). And always remember to use perfect spelling, grammar and syntax, short declarative sentences and well-structured paragraphs.
It is always a good idea to have someone else read your statement to make sure that you have not glossed over any mistakes in reading your own work. In fact, I would recommend having someone read your statement who you know is a good writer, a friend who is an English major, a parent who does a lot of formal writing for their job, a professor you know well, etc. If you are still in school, check to see if your college or university has a writing center. The personnel there often have a lot of experience working with candidates preparing personal statements for graduate or professional school.
     

Q.  What if the law school asks that I write on a particular topic?
A.  If a school requests an essay on a particular topic or in answer to a particular question, be sure to do so. The Admissions Committee will certainly notice if your essay is not on point, and will assume that you are not particularly interested in their law school.
     

Q.  What if the law school lets me choose my own topic?
A.  If your essay written in response to one school’s particular question is not your best work, or is not what you would prefer to write about, don’t get lazy and use it for other schools, like UK, that let you choose your topic. In fact, it is often easy to tell when a candidate has submitted to your law school an essay that was written in response to another school’s particular question (an essay about conquering adversity by a candidate who has not really faced very much, for example). Instead, pick the topic that you believe will place you in the best light or tell the most about who you really are. And if you are applying to a variety of schools for a variety of reasons, your statement will add more to your file if you think about what to write to each school individually. Yes, it is a lot more work, but if you are applying to schools where you are a borderline candidate, the hard work may make the difference in whether you are admitted.
     

Q.  If I am applying electronically, should I draft my personal statement on-line?
A.  Schools  have found that too many applicants are composing their personal statements while on-line. The resulting products are usually too informally written, more like e-mails than essays, and many are rife with spelling and grammatical errors. If you are applying on-line, perfect your personal statement first, checking carefully for spelling, grammatical and other errors, and then copy or attach your statement into the on-line application.
The other on-line mistakes that candidates make are: To submit the application before it is complete; to submit the application without the listed attachments (such as your personal statement or resume); or to submit the on-line application but fail to mail in the signature page and/or application fee where required. For your application to be considered, you must be sure to complete every stage of the application process.
     

Q.  Should I use my personal statement to explain a problem with my application?
A.  If the application does not provide any other outlet for you to include explanations, you may want to explain any problems or gaps (a poor first semester, low first LSAT score, gap in your work history, etc. ) at the end of your personal statement. However, most law schools, including UK Law, will give you the opportunity to include addenda as well as a personal statement. Because the personal statement is meant to be a positive essay about you, it is better to include any negative information or explanation for a negative part of your file in a separate addendum.
     

Q.  What happens if I take my personal statement from the internet, or use an on-line service to write my personal statement, and the College of Law finds out?
A. If it appears to our Admissions Committee that you have not written your own personal statement, then you will not be admitted to UK Law and you may be reported to the Law School Admissions Council so that other law schools can be notified. If we discover after you have been admitted that your personal statement was ghost-written, your offer of admission will be rescinded and you may be reported to LSAC so that other law schools can be notified. If your deception is discovered after you have started law school, you may be cited for an honor code violation and your actions may be reported to the Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners, or the bar in any other state where you may plan to practice. It simply is not worth it to use a ghost-written or plagiarized personal statement. These usually sound “canned” and are not nearly as effective as your own words would have been. UK Law expects all candidates to write their own personal statements, with minimal editing by others.
     

Q.  How do law schools use the personal statement in the admissions process?
A.  The personal statement is a very important part of your application. Law faculty on the admissions committee have a keen interest in the writing skills of the candidates they admit; after all, they are the ones who will be reading your essay answers in the years to come. And because law schools are interested in enrolling classes that have diverse backgrounds, experiences, goals, etc., your personal statement is your opportunity to describe what unique skills or experience you would bring to the entering class. Your personal statement will be reviewed most carefully at those law schools where your academic credentials place you in the possible, but not certain, admit category. For those schools, your personal statement can be the difference between gaining admission or being denied.

Q.  How Can I Best Use Letters of Recommendation? How many letters of recommendation should I provide?
A.  Most law schools that require letters of recommendation will specify the number of letters they wish to receive, usually two or three. If the school asks for no more than a certain number, do NOT exceed that number for any reason. For those law schools such as UK Law that do not require letters of recommendation, you should still provide two or three to strengthen your application file. Four is probably the maximum number you should ever send. If you are applying to a law school where you know that your academic credentials make your admission unlikely, you will not gain admission simply by submitting a large number of recommendation letters: pick the two or three best recommenders and ask them to write on your behalf.
     

Q.  Who should write my letters of recommendation?
A.  If you are applying while still in undergraduate school, or just one or two years out of school, you should always include at least one, and if possible, two letters of recommendation from faculty who have had you in class. These letters tell law faculty on the admissions committee what they most want to know: what kind of student can I expect this candidate to be in my classroom? If you have been out of school for some time but employed in a career, you should include instead letters from employers or others who have known you in a professional context. If you are considering law school after a long hiatus from both school and the work force, you may want to consider enrolling for a couple of graduate school courses first. That way you can gain faculty recommenders for your application as well as some insight into whether you need additional preparation before entering the very challenging academic atmosphere of law school.
     

Q.  Which professors should I ask to write for me?
A.  The best recommenders are faculty who have had you in class, and particularly those for whose class you submitted a major piece of written work. While a professor that you know in another context may be a good supplemental recommendation (someone who has served as your academic advisor or as advisor to a student group in which you are active, for example), law faculty are most interested in your class work and writing skills, so focus on professors who know those well. Your best recommender may not be the professor from whom you received the best grades: a teacher who saw your work improve over two or more semesters, or for whom you repeated a course after a first, low grade may write a great letter for you, and help explain away one of the weaknesses in your file. If you are attending a large university where it is more difficult to get to know the faculty, take more than one class from professors you particularly like or do good work for, so that they will be in a position to write a detailed recommendation for you when the time comes. While it is best to use faculty who are tenured professors, you may use someone in a non-tenured instructor position for one of your letters.
     

Q.  When should I ask for recommendations?
A.  If you are entering your senior year of undergraduate school and know that you plan to apply to law school, ask faculty to write recommendations for you before the end of the fall semester. That way the faculty member has time during the exam period, over the semester break, etc. to write a careful letter on your behalf. If you wait until the beginning of the spring semester to aks for letters of recommendation, you will be catching professors at their busiest time and the letters may not be as carefully written, or may not be sent until late in the admissions process. Professional contacts should be asked to write letters early in the law school admissions process also, to make sure that they have time to write the best possible letter. If the law school requests or requires that the letters come directly from the recommenders, don’t worry about having the letters arrive before your application, all schools have procedures in place to hold the letters until your application arrives.
If you are entering your senior year of undergraduate school and plan to apply for law school at some time in the future, but not this year, you may still want to ask one or two faculty to write letters on your behalf now. They will probably write better letters for you now than they will in a year or two when your work is not as fresh in their minds. Save these letters and when you are ready to apply, provide them to the professors and request that they send updated versions to law schools or the LSAC letter of recommendation service.
     

Q.  What is the best way to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation?
A.  First, be sure to ask for the letter no later than the end of the fall semester of your senior year (see the above answer). If you are asking for a letter from a faculty member who currently has you in class, or who knows you very well, you may not need to provide any supporting information. If you are asking a professor who taught you in a prior semester, or who only knows you as one of a large class, be sure to provide some back-up. Make an appointment with the professor and bring along a copy of the paper you wrote for his/her class for which you received a high grade, or a list of his/her classes you have taken and in what semesters. You might also bring along a resume that outlines the other activities in which you have been involved. Your resume can help the professor write a rounded portrait of your achievements as a student. One caution, however, if you provide a resume to someone who finds these letters difficult to write, they may simply recite your resume in letter form, thus not adding as much to your admissions file.
     

Q.  Should I ask a recommender what they will say about me?
A.  By all means. While you shouldn’t ask for “prior script approval” you do need to know if they feel able to write a positive letter for you. This is particularly important if you are asking someone who you know has seen both your good and bad sides, a professor for whom you have done some good and some sloppy work, a work supervisor with whom you have had your share of run-ins, for example. Simply ask if they feel they can write a positive letter on your behalf. If the answer is a straight-out no, then go elsewhere. If the person hedges and says, “I don’t know if I’ll have time to write a detailed letter,” or “I don’t really remember your work that well” then you should also go elsewhere; they are trying to say no in a nice way.
     

Q.  What type of letters are not very helpful?
A.  Letters from people who do not know you well. Such letters can in fact be detrimental, if the Admissions Committee is given the impression that you believe a letter from someone well-known, or with ties to that school, will gain you admission when your academic credentials will not. State schools such as UK frequently receive letters from political figures who clearly do not know the candidate except as a voter from their district; these are no substitute for faculty or employer letters of recommendation. Of course, if a law school’s alumnus or a political figure knows you well or has served as your employer and can speak to your strengths and talents, then by all means ask them to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
     

Q.  How should I send in my letters of recommendation?
A. Having a general letter of recommendation sent by LSAC to all the schools where you are applying can save your recommender (and his/her staff) a great deal of time and effort. Also, you can use the LSAC letters of recommendation service to send individual letters targeted to particular law schools. You may want to send targeted letters because of who wrote the letter (an alumnus of that law school with an environmental law program from an environmental lawyer, for example). Some schools, including UK, still accept recommendation letters mailed directly to the law school as well as letters sent by LSAC, but many schools are now requiring that candidates use the LSAC service.
     

Q.  How do law schools use letters of recommendation in the admissions process?
A.  Law schools use letters of recommendation to get an outsider’s view of you and your talents, particularly those talents you will be using in the law classroom and those that bring a diverse element to their schools. The better a person knows you and can speak to your particular talents, the more useful their letter will be to the admissions committee. Your letters of recommendation will be read most carefully at those law schools where your academic credentials place you in the possible, but not certain, admit category. For those schools, your letters of recommendation can be the difference between gaining admission or being denied.

Q.  Where Should I Apply? To how many law schools should I apply?
A.  You are the best judge of how many schools you wish to consider. The general wisdom is to apply to at least one safety school (a law school where you are pretty certain of admission and that you would be willing to attend), two or three other schools in which you are interested, and where your academic credentials place you in the “probable” range for admission, and one or two “dream schools” that you would love to attend but where you may be a stretch for admission. However, if there is only one law school in which you are really interested, and your credentials give you a very strong chance of admission, you may want to save time and money and apply only to that school.
     

Q.  How can I tell if my credentials are in range for a particular law school or not?
A.  Every law school has published information on its LSAT/GPA medians, 25 – 75th percentile LSATs/GPAs and usually a grid indicating the number of candidates admitted or chances of admission with an LSAT and GPA in your range of credentials. A good source for this information is the LSAC/ABA Guide to U.S. Law Schools available from the Law School Admission Council web site or your college pre-law advisor.
Generally, your have a very strong chance of admission if both your LSAT and GPA are at or above a school’s published 75th percentile credentials, a good chance of admission if your LSAT and GPA are both at or above a school’s published medians and a difficult time gaining admission if both your LSAT and GPA are below that school’s 25th percentile credentials. If your credentials are mixed, that is your LSAT or GPA is at or above the school’s published median but the other is below the median, then you have a probable chance of admission that may depend on how that law school views the quality of your undergraduate preparation, writing skills, letters of recommendation, etc. A good reason to take the LSAT as early as you can be prepared is that you will be able to judge your chance of admission at various schools before you decide where to apply.
Even if your LSAT and GPA both are below the 25th percentile credentials of your dream school, you may still want to apply, because many factors are considered in the admissions process in addition to LSAT and GPA. Keep in mind, however, that the further your credentials are from a school’s published medians, the smaller your chances of gaining admission.
     

Q.  Should I use law school ratings in deciding where to apply?
A.  Ratings have become a popular way of judging value in all of higher education. Keep in mind, however, that the companies publishing ratings do so to make money. A ratings system that is static from year to year does not create news or make money for those who publish ratings. Do not decide where to apply looking only at published ratings and without doing your own research on individual schools. Having said that, it is true that most ratings are based at least in part on hard information about a particular school and that school’s reputation, and so can give you some help when deciding among the options that interest you after doing your own research on law schools.
     

Q.  Should I apply based upon a law school’s specialty programs?
A.  If you are absolutely certain of the area of law in which you plan to practice, or have a particular background that you plan to combine with your law degree, then it makes sense for you to consider schools that are strong in, or at least offer course work in, your chosen area. Keep in mind, however, that the J. D. is intended as a general degree, and you should take a broad range of courses in law school. Many law schools may offer the courses you need for a particular practice area without specifically designating that area as a specialty. Keep in mind also that many, many candidates change their minds about their practice areas of interest after taking law school courses or after their summer work experiences. Don’t choose a law school in which you would not otherwise be interested solely because they have designated a specialty program in the area where you currently think you would like to practice.

Q.  Is it an advantage to apply early?
A.  Not necessarily. Admissions is essentially a balancing act, in which the Admissions Committee weighs the good points and bad points of each candidate’s application. At the Committee’s early meetings, only those candidates with very strong admissions files (good LSAT and GPA, well-written personal statement, etc.) will be admitted. Those candidates who present particularly weak files will be denied admission at that point. Many candidates whose files are a mix of good news and bad will be placed on hold; that is, their file will be considered again later in the process when they can be compared with other applicants. In short, it is better to present a complete, well-prepared application later in the process than to race to submit a poorly-prepared application that could lead to an early deny.