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Application updates, Part 2: Essays . . . and video questions

Yesterday I provided a preview of our application for the Class of 2016 by announcing the application deadlines and the fact that we are eliminating the TOEFL requirement. Today I want to highlight another, very important element of the application by announcing the essay questions for this upcoming year. They are:

Essay 1:
What motivates your decision to pursue an MBA? (300 words maximum)

Essay 2:
The Yale School of Management provides leadership education for broad-minded, rigorous, and intellectually curious students with diverse backgrounds; a distinctive integrated curriculum; connections to one of the great research universities in the world; and the broad reach of an innovative and expanding global network of top business schools.
What motivates you to apply to the Yale School of Management for your MBA? What will you contribute to Yale and Yale SOM? (450 words maximum)

Those of you comparing these questions to this past year's application will notice that we cut the number of essays in half, from four to two. We also made the questions, I believe, a little more open-ended. We did so to make sure you have the opportunity to tell us in your own words what matters most to you. We also did so to make room for a new element in the process: video questions. You may already have read in Bloomberg Businessweek or U.S. News or elsewhere about our plan to introduce video questions into the application process. We have experimented with them for the last few years and we do indeed plan to roll them out fully this upcoming year. We are doing so because we feel that video questions will give us a more complete sense of you as an applicant. Admissions professionals tend to say that essays are a way for an applicant to "speak directly to us." The best way for you to speak to us, though, is for you to speak to us. In the past we've only had the chance to hear from a fraction of you -- those applicants we interview. Now we have technology that allows us to hear directly from every applicant. I believe that video questions will give you the opportunity to really tell us about yourself and give us a fuller sense of your candidacy. We're looking forward to the upcoming application season!