Dartmouth Tuck 2016 MBA Essay Tips And Deadlines

Want to learn more about Tuck? Check out our Dartmouth Tuck MBA Zone!The Dartmouth Tuck adcom is interested in learning about what you as an individual, a businessperson, and a leader can contribute to Tuck’s small, close-knit program. Use your essays as a platform for expressing your earnest desire to enter the world of management and to make a difference.  

I strongly recommend Tuck applicants read The MBA Gatekeeper To Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business,” Poets and Quants interview with Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions at Tuck. The article is a couple of years old, but still worth reading if you are applying to Tuck. I also recommend you review Dartmouth’s six evaluation criteria for admission.

Tuck tweaked its Essay #1 and #2, but the optional is unchanged.

Tuck provides length guidelines, not limits.  That “encouragement” and gentle suggestion gives you a little leeway. Please don’t make the mistake of abusing that typical Tuck friendliness. It is an opportunity for you to show judgment and consideration of your reader by still being succinct.

Accepted has been helping applicants to Tuck gain acceptance for roughly 20 years. Explore our services to learn more about how we can help you prepare your Tuck MBA application. 


Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. There are no right or wrong answers. We encourage applicants to limit the length of their responses to 500 words for each essay. Please double-space your responses.

1. What are your short- and long-term goals? Why do you need an MBA to achieve those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The MBA is a means to an end, not an end in itself. That’s why Tuck (and many other schools) ask question like this one. Tuck wants to know that it can help you achieve your goal.  So clearly you have to have both short- and long-term goals to respond to the question.  And then you need to explain how an MBA will help you realize those goals and finally, why Tuck is the best place to do so.

You have to know  Tuck as well as your goals to respond effectively to this question. Why do you want a small, tight-knit program in rural New Hampshire? Why do you want a program that stresses the integration of business functions?  Which of Tuck’s strengths appeal to you? How will they help you achieve your goals? 

2. Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. How will that experience contribute to the learning environment at Tuck?

This question reflects the importance Tuck, like many MBA programs, places on leadership, and Tuck really wants to see you as a leader. 

Have you chaired  a fundraiser that raised a record amount of money? Have you been a board member for a not-for-profit organization? Have you captained a sports team that led your company league? Have you been a team lead on a project that came in early and under budget? Are you the head of a sales team who empowered other members of your team in a way that greatly contributed to the success of that initiative? These could all be examples of leadership. How did you motivate your teammates? Tell the story of that event.

Then, how will your leadership style and the lessons learned through this experience enable you to contribute? Tuck treasures its close-knit, collaborative culture and values teamwork.  How does this experience reveal about you and how you will interact with the MBA community at Dartmouth. In answering the last question, don’t fall into the trap of answering “What do they want to hear?” What do you most want them to know?

3. (Optional) Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

It is almost impossible for two (or even three) 500-word essays plus a bunch of boxes, a transcript, and a GMAT score to represent fully the uniqueness and talents of a truly impressive candidate. That comment has nothing to do with writing style and everything to do with the complexity of accomplished human beings. In my opinion this “optional essay”  is optional in name only.

At the same time, don’t waste the reader’s time by writing a meaningless, superficial “grand finale” or summary. Don’t repeat what can be found elsewhere.

4. (To be completed by all reapplicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.

Straightforward MBA reapplication question. It is critical that every reapplicant be able to answer it for every school they are reapplying to: What has changed that would compel Tuck to admit you this year?

If you would like professional guidance with your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Dartmouth Tuck application. 

Dartmouth Tuck 2016 Application Deadlines:

Round Due Date Decisions Released
Early Action October 7, 2015 December 17, 2015
November Round November 4, 2015 February 12, 2016
January Round January 6, 2016 March 11, 2016
April Round April 4, 2016 May 13, 2016

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on your MBA Essay Questions

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

• The Tuck School of Business and the Global Insight Requirement 
Darmouth Tuck Zone Page
• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

Catching Up with Dartmouth Tuck Student Dominic Yau

Read more interviews with MBA student bloggersThis interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a follow up interview with Dominic Yau, who is about to complete his first year at Dartmouth Tuck. (We first met Dominic last year – you can read our first interview with him here.)

Accepted: Since we last spoke you applied to a bunch of b-schools. Where did you end up getting accepted and where are you currently attending?

Dominic: I ended up being accepted to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and I am currently a first year there.

Accepted: How has it been so far? Is b-school as you expected it to be? Any surprises? 

Dominic: First year has been phenomenal. It has been everything I expected and more. On the academic front, I have definitely been challenged both from a breadth perspective. Tuck is a general management program and therefore the core curriculum covers all the key facets of a general manager’s toolkit.

On the recruiting side, it has been a very intense but rewarding experience. I knew going in that I wanted to go into management consulting but also explore a couple of other things. Tuck has given me the opportunity to explore and understand what I wanted out of my career.

Outside of the classroom and recruiting, I have been involved with a lot of clubs and other events from playing (tripod) ice hockey to hosting a UK table at the international dinner during our Diversity Conference. There is such a wide variety of things to get involved that the hardest thing is to pick and choose what you want to do.

Overall, my first year so far has been fantastic. Looking back, one thing that I am surprised by is some of the non-technical skills that I have learnt. One example is being more efficient at making trade-offs when you have limited time. Rather than waste time thinking about what I could be doing, I have gotten much better at deciding on what I want to do and how to use my time most effectively. I think this will be a valuable lesson in my life and in my career going forwards!

Accepted: Why did you choose Tuck? How is it the best fit for you?

Dominic: I chose Tuck because of its location, size, and community. I did my undergrad at a campus university and I knew I wanted a similar experience. Also coming from a large city like London and most likely working in large cities post-MBA, it was a great way of taking two years and doing something slightly different.

Tuck’s size was also a big draw for me. I know pretty much all of the first years and I have had interactions with a large percentage of the second years. This simply is not the case at some other schools. Tuck’s size also closes the gap between the school and its students. I can drop into our program office with any queries or reach out to meet one-on-one with another of the faculty at very short notice.

Finally, the community at Tuck is very strong. People go out of their way to help each other and support each other. I am surprised by the strength of the community on a daily basis.

Accepted: If you could change anything about the program, what would it be?

Dominic: There is not a lot I would change about Tuck. One area that I think Tuck is addressing and needs to continue to address to focus more broadly on global issues. It is great that the Class of 2017 will now have a requirement to undertake at least one trip or project globally during their two years. I think as globalization continues, it is deeply important to have the cultural sensitivity and the ability to work across borders.

Accepted: Are you involved in any clubs on campus? How central to student life is club involvement?

Dominic: I am a wine aficionado and I will be a co-Chair of the Wine Club next year. I also play tripod hockey. Overall clubs are an important part of the Tuck experience but I find that some of my best experiences are typically more ad hoc. Due to our class size, I know the folks who have similar interests as myself so it is very easy to find others who want to go for a hike, play pond hockey, try out local eateries, etc.

Accepted: Do you have an internship lined up for the summer? What role did Tuck play in helping you secure a position?

Dominic: I will be interning this summer with one of the Top 3 consulting firms in New York. I have had great support during my internship recruiting from the Career Development Office (CDO), my classmates, and the alumni network. The CDO has been instrumental in helping me over the last few months from practising cases and fit questions to more general advice about managing the recruiting process. As for my classmates, the second years have devoted a lot of time to first years in helping them get ready for case interviews.

Finally, I cannot say enough about Tuck’s alumni network. Typically, I get a response within 24 hours of reaching out to an alumni. They are also very gracious with their time. I had a call with an alum during his layover at an airport between flights back from a client. I also had mock interviews with several alums during the Christmas break when they should have been relaxing. I think this speaks volume to Tuck’s alumni network.

Accepted: Now that you’ve successfully applied to and gotten into b-school, you must have some good advice for our readers. What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Dominic: My 3 top tips are:

1. Be yourself

2. Be prepared

3. Find the right fit

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages. 

To read more about Dominic’s b-school journey, please check out his blog, Domotron. Thank you Dominic for sharing your story with us!

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

The Tuck School of Business and the Global Insight Requirement
• Dartmouth Tuck 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
MBA Student Interviews

U.S. News 2016 Best Graduate Business Schools

U.S. News released its graduate school rankings today. Let’s see how our top b-schools fared…

Top 20 U.S. B-Schools – 2016

Visit our b-school zone page for info on the top business schools.1. Stanford GSB (1)
2. Harvard Business School (1)
3. UPenn Wharton (1)
4. Chicago Booth (4)
5. MIT Sloan (5)
6. Northwestern Kellogg (6)
7. UC Berkeley Haas (7)
8. Columbia Business School (8)
9. Dartmouth Tuck (9)
10. UVA Darden (11)
11. NYU Stern (10)
11. Michigan Ross (11)
13. Duke Fuqua (14)
13. Yale SOM (13)
15. UCLA Anderson (16)
16. Cornell Johnson (17)
17. Texas McCombs (15)
18. UNC Kenan-Flagler (19)
19. Washington Olin (22)
20. CMU Tepper (18)

25% of US News rankings is made up of survey responses from business school deans and directors; 15% is based on recruiters’ survey responses. The remaining 60% is based on statistical data reflecting program selectivity and placement success. (For details, read up on U.S. News methodology.)

Here are some highlights from the Poets & Quants article on the rankings:

• Last year’s three-way Stanford/Harvard/Wharton tie was broken this year with each school taking one of the first three spots (Stanford in first, HBS in second, and Wharton in third).

• The P&Q article states that Wharton’s slip to third is due to lower peer assessment and corporate recruiter survey scores.

• Wharton also reported an acceptance rate of 20.7%, up from last year’s 18.7% — this is another metric used by U.S. News in their methodology.

• Another factor contributing to Wharton’s position this year is its position regarding salary and bonus. Last year it took top slot at $141,243, while this year it slipped to fourth place at $142,574 – yes, higher than last year, but this year, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford reported even higher salaries/bonuses (HBS took the cake at $144,936 this year).

• Stanford’s top stats this year: average GMAT – 732; average GPA – 3.74; acceptance rate – 7.1%.

• In the top 20, there weren’t significant changes beyond a given school moving up or down a couple places. But further down in the rankings there were some big shifts. Texas A&M jumped 10 places to 27th place (tied with Carlson); Wake Forest jumped 13 places to 45th place; and Louisville moved up at least 31 places to 71st place – it was previously unranked.

• Big drops include Missouri Trulaske which fell 21 places from 58th to 79th place; Pepperdine Graziadio which fell at least 25 places, from last year’s 76th place to its unranked position this year.

Wondering how much rankings should play a roll in determining where you apply? Watch the video below for Linda Abraham’s answer:

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2015
• What’s an MBA Really Worth?
• PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

Businessweek Rankings 2014

Let’s see how full-time MBA programs in the U.S. fared this year on the BW rankings…

Check out our Zone Pages for more info about the top MBA programs!

There were some huge changes this year! Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

• Newcomers to the top 20 this year are Yale SOM, which made a huge jump from 21st place to 10th place; Maryland Smith which went from 24th to 17th place; and Emory Goizueta which jumped from 22nd place to 18th place this year.

• There are three new schools in the top 10 this year – Yale SOM, as mentioned above; Columbia Business School (13th in 2012 and 5th this year); and CMU Tepper (which moved just one place from 11th place to 10th place).

• Beyond that, there was some major shifting in the rankings. The top 3 schools were all different this year (Wharton and Booth still there, but rearranged), with Harvard Business School falling from 2nd place to 8th place.

UVA Darden also fell significantly this year, from 10th place to 20th.

• Big jumpers further down the rankings include Rice University Jones (from 34th to 25th); UC Irvine Merage (43rd to 31st); and Rochester Simon (50th to 38th).

• The schools that fell the most in the rankings include Texas A&M Mays (26th to 42nd); University of Wisconsin-Madison (33rd to 44th); Boston University (39th to 57th); Babson Olin (from 42nd to 58th); Thunderbird (45th to 62nd); and Arizona Carey (49th to 67th).

And here’s the scoop on the best U.S. undergraduate business schools in 2014…

Do MBA rankings really matter? Click here for the 2-min answer.

Some highlights include:

• Newcomers to the top 20 are Northeastern (from 25th last year to 19th this year) and CMU Tepper (from 24th last year to 17th this year).

• The only new school in the top 10 this year is Indiana Kelley, which jumped from 13th place last year to 8th place this year.

Michigan Ross fell from the top 10, from 8th place to 12th place.

• Big jumpers include Southern Methodist Cox, which jumped from 30th to 21st place; Babson, which jumped from 36th place to 26th place; UM Amherst Isenberg, which jumped from 45th to 36th; Bryant, which jumped from 63rd to 49th; and Case Western Reserve Weatherhead which jumped from 69th to 50th.

• Big falls include Villanova, which fell from 15th place to 24th; U of Illinois Urbana-Champaign which fell from 21st to 34th; and James Madison University which fell from 29th to 40th place.

For details on how ranking methodology see:

Best Business Schools 2014: How They Were Ranked

Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2014: How We Ranked Them

Analysis of the 2014 Businessweek Rankings

Businessweek made changes to its methodology (presented here and analyzed here by John Byrne, the founder of the BW rankings) this year.

The Basics of BW’s Rankings Remain Unchanged

This year, as in the past, BW surveyed recruiters and students. The recruiter satisfaction results comprise 45% of the ranking. The student satisfaction survey results comprise another 45% and the remaining 10% is determined by “expertise of each school’s faculty” as evidenced by faculty research published in prominent academic journals AKA intellectual capital.

What’s New in BW’s Rankings Methodology?

• The employer ranking reflects this year’s data only. Previous rankings used data from the last three surveys or six years of biannual rankings data while weighting the most recent year most heavily.

BW surveyed fifteen times the recruiters this year than it did in previous years. Previously, BW surveyed major recruiters who tended to recruit at multiple business schools. This year, BW attempted to survey as many MBA recruiters as possible, including “recruiters” who recruit primarily if not exclusively at their alma mater. The increased survey size is a major methodology change. The alumni recruiters may have a certain bias towards the school they attended. BW attempted statistically to reduce the impact of that bias, but it probably helped smaller schools like Duke, Tepper, and Yale, and hurt the traditional leaders, like Harvard, Wharton, and Chicago.

Impact of the Methodology Changes

• Surprise! The results will shock many applicants. Seven programs, including Duke and Yale, rank above HBS and MIT. Indiana Kelley and Maryland Smith rank above Haas, NYU Stern, and Darden. These are unexpected results.

• Reemphasizes the importance of understanding methodology. The changes highlight the need for anyone using the rankings as indications of “quality” or even reputation and brand value (a bad idea in my book) to look at the underlying data. Smith is ranked overall at 17. It was ranked #1 for student satisfaction and #51 in the employer survey ranking. Applicants to Smith should inquire about what is changing in its career management center. Clearly there is a satisfaction gap that has to be addressed.

• Increased volatility. Since BW has removed older rankings data from the ranking and has dramatically widened the survey pool while incorporating alumni recruiters, you are guaranteed to see more changes and more radical changes than with the previous methodology.

• Cognitive Dissonance. Either BW rankings will lose credibility because they don’t conform to expectations and will be more volatile, or people’s perception of the programs will change because of the BW rankings.

My money is on the former: loss of credibility. If BW’s results become less stable and predictable (like The Economist’s), they are more likely to lose credibility than to contribute to changes in school reputation.

As always my best advice to applicants reviewing the rankings is to:

• Use specialty rankings to get a sense of what schools excel in your areas of interest.

• Use the data that the ranking databases provide.

• If you have any thought of actually using the overall rankings, understand what they measure, and ask yourself if those qualities are of paramount importance to you. BW has been wonderfully transparent and even shared the questions actually asked in the survey.

• Layer in reputation and brand, i.e. ranking, after determining what schools best support your goals and are most likely to accept you.

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.


Related Resources:

• 2014 Economist MBA Rankings
• MBA Rankings: Why Should I Care?
• U.S. News 2015 Best Colleges

What’s an MBA Really Worth?

Applying to top MBA programs? Download your free copy of Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

How much do MBAs really earn?

This is the question tackled in a recent Poets & Quants article in which John Byrne presents PayScale data provided exclusively for P&Q. In the analysis, PayScale calculates the estimated median pay and bonuses (not including stock-based compensation, retirement benefits, or non-cash benefits like healthcare) of graduates from the top 50 U.S. MBA programs from 2004 to 2014. Here are some of the highlights from the article:

Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton earn the most over a 20-year period (at $3,233,000, $3,011,000 and $2,989,000 respectively), with average income at the former nearly doubling the average income of graduates from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School (at $1,781,820.)

• Some schools “punched above their weight class” like Boston University, whose graduates earned an average of $2,329,000, making the school rank in 19th place on this list, while ranked overall (in the regular MBA full-time rankings) by P&Q in 40th.

• Another high roller from lower down on the list is UC-Irvine Merage, where MBAs earn $2,319,932 over 20 years, putting them in 21st place, though generally ranked in 47th.

• More food for thought: At HBS, the average age of graduation is 29 years old. Our 20-year payout here brings these MBAs up to 49 years old, giving them another 16 years until retirement at 65. Based on their 20-year earnings, they may earn another $3.2 million, which combined with their 20-year earnings, brings their total up to $6.5 million. (Remember, this is a conservative estimate as it doesn’t include stock and non-cash compensation.)

• Compare the above HBS figures to the $2.5 million estimated lifetime earnings (age 24 to 64) of people with a master’s degree (non-MBA). (Data from the U.S. Census Bureau.) Someone with an MBA from Harvard will earn nearly three times as much as someone with a master’s degree. And someone with an MBA from Texas A&M will still earn about $1 million more than the average MA/MS holder.

• More comparisons (based on U.S. Census Bureau data): The average high school graduate can expect to earn $1.2 million in a lifetime, compared to the $2.1 million of someone with a bachelor’s degree. PhDs earn $3.4 million on average during their working lifetime. Doctors and lawyers can expect lifetime earnings of about $4.4 million – still less than the lifetime earnings of MBAs from at least 28 business schools.

• According to PayScale data, graduates from BA programs earn a median $1,301,000 20 years post-graduation. All MBAs, on average, earned $1,771,000, with those in the top 50 earning a median $2,266,000. An MBA in general will earn you about half a million more than a BA; an MBA from a top 50 school will get you yet another half a million more.

Looking for admissions advice?
Source: PayScale for Poets&Quants

For MBA admissions tips, check out our MBA Admissions 101 Pages!
Source: Payscale Inc. for 20-year estimate, business schools reporting to U.S. News for 2013 starting pay and bonus.

Click here for the complete Poets & Quants article.

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know
• B-Schools with the Highest ROIs
PayScale: How Much You Can Earn, And How to Earn It