Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Admissions Officer Survey Featured in Hispanic Outlook for Higher Education

Earlier this month, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education featured an in-depth look at Veritas Prep's first annual admissions officer survey. In the article, reporter A. Francesca Jenkins dug into the results and interviewed Scott Shrum about the implications of the study.

One important finding that the survey focuses on is the fact that MBA admissions officers were almost evenly split on whether the admissions process will become more or less complicated over time. This reflects the challenges that admissions officers face in managing an ever-growing pool of applicants, while also dealing with an increasingly competitive applicant pool. The former pushes the admissions process in the direction of more simplicity -- the more streamlined the process is, the easier it theoretically is to sort through applications -- while the latter pushes the process in the direction of more complication -- as applicants become savvier and savvier, admissions officers need more creative ways to separate the great applicants from the merely good ones.

We believe that whether a school keeps or drops an essay question is a terrific indicator of how well that question works for them. By "works" we mean how well it helps admissions officers tell one applicant from the next. The fact that some school have moved away from the traditional essay questions suggests that those questions have lost some of their effectiveness, as applicants have perhaps become savvier about answering them well.

If you are faced with answering a PowerPoint or audio question in your business school applications, the same rules still apply: Make sure that your real voice comes through, be sure to answer the question asked, and by all means, make sure that your answer is consistent with the overall themes you've built into your business school application.

You can read more about Veritas Prep's first annual admissions officer study here. To stay abreast of admissions news and trends, be sure to follow us on Twitter!