Effect of Covid-19 on MBA Applications in 2020

We are in an unprecedented situation, one that our generation had not ever imagined we will endure. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing our thoughts, opinions, and advice for MBA aspirants who are planning to apply to Business schools this year. While we believe that there will definitely be turmoil, an MBA could provide a great buffer to tide over this period of economic uncertainty, and could help you come out on top on the other side.

As things stand most top B-schools across the globe have closed down and students have been sent home. Most remaining classes will be taking place online and those events/initiatives which can be moved online will be.

If you were planning to apply this year for 2021 intake, here is a quick snapshot of some of the issues that might affect you:

1. Testing suspended
ETS & GMAC, the organizations administering the GRE & GMAT respectively, have closed down most testing centers in the wake of Covid-19. Further, they haven’t really indicated when, and if, they will resume testing.

GMAC & ETS have since announced that they will be rolling out online versions of the exams, which will be proctored remotely, by the end of April 2020. Given that it’ll be online, dates shouldn’t be a problem and this should not significantly hamper your plans. Currently, these aren’t available in all countries, with Europe, US and affected Asian nations being given priority.

2. Visas
As with the testing centers, most US Consulates/Embassies are closed at the moment with no re-opening in sight. Without these functioning, it may be tough for students planning to start their MBA in 2020 to get their Visas in time. We are hopeful that this situation will resolve in time for those set to start their MBA in 2020 and surely if you’re planning to start in 2021.

3. Deadline extension
Given the economic turmoil earlier this year, and now COVID-19 hysteria, most top schools have extended their Round 3 deadlines to allow more prospective students to apply. In addition, we believe that the chances of conversion in this cycle might actually be higher given that a lot of people won’t apply or would have deferred their admission. If you have your score and want to try punching above your weight, a R3 application might work in your favour.

4. Economic uncertainty
Typically, the world takes 18-24 months to come out of the effects of a global recession. This isn’t great news for the students graduating this year or the next. But we believe that this would actually work in favour of the students who have admits for 2020 or were planning to apply this year, as you get a full two years to let the world heal. By the time you are ready to graduate, things should be close to the level we were at before it all went south.

So in summary, the situation we are in is definitely less than ideal, especially for students graduating this year. But if you plan to apply this year, you should treat it as “business as usual”.

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