Tag Archives: Admissions

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

INSEAD Acceptance Rate

INSEAD MBA Business School AdmissionThis article will analyze the model I built to predict INSEAD acceptance rate. INSEAD is a graduate business school in France, near Paris. It has two additional campuses in Singapore and Abu Dhabi. In addition to the MBA program, INSEAD also has an Executive MBA, Masters in Finance and a PHD in Management. Unlike most business schools in the US, INSEAD’s full-time program only offers a 1-year MBA. INSEAD students can either start in September or January. The January start is a 12-month program for students who would like to do an internship. The September start is a 10-month program. INSEAD prides itself on being a global business school, thus, it requires applicants to speak two languages fluently before being admitted. In order for a student to graduate, they must speak three languages. On average, INSEAD MBA acceptance rate is 31%. The average GMAT is 703 and the average GPA is 3.5. 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

UNC MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

Kenan-Flagler is University of North Carolina’s business school. UNC has five programs including a full-time MBA, various executive MBAs and an online MBA program. UNC’s MBA program is currently ranked 18th by US News and World Report. The UNC MBA class of 2017 has an average GMAT of 710 and GPA of 3.4. I built a logistic regression to predict an applicant’s chance of admission to UNC, here are the insights I gained from it. 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

Stanford MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

When I first built the Stanford MBA acceptance rate model, it showed that GPA had little to no impact on acceptance rate. I have reevaluated the data and now I believe that GPA does matter when applying to Stanford. Although GPA has an impact on acceptance, GMAT is still more important for Stanford MBA admissions. Continue reading

MBA Acceptance Rate by Country

Most elite American business schools brag about how internationally diverse they are. Although American business schools try to make sure they have students from all over the world, the reality is that there are winners and losers. Applicants from some countries have an easier time than others. In this analysis I calculated the MBA acceptance rate by country and region for American MBA programs. Continue reading

McCombs Acceptance Rate Analysis

McCombs School of Business is a top MBA program and part of University of Texas Austin. The full-time program is small; the class of 2017 is 267 students. McCombs average GMAT is 694 and average GPA 3.40. The acceptance rate is at the higher end of the spectrum at 35%. UT Austin also has an evening business school with more relaxed admissions criteria. For the evening MBA, GMAT is 640 and GPA is 3.34. Continue reading

Kellogg Interview Questions

Kellogg Interview Questions Preparation MBA Business School NorthwesternKellogg is somewhat unique in that it allows anyone who applies to interview. Kellogg MBA interviews are typically off-campus with an alumnus, although it is also possible to interview with an admissions committee member on campus or over Skype. Interviews with Kellogg tend to vary greatly based on who interviews you. You can expect anywhere from 6 to 14 Kellogg interview questions. Kellogg interviews are on the longer side, sometimes lasting an hour to an hour and a half. If you are interviewed by an alumni, typically they will have already read your resume but not your whole application. Below are the most common Kellogg interview questions, ranked from most to least common. Your chance of being asked each questions is in parenthesis. Continue reading

Yale MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

Yale School of Management, also known as YSOM, is a prestigious school located in New Haven, Connecticut. It is difficult to gain admission to Yale’s MBA program, similar to their undergraduate school. The YSOM class of 2016 has impressive statistics, with a median GMAT of 720 and median GPA of 3.56. Only 22% of applicants who apply to Yale will be accepted. 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

Cornell MBA Interview Questions

Cornell MBA Interview Questions Johnson Business SchoolThis guide is designed to help Johnson MBA applicants to prepare for their interview, complete with a list of the most common Cornell MBA interview questions. The typical Johnson MBA interview is 30 to 50 minutes long. It can be given by either a second year student, alumni or an admissions committee member. It is even possible to get an interview with an adcom member while a second year student is observing for interview training purposes. Interviews can take place on campus, off-campus or over Skype. Expect the interview to be semi-blind, which means that they have seen your resume but probably nothing else. The Cornell MBA interview questions below are organized from most common question to least common, with the frequency it is asked in parenthesis.

Most Common Cornell MBA Interview Questions

1) Tell me about yourself or walk me through your resume. (80%)

2) Tell me about a challenging situation at work or a work conflict. (70%)

3) Why Johnson? (70%)

4) Why get an MBA? Why now? (60%)

5) How will you contribute to Johnson? (50%)

6) What are your post MBA plans or goals? (50%)

7) Describe a time when you managed or lead other people? (50%)

8) What are your biggest weakness? (40%)

9) Why did you make XYZ transition? (20%)

10) What is your leadership style? (20%)

11) Have you applied to any other schools? What do they have in common with Johnson? (20%)

12) Is there anything else you want me to know? (20%)

At the end you will have time to ask a few questions. For additional interview tips check out my MBA interview preparation guide. This guide was created using the Johnson interview reports from clear admit.

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

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

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.

Darden MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

Darden, UVA’s business school, is the business school ranked 11th in the US. Darden is a prestigious school and only 25% of applicants are accepted. I built a predictive model to see which factors are most and least important for Darden admission, the results may surprise you.

Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT UVA MBA Admissions Business School

It is not shocking that increasing your GMAT will raise your Darden admission chance. The average GMAT score for accepted students at UVA’s business school is 706. If you were to increase your GMAT by 100 points from 650 to 750 when applying to Darden, you would raise your acceptance rate by an impressive 62%. Even at a GMAT score of 650, chance of acceptance is still over 20%.

Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA

Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA UVA MBA Admissions Business SchoolShockingly, GPA has little to no impact on your chance of admission to Darden. The average GPA of accepted students is 3.52. When I ran a regression model on factors that predict the chance of acceptance at Darden, GPA was one of the first variable eliminated. The graph above confirms my conclusion, a person with a 4.0 GPA has only a slightly higher chance of admission than a person with a 3.0. If you have a low GPA and a high GMAT, then Darden is a great school for you.

Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by Round

Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by Round UVA MBA Admissions Business School
Recently I performed an analysis of MBA acceptance rates by application round. The Darden MBA acceptance rate was noticeably lower during round 3. When building the Darden predictive model I confirmed that the low round 3 acceptance rate was in fact statistically significant. Although round 3 applicants still have a fairly reasonable 19% acceptance rate, it is still significantly lower than the round 1 and 2 Darden admission rates. If you are on the fence about applying round 3 to Darden, you might as well wait for next year.

Other Darden MBA Acceptance Rate Factors

Similar to Wharton, Darden MBA applicants from India have roughly a 75% lower chance of admission. Computer science majors also have a similarly low chance of being accepted, coming in at 11%.

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

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

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.


* Sample size is 30 or fewer applications.

Tuck Acceptance Rate Analysis

Tuck School of Business is a top MBA program with a competitive admissions process. The Tuck acceptance rate is low, at 20%. Unlike most other top MBA programs, Tuck is a self initiated interview. Anyone who visits campus can schedule an interview. In this article I will discuss which factors impact Tuck acceptance rate.

Tuck Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Tuck Acceptance Rate by GMAT Dartmouth MBA AdmissionsGMAT score has a large influence on Tuck acceptance rate. The average Tuck GMAT score is fairly high at 716. Adding a hundred points to your GMAT more than doubles your chance of admission. Even with a low GMAT of 650, acceptance rate at Dartmouth is still more than 10%, unlike Harvard where you need a 740 to have a 10% chance of admission.

Tuck Acceptance Rate by GPA

Tuck Acceptance Rate by GPA Dartmouth MBA AdmissionsThe average Tuck GPA is a solid 3.5. It is clear that applicants with a higher GPA have a better chance of being accepted. Once graduated, GPA is set in stone, so you might as well focus on increasing your GMAT which can still be increased.

Tuck GMAT vs. GPA

Tuck Acceptance Rate GMAT vs GPA Dartmouth MBA AdmissionsNext we look at whether Tuck prefers a high GMAT or a high GPA. The graph above shows that applicants with a high GMAT have a slightly better chance of being admitted than an applicant with a high GPA. The difference is so small that it is not very important.

Tuck Acceptance Rate by Application Round

Tuck Acceptance Rate by Round Dartmouth MBA AdmissionsAs you can see in the graph above, the round you apply to Tuck does influence acceptance rate significantly. Round 1 and 2 have a similar admission rates of around 24%. Round 3 acceptance rate starts to drop off noticeably to 18% but not much below the 20% average acceptance rate. The Tuck acceptance rate for round 4 is extremely low, at 8%. Unless you have an incredible application or are desperate to leave your current job for business school, I recommend avoiding round 4 and waiting for the next year.

Tuck Acceptance Rate by Years of Work Experience

Tuck Acceptance Rate by Years Work Experience Dartmouth MBA AdmissionsTuck values applicants that have a longer work experience. Each year of work experience raises your chance of admission by a little more than 1%.

Tuck Acceptance Rate by Age

Tuck Acceptance Rate by Age Dartmouth MBA AdmissionsSimilar to other schools such as Columbia, Duke, Cornell and Booth, Tuck prefers applicants who are around 28 years old. I believe that this is because they have enough work experience to draw on during school but are not too old to be placed at companies during recruiting. In the above graphs I look at age and years of work experience separately, however in reality they are closely related.

Adjusted Tuck Acceptance Rate by Age Dartmouth MBA AdmissionsIn the graph above I adjusted the original acceptance rate by age graph and added in the impact of work experience. For simplicity I assume that everyone graduates at 22 and works full time from graduation until they apply for business school. When these two factors are combined, you see that older applicants have a large advantage compared to younger applicants.

Other Tuck Admissions Factors

There are a few other factors that affect your chance of admission to Tuck. International applicants (excluding India) have a significantly higher chance of admission, at 28% acceptance rate. Applicants that worked in Venture Capital are especially prized at Tuck, with an impressive 47% chance of admission.

If you are thinking of applying to Tuck, be sure to check out my Tuck Interview Question Guide so you know what questions to expect. The data for this analysis came from GMAT Club.

Stern Interview Preparation Guide

NYU Stern Interview MBA Business SchoolStern Interviewed me back in December 2013. I am happy to say that I was accepted. I used Clear Admit to prepare, and it was very helpful. I felt ready and don’t remember being caught off guard by any questions. I have created a list of the most common questions you can expect during a Stern interview because I want to help all of my potential future classmates. Most Stern interviews are around 30 minutes and conducted by an admissions staff member who has read your full application. My first question was about a unique activity that I participate in that I mentioned in the application. When you arrive, you will receive a folder with information about clubs/programs you mentioned you would be interested in. You will also be given a Stern shirt so you can show your pride if you are admitted. My Stern interview was right before winter break so I didn’t hear back for almost 3 weeks, but often candidates get their decision in as little as a few days. Don’t forget to bring a copy of your transcripts, your application cannot proceed without them. I forgot mine and had to overnight them when I got back home.

The Most Common Stern Interview Questions

  1. (63%) Why do you want to attend Stern?
  2. (63%) How did you come to work for XYZ company? Or why did you transition for XYZ company to ABC company?
  3. (53%) What is your back up plan if you don’t get a job in your desired post-MBA role?
  4. (42%) What programs would you get involved with at Stern?
  5. (37%) Describe a conflict you had at work (or challenging situation or time you failed) and how you overcame it.
  6. (37%) What is your proudest professional achievement?
  7. (37%) What companies do you want to work at post MBA? (Have a list of 5 companies and reasons for each one)
  8. (37%) How is your post MBA goal different from your current role?
  9. (32%) Where would you like to intern between your first and second year?
  10. (26%) How would your (friends, manager or colleague) describe you?
  11. (21%) What is the weakest aspect of your resume?
  12. (21%) If you are admitted to all of the schools you applied to, how will you decide which school to attend?
  13. (21%) Why do you want to get an MBA?
  14. (16%) How do you plan to market yourself to your target industry?
  15. (16%) Tell me about yourself or walk me through your resume.
  16. (16%) If 25 years from now you were asked to return to Stern to speak, how would you want to be introduced?
  17. (11%) What is your role within a team?
  18. (11%) What will you contribute to the class?
  19. What other schools are you applying to?
  20. What other schools did you apply to? How would you decide where to attend?
  21. What frustrates me the most at my current role?
  22. What role would I prefer to take (if any) in a student organization?
  23. Tell me about what you’ve learned working at your current company?
  24. What’s the best constructive criticism your boss has given you?
  25. What do you hope to learn from your future classmates?
  26. How did you choose to attend ABC for undergrad? What is your best memory of your time there?
  27. How did you first hear about Stern and in what ways did you learn about the school?
  28. What most surprises you about Stern?
  29. Is international experience important to me in my business school experience? Why?
  30. Tell me what you like to do in your free time.
  31. What do you like about New York? What neighborhoods would you consider living in?
  32. What would you change/enhance on the Stern website?
  33. What makes Stern’s culture different from other schools?
  34. During the first few weeks at Stern, how will you distinguish yourself from the other students?
  35. Why do your MBA in New York City? (about the city.. not the school)
  36. What do you bring to the class?

Any question that doesn’t have a percentage next to it I only saw once in interview reports. The one Stern interview question that rubs me the wrong way is the question about  your back up plan. As a member of the class of 2016, I wonder is it so common that Stern students fail to get the job they want post MBA that Stern need to ask almost every student this question?

If you are invited for a Stern interview, please let me know if this guide was helpful for you. Also, check out my guide on how to prepare for an MBA interview.

Other interview preparation articles:

MIT / Sloan Interview Preparation

Upenn / Wharton Interview Preparation

Tuck Interview Preparation

HBS Interview Preparation