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Recommenders go down from three to two, as do the essays.  Make every word count!

By Ben Feuer

Stanford just released its 2014-2015 MBA application, and there are some substantial changes.


Stanford has reduced its number of required recommenders from three to two.  The first recommender should be, as it was last year, a "direct supervisor or the next best alternative".  This is the recommender who can speak to what you've done, how you did it, and how that sets you apart from your peers in terms of abilities and leadership style.

The second recommender can be EITHER a peer or a supervisor who has observed your work (AKA, a boss's boss).  The rule of thumb with second recommenders is that they should provide a different point of view than the first -- they should be able to speak to aspects of your work or your personality that the primary recommender cannot or does not.  Either option can work for this, but you want to avoid overlap where possible.


This year there are two essay questions, instead of three. "What matters most to you and why?" remains the primary essay prompt (750 words). The second question, "Why Stanford?" (350 words), asks you to explain how the Stanford MBA Program, specifically, will help you get where you’re trying to go.  Take note -- this new second prompt, like almost all "why school prompts", is not exclusively asking what YOU hope to get out of THEM -- it is also asking what you see yourself being able to provide, and how you can enhance the campus environment.  For more detail on What Matters Most, check out our best practices page for Stanford.


The deadlines have moved up by one day.  Symbolic?

Round 11 October 2014
Round 27 January 2015
Round 31 April 2015


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