Harvard published the application requirements for its MBA program beginning in 2014. Continuing last year’s drastic cuts in essays, this year Harvard is requiring only one essay with no word limit!

You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?

Harvard explained the surprising and considerable change by emphasizing that the application process is not an essay writing contest, and added that this essay has no right answer or length. They insist that each candidate must consider and decide how to use the essay and what to tell the admission committee. HBS even claims they will consider accepting candidates who choose not to write the essay at all, and added a guideline to confused applicants:

“There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here. Don’t overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.”

Another significant change is that 2014 applicants will only need to submit two recommendations, as opposed to the three of recent years.

Harvard also published its deadlines for 2014:
Round 1- 9.16.2013
Round 2- 1.6.2014
Round 3- 4.7.2014

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)