HBS Releases 2+2 Decisions

Harvard Business School released the first set of admissions decisions Sept. 1 for the 2+2 Class of 2016, an early acceptance program for college seniors who are expected to work for two years before matriculating at the Business School.

This is the first year HBS has extended the 2+2 application process beyond the summer, offering three further application rounds later this academic year.

The Business School will not release a statistical break-down of admissions information until the application cycle ends this spring.

“Speculating on how many offers we will make or on what kinds of profiles or applicants will be successful based on what has happened so far would be a mistake,” said Deirdre C. Leopold, managing director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid.

Among this year’s accepted students is Adams House senior Elizabeth C. Ahern ’12, who applied to the 2+2 program during the summer admissions round.

Ahern, who currently serves as the co-president of Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business, said she feels very lucky to have been granted the opportunity to attend HBS.

“I love the case study method at HBS,” she said of her reasons for applying to the Business School. “You’re constantly thinking like a leader and making the same tough decisions in the classroom that business people make.”

Though she has not decided where to work after graduation, Ahern said she is interested in returning to Paul Mitchell—a professional hair products manufacturer—where she spent her summer after freshman year interning in the marketing and advertising department.

Last year, 828 people applied for admission to the 2+2 Class of 2015 and 100 were accepted, resulting in an acceptance rate of 12 percent. The number of applicants rose from 630 in 2008, when 106 students were accepted to the program.

“The most important part of the application is taking the time to be self-reflective and convey your personality through your essays,” Ahern said of the admissions process. “They really dig deep into your story. They want to hear more about who you are and during the interview they want to simulate what you’ll experience in the classroom with the on-the-spot questions they ask.”

For seniors still interested in applying to the 2+2 Program, Leopold said members of the Business School will be hosting events at the College over the course of the year to talk to students about the program.

“We plan to do a number of information sessions at Harvard College this fall to help seniors decide whether they would like to apply,” she said.

—Staff writer Matthew M. Beck can be reached at


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