Low GPA MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

Many applicants worry about applying to business school if they have a low GPA. I analyzed the low GPA MBA acceptance rate at the top 25 schools to see what are the realistic chances for applicants with a GPA below 3.0. In my data sample from GMAT Club, less than 3% of applicants had a low GPA, which I defined as below 3.0. Individual schools did not have enough data for me to analyze in depth, so I grouped schools into clusters for analysis. I was surprised to see that low GPA MBA acceptance rate is a lot higher than I expected.

Low GPA MBA Acceptance Rate by School Rank

Low GPA MBA Acceptance Rate by Business School RankFor applicants who have a low GPA, school selection is extremely important. Only 8% of applicants with a GPA below 3.0 are accepted by top 10 schools. This is much lower than the 18% acceptance rate for applicants with a higher GPA. Acceptance rate is much closer at schools ranked 11 to 16 for low GPA applicants. Low GPA MBA acceptance rate is highest for schools ranked between 17 and 25 on US News’ top business school rankings. There is only a small disadvantage for low GPA applicants who apply to schools ranked 17 to 25. Next I looked at how GMAT impacted chance of admission for low GPA applicants.

Low GPA MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT and School Rank

Low GPA MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT and Business School RankAs you can see in the graph above, GMAT is especially important for applicants with a low GPA. An applicant applying to a top 10 school with a GMAT below 700 has an extremely low chance of being admitted. Scoring a 750 or higher raises an applicants acceptance rate to 13% at top 10 schools. However, an applicant is much better off just applying to lower ranked schools. Low GPA applicants with a GMAT below 700 had a respectable 20% acceptance rate at schools ranked 11 to 16. An applicant with a GMAT of 750 or higher has double the chance of admission, with acceptance rate of over 40%. For MBA programs ranked 17 to 25, it seems that applicants with a GPA below 3.0 only need to score 700 or higher to have a 50% chance of admission.

Although there is not enough data to analyze low GPA acceptance rate in depth at each school. I posted the acceptance rate for each school below. I included the sample size of so you can get an idea of how trustworthy the acceptance rate calculations are. For example, Foster and Mendoza have a sample size below 10, so you probably can’t trust the accuracy of these acceptance rates. On the other hand, Ross has a sample size of 45, so I trust the 40% acceptance rate for Michigan much more than Mendoza and Foster.

MBA Acceptance Rate for Applicants with GPA Below 3.0

School
Acceptance Rate
Sample Size
Tepper
57%
30
Foster
56%
9
Mendoza
50%
8
Cornell
49%
37
Georgetown
45%
29
Kelley
43%
21
Ross
40%
45
Kenan-Flagler
38%
29
McCombs
24%
33
Duke
23%
48
Kellogg
19%
59
Emory
18%
17
Booth
16%
38
Darden
15%
34
Olin
11%
9
Anderson
10%
31
Tuck
5%
40
Yale
4%
24
Haas
4%
25
NYU
3%
29
Sloan
3%
30
Stanford
3%
32
Wharton
3%
36
Columbia
0%
22
Harvard
0%
38

 

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