Deferred MBA vs Applying after 2+2

Headed into senior year with the following question: is it worth it to apply for deferred MBA programs or should I try to enjoy my last year in college and apply after doing the traditional 2 years IB and 2 years PE. Disclaimer: I'm assuming many uncertain things, but I need to start planning now so...


School: Top undergrad business program

GPA: 3.8+

Work Experience: BB IB -> MM/UMM PE (3B+ fund)  

Extracurriculars: don't want to go into detail, but I would consider this to be my strong point/differentiator

GMAT: wild card here, let's assume 700+


  1. How competitive would I be at H/S/W (Deferred/regular)? How about the rest of the M7? 

  2. Is there an added benefit to applying for deferred admissions now or should I focus on improving my profile for H/S/W and apply later? I'd be lucky to get into any M7, but really want to target the top 3. I want to avoid a situation where I'm not competitive enough for H/S/W right now, but I get into and commit to a Columbia/Sloan instead of improving my candidacy later on.

  3. How are internships and extracurricular from college viewed once you're 4 years removed? Have a feeling I'll have difficulty doing much on the side once I start working FT

I would appreciate any additional advice from people familiar with the admissions process. 

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (6)

  • Consultant in Consulting
Jun 10, 2021 - 5:34pm

FYI Stanford deferred only takes like 30-40 people a year or something I heard. Just so you know what you're up against...

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jun 10, 2021 - 8:57pm

Honestly just wanted to see if it's even worth applying for me. Seems like a lottery for even the cream of the crop. Would consider myself a slightly above average applicant, but hopefully there's something that they like about me!

  • Consultant in Consulting
Jun 11, 2021 - 5:53pm

Ya I agree that is a good approach, Stanford GSB MBA admissions are just next-level crazy hard haha

Jun 10, 2021 - 8:39pm

there are pretty much only pros in applying to deferred programs now: get the gmat done, get practice for the app process including figuring out an approach to telling your story, low to zero app fees. even if u dont get in, it doesnt really affect ur chances down the line since youll presumably have 3+ yoe that will matter more than whatever you're submitting now

in terms of your actual chances: atm, if you are not diversity, HSW will be tough, rest of M7 is pretty doable. in 3-4 years, assuming you get a 730+ and get that PE job, you should have a good chance at HW, but maybe not as much for S (will depend on how well you can tell a convincing and unique story)

also, committing to a non-HSW M7 now does not preclude you from reapplying down the line

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (203) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (115) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (97) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (420) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (338) $82