Future Year Scholars is our deferred enrollment program for exceptional college students. Here’s how it works: Apply as a college senior or a fifth year master’s student. Start after two, three or four years of work experience. Did you know there is no application fee for Future Year Scholars applicants? True story. We have two remaining Future Year deadlines – 1 May and 1 August – and we offer these options as a convenience to our applicants, and we encourage you to target the deadline that aligns best with your timing and plans. 

With our 1 May Future Year Scholars deadline less than two weeks away, we recently caught up with Assistant Director of Admissions, Taylor Fisher, to talk application advice. Whether you’re targeting our 1 May or 1 August Future Year deadlines, check out Taylor’s recommendations below and be sure to catch up on all our Future Year Scholars-related coverage.

Do your homework.

As you’re working on your application, take some time to get to know us. There are many ways to do this – spending time on our website, perusing the Discover Darden Blog, visiting Grounds or connecting with current students and alumni. Having a better sense of who we are and what we value will help you better understand how you can be a contributor in our community.

Workshop your essays.

Have someone who knows you well review your essays. Ask “does this sound like me?” It’s important to present an authentic version of yourself during the application process, and there are no “right” answers to our essay questions. Your essays are one of your first opportunities to tell us more about who you really are, what’s important to you, and how you’ve made an impact during your time in college. Focus on answering each question in a way that feels honest and genuine.

Next steps: Review our essay-related blog posts (Essay Advice | Additional Essay Insights) as well as Executive Director of Admissions Dawna Clarke’s advice for crafting great essays.

Any ambiguity in your application? Use of the Additional Comments section.

Think about your application as a whole. Are there any sections where you would like to provide more context? Anything you think our committee might have questions about? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” consider using the “Additional Comments” section of our application. For example, if you took a semester off or struggled academically in a few courses, the “Additional Comments” section is a great place to provide our Admissions Committee with additional insights about these experiences.

Next steps: Check out Dawna Clarke’s app tips video about utilizing the Additional Comments section of our application.

Check in with your recommenders.

Two recommendations are required in our application process, it’s always a good idea to have a conversation with your recommenders before you start your Darden application. Share with them your reasons for pursuing an MBA and why you’re interested in Darden. We also recommend providing them with a current copy of your resume.

Our recommendation process is entirely electronic, so, once you’ve entered your recommenders’ names and email addresses into your application, check in with your recommenders to make sure they received the email with the link to our recommendation materials. And don’t forget to mention your target application deadline. As a reminder, recommendations are due on deadline day – 1 May or 1 August!

Double-check everything. Then check again.

It’s important to review your application for spelling and grammatical errors. After all, you want to make a strong first impression. Be sure to read through each section carefully. Take a break. Then go through each section again before pressing “submit.”