"I would like to request the admissions committee to kindly explain the application reading process on the Chicago DSAC blog. There is some speculation and rumors flying around the various forums and it is unneccassarily increasing applicant anxiety.
It would be great if you could explain the process in as much detail as possible. For example, are the applications read in order or in a random fashion, how many people read an application before a decision is made etc."
All of us on DSAC remember feeling this way with our business school applications. You pour your heart and soul into your applications, you finally hit submit, and then it's just a black box until you get an email or phone call with good news or bad news. We understand your frustration, so we'd be happy to shed a little light on the process.
The first people who handle your application are the application processing staff members. They print out all of the parts of your application, create a file folder for it, and batch it up with other complete applications randomly. If anything is missing from your file, these are the folks that will email you or call you to resolve the problem. Applicants usually have a lot of questions about this stage: In what order are the processed (FIFO, LIFO, etc)? How are they batched? We assure you that this is done randomly. The completed applications are batched in groups (quantity depends on number of applications in a given round) and distributed randomly to the first readers.
The first read is usually done by a second year GSB student who has been selected and trained as an admissions Graduate Assistant. The application then goes on to the admissions committee (adcom) professionals where it gets read by 1 or 2 adcom professionals. The decision that comes out of these first 2-3 reads is "invite to interview" or "deny." Invitations to interview are released on a rolling basis. Decision input into the system takes awhile, and again, the process is random (no FIFO or LIFO order). For Round 2, this started on January 24th and will continue through February 21st. If you have not received an invitation to interview by February 21st, you will receive email notification that your status has been updated in the online application system, which will show the denial decision.
If you've been invited to interview, you will have your interview either on campus or with an alumnus in your area. Your interviewer will submit a report that is added to your file. Your complete file is then read by several additional adcom professionals before a final decision is reached. Admits will begin receiving calls a day or two before the decision deadline (March 28th for Round 2, May 16th for Round 3). Denials will be notified on the decision deadline via a status update in the online application system.
We hope this clears up the confusion, puts the rumors to rest, and alleviates some of the anxiety. Best of luck with your applications!
Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago GSB Discussion Forums