MBA Round 3 Applications: Is it Wise for International Candidates?

MBA Round 3 Applications

Top-tier business schools’ rigidity, especially in Round 3, worries international candidates. MBA Round 3 Applications feel like Hail Mary passes, often desperate and unlikely to succeed. Especially when it comes to international candidates, it becomes incredibly difficult to make your mark in Round 3. 

In their final rounds, schools fill up by Round 2, aiming for diversity. Round 3 remains open, inviting applications. Schools need to fill final seats.

When applying in Round 3 MBA applications, ensure you give your best shot for those final seats! Moreover, to provide reassurance, here is an example of one of our candidates who successfully secured a spot at INSEAD in Round 3 with a 670 GMAT score. Additionally, this candidate was pursuing her second MBA and had a two-year gap in her profile. However, what truly helped her secure one of those final seats was, as cliché as it may sound, the power of her story!

This article will explore international candidate prospects in Round 3 MBA applications. We’ll list schools with favorable acceptance rates and discuss strategies to enhance your chances at your dream schools. 


Business schools reserve a few seats for diverse and exceptional candidates. They seek plausible reasons for applying in Round 3. They prioritize candidates serious about pursuing an MBA.

What kind of competition can you expect in Round 3?

 There are mainly two kinds of candidates applying for round 3

Extraordinary candidates, previously dinged from M7 schools due to industry uncertainty and fierce competition, now apply to T10 or T15 MBA programs in Round 3, unwilling to wait for the next year.

If you get rejected from one business school, it’s fine to reapply elsewhere. However, this process requires considerable time and effort. You should revisit your profile, review your essays, and seek advice from experts to pinpoint areas for improvement.

 When there is a sudden change in profession or a move to another country.

 There are a lot of candidates who have a sudden shift in their profession. Amid the Covid pandemic, many face job loss and consider pursuing an MBA. If rounds 1 and 2 are missed, Round 3 offers opportunities. Ensure your profile stands out and diversifies from earlier applicants. Connect with alumni, current students to understand and enhance diversity in Round 3 applications.


 There are some obstacles in Round 3 which can be faced by you if you are an international candidate.

Want to pursue an MBA but not sure if your profile fits?

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As we all recognize, Round 3 is a tricky one for all. Most US MBA programs discourage international candidates from applying in Round 3 due to visa issues as these programs do not want to admit any of the candidates who might be unable to attend the fall due to visa issues.

However, if you are committed to US MBA programs and want to apply in round 3, try to  have access to the following:

1. You have permanent citizenship in the U.S.

2. A resident of Canada or Bermuda who may not need a student visa.

3. You have other circumstances that will ensure the speedy issuance of your visa.

If you have access to any of these, bring this to the notice of adcoms so that they do not hesitate to invite you to interviews for Round 3.


For international applicants in Round 3 MBA applications, your region matters. If schools already admitted many from your region, a solid profile is crucial for consideration.

Among the top business schools NYU Stern, Ross and Tuck have a strong admission rate for round 3. Moreover, INSEAD and LBS allocate more spots in round 3. They offer four rounds, and several European schools have up to six. You may still qualify. Check schools’ Round 3 MBA deadlines for favorable chances.


SchoolRound 3 MBA Acceptance Rates
Johnson (Cornell University)37.5%
McCombs (University of Texas)28%
Kenan-Flagler (University of North Carolina)52%
Goizueta (Emory)24%
McDonough (Georgetown)32%
Kelley (Indiana University)34%
Olin (Washington University)28%
Carey (Arizona State University)37%
Owen (Vanderbilt University)45%

*The following statistics are the average acceptance rate for 2014-2018 taken from the GMAT Club.


The first and foremost aspect that business schools look at in your application is your “intentionality” for the school. Adcoms should know why are you applying to their schools and how your profile is relevant to your goals and their schools.

Here is the blueprint to ensure that your Round 3 MBA application is strong among the pool of applicants:

Show how different your story is– If you are applying for Round 3 MBA applications, then, your story needs to be outstanding and different. In round 3, b-schools are searching for applicants that can bring diversity to the incoming cohort. Dig in deep to find your USPs and show how unique you are and how you can make a contribution to their community.

Explain why you have applied in Round 3– You must provide reasons for your MBA application in Round 3. You may be asked this question in an interview, so it is best that you clarify it in an optional essay so that the adcoms do not disqualify you at the first phase only! They need to know that you’re seriously considering their schools and do not have any blocks now.

Highlight your work experience -To bolster your Round 3 MBA application, thoroughly highlight your work experience, which stands as its most crucial component. It’s imperative that you showcase the difficulties you’ve encountered, how you overcame them, and your contributions to your organization’s growth. Moreover, pinpoint the pain points from your experience and effectively tie them to the core values of your target schools

Show The Impact – The global pandemic has brought many obstacles to everyone’s life. But this is the perfect way for you to explain how you’ve used this downtime to make the most of it and not just survived but uplifted your community as well! It displays the willingness to adapt, rebound from transition and lead the society to a better future.

Explain the reasoning for applying in particular b-school – You must give a clear explanation of why you are applying in Round 3 of a particular b-school. Be transparent about your post-MBA goals and how the MBA from a specific b-school will help you fill the holes in your profile and help you develop a promising future.

These are a few pointers you can consider while applying to business schools in Round 3 MBA applications. We may all know these but the more serious concern is how we bring all these out in our applications? Here is a 10-step guide that will help you bring these aspects into your MBA applications. Save this for the Round 3 tide! 😉

If you’re applying to business schools in Round 3 MBA applications and are unsure of your chances, we are with you! Book a free session now (with no time limits) and ask every concern of yours that is stopping you from applying to your dream business schools!

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