Good morning Kate,
I’ve seen your videos and Quora entries and they gave me good insight in the MBA application process. I hope I can get your valued opinion on my current situation.
I believe I’m close to getting an admit for Sloan MBA. My profile is good and my interview went well. Let’s assume I get in, what do you think of the following.
What are the chances that the school allows me to defer enrollment for one year given that I pay the non-refundable first year tuition fee? Sloan is my dream school and I won’t both applying elsewhere. The reason is that I’ve just been awarded a VP position in my financial firm and wish to take the next 12 months to suit into the role.
I know deferment is awarded case to case and it usually takes a family tragedy for it to be allowed. Would paying the non-refundable US$70,000 move the needle to a yes? That’s about my year’s salary so it’s a genuine cost to me.
Lee, excellent question. There’s not a single answer, but here are some thoughts.
- If you are otherwise light on work experience – for example only 2 years (doesn’t sound like it, but just in case) – they may be willing to look at another year as advantageous.
- If you already have 5-6 years of work experience, it’s hard to justify one more year particularly in a relatively similar role at the same company.
- If your job will change dramatically – for example you are going to now manage a large staff and you’ve previously not done that or your functional role will morph – there may be value in letting you defer.
I would expect that they’ll simply ask you to reapply to join the 2021 class if you are not willing to join the 2020 class. Payment or no payment.
MIT is not as hard-nosed as some other programs, but it’s a small cohort. They choose you guys very intentionally. If they really like you, they will take the deposit and allow the deferral. If they liked you enough to admit, but not THAT much, expect to be asked to reapply when you’re ready to join a future class. Likelihood of success with a reapplication (I would think for you) would be high. It’s not the worst choice if you really think you need another 18-20 months of work before your MBA starts. Otherwise, focus on the next 8 months you do already have in the new position. Make those count and start with the class you’ve been admitted to.
Thank you Kate.
That’s a very good response. I appreciate the time you took to write it out.
My plan is as follows. I’ll email the adcoms to schedule an appointment with Sloan’s Director of Admissions, Dawna Levenson, and show up in person to present my case. I heard a personal touch can help.
They chose me so that’s the least I could do.
If I read that correctly, you’re in! Great!!
Yes, if you can arrive in person to chat, that is far, far better. Do consider what you’ll really be able to do with an extra year of work, optimistically and realistically. If it involves managing people, share that. If it means exposure to very different functional areas, share that. Basically, please prepare your case from the stand point of what more you will be able to bring your class if you are allowed to defer. What you can bring your classmates, not just what benefits you.
Congratulations on the accept! Let me know what happens with the deferral.
MIT says Wait List. Slightly disappointed as I’m not good enough. Slightly okay as I’m quite excited for my VP responsibilities. Still, I would like to take that extra step to resolve my unique situation: turning a Wait List to a Deferment.
I understand that being on the Wait List means I good enough but there aren’t enough spaces. So help me by acting as an admission director. What would you do with this candidate?
He’s Wait Listed. He personally shows up in your office. Tells you that he is rising up in the ranks in the corporate world. Puts down first year tuition fee as a sign of his commitment to enroll two years later, at which he will have 7 years of working experience (I know it’s on the high side) and be able to positively contribute to class discussions.
Would you turn his Wait List into a Deferment?
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