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Harvard Kicks Off MBA Application Season & European B-Schools On The Up

It’s another busy month for business school applicants! BusinessBecause tells you what you need to know

Mon May 13 2019

BusinessBecause is back again with another Applicant Bulletin.

This month, Harvard kicks off the MBA application season, European schools outperform the US, the price of the GMAT goes up, and rankings scandal continues.

First up: 

Admissions director, Chad Losee, has announced Harvard Business School's MBA application deadlines, kicking off the new application cycle for business school applicants around the world.

Like last year, there are two application rounds this time round, with due dates for round one on  September 4th 2019, and for round two on January 6th 2020. The Harvard application will open again in early June.

Harvard’s essay question is the same as in previous years, with no word limit. Harvard asks applicants:

As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA Program?

Applying to Harvard? Read our interview with Chad Losee, Harvard Business School's Admissions Chief


©Marcio Silva

Linda Abraham, experienced admissions consultant and founder of, shares a few valuable tips for MBA applicants attempting the Harvard MBA essay:

“Harvard sees the essay as an opportunity for applicants to tell their story and provide the information that they want HBS to know,” she explains.

“Applicants can go deeper into events discussed elsewhere or write about meaningful, influential experiences not discussed elsewhere. But under no circumstances should they merely repeat what's in their resume, transcript, or elsewhere in the application. The essays need to add value and complement other elements of the application.

“The lack of guidance as to length means that the essay becomes a valuable means to assess applicant judgment and communication skills too.”

International students shy away from US business schools

US business schools have previously dominated graduate management education. However, for the past few years, and more drastically the past two years, a change in the tide has seen a decline in international students flocking to the US.

According to a recent report by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), international interest in US programs has fallen from 48% to 40% since 2016.

Instead, international MBA-seekers are applying to Western Europe, with a 9% increase in applicants in the last two years.

Regardless of this shift, the US is still the more common choice for international students, but we’ll wait and see whether this change in study preferences continues.

Read our coverage here: Here's Why Applications To European Business Schools Are Booming


© Victoria Heath via Unsplash

GMAT price increase for test-takers in Europe

The fee for taking the GMAT exam in a European test center has increased by $35, making the price roughly $285. The increase, which came into effect on April 30th, allows for candidates to pay their GMAT fees in select local currencies.

“GMAC is localizing these changes in Europe due to the Eurozone providing a common currency across multiple countries, plus the precedent for cross-border test taking in the region,” says Vineet Chhabra, senior director and head of the GMAT product at the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

“Europe is a very active market for GME and we anticipate the local currency option and relaxed cancel/reschedule policies will add convenience for test takers.”

The locations affected by these changes include Austria, Italy, Malta, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and more.

Read: What's The Best Way To Start Your GMAT Test Prep?


Former Temple dean sues university over MBA rankings scandal

Moshe Porat, former Temple University Fox School of Business dean, has announced that he is suing the university and its president for $25 million.

Moshe claims he was unfairly blamed and made the scapegoat last year when it was exposed that the university had been submitting false ranking data to US News for several years.

In Moshe’s statement, he blames the university for falsifying the data and hiding facts from the public. He maintains that he had no knowledge of the inaccuracies presented.

Read our coverage here: Can You Trust MBA Rankings?



That's it for this month. Keep an eye out for the next Applicant Bulletin and discover the latest news to help your business school application.