Top Feeder Colleges to Johnson at Cornell

Cornell University’s Johnson School of Business has something in common with Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of Business. It loves its own undergraduates.

More than one in ten of the incoming MBA students who will make up the Class of 2013 at Johnson this year earned their college degrees at Cornell University, according to an analysis of Facebook profiles by PoetsandQuants. Cornell undergrads account for estimated 10.6% of the class with an estimated 29 MBA candidates out of an incoming class of 271 students.

Based on the available data, Cornell’s Johnson School appears to be the most egalitarian of the Ivy League business schools. Only 15.6% of the Class of 2013 graduated from one of the eight original Ivies. By comparison, roughly 30% of this year’s incoming class at Harvard Business School and 33.1% of the class at Wharton are from the Ivy League.

If you subtract students who earned their undergrad degrees at international schools, 22.6% of the incoming Johnson students have an Ivy League degree, versus 38% at Harvard and 44% at Wharton. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single student in the Facebook sample from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, or Stanford Universities.

The Cornell data was collected from the Facebook page for the Class of 2013. Poets&Quants was able to identify and confirm the undergraduate backgrounds of some 122 members of the group. We then used that sample to estimate the number of students from any one institution in the full class. This year’s entering class at Johnson is 271, down from 275 a year-earlier, says Christine E. Sneva, director of admissions and financial aid. Some 30% of the class are female, while 34% are from outside the U.S.

Applications for the class fell by 8%, a decline also felt at Harvard and Wharton that has largely been attributed to the turmoil in the economy. “The economy plays a big role in how risk adverse people feel after leaving a paying job and going to business school,” says Sneva. “The most interesting trend is that the domestic pool has fallen slightly. Those taking the GMAT in the U.S. are down 2% year-over-year through August. And more test takers are sending their scores to local schools.”

Sneva says the most represented industry groups in this year’s incoming class are consulting, investment banking, brokerage, and investment management. Also represented are government and military admits and those from manufacturing and consumer products.

The Facebook data provides a rare glimpse into the educational and work backgrounds of the students accepted and enrolled at Cornell’s Johnson School. Business schools keep this information close to the vest, never disclosing this information in typical class profiles.

About 30% of Cornell’s Class of 2013 hail from public university backgrounds, a far larger percentage than Harvard or Wharton. Some 17.6% of the incoming class at Harvard and 16.7% at Wharton is from public universities. If you subtract out students with undergraduate degrees from international schools, as much as 44% of the Johnson class graduated from a state college or university.

Indeed, three of Cornell’s top seven feeder schools are public universities: the University of Michigan, the University of Connecticut, and the State University of New York. But there is a broad array of public schools represented in the sample, ranging from the University of Minnesota and Rutgers University in New Jersey to Florida State University and West Virginia University.

Next to Harvard or Stanford, Cornell draws a slightly lower percentage of enrolled students from the so-called public Ivies: Berkeley, UCLA, Michigan, the University of Virginia and the University of Texas at Austin. Only 5.7% of Johnson’s Class of 2013 come from those five publics, compared to 6.3% at Harvard and 7.7% at Wharton.