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December 02, 2011

Haas MBA Fall 2012 Online Application's Stupid Word Counter

It has been brought to my attention that the essay word counter on the Haas application for admission to Fall 2012 full-time MBA program is TOTALLY F%C&ED. I suggest ignoring said word counter and letting common sense be your guide.

Unlike schools that allow for simple document upload, Haas has form for pasting in essays.   

Unfortunately the word counter in the online essay form does the following:

1. Counts contractions as 2 words, so "I've" is now 2 words.  
2. Counts possessives as 2 words, so  "Adam's" is now 2 words.
3. Counts hyphenated words as 2 words, so "long-term" is now 2 words.
4. Counts numbers with commas as multiple words, so 10,000 is now 2 words and 156,895,123 is now 3 words.

I don't think applicants need to stress so much about this issue because of the Berkeley FAQ on word count:

Still, this is totally lame.  

Clearly their lame ass application causes all sorts of problems for applicants because they have this FAQ as well:

This is the kind of stupid customer-unfriendly thinking that only a quasi-government bureaucrat, an employee of Haas, could think of.  Instead of designing a form that is user-friendly and compatible with de facto standards for word processing, all Haas applicants should use some workaround because Haas can't be bothered to make an application form that is easy to use.  

Can't such an "innovative" "close to Silicon Valley school" as  Haas get a word counter on the application that does not violate the laws of common sense?  Of course, the easy workaround would be either to eliminate said word counter or to allow for uploading of files like most other schools.  I guess this all part of what makes Haas a special place.  Maybe some future member of the Class of 2014 can fix this.

-Adam Markus

I am a graduate admissions consultant who works with clients worldwide. If you would like to arrange an initial consultation, please complete my intake form. Please don't email me any essays, other admissions consultant's intake forms, your life story, or any long email asking for a written profile assessment. The only profiles I assess are those with people who I offer initial consultations to. Please note that initial consultations are not offered when I have reached full capacity or when I determine that I am not a good fit with an applicant.
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