MBA admissions decisions: Good news? Bad news? No news?

This is the time of year when most business schools inform eager applicants about the outcome of their admissions campaigns. However, this is not the end. Regardless of the school’s decision, every applicant still has some very important work to do.

Good news: You’ve been admitted…

Congratulations! Your application, recommendations and interview have convinced the admissions committee that you’re fully qualified for enrollment. But there are two additional matters to address before you can be certain about matriculating. First, the school probably has a background verification firm reviewing your application, looking for any gaps, disconnects or possible fabrications. If you’re contacted by the firm to explain, verify or document any aspect of your candidacy, then your future enrollment is still in question. Even if you’ve been totally open and honest in your submission, there could be an inadvertent typo, vague description or missing detail that raises doubt. Given the high stakes, you may want to get professional guidance and support, such as CounterCheck ™ from The MBA Exchange, to successfully navigate the background verification.

Second, you should consider pursuing merit-based financial aid. If admitted without aid, you can and should ask for it before accepting admissions. Even if you’ve been offered admission with a monetary award, you can request and possibly receive thousands of additional dollars to help make your MBA education more affordable. The fact is that merit-based aid is often negotiable since schools don’t want to lose their admits. Considering the possibilities for a five-figure payout, getting expert advice from a service such as MBAMoney ™ could be a very wise investment.

Bad news: You’ve been denied…

Although it probably feels like your world has just collapsed, the truth is you still have positive options. Since business schools rarely if ever provide insight as to why a candidate has been rejected, if you’ve established a relationship with a senior admissions staff member – perhaps your interviewer – it can’t hurt to politely request some actionable feedback that could help you as a reapplicant. Furthermore, there may be another b-school that’s an equal or even better fit to which you can apply next round.

Working with a professional admissions consultant can help you optimize your candidacy and craft a stellar application faster than you think possible. Alternatively, if you’ve been denied, you can get a professional “ding analysis” of your application to help maximize your chances for future admission. Or perhaps this rejection prompts you to reconsider if an MBA education is really for you. One of the numerous specialized, non-MBA master’s degrees might be the ideal launch pad for your future. Or guidance from a savvy career advisor could help you examine, frame and pursue your professional goals without graduate-level education.

No news: You’ve been waitlisted…

By waitlisting your candidacy, a business school is telling you that your candidacy satisfies their basic admissions criteria but they’re saving currently available seats for other applicants who have been offered admission. These admits may or may not ultimately accept admission, which means you might get this open seat. The waitlist processed is immersed in uncertainty – you’re hoping that your candidacy will be selected – the sooner the better – versus others on the waitlist. And the school is hoping that, as they consider other applicants, you’ll wait patiently – perhaps even until August – for their final decision. So, what can, and should you do?

If you’re determined to gain admission to the target school, then launching a waitlist campaign is an immediate priority. Working with an experienced admissions consultant can help ensure compliance with the school’s waitlist policy while using strategies and tactics that have helped past waitlistees differentiate their profiles and gain admission.