Thank you to the over 170 people who participated
in this poll. Here are the results and our analysis.
(Note: This poll was conducted a couple of years ago
and a lot has changed since then!)
did you apply/How do you plan to apply to business school?
Views on the Online Applications
We have noticed a very strong
improvement over each of the last 3 years for the online
application forms. Two years ago, when we ran this poll
in 1999, we advised our clients to only use the online
applications offered by the schools, Multi-App, Embark,
and GradAdvantage if they did not more than very seldomly
encounter problems with emails and attachments. We found
that clients who sometimes sent us attachments that
came through as "goobledy gook" were the same ones that
had trouble with the online applications. Today, however,
we generally encourage all of our clients to use the
online applications. My how quickly this technology
seems to have matured!
Versus Paper Applications
this year, our clients had much more success with the
online versions and the business schools' servers did
a much better job of handling the large load of applications
that generally come in immediately prior to the admissions
deadlines. We have also found that the schools are very
understanding of the occasional formatting issues that
afflict their online applications.
schools are seeking out applicants who will thrive in
the new, high tech world. Their admissions committees
are more interested in seeking out candidates who are
technologically proficient than they are with candidates
who present very neatly-formatted applications. While
neat applications are helpful, you may note that the
Northwestern (Kellogg) application encouraged the use
of both sides of paper for the printing of essays. Hence,
the admissions directors are not overly concerned with
that it is only a matter of time before other high-profile
MBA programs join MIT (Sloan) in requiring their applicants
to complete online applications.
of Online Applications
school online systems
have indicated that these systems tend to be more unwieldy
and less user friendly than Embark, Multi-App, and GradAdvantage.
Fortunately, these schools tend to be extremely
understanding of formatting issues. Even more so than
the other online application systems, we strongly encourage
our clients to frequently save the work they have done
on these online application systems.
experience with the online application process is that
it takes too long because somewhere along the line the
browser locks up and you have to start all over again."
and poll respondents who have used both Embark and Multi-App,
Embark was slightly favored for its ease of use.
preferred Embark. Multi-App was slower and not as well
– PZ, Germany
"I have used
both Embark and Multi-App. Embark is clearly superior
and has much fewer bugs." – RS, USA
not without its supporters too and we have certainly
had many clients who have been satisfied with this online
Embark and Multi-App are both very good online
applications. I have no complaints about either one." –
This online application
service is currently only accepted by a small number
of MBA programs. Examples of some of these business
schools include: MIT (Sloan), William & Mary, and
Washington University (Olin). The company's website
claims that it will shortly be adding many more schools
including Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Cornell, Carnegie
Mellon, Rotterdam, Dartmouth (Tuck), and Columbia. GradAdvantage
was a choice presented to our poll respondents. However,
as can be seen from the poll results above, no one selected
this product. We have had a few clients use GradAdvantage
and we have yet to hear anything negative about its
online application process.
and Multi-App are no longer offering online application
services. Your choices a mere year after this poll was
published for online MBA applications are Embark and
the schools' proprietary online systems.
clearly favor the use of online applications over the
traditional paper ones. The use of reduced application
fees for those filing online signals the growing preference
of so many admissions committees.
Even with the
strides being made with the online systems, it is still
imperative to periodically back up your work even if
it means printing out the documents or copying and pasting
online text into a Word file. Witness the November 20
extension of Wharton's first application deadline –
due to the apparent crash of their online system and
the resulting loss of applicant data.
Very few clients
report problems with Embark. The admissions committees
are still not overly concerned with formatting due to
continued "bugs" in the on-line application process.
our poll periodically and we will continue to archive
the results of the previous polls so you can see how
other business school applicants voted on those topics
Do you have
an idea for a poll topic or any comments on our analysis?
Please email us
with your thoughts.
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