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HBS Offers Deferment for Incoming MBA Students

Harvard Business School will offer incoming MBA students the option to defer their enrollment for one to two years in light of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harvard Business School will offer incoming MBA students the option to defer their enrollment for one to two years in light of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. By Robbie H Edwards
By Haemaru Chung, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Business School will offer incoming MBA students the option to defer their enrollment for one to two years in light of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Business School Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, Chad I. Losee announced last week.

Losee wrote in a blog post published on the Business School’s website that the school decided to offer the deferrals because, for some students who applied before the pandemic escalated in the United States, the “timing may no longer be workable.”

Under the new system, students will not choose whether to defer their enrollment for one year or two; instead, they will request a deferral, and Business School administrators will track the total number of requests and spread the students out over the classes of 2023 and 2024.

Losee wrote that the school will draw from its waitlist to “balance” the class of 2022 — though he clarified it will not add more admission rounds or re-evaluate denied candidates from prior rounds.

“Our learning model depends on bringing together exceptional leaders with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. We are steadfast in our commitment to that model, so to sustain it, if we need to enroll a smaller class in August than our typical 930, we may do so,” he wrote.

The Business School’s April 27 announcement came shortly after University Provost Alan M. Garber wrote in an email to Harvard affiliates that the University will hold classes in the fall, dispelling the possibility of a delayed start to the semester due to the pandemic. Decisions over whether those classes will be held in person or online, however, remain to be made.

Losee added that despite the educational disruptions the coronavirus has wrought, the Business School still believes that there are “compelling reasons” for some admits to avoid the deferral and choose to enroll this fall.

“In any scenario, at HBS we are committed to providing an outstanding experience and have engaged teams of faculty, staff, students, and alumni to develop an extraordinary fall semester inside and outside the classroom,” he wrote.

Moreover, despite the financial impact of the pandemic, the Business School’s “commitment to a robust need-based scholarship program will not change,” Losee wrote. He added that the school expanded its financial aid portfolio and need-based scholarship offerings in recent years.

“HBS is an investment that pays dividends over a lifetime, and we are as committed as ever to making HBS affordable for all,” Losee wrote.

Members of the Business School’s Class of 2022 will be able to request deferrals between May 15 and June 1, according to Poets&Quants, a business blog.

—Staff writer Haemaru Chung can be reached at haemaru.chung@thecrimson.com.

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