The Ivy Coach Daily

May 6, 2020

Gap Years for MBA Students

Stanford GSB isn’t so flexible with respect to MBA students wishing to defer their admission.

In light of all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, many of our nation’s elite universities have assured this year’s batch of high school seniors that they can choose to take a gap year if they so wished. Our nation’s top MBA programs, however, have not all been as flexible with admits to their programs. As Patrick Thomas points out in a Wall Street Journal piece entitled “Top MBA Programs Split on Whether Accepted Students Can Skip the Fall,” “Business schools are weighing whether to allow admitted students to postpone enrollment by a year or two as colleges and universities across the U.S. grapple with whether and how to reopen campuses this fall.”

Some MBA Programs Are More Flexible with Deferrals Than Others

Columbia Business School and the Yale School of Management don’t currently have plans to change their deferral policies. Meanwhile, Harvard Business School has asserted that any student who wished to defer their admission would have that option. On the other end of the spectrum, the Stanford Graduate School of Business has issued no such declaration. In fact, Stanford GSB, which typically only allows students to defer their admission for military service or medical reasons, “will consider deferrals for students whose personal circumstances have been directly impacted by the coronavirus, such as a sick family member,” as Thomas reports. And at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, which has notified international applicants that they can apply for a deferral, has stated that “deferrals will be granted based on the needs of the class.”

Some MBA Programs Are Pushing Back Their Start Dates

Other MBA programs are pushing back their start dates. As Thomas writes, “Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business has opted to push back the start of its fall semester from July 27 to Sept. 8, a spokeswoman said. That should give all new students time to relocate and international students time to secure visas, she added. Virginia’s Darden School of Business is offering a delayed start option for a limited portion of its incoming class of 2022. The group will start first-year core classes in January 2021 and take classes into the summer.”

Surprised some MBA programs aren’t being more flexible? Hi, Stanford GSB! Remember when you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar? We do, we do. In any case, we encourage our readers to let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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