Happy New Year! Are you planning to apply to business school? Here are my predictions about 2016-2017 MBA admissions trends.

  • Women

For the last few years the top schools have been VERY aggressive about admitting qualified women. I expect this trend to continue, so if you are a woman and you are considering an MBA this is definitely a favorable time to apply. Also, as a reminder, please don’t be intimidated by a school’s published test scores – even if they are sky high, admissions committees know that certain demographics, including women, don’t always have GMAT’s or GRE’s that reflect their academic potential.

  • Global Students

As schools create increasingly global curriculums, they are also seeking to create a diverse, international student body. This means that they are looking for students, both domestic and international, with strong cross-cultural skills. Speaking another language will continue to be a plus, as will experience working, living or even traveling abroad.

  • Focus on Interpersonal Skills

Have you noticed that top programs are increasingly including video essays and multimedia prompts? And that even their traditional essay and interview prompts are behavioral and introspective? Expect this trend to continue and intensify, and definitely remember to be as genuine, reflective, personable and self-aware as possible in your applications.

  • Early Action

I predict that early action will continue to grow in popularity, and will also continue to be extremely advantageous for candidates. This year, as in years past, my early round clients had tremendous success – gaining admission to Harvard, Wharton, Booth, Sloan, Kellogg, Tuck, Duke, UNC, McCombs, Georgetown, Yale, Cornell, Stern, Columbia and more – with multiple full tuition fellowships and scholarships totaling more than 1.4 million. (North Star clients have received more than 6.4 million in scholarships since 2012.) I have already started working with clients for next year, and strongly encourage you to start now.

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Karen Marks

Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Clients have been awarded more than 20 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 97% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.