Harvard Business School MBA entering class short by more than 200 students


Harvard Business School’s MBA entering class in the Fall of 2020 will only have 720 students, including 20 taken off of the waitlist, as over 200 accept Harvard’s offer to defer admission for a year or two due to coronavirus. Typically, HBS’ MBA program welcomes 930 to 940 new students each Fall.

Interesting that HBS has decided to take the financial hit rather than fill up their class with admits off the WL.

^Part of that may be because of social distancing requirements. For schools that plan to have in person instruction in the fall, residential and classroom space is a major concern. From what I know of Yale, they are trying hard to find a way to open the campus to students this fall. One of the adjustments they have made is that they are making it very easy for students to defer a year. President Salovey in a Zoom meeting on Monday in fact said one of the reason for the flexibility was that having less students on campus next year will make it easier for the University to manage social distancing and other COVID protocols. I have no doubt that Harvard and the other Ivies are looking at this in the same way.

My understanding is that Harvard Business School did go to the waitlist. The problem is that, due to HBS’ high yield rate, the waitlist does not have many students on it.

^ Nothing keeps them from adding a round, and surely, when they were making the WL (at least for the last round), HBS was already aware of the impacts of COVID-19.

HBS may have been surprised by the number of accepted admits who accepted HBS’ offer to defer admission.

Adding another round after assessing the Covid-19 effects & the number of accepted students who decided to defer may have resulted in a lack of time for another round of applications.