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Dec 12, 2019

Reapplying to Tuck

One of Tuck’s defining features is our small student body. 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 of 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 exactly the same as the first time you applied. We ask that you complete the application in its entirety, including all of 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 back 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 the optional essay to clarify your choice.  

If you can visit Tuck, consider coming to campus for an interview, even if you previously interviewed. The interview provides an opportunity for you to share your story and tell us in-person what you have done to strengthen your candidacy. We do understand that not everyone is able to come to campus for an interview. Do not worry if that is the case for you. If you are not able to schedule an applicant-initiated interview, we may ask you to interview (or re-interview) so that we can get to know you better. In some cases, we may consider a previous interview sufficient and we will not need to invite you for a reapplicant interview.

We’ve covered the process, now let’s discuss the content of your reapplication. Spend some time reflecting on your prior application and identify areas that you feel 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 nice. Demonstrate these four attributes in your reapplication.

Smart

Some applicants strengthen their candidacies by improving their GMAT/GRE results. There are no minimum scores required for admission, and we admit candidates with a wide range of scores. However, if your score is below our average, and/or you believe it does not reflect your academic aptitude, then you might want to 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 experience, 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 they will help set you up for success when you begin your MBA. 

Keep in mind that you demonstrate the Smart criterion not just through your test scores and GPA. We look for candidates who demonstrate a growth mindset. Show us how you exercise curiosity to seek out new perspectives, experiences, and challenges. Think about whether you have demonstrated those qualities in your essays and interview.

Accomplished

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/or community accomplishments that can be explained with greater clarity and/or 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 write an optional essay 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

Sometimes candidates can provide a more compelling explanation of their goals and/or how the Tuck MBA will help reach them. We hope you are ambitious about your long-term impact while remaining pragmatic about the short-term steps you need to take to get there. While we appreciate your enthusiasm and research about Tuck, we are more interested in your reflection about how Tuck aligns with your personal goals.

Work on articulating how your individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Focus on being yourself, and let your personality come through. We will see your professional and academic successes elsewhere in your application. We are counting on you to use your essays, interview, and reference letters to highlight who you are. 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 campus.

Nice

We look for evidence that you are invested not only in your own success but also in the success of others. Have you demonstrated that you support others while also thoughtfully challenging them? We encourage you to review our definition of this criterion and reflect on how you demonstrate these qualities in your application, essays and interview. We have shared some blog posts on this topic which you might find helpful.

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.