Oct 08, 2023

Reapplying to Tuck

By Amy Mitson
Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Marketing

Among Tuck’s defining features is our size. The scale of our MBA program is critical to creating the immersive, collaborative, trust-based community and personalized experience for which Tuck is known. This means we must make difficult admissions decisions each round, and we cannot admit all the qualified candidates who apply. 

To those who are thinking about reapplying to Tuck: we commend your commitment to improving your candidacy. Here we’ll share what the reapplication process entails and what steps you can take to strengthen your application.

Before we dive in, please know that we view reapplicants positively. The fact that you remain enthusiastic about Tuck and want to contribute to our community shows us that you sincerely want to be here—we appreciate that! That said, strong reapplicants take action to strengthen their candidacy and go beyond simply resubmitting their previous application. 

What is the reapplication process? 

This might be the first question on your mind. Procedurally, applying as a reapplicant is almost the same as the previous time you applied. We ask that you complete the application in its entirety, including all the essays. Even if the essay prompts are comparable to those from previous years, we encourage you to reflect and rewrite your answers. Some of the content may be very similar, and yet you may recognize opportunities to revise or strengthen your responses. You will also write an additional reapplicant essay, explaining how you have strengthened your application overall. You may find our analysis of the admissions criteria below helpful when writing this essay. 

If you are applying in the year following your previous application, you will need to submit only one new letter of reference (LOR). We will refer to your prior application when we review your new one, including the two LORs you submitted previously. We ask that the new LOR be written by a reference who has not previously recommended you to Tuck and prefer to hear from a current or previous supervisor, indirect supervisor, client, or a senior colleague. If you’re not providing a LOR from your supervisor (current or previous one), we ask that you include an explanation in your application form to clarify your choice.

If you submit your application by one of our guaranteed interview deadlines you can also share your story and tell us about what you have done to strengthen your candidacy in your interview. We understand that not everyone can submit their complete application in time to qualify for a guaranteed interview. Don’t worry if this is true for you. We may offer you an invitational interview to get to know you better. If you interviewed in a prior year, we will have our notes from that interview, so we may or may not invite you for an additional interview.

We’ve covered the process; now let’s discuss the content of your reapplication. Spend time reflecting on your prior application and identifying areas you believe can be strengthened. To prompt your reflection, we encourage you to review our admissions criteria.

Tuck is looking for candidates who are smart, accomplished, aware, and encouraging. Demonstrate these four attributes in your reapplication.

Smart, curious, and engaged

Some applicants strengthen their candidacies by improving their GMAT/GRE results. There are no minimum scores required for admission, and we admit candidates across a wide range of scores. However, if your score is below our average, and/or you believe it does not reflect your academic aptitude, consider giving the exam another try. A higher score can make your application more competitive in our applicant pool. We encourage you to share new scores with us even if your score doesn’t improve when you retake it. We will appreciate and view positively that you recognized this area for improvement and were persistent in trying to increase your score. In addition to re-taking the GMAT/GRE, if you have had limited exposure to quantitative concepts in your education or work, you might consider taking classes on financial accounting, statistics, microeconomics, or finance. Taking supplemental courses is not a substitute for improving your score, and by itself is unlikely to strengthen your likelihood of admission; however, it may help set you up for success when you begin your MBA.

Keep in mind that you demonstrate the smart criterion not just through your grades and test scores. We look for candidates who demonstrate a growth mindset. Show us how you are curious, excited by challenges, and motivated to learn from others. Think about whether these qualities surface in your essays and interview.

Accomplished, impactful, and principled

Here we look for evidence that you are excellent at your job and impactful outside it. Some applicants may strengthen their candidacies by elevating professional impact and leadership experience. Other applicants may already have strong professional and community accomplishments that can be explained with greater clarity and context. If you believe that you sufficiently demonstrate the accomplished criterion, consider whether you clearly articulated your results and progression. If you changed jobs or have a gap between positions, did you explain those transitions? The application form provides opportunities to explain transitions and gaps, and you may also use the Optional Information section if you wish to expand further.

Finally, have you engaged with extracurricular activities at work or school, professional networking groups, community organizations, entrepreneurial ventures, or other meaningful personal pursuits? If yes, use the Activities and Awards section of your application, as well as your resume, to tell us about your level of involvement, your responsibilities, and the results you achieved.

Aware, ambitious, and purposeful

Sometimes candidates can provide a more compelling explanation of their goals and how the distinctive Tuck MBA will advance their aspirations to better the world through business. We hope you are ambitious about your long-term impact while remaining grounded in reality about the short-term steps you need to take to get there. While we appreciate enthusiasm and research about Tuck, we are more interested in your reflection about how Tuck aligns with your personal goals. Rather than simply providing a list of programs, classes, or names of students/alums with whom you have spoken, consider and share how Tuck will help you get where you want to be.

Spend time reflecting on who you are, and how your values and experiences have shaped your identity and character. Then tell us how your individuality adds to the fabric of the Tuck community. We will see your professional and academic successes elsewhere in your application. Your strongest application will paint a clear picture of the person who will show up here and demonstrate that you are prepared to bring your whole personal self to Tuck.

Encouraging, collaborative, and empathetic

We look for evidence that you invest not only in your own success but also actively celebrate and support others. Have you demonstrated that you work effectively with others while also tactfully and thoughtfully challenging them? We encourage you to review our definition of this criterion and reflect on how you demonstrate these qualities in your application.

As a reapplicant, you have the opportunity to gain additional professional experience and take on new responsibilities. You have more opportunities to lead and collaborate, challenge yourself, get involved, reflect, and grow. As a result, you may find that you are in a stronger position to contribute and thrive at Tuck. We hope you will view this additional time before you start your MBA positively.

We at Tuck appreciate and commend your commitment to improving your future candidacy, and we look forward to getting to know you even better in your next application.

Learn More About Reapplying to Tuck