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Impacts of Coronavirus on MBA Admission in the Top USA B-Schools

As the world is hit by a global pandemic COVID-19, there has been a substantial impact observed on education abroad. Though studying MBA in USA is the dream of millions, the current updated F1 visa status for 2020, has made it difficult for aspirants to look ahead of time. Like most of the things in the world, coronavirus has also affected MBA admissions processes and policies with business schools in the USA.

The three major ways in which coronavirus has impacted MBA in the USA are changed deadlines, mode of instruction (hybrid or online), and exam requirements. With recent changes in the GMAT examination, B-schools observed various changes in the practices of accepting the exams, and other policies. 

Impact of Coronavirus on MBA Admission in US B-Schools?

In relation to the safety guidelines, the university officials are also modifying their admission policies. the major modifications till date are:

  • Accepting application within the deadlines without competitive exam score: GMAT or GRE
  • Accepting admissions without Language proficiency exam scores: IELTS or TOEFL
  • Accepting the scores of the online alternatives of these tests. 
  • Permitting the candidates to submit the scores after the deadlines.
  • Adding another round and accepting the applications after the deadlines on a rolling basis to fill the vacant seats.
  • Delaying the review and evaluation until the test scores are submitted.
  • Replacing in-person interviews with virtual interviews.
  • Delaying the start date of the classes. 
  • Restricting the on-campus population (only 60-70% will be allowed) after reopen.
  • Following the safety rules inside the campus. 
  • Making a hybrid format (online and offline) classes mandatory.

Impact of Coronavirus on Top B-Schools in USA Admissions

The impacts of Coronavirus on MBA Admission in the Top USA B-Schools are specified below: 

Name of the B-schoolDeadline and Procedural Changes due to COVID-19Other Impacts due to COVID-19Average GMAT Score of 2019
Harvard Business School Deadlines were not affected. The decisions for 2+2 programs will be released on 28 July 2020. 
Waiting list is expected to be longer. . 
Wharton School at University of PennsylvaniaApplications without the standardized scores are accepted.
Deadlines remain the same. 
MBA fall’20 and the pre-term of 2022 will be held virtually.
From September 1 campus will open with social distancing . 
Stanford Graduate School of Business No changes in the deadline as of now. On-campus information sessions and class visits all are paused. 737 
Sloan School of ManagementThe deadlines for interviews via Skype are extended until June 2. Final decisions will be released by July 15.724
Columbia Business School No Changes in the deadlines. Admission interviews will be conducted via AdCom.
Deferrals will not be accepted apart from the military vets. 
Chicago Booth School of BusinessNo changes in the deadlines of the MBA. EMBA programs are delayed until Autumn 2020.726
Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern UniversityDeadlines and application processes remain the same. The date of making the decision is pushed back to July 29. 724
Haas School of Business No Changes in the application process or deadlines. The on-campus start date of EMBA is moved to August 2020.717
Yale School of ManagementDeadlines are the same but candidates will be admitted on a rolling basis after the deadline if seats are vacant. The on-campus activities are to be resumed by July, a particular percentage of candidates will be allowed. 730
Dartmouth Tuck School of BusinessThere will be no change for MBA admissions of 2022. A rolling Round 4 will be introduced for the candidates. 717
Duke University - Fuqua School of BusinessOrientation for daytime MBA will start from August 2020Decisions of deferrals will be released by July. 
The classes for Daytime MBA will start on 3rd September. 
Darden School of BusinessThe deadline for the round 3 application is extended till July 15. Candidates can use ACT and SAT scores for MBA admission. 712
SC Johnson School of Management No deadline or procedural changes as of now. Candidates unable to submit their test scores by the deadline of June 30, applications will be transferred to the next session.
ACT and SAT scores will also be accepted. 
University of Michigan - Ross School of BusinessThere is no deadline or procedural change.The application for Fall 2021 will start on 1st August.732
UCLA - Anderson School of ManagementDeadlines are the same for all the programs. The final decisions on enrollment after the applications with test scores are received (6th July is the assumed date). 
After that decisions will be made on a rolling basis. 
Tepper School of Business of Carnegie Mellon University Fees will be excused for the MBA application till July 31. Deadlines remain the same. Attending Tepper Mathematics Prep course, Math Skills Workshop, and a minimum of 3.0 GPA are mandatory for the candidates without GRE/GMAT scores. 730
McCombs School of Business - University of Texas AustinAn additional round to fill the vacant seats introduced. The decisions of Round 4 applications will be released on July 17 for EMBA.
For evening MBA classes of 2021, round 3 application deadline August 4. 
McDonough School of Business of Georgetown University Deadlines will remain the same, but decisions will be released only after the scores of standardized tests received. The start date for the fall semester will be September 8. 692
Kelly School of Business - Indiana University The deadline for the Kelley Direct Online MBA Program has been extended to July 15. 
The deadline for the Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program has extended until August 1. 
Before Mid-August or start of September, it will not be possible to start the classes. 678
Jones Graduate School of Business – Rice University Deadlines remain unchanged. Rolling basis admission for this session. 706
Scheller College of Business Georgia Institute of Technology If seats are available for EMBA, there will be an additional round with a deadline on July 13. Recently laid off candidates (due to COVID-19) can also apply for MBA. 
After the deadline, the review will be done on a rolling basis for the full-time MBA program.
Mendoza College of Business - Notre DameRolling basis admission will start from June 15 for the vacant seats. The program orientation date will be 10th August and classes will start on 17th August. 671
St. Louis Olin Business School of Washington University The deadlines for submitting test scores are July 2020. Decisions will be released for fall by 31st July. 
The start date of full-time MBA extended till September 14. 

The impacts of Coronavirus on MBA Admission in the Top B-Schools in USA did not affect admission deadlines for most but the universities permitted the candidates to complete their applications without the test-scores as the centers were closed initially. Final decisions regarding the enrolment are on hold until the candidates can submit the score of relevant exams or their online alternatives, such as GMAT at home

Impact of Coronavirus on other B-schools of USA

Apart from the top B-schools of the US, MBA admission policies for the majority of other B-Schools in USA also observed certain changes. These majorly included change in the deadline for admissions for round 3 and round 4 as well as leniency towards competitive exam scores.

As the test centers are now closed and all the candidates cannot make the arrangements for the at-home alternatives of GMAT, GRE, IELTS, and TOEFL, the dates of releasing decisions and orientation are delayed. Scores of alternative exams are also accepted in some of the B-Schools. 

US B-schools Accepting Alternative Exams Scores

  • Smeal College of Business – Pennsylvania State University will accept LSAT and MCAT scores for fall 2020 MBA admissions. 
  • In the School of Business - University of Wisconsin, candidates with 5+ years of work experience and GPA of 3.3 are eligible for waiver of GMAT or GRE scores for MBA admission. Candidates having a terminal degree in JD, MD or Ph.D. are also eligible to waiver of GMAT or GRE scores. 
  • Simon Business School – University of Rochester accepts the application with a 3.2 GPA. There will be a facility of waiving application fee of $90.
  • Carlson School of Management– University of Minnesota too announced their plans of broadening their plans to ensure more flexibility in terms of test scores. 
  • The scores of Duolingo English Test are accepted in Katz Graduate School of Business – University of Pittsburgh. 
  • The same is applicable to Whitman School of Management – Syracuse University and Saunders College of Business – Rochester Institute of Technology
  • In Lehigh University, the score of at-home TOEFL or Duolingo is also acceptable for full-time 1-MBA, part-time FLEX MBA programs, economics, and business programs. 
  • Haslam College of Business of University of Tennessee-Knoxville will begin the evaluation without test scores. 

Score Waivers

The score waiver policies of the US B-schools differ from each other; however, almost all the B-schools have announced the score waivers for this pandemic situation this year. In a few B-schools, the score waiver policy is still under review, these are Gabelli School of Business of Fordham University, College of Business of Auburn University Harbert, and George Washington University School of Business. 

Application Fee Consideration

Several B-schools of the US have announced their plans to waive the application fees for MBA admission. Simon Business School – the University of Rochester announced waiving off application fee of $90. Tippie College of Business - University of Iowa too announced the same. it is mentioned that GMAT and GRE scores will not be needed for waiving the application fees. 

Rutgers Business School announced that the application fee for the MBA program may be waived and merit scholarships can be offered to qualified applicants.

Extension of Deadlines at US B-schools due to Coronavirus

Certain B-schools in the US either included an additional round or delayed the admission deadlines for their previous round for MBA admissions. Some of the popular B-schools to have made these changes are listed below:

  • Cox School of Business – Southern Methodist University has extended the deadline for the fall 2020 MBA application until August 2. 
  • Terry College of Business – University of Georgia has added Round 5 with a deadline of August 5.
  • University of North Carolina-Charlotte – Belk College of Business, GMAT and GRE scores needed to be submitted by August 1. 
  • In St. John’s Tobin College of Business,  applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until August for the on-campus and online MBA.

Other Considerations in terms of MBA Admissions

As the standardized test scores are missing in most of the applications, the B-schools of the US are considering other factors like work experience, and existing academic records during the review process. Smith School of Business – University of Maryland will consider academic history, work experience, and industry certifications for admission. 

To sum up, it will not be wrong to claim that the impacts of COVID-19 on the MBA admissions process and policies of US B-Schools ensure a bit of flexibility to the candidates by accepting alternative test scores and delaying the start date of the on-campus classes. 

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