INSEAD & LBS Response to COVID-19: What Applicants Need to Know

March 23, 2020 | by Caroline Diarte Edwards

Today INSEAD posted an update on the health of Dean Mihov, who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 15.

I was relieved to hear he was in “stable condition and in good spirits,” thought currently under isolation in a hospital in Singapore and on mandatory leave. Given how our lives have been upended over the last few weeks, my March 5 conversation with Virginie Fougea, INSEAD’s Global Director of Admissions and Financial Aid and my former INSEAD colleague, seems a lifetime ago.

INSEAD is responding to these unprecedented times with equally unprecedented changes. Among the most notable – in light of testing center closures around the world – is that applicants can submit their applications without a GMAT, GRE, EA or TOEFL score. This is a good faith gesture to encourage applicants to follow through with submission – the expectation being that applicants will continue prep and take the exam when centers reopen.

“The admissions teams will start evaluating applications without GMAT, GRE, EA or TOEFL test scores while waiting for the test centres to reopen,” wrote INSEAD’s Rachel Maguer, Global Director Marketing and Recruitment, in an email to prospective candidates. “They will advise you on the options available to enable you to provide a completed application. We have already extended some deadlines and are working closely with test providers.”

Maguer also confirmed that INSEAD moved classes online at its primary campus in Fontainebleau starting March 16th (the French President called for the closure of all universities until further notice). For candidates preparing for their admissions interviews, Virginie Fougea noted that the school is offering to conduct admission interviews online.

Meanwhile, my Fortuna colleague Emma Bond, former London Business School Senior Manager of MBA Admissions, received a message from LBS Admissions Director David Simpson. Simpson affirmed that LBS will likewise accept applications without GMAT, GRE and English scores from candidates unable to take the test and who don’t already have scores. If you have older scores, LBS wants you to submit them, and emphasizes that it expects successful applicants to take the test later when restrictions lift. (Note: continue with your exam prep.) “You may be asked to take the test upon arrival in the UK, or we may offer waivers, depending on the timing of the test centre closures,” writes Simpson. Anyone unable to take the test should send LBS extra info on any quant training, education and experience utilizing the ‘other information’ essay or separate email to admissions.

As our team of former directors and senior admissions professionals is in close contact with top business schools around the world, we’ll continue to provide updates on how Covid-19 is affecting the MBA application process. In the meantime, I invite you to join our Q&A with Fortuna’s Directors on Tuesday, March 24 at 12pm ET: Navigating Uncertainty: Free MBA Admissions Strategy Session. (Spots are limited so register here to save your seat.)

You can also sign up for a free consultation with an expert member of our team, or view our related coverage:

Sign up for a