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Forster-Thomas looks into our admissions consulting crystal ball and lays odds on various possible outcomes.

By Ben Feuer

Here at Forster-Thomas we don't think of ourselves as inveterate gamblers, but that doesn't mean we don't lay wagers around the offices about what schools might do (or eschew) the following year.  Here are some possibilities and the odds we'd lay on each.

2:1 -- Odds that Stanford will keep its WMM Essay

This is as close to a sure thing as you can get in the world of MBA admissions, having been on Stanford's application for over ten years running.  Expect to see it again this year.

3:1 -- Odds that at least one of the big three will add an optional or required video essay.

Kellogg was the only top 10 MBA program to require a video essay last year.  Expect that to change.  Video is trending upward, so get your camera face ready.

5:1 -- Odds that Wharton will change all of its essays (again).
We really could as easily put this at 4:1.  Wharton has changed all of its essays both of the previous years, although it has kept its goals essay, in one form or another, each of those years (2013-2014 saw that essay take a personal as well as a professional spin).

10:1 -- Odds that HBS will reinstate its goals essay.

Harvard seems to like the goal right where it is -- as a short answer.  Admissions officers have previously stated that they are less concerned with what a candidate thinks he wants to do than with what he has done.  This is underscored by HBS having the youngest incoming class.

30:1 -- Odds that total allowed word count will increase at any school.

The trend is toward removing essays and lowering word counts as competition grows fiercer.  We expect to see this trend continue in 2014-2015.  More than ever, it is vitally important to distinguish yourself in a limited word count.

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Well, there they are!  Our predictions.  Come back in six months and we'll see whether we are eating crow.