How We Evaluate

When you apply to Tuck, you trust the Admissions Committee to carefully and thoughtfully evaluate your application. In turn, you deserve to know how our team evaluates your materials. We share the snapshot below to offer insight into our evaluation efforts. Please note that Tuck reserves the discretion to refine its processes at any time.


Getting Started

The Admissions Committee (“Committee”) consists of 10-12 trained staff professionals. Approximately half are full-time admissions officers. The other half are trained part-time enrollment managers who work during the admissions season. We select and train approximately 45 second-year Tuck student interviewers, who have access to your resume. Students and faculty do not see your full applications and do not serve on the Committee.

The Committee reviews applications in three rounds. If you apply prior to the deadline for your application round, we may begin reviewing your application soon after it has been received. While we may review early submissions first, your submission date affects neither your chances of admission nor your admissions decision notification date.

If your submitted application is missing materials, we will contact you. Some missing materials (such as a transcript or resume that did not upload correctly) may be added in time for review with your application round. Late materials (such as Letters of Reference) may require your application to be moved to the next round. If you do not hear from us regarding missing or late materials, you can assume your application is complete and ready for review.

Evaluation Reader Sheet

As we review your application, we record notes in an online reader sheet. Our reader sheet includes four open-ended text boxes that correspond to each of our four admissions criteria: smart, accomplished, aware, and encouraging. The reader reviews your application materials in their entirety, records evidence of our four criteria, synthesizes your candidacy in a brief paragraph, and recommends an admissions decision: admit, deny, waitlist, or discuss in Committee.

Our reader sheet has no numerical ratings. We do not score you on our criteria, nor do we assign a number or weight to any of your application materials. The strengths, talents, and abilities that emerge in your application cannot be reduced to a number. We do not rank applications. There are no minimum metrics (such as test scores, grades, or years of work experience) that are required for admission consideration. 

First and Second Review

We begin our review by randomly assigning your application to a Committee member who conducts a first read.

The first reader reviews your application; recommends an admissions decision of admit, deny, waitlist, or discuss in Committee; and determines if we will invite you for an interview. Note that we will invite all applicants to interview who apply by our guaranteed interview deadline. We send interview invitations on a rolling basis throughout the evaluation period. While we send most invitations at least 1-2 weeks before releasing admissions decisions, it is possible to be invited days prior to the decision notification date. Once your interviewer submits the interview evaluation, we assign a second read. A first reader who decides not to send an interview invitation may request a second read but typically sends your application directly to the Director of Admissions, Evaluation & Yield (“Director”) for review. 

If a second read is assigned, the second reader reviews your entire application and the first reader’s evaluation notes, and then completes a second reader sheet and recommends an admissions decision. The second reader’s recommendation may be the same or different from the first reader’s recommendation. The second reader then sends your application to the Director for review. 

Director’s Review

The Director reviews every application regardless of the first and second readers’ recommendations. If additional consideration is warranted, the Director may call for an interview, a second read, a third read, a supplementary English evaluation, or additional input from Tuck colleagues (such as MBA Program Office or Career Services staff colleagues). Otherwise, the Director reviews your application along with all reader and interviewer notes, completes an abbreviated online reader sheet, and with the Executive Director of Admissions & Financial Aid makes an admissions decision: admit, waitlist, deny, or discuss in Committee.

Applications designated as admit, waitlist, and deny bypass Committee discussion. Applications designated for Committee are those for which an admissions decision is not clear. For example, all readers may have recommended discussion by Committee, readers may have recommended varying admissions decisions, or there may be a specific element of the application that warrants group deliberation. The number of applications discussed varies by round depending on the quantity and quality of the applicant pool.

Committee Review

The Committee convenes once per round, typically one week before admissions decisions are released. The length varies by round depending on the volume of applications to discuss; some discussions last several hours, while others require several days. Admissions Committee members take turns presenting each application, one by one, and the group deliberates on each to reach a final decision of admit, waitlist, or deny. There is no time limit for discussing an application; the Committee takes as much time as necessary to deliberate and reach a decision. 

After Committee concludes, we spend several days preparing to release all decisions. If you will be admitted, we review your profile to determine if you require additional preparation such as our pre-enrollment program or quantitative classes. We identify alumni and students to help welcome you to Tuck. The Scholarship Committee convenes to award discretionary scholarships with the purpose of enrolling outstanding students who, absent funding, might not attend Tuck.

Waitlist Review

In Rounds 2 and 3, the Director and Executive Director reconsider each waitlisted application and may elect to admit, deny, or discuss in Committee. The Committee may revisit an application that was discussed in a previous round. After Round 3, the Director and Executive Director periodically reconsider candidates remaining on the waitlist. We do not rank candidates on the waitlist at any time. Waitlist decisions change as we learn more about the quantity and quality of our applicant pool in each subsequent round.

Class Composition

Selective admissions with a fixed class size is necessarily subjective and comparative. While every application stands on its own, some discussions do include comparisons among applicants, especially as we near our target class size. We monitor our class composition throughout the year, and yet our final class size is our only fixed numerical target. The outcome of your application depends on its relative strength in the applicant pool; we do not impose caps on country, industry, employer, demographic, etc. Our class composition changes each year as the quantity and quality of our applicant pool shifts.

Community Support

Some applications receive additional support from a member of the Tuck community. We welcome the input of our community members, and we add all supplementary notes to our application records. Note that we offer admission to candidates who most strongly demonstrate our four criteria, not to those with the greatest volume of support. In some cases, we may elect to review notes of support for applicants with senior leadership of the Tuck School.

Decision Communications

We officially communicate all decisions via the application portal. The Committee may also personally contact admitted applicants to share the good news.

Each of us appreciates the trust and faith you place in us to evaluate your candidacy. We enjoy getting to know you better through your application, and we take great care to conduct our assessment with fairness, equity, humanity, and positivity. We’re proud of our open and transparent admissions process, and we hope this direct insight into our evaluation process prepares you to apply to Tuck with greater confidence and enthusiasm!