There have been several articles and posts recently about MBA applications being down this past year. We were, thankfully, one of the few schools that experienced an increase in applications (+7.6%), not just for Fall 2011, but the prior year as well. We saw increases from nearly all regions of the world, including the U.S. One of the factors that we attribute the increase to is the incredible engagement of our alumni and students. Across the U.S. and around the world, our alumni constantly offer to support our efforts to recruit great students. They offer to come back to campus to participate in recruiting events here. As a recent example, one of our investment banking alums emailed me early last week because he had heard that our diversity weekend was taking place that weekend. He offered to come out for it knowing that it would be helpful for us, and helpful for the prospective students. He's not an outlier. I have the good fortune to be part of a community where alumni say to me, "Tell me how I can help." I hear the same thing from our students as well. In the past week alone, three of our new MBA students emailed me wanting to ask how they could help with recruiting beyond volunteering to serve as Student Ambassadors. There's a deep passion for the school, and students and alumni want to pay it forward.
Getting down to business, next week is our Round 1 deadline (October 10, to be exact). We will be extending interview invitations in batches. The first batch will go out around October 24 and the second batch will go out around November 14. The batch in which you're invited is not an indication of how you stack up in the pool. We simply can't review all applications by October 24 to extend all interview invitations at once.
If you're planning to apply in Round 2 and haven't yet come for a campus visit, I encourage you to join us for our "Ross Empowering Women" on October 21 for perspectives about the Ross experience from our MBA women (it's open to women and men), or our next general preview day on November 4. If you can't make it to either of those events, please join us for our daily Visit in Person program (except on Fridays, since we don't have classes).
I wish all the Round 1 applicants the best as you put the finishing touches on your application. We're looking forward to getting to know all of you over the coming months.