Category Archives: Columbia

Military MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

Military MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis - GMAT GPA AgeTransitioning from the military to MBA is a fairly popular path to follow. A little over 4% of MBA applications come from military veterans. When looking at the data comparing military applicants to traditional MBA applicants, a few trends become clear:

  • Military / Veteran applicants tend to be a year or two older.
  • Scores for military applicants are a little lower on average, about 15 points on the GMAT and about .15 for GPA
  • Military applicants on average have another year or two of work experience
  • Military MBA acceptance rate is about 50% higher than the acceptance rate for traditional applicants
  • Some schools have a very large advantage for military applicants while others have little to no advantage

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Best Schools for Young MBA Applicants

Deciding when to start applying to business school can be a challenge. Salary increases dramatically after an MBA, but schools tend to prefer applicants with more work experience. I looked at the top 25 US MBA programs’ admission data to find the best schools for young MBA applicants in terms of chance of being admitted. I analyzed the MBA acceptance rate by age to see which schools had the smallest disadvantage for younger applicants relative to traditionally aged MBA applicants. Continue reading

Updated MBA Acceptance Rate by Round

The third round of MBA applications is notorious for having a lower acceptance rate. With the third round application deadlines approaching quickly for most business schools, you may be wondering if the stereotype about the third round is fact or fiction. I updated my analysis of MBA acceptance rate by round with the last 2 years of data and I expanded it to include Olin, Georgetown, USC, Arizona State and Vanderbilt.

This analysis was done using self-reported data from GMAT Club. Data from the class of 2014 through the class of 2018 was used because otherwise there would not be enough data for round 3 and 4 to accurately capture the acceptance rate. Continue reading

MBA Round 3 Application Deadline

It is mid March and the application season for the class of 2019 is winding down. If you plan to apply for this year, you should check the MBA Round 3 Application Deadline for the school of your dreams because it is fast approaching or already past. Also, check out the MBA acceptance rate for round 3 at the schools you are considering. Continue reading

McKinsey Emerging Scholars

For all of you soon to be MBA Students interested in consulting, McKinsey has a great opportunity for you. Apply for the McKinsey Emerging Scholars program by May 19th 2016. If you are selected to be a scholar, then you will receive a monetary award, mentorship from McKinsey consultants and an invitation to a celebratory event. Continue reading

Optimal MBA Application Number

Many business school applicants wonder how many MBA applications they should submit? In this article, I will discuss the optimal MBA application number based on real data. Deciding on your MBA application number is challenging because the more schools you apply to, the less time you have to spend on each application. On the other hand, you don’t want to put all of your eggs into one or two baskets. The data suggests that the ideal number of MBA applications is 5 to 7. For more information, check out this article on how to build your portfolio of MBA applications co-authored by Lawrence Linker and I. Continue reading

Strategies on Building Your MBA Application Portfolio

By Lawrence Linker

As Founder and Application Coordinator for MBA Link, one of the first things I’m often consulted on is how many schools an applicant should apply to and which ones. This is an extremely important step to get right in the application process, because there is almost no other decision you will make along the way that has a greater influence on how likely it is you will end up getting into a school with which you will be happy. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate by GMAT and GPA

The interview is a crucial component of the MBA admission process. All top full-time MBA programs interview applicants before admitting them. Generally the MBA admissions committee is looking for two things during the interview, that you fit the culture of the school and that you have the emotional intelligence to succeed at business school. I have already looked at MBA Interview acceptance rate by itself. However, I always wondered when applying to business school if all applicants are considered equal after they have been invited to interview or does the rest of the application, like the GMAT and GPA, still matter. It turns out that it matters at some schools and not at others. Continue reading

MBA Acceptance Rate by Concentration

With the current semester just about over, next years application essay questions will be posted in the coming weeks for many schools. Round one applicants should start figuring out their story and crafting their essays. The most important essay for most schools is the question: Why get an MBA and why is [insert school name here] the right choice for you? In order to answer this question you need to have a plan for how an MBA is going to help you achieve your goals. The vast majority of MBA students are looking to switch careers. Why else pay $120,000 in tuition and give up two years of salary? If you wanted to stay in the same industry, you would probably just go for a promotion or switch companies. Continue reading

MBA Waitlist Acceptance Rate Rank

At this point in the year many applicants have been placed on the waitlist for the school of their dreams. It is a frustrating experience that I personally have experienced. This articles shows the MBA waitlist acceptance rates for the top US MBA programs. The data for this analysis comes from GMATClub. These acceptance rates are meant to give a rough idea of the waitlist acceptance rate and should be taken with a grain of salt. The sample sizes vary by school; Olin, Emory and Stanford have the lowest sample sizes.

MBA Waitlist Acceptance Rate by School Rank

US News RankSchoolWaitlist Acceptance Rate
1Stanford9%
2Harvard2%
3Wharton6%
4Booth15%
5Sloan8%
6Kellogg6%
7Haas4%
8Columbia6%
9Tuck10%
10Darden16%
11NYU3%
11Ross11%
13Duke4%
13Yale3%
15Anderson18%
16Cornell11%
17McCombs8%
18Kenan-Flagler46%
19Olin30%
20Tepper13%
21Emory4%

MBA waitlist acceptance rates ranges widely from 46% to 2% depending on the school. It tends to vary quite a bit from year to year, so these acceptance rates should only be used as a guide. For example Dartmouth’s average waitlist acceptance rate is 10%, however for the class of 2016 it was only 2%. The top ten schools on average have a slightly lower waitlist acceptance rate coming in at 8% while the next ten schools average a noticeably higher acceptance rate of 14%.

MBA Waitlist Acceptance Rate Rank

Acceptance RankSchoolWaitlist Acceptance Rate
1Kenan-Flagler46%
2Olin30%
3Anderson18%
4Darden16%
5Booth15%
6Tepper13%
7Ross11%
8Cornell11%
9Tuck10%
10Stanford9%
11Sloan8%
12McCombs8%
13Kellogg6%
14Wharton6%
15Columbia6%
16Emory4%
17Duke4%
18Haas4%
19Yale3%
20NYU3%
21Harvard2%

The schools with the highest MBA waitlist acceptance rates are Kenan-Flagler, Olin, and Anderson. At the other end are Harvard, NYU and Yale with the lowest waitlist acceptance rates. Although NYU has the highest interview acceptance rate, it rarely accepts anyone off the waitlist.

MBA Acceptance Rate by Application Round

An updated MBA acceptance rate by round analysis article can be found here which includes application data from the class 2017 and 2018.

Some business schools have roughly the same acceptance rate during all rounds while others see a significant drop off in later rounds. With applications for round 3 due in the next month or two, this analysis may help you decide which schools to focus on and which to avoid. Here is a list of the top 20 schools’ MBA acceptance rates by application round. The data for this analysis came from GMAT Club, which may be a biased sample. People on GMAT Club tend to have higher GMAT scores than the general applicant pool, so the acceptance rate can be significantly higher for some schools. The acceptance rates are meant to give you an idea of the relationship between rounds, not the absolute acceptance rate. These numbers are raw and not adjusted for other variables such as GMAT and GPA.

MBA Acceptance Rate by Round

The first table is MBA acceptance rates by round ordered by school ranking. The acceptance rates that have a star next to them means that the sample size is very small and might not be very accurate.

US News RankSchoolRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4
1Stanford8%5%2%-
1Wharton19%16%0%*-
1Harvard12%6%4%-
4Booth29%25%15%-
5MIT16%11%--
6Kellogg26%23%20%*-
7Haas17%17%6%
8Columbia23%20%--
9Tuck28%29%22%9%
10NYU29%27%21%
11Ross41%42%38%*-
11Darden32%33%16%-
13Yale24%27%9%-
14Duke31%33%21%-
15McCombs38%36%28%-
16Anderson26%34%9%-
17Johnson39%36%37%-
18Tepper24%38%43%-
19Kenan-Flagler36%40%60%-
20Emory26%40%37%-

Schools with Significantly Lower Round 3 Acceptance Rate

Many of the top 20 MBA programs have significantly lower acceptance rates in round 3 to the point where it is better to wait until next year to apply. Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, the number one ranked schools, have a large decrease in acceptance rate for round 3. Only 2% to 3% of applications for these schools are in round 3 because everyone knows that acceptance rates are so low. Haas, Yale, Duke, UVA and UCLA also see a significant drops in round 3 admissions compared to earlier rounds. Dartmouth has a respectable round 3 acceptance rate of 22%, but a very low 9% chance of admission for round 4.

Schools with Similar or Higher Round 3 Acceptance Rate

While many schools have a lower acceptance rate for round 3, there are several schools that don’t have a drop off in response. Ross, Cornell, and Emory all have similar admission odds for the third round, while Tepper and UNC actually have a higher acceptance rate for round 3.

Round 3 MBA Acceptance Rate Ranking

This is the the same table as the first one but ranked by round 3 acceptance rate from highest to lowest. Some schools have a round 4 that I did not include, because the sample size was too small. I combined round 4 applications with round 3 except for Tuck because Dartmouth actually had a large number of round 4 applicants.

Round 3 RankSchoolRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4
1Kenan-Flagler36%40%60%-
2Tepper24%38%43%-
3Ross41%42%38%*-
4Johnson39%36%37%-
4Emory26%40%37%-
6McCombs38%36%28%-
7Tuck28%29%22%9%
8NYU29%27%21%
8Duke31%33%21%-
10Kellogg26%23%20%*-
11Darden32%33%16%-
12Booth29%25%15%-
13Yale24%27%9%-
13Anderson26%34%9%-
15Haas17%17%6%
16Harvard12%6%4%-
17Stanford8%5%2%-
18Wharton19%16%0%*-
19MIT16%11%--
19Columbia23%20%--

The most surprising number is  UNC Kenan-Flagler’s round 3 acceptance rate of 60%, which is significantly higher than that of round 1 and 2. I looked at the GMAT and GPA for each round to see if they would explain the high admissions in round 3, however they were both slightly lower than other rounds. I can’t explain why UNC round 3 acceptance rate is so high, but it is a great school to apply to in the third round.

Kenan-Flagler UNC MBA Acceptance Rate by Round GMAT GPA Admissions Statistics

By request, below is the GMAT, GPA and age for Harvard and Booth by round. Round 3 data does not have a ton of data, so take this with a grain of salt.

SchoolVariableR1R2R3
BoothGMAT735739728
BoothGPA3.613.623.58
BoothAge272829
HarvardGMAT735728720
HarvardGPA3.613.573.54
HarvardAge272727

* Sample size is 30 or fewer applications.

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate Rankings

So you have just been invited to interview at the MBA school of your dreams. Obviously this raises your chance of getting in, but by how much? In general, top ten schools have lower MBA interview acceptance rates while schools ranked 11 to 20 have a higher acceptance rate for applicants who were interviewed.

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate by Rank

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate by Rank

Interview acceptance rate for Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Booth, MIT, Kellogg, Hass, Columbia, Dartmouth, NYU, Ross, Darden, Yale, Duke, McCombs, Anderson, Cornell, Tepper, Kenan-Flagler, Emory

The acceptance rate ranges from 34% to 75% for schools in the top 20. The average MBA interview acceptance rate for the top 10 is 50% and it is 62% for schools ranked 11 to 20.

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate Rankings from Highest to Lowest

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate from Highest to LowestNYU jumps out as the highest acceptance rate by a wide margin. If you have been selected to interview at Stern then you can prepare to open a bottle of champagne because you are probably going to business school. No other school in the top 10 has an interview acceptance rate above 60%.

On the other end of the spectrum is Kellogg and Tuck with the lowest acceptance rates. These two schools will allow anyone who visits campus to interview, so it is not surprising that they admit significantly fewer applicants who are interviewed. Most of the top 10 schools have an acceptance rate clustered between 46% and 51%.

Duke has the lowest acceptance rate for a school not in the top 10 at 52%. The rest of the schools range from 57% to 68%,

Good luck and don’t forget to prepare for your MBA interviews!

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

The Columbia MBA acceptance rate is on the higher side for a top 10 school, at around 18%. Despite the deceptively high acceptance rate, Columbia is still a tough school to gain admission. I built a predictive model which can give you some insight into what the Columbia Business School admissions committee is looking for in applicants.

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT CBS AdmissionsAs expected, Columbia MBA acceptance rate increases as GMAT rises. The average GMAT score is an impressive 719. Increasing GMAT score by 100 points from 650 to 750 increases odds of acceptance by 140%, which is a bigger benefit than MIT.

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA

Surprisingly GPA has little to no affect on acceptance rate at Columbia. The average GPA of Columbia applicants is 3.49 while the GPA for those admitted is almost unchanged at 3.51. Stanford is the only other school where GPA doesn’t matter. For those of you out there with a low GPA and high GMAT, Columbia is a great school to apply.

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by Round

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by Round CBS AdmissionsThe round you apply in impacts Columbia MBA acceptance rate. At CBS, if you apply during Early Decision then you are forced to enroll if accepted. Columbia seems to be worried about yield for accepted students if they are forcing applicants to choose them. If you are serious about Columbia then consider applying Early Decision because you have a slight edge otherwise you might as well wait for regular decision. Columbia is actually rolling admissions, so the sooner you submit your app the faster you get your decision.

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by Age

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by Age CBS AdmissionsThe age at which you apply has a strong impact on your chance of admission. The best time to apply is when you are 27 or 28. The further a candidate is from the average age, the lower their chance of acceptance is. I believe that this is because candidates with around 5 years of work experience have worked long enough to impress potential employers and contribute to classroom discussion while not being over qualified for on campus recruiting positions. Duke, Cornell and Booth all have a similar age effect.

Other Admissions Factors

Liberal arts majors have roughly twice the acceptance rate as others. I don’t have gender in my data set but my hypothesis is that Columbia is trying to attract women which is why the acceptance rate is so high for liberal arts majors. Acceptance rate is higher for economics majors but lower for finance majors. Consultants also have a major advantage, with an impressive 30% acceptance rate.

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA

I updated this article by request to show how Columbia acceptance rate changes by GPA. In the chart below you can see that from 3.0 to 4.0 the acceptance rate stays fairly stable, slightly above 20% for all GPAs other than 3.2 and 3.9. Shockingly the acceptance rate at 3.0 is actually higher than 4.0.Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA Business School Admissions

CBS Interview Invite Rate and Acceptance Rate by Round

Columbia Business School Interview Rates and Acceptance by Round

A reader asked me how applying early vs. regular affected an applicants chance of being invited to interview and accepted after interview. It looks like applying early does not improve an applicant’s chance of being interviewed but does raise the acceptance rate if invited to interview. Approximately 40% of applicants apply through early decision.

The data for this post comes from GMAT Club.

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How Important is the GMAT to Columbia Business School

Every person who has ever considered applying to business school has considered how important the GMAT is to the admissions committee. It could be because that person did well and is hoping that their GMAT score will get them in or it could be that the person is trying to overcome a low GMAT score. I used the admissions data from GMAT Club to come up with actual data to answer this question.

Here is my analysis of how much important to Columbia GMAT is. I looked at everyone who was admitted to CBS and also provided both GMAT and GPA. I found the slope of the admitted students with the lowest score to find out how much the CBS values the GMAT scores.

I used this methodology because it is obvious that most schools will accept someone who has a 4.0 and an 800; it is the people who are on the border who matter. I also removed a few outlier data points on the low side because they probably had very influential connections to get in with their low scores, and that information isn’t relevant to the average applicant.

Columbia GMAT vs. GPA

Columbia GMAT Business School Admissions Application GPA You can see that the slope of the line for accepted students is .0063. This means that for every 10 points higher you score on the GMAT, it is the equivalent of having a GPA that is .063 points higher. So Columbia would roughly consider an applicant with a 800 GMAT and 3.00 GPA as similar to an applicant with a 700 and a 3.63 GPA. The value of .063 is higher than most schools other than Harvard, which is at .093.

Columbia GMAT and GPA. It isn’t helpful to look at the top 50% of applicants because those are not the marginal candidates who barely got in. I occasionally will remove very low outliers because those candidates may have been admitted due to very strong connections that most applicants don’t have. I never remove more than 5% of the total accepted students as outliers. The slope of the scatterplot demonstrates the point at which the school is indifferent to GMAT vs. GPA. The data for this analysis comes from Columbia GMAT Club.

How Important is GMAT vs. GPA for MBA Admissions

Almost all MBA applicants stress over their GMAT score. This series will demystify how different schools weight GMAT vs. GPA. I will be adding additional schools to this post as I complete the analysis. For this analysis, I use GMAT Club application data.

Columbia Business School

Wharton

Tuck