By Megan Overbay, former Director of Admissions.
This is a common question from applicants, as Fuqua is one of the few schools offering an Early Action application option. It is an incredible opportunity to clearly communicate your commitment to Fuqua and to confirm early in the application cycle — perhaps before you submit applications to any other programs you may be considering — your plans for next year. It is compelling, to know so soon, but it is only the right choice for some applicants. The best way to figure out whether you are one of them is to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Have you done deep research into MBA programs, including speaking to alumni and current students?
In applying during the Early Action round, you are committing to attend Fuqua if admitted, including withdrawing any applications to other programs and paying the $3,000 tuition deposit within a few weeks of admission. You should, therefore, feel absolutely confident based on your research about programs and connecting with members of the Fuqua community, that Fuqua is where you belong for the next two years, and for a lifetime as an alumnus/a.
2. Will you be able to put together your best application by the September 19, 2012, deadline?
The golden rule for application timing: Apply as early as possible without compromising the quality of your application. The critical piece here is the quality of your application. Only you can know how much time you need to allocate to complete standardized tests, to write and rewrite your essays (possibly multiple times, depending on how you approach writing), to request official transcript(s), and to give your recommenders sufficient time to put together an exceptional representation of your contributions. You want to put your very best foot forward, so make sure you have plenty of time to do that.
3. If you live in the United States, with the exception of the West Coast, will you be able to come to Durham to complete your interview between September 10 and October 16, 2012? (Review our campus visit registration system to check available dates and times – they go fast!)
Fuqua’s interview process has changed slightly this year. All Early Action applicants living in the U.S., with the exception of the West Coast, are required to come to campus to complete their interviews during the Open Interview Period (September 10 – October 16, 2012)
Your interview does NOT need to be completed prior to the application deadline on September 19, but you must interview by the close of the Open Interview Period on October 16.
If you live on the West Coast or internationally, we encourage you to visit Durham during the Open Interview Period to complete your interview if it is feasible for you to travel to Durham. We understand that traveling this distance may not be a viable option. In these cases, if you live on the West Coast or internationally, your application will be reviewed after the Early Action application deadline, and some of you will be invited to interview with our alumni in a location closer to your home (you will be able to select an interview location in your online application) between October 11 – 16.
4. Is your decision about which school to attend independent of merit scholarship awards?
It is a common misconception that scholarships are not awarded during Early Action. This is absolutely not true – scholarship decisions are made consistently at Duke, regardless of the round in which you apply. Getting a merit scholarship is competitive, though. If a generous scholarship offer from another school would weigh heavily on your decision to come to Fuqua, then you are not yet ready to commit to Early Action.
5. Is Fuqua unequivocally your top choice?
Can you see yourself at Fuqua? Will you flourish in our rigorous, collaborative, student-initiative-driven culture? Do you aspire to make the places that you live and work better?
If you answered “yes” to all 5 of the above questions, then Early Action is absolutely the right option for you! I encourage you to reach out to our office (email@example.com) for any guidance needed as you prepare your application, and to closely monitor this blog for additional tips and insights.