This year, the University of Michigan and Ross School of Business have made some huge changes to their 2024-2025 admissions process for Direct Admit applicants from high school.


Ross will now admit applicants directly, and there are some major consequences related to this new policy that every student should know.


First, by the numbers:

    • 4 – Ross School of Business ranked 4th best business school in the US
    • 100 – the number of transfer applications Ross accepts each year
    • 500 – the number of total direct-admit applicants Ross accepts each year, including dual-degree students 



Changes to Admissions Process 

In past years, applicants would apply to Michigan’s LSA (Literature, Science & Art’s – i.e. undeclared general studies) program as the ‘admitting unit,’ then also include an application to Ross as the ‘preferred admission’ program. With this past approach, to be considered for Ross via preferred admission, applicants had to first be admitted to Michigan LSA. This approach meant that if an applicant was denied admission to Ross, it’s possible that they could still attend Michigan, where they could pursue other interests and majors such as economics and earn an excellent degree and education, even if not admitted to Ross.


New this year – applicants will apply to Ross as a first-year admitting program rather than a preferred admit program. Since applicants will no longer apply to LSA as the admitting unit, then apply to Ross as the preferred program – they will apply directly to Ross.


    • This means that if you are not admitted to Ross, you are denied entry to the University of Michigan entirely. 


Impact on Applicants? Much More At Stake

Determining strategy when applying to University of Michigan and Ross is now more intensive than ever. In the past, LSA could be a backup for students not admitted to Ross, but not anymore – now you must strategically decide whether to apply to Ross direct admit from high school and risk not gaining entry to Michigan entirely; or decide if it would be better to apply to Michigan LSA or another admitting unit as a direct admit and then apply to Ross at the end of freshman year via the cross-campus transfer application, which is very competitive and only accepts ~100 students each year.


Direct Admit or Transfer Application? 

Both direct admit and the transfer have their own unique challenges. For direct admission to Ross, they want to see a fair amount of business exposure and experience, which is challenging and often rare for high school students. For the transfer application, they want to see that you have explored your interests and had a fair amount of business exposure while on campus, but the application occurs during March of your first year, so little time and opportunity exist to get this exposure. Determining which period will give you the most competitive chance of admission requires strategic discussion ideally supported by a well-versed professional.


Other Tips for Success

Standing out: Applicants will also need to ensure they stand out in the admissions process because they will be competing against other applicants who are so sure about their interest in business that they are applying directly to the Ross BBA program. Applicants will be competing against dual-degree applicants. So, while Ross still intends to enroll just 500 students, this pool includes not only first-year applicants to Ross but also dual-degree applicants who intend to start at Ross sophomore year. Another reason admission will be more competitive than ever before.


    • Clearly Defined and Pursued Business Interests: It is essential for applicants to demonstrate their business interest and efforts to pursue these interests through their involvement as well as their essays, including the Ross Portfolio, which remains unchanged in the new admissions process.


Pros of New Process for Applicants

    • Earlier decision
    • Nothing else benefits the applicant


Cons of New Process for Applicants

    • Extremely competitive admissions process
    • No longer have LSA as a “back-up” option
    • Transfer admission into Ross will not be offered to those who already applied to Ross as a first-year applicant



This change is strictly intended to ease the burden of the admissions office and to increase yield rates, not to ease anything for applicants – it is for the University’s benefit, not the applicant. In fact, the process will be more competitive for applicants than ever before amidst already plummeting admissions rates as Ross’s programs rise in rankings each year. Because of this, the Ross BBA application process is going to be more competitive than ever before. Applicants will be competing against highly interested, highly qualified students. If Ross or Michigan are priority schools for you or someone you know, talk to a member of our team to learn more about the new admissions process and how you can stand out as an applicant. Interested in learning more? Check out our Ross BBA services page or Schedule A Free Consultation with us anytime.


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Learn more about what an admissions counselor is and how they can help you achieve your goals: 

  • What is an admissions counselor?


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