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Michigan Ross Class of 2027 essay analysis

Michigan's Ross School of Business has released its questions for the 2024-25 application cycle.

Part 1: At Michigan Ross, we believe the best way to learn is by doing. In our Full-Time MBA Program, you will put your skills and knowledge to the test in real-world situations with real stakes. How will this learning environment benefit you, and how do you plan to contribute to the action-based learning experience? (300 words)

Part 2: Michigan Ross is proud to support a community of leaders and impact makers. As a future member of this community, we want to know more about who you are and what drives you. Please choose 1 of the following prompts to tell us more about what makes you stand out beyond your academic and work experience. List the prompt you are answering at the top of your response. (200 words)

  • What makes you unique?

  • Can you provide a specific example of how you've overcome a personal challenge?

  • What makes you excited to get up each morning?

  • Describe a time when you made a difference in your community or with an individual.

Part 3: Career Aspirations

What is your short-term career goal, and how will Ross help you achieve it? (200 words)

Optional Essay

Is there something in your resume or application that needs a brief explanation? Appropriate uses of this essay would be the explanation of an employment gap, academic outliers, choice of recommender, completion of supplemental coursework, etc. You may use bullet points where appropriate. (250 words)

2024/25 essay question analysis

Part 1:

This essay is essentially a more traditional “Why [our school]” that other schools ask as well. Given the tight word limit, we recommend focusing on your top 1-2 ways you envision gaining value from the real-world opportunities available in the program, rather than a laundry list of experiences and resources you will use. The former approach will make it easier for you to make a stronger link between Ross and your future success, through explaining how you will use the particular examples you cite. That will help differentiate you from other applicants.

While the question also touches on contributions you plan to make, we suggest devoting less than half of the essay towards addressing this. That is because it is more difficult for applicants to differentiate themselves based on the contributions they plan to make to the learning environment, vs. how they plan to pursue success. For instance, applicants may be tempted to emphasize how engaged they will be in experiential projects. While true and relevant for Ross, other applicants could also claim that, meaning that answer would not likely help you stand out vs. peers.

Part 2:

These prompts reflect Ross' continued efforts to attract students who can thrive regardless of challenges that they may face. 200 words will go quickly, so suggest focusing on a story that doesn't require too much context to explain. For instance, did you navigate a difficult client or co-worker situation and still help guide the team towards success? As part of your answer, aim to discuss actions you took to address the situation that illustrate your qualities as a leader.

Part 3:

This question is similar to what other schools ask for regarding your career goal, so you can likely borrow much from those essays. The slight difference is that this question only asks for short-term goals; focus on 1-5 years after graduation. When detailing why your goals are right for you, keep explanations concise, and make sure you highlight 2-3 core characteristics about you that make you the right applicant to pursue this goal. Remember, you’re trying to convince the reader why they need you in their class!

Optional essay

If you have a differentiated long-term goal (i.e. a specific business idea you’re working on now), and haven’t expressed it elsewhere in your application, you can use this space to explain it and give comfort to the reader that Ross will help you achieve success. Otherwise, this space is intended as a place to share any other information about your candidacy that you want Ross to know about you that is not elsewhere in your application.

2024/25 deadlines

Deadline time: 11:59pm EST

Round 1: Application deadline: Sept. 9, 2024; Decision date: Dec. 6, 2024

Round 2: Application deadline: Jan. 6, 2025; Decision date: Mar. 14, 2025

Round 3: Application deadline: March 24, 2025; Decision date: May 2, 2025

Other application details

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The online application is live now.


Check out information here (near bottom of page).

School resources

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