Top MBA Programs are starting to consider deferrals for international MBA candidates who cannot receive visas on time for September 2020 studies due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak around the world.

We are getting many questions around the coronavirus impact on top MBA programs admissions. As our previous analysis estimated (how will the coronavirus covid 19 affect top mba programs/ ), It is already clear that many international MBA candidates will be deferring their start of studies at the top business schools from 2020 to 2021. All top MBA programs are recognizing the difficulties international MBA students may have in obtaining visas on time for September 2020, and therefore are positively considering granted these deferrals.

Stanford GSB is the first top 10 MBA, who announced that “Any admitted international student who is unable to start the Stanford MBA Program due to a visa issue will be considered for a deferral and a spot in the next year’s class.”

Harvard Business School announced that it will offer deferment to incoming MBA students should they decide against attending fall 2020 classes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Admitted candidates for fall 2020 will have a window between May 15 and June 1 to request a deferral to start the full-time MBA program in 2021 or even later.

The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia announced an alternate start date in January for members of the Class of 2022 who need additional time due to student visas or travel restrictions as well as domestic students who have “altered professional or personal circumstances” due to the pandemic. The delayed start option is for a limited portion of the incoming class which will start first year core classes in January 2021, but will begin other Darden activities such as career support ahead of their arrival. “Those with a January start will take first year classes into summer 2021, before completing an abbreviated summer internship or field project. Upon returning to Grounds for the Second Year in August 2021, all students will merge onto the same schedule and graduate together.”

ARINGO’s analysis concludes that there might be a golden opportunity to apply to a top MBA program in the next few weeks for Fall 2020 studies, (with the R3 extended deadlines:  Top MBA programs publish new late deadlines ) vs. waiting a year and applying in 2021. And now with GMAT to be offered from home it is doable!