MBAnalysis Blog: Columbia Business School and Rolling Admissions


And we’re off to the races…if you are applying to Columbia Business School; that is.

As of today, the CBS application is open, and as one of the few schools with rolling admissions, it also means that there is some advantage to applying before the deadline.

These dates for Columbia get pretty confusing, pretty quickly.

The online application is now available, and you can submit as soon as you would like. If you are applying for either Early Decision (ED) or to begin in January 2018 (J-term), your application is due October 4. Keep in mind that CBS ED is binding; so you are obligated to withdraw all other applications if you are admitted. If you are applying regular decision for an August 2018 entry, you must submit by January 5 if you would like to be considered for merit scholarships.

CBS uses rolling admissions which means they will review applications in the order they are received. So, needless to say, you want to get your application in as soon as possible so you will be at the front of the line when they start extending interview invitations. And, if you are applying for ED or J-term, the turn-around times from application submission to final decision typically run about four to six weeks. If you play your cards right, you could secure your seat at CBS before the end of July.

Columbia’s application review process is also a little nuanced. Applicants get credit for getting their applications in earlier. However, CBS will not review any regular decision applications until after the ED applications have been reviewed. So, perhaps you are a real go-getter and you submit your regular application by June 30; wow! Unfortunately, your application will be in a holding pattern until all of the Early Decision applications have been reviewed. So while, you get some credit for submitting so early, it is likely you won’t hear anything from CBS until around Thanksgiving.

So what to do? As I always say to my clients, “a good application beats a bad application, any time.” What I really mean by this is that the quality of the application is what will be most impactful for your candidacy; second only to that is when the application is submitted. Never hurry up to submit a bad application, it doesn’t make any sense. Rather, submit that great application as soon as you can but only as soon as you can, not before then.

So with regard to Columbia, submit the best application you can, but by all means as fast as you can. In other words, hurry up…to wait.