Stanford GSB Round 3 Myths

I’ve been getting a lot of heat on GMATClub about applying to Stanford in Round 3.

Perhaps I should dial down my big mouth a notch.

I really don’t think that there is already a me at Stanford so I’m going to put in my application nonetheless. It’s up to Derrick Bolton to decide if Stanford would like to have somebody like me or not regardless of the round in which I apply. I’ll get an interview invite if they do, and if not, life goes on. 

Going to Stanford could be the difference between me helping 1 billion people and me helping 1 million people but with determination, I know that I could touch many lives no matter what school I go to.

Now to the myths:

All the spots are taken by Round 3

An old Stanford GSB blog post

While it is true that the final round typically is smaller than the first two, we do admit excellent candidates in Round 3–including our current Director of MBA Admissions.

It’ll hurt your chances in the future

From the horse’s mouth:

If you are not offered admission, we welcome you to apply again in a future application year.

Having applied in a previous year is not a negative factor in your application. We appreciate your sustained interest in Stanford and your resilience in reapplying. In fact, each year, we offer admission to some reapplicants who present compelling applications.


Not much would’ve changed by the time you apply again

Now this is up to you. What plans do you have if round 3 doesn’t work out?

Will you launch your startup, lead operations at your company’s overseas branch, take a leadership position at the non-profit you’ve been dormant in or take (and ace) classes at a college near you?


Only an extenuating reason like military service can justify applying in Round 3

You have your own story to tell. Getting laid off isn’t particularly glorifying but it explains a round 3 application, neither is being involved in a company merger that kept you busy and could potentially leave you redundant in a few months.

Round 3 as they say is best left for college seniors who have the luxury of deferring for a few years without adding numbers to the class size of the current year.

For the rest of us, it’s our choice to pull the trigger knowing full well that the likelihood of getting admitted in Round 3 is low (as it is for all rounds at Stanford).

In conclusion…

By no means am I implying that I will get a call from DB, infact two months from now I could be back here in tears cursing the GSB adcoms like my friends over at the Livewire.

My point is simply that applying in Round 3 is not as crazy, stupid, ignorant, or as arrogant as it sounds.

So godspeed to you, my fellow round threers. May the odds be ever in your favour.




2 thoughts on “Stanford GSB Round 3 Myths

  1. Let them tell you no, don’t tell yourself no! I applied round 2 with little chance of being in. I didn’t get in but the application really helped me reflect on my goals for my MBA.
    Best of Luck!


    1. Exactly, I’ll leave it to the adcoms to decide. Even if I don’t get in, I’m sure I’ll learn a lot that would help me get more out of my MBA eventually.

      Thanks for the support.


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