Apps Fall At Kellogg And Booth

Applications to the full-time MBA programs at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business declined for the incoming classes this fall.

Kellogg suffered the larger downturn, falling 5.6% to 4,974 from 5,270 the previous year, while applications to Booth slid by just 3.0% to 4,169 from 4,299 a year earlier. The declines are in line with other top schools that also reported fewer applications as more people hold onto their jobs in an uncertain economy with a troubled job market.

Applications at Stanford dropped 8.9%, for example, while the Johnson School at Cornell saw an 8.0% fall. Harvard Business School was down 4%, while Wharton was down 5.7%. The only top-tier school to buck this trend has been Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. As previously reported, applications to Tuck’s Class of 2013 rose 7.5% to 2,744. The increase allowed Tuck to bring its acceptance rate to 18%, down from 20% a year earlier


Nonetheless, Booth said the slight decline had no impact on its 22% acceptance rate nor the quality of the school’s admits. That’s largely because Booth was able to improve its yield—the percentage of accepted applicants who decided to enroll at Booth—while the size of its entering class was essentially unchanged at 575, just one student less than the 576 last year.

The school said its average GMAT score for its newly enrolled class rose yet again. “We made about 5% fewer offers of admission to yield a class with a higher mean GMAT by four points,” said Stacey Kole, deputy dean for Booth’s full-time MBA program. The average GMAT hit a record 719, up from 715 a year earlier. Booth said the average grade point average for the incoming class was 3.52, the same as last year.

It was a different story at Kellogg where the average GMAT score for the class slipped by a single point to 714 this year from 715 last year. Kellogg was able to increase the percentage of both women and international students in the class, however. Women represent 33% of the Class of 2013, up from 32% a year earlier, while international students make up 34% of the class, up from 31%. The average age for the class remains unchanged at 28.

At Booth, some 35% of the Class of 2013 are women, while 33% are international, exactly the same percentages as last year. Underrepresented minorities make up 10% of the class, Booth reported. The average age for the class was unchanged at 28.

The largest percentage of the Class of 2013 came to Booth with undergraduate degrees in business and economics. Some 29.4% of the incoming students have business degrees, while 23.6% have economics degrees. Engineering majors account for 22.9% of the class, while students with undergraduate degrees in the liberal arts and sciences make up 14.6% of the class. About 7.8% have undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences.



  • Daniel

    I’m a Kellogg student. While it’s true that team work is great here, sometimes it goes too far. I cannot do anything here without having to meet with a group of people, even for the most small thing I have to meet my group. The first month is fine, after two month you start to be tired of having to meet five groups a week to discuss if we agree that 1+1=2. I love my school, but honestly this group obsession starts to piss me off.

  • Ash,

    There’s no doubt that Chicago Booth has made many improvements. But I seriously doubt that the school would be able to top Kellogg for marketing and especially for teamwork/collaboration. The latter is just too crucial a part of the Kellogg culture and involves a lot of deeply ingrained factors. Most schools talk teamwork and collaboration and many do it very well. But no school has this in its DNA the way Kellogg does.

  • Ash

    Do you think if Booth is making changes/improvements at this rate, will it beat Kellogg in marketing and teamwork/collaboration that Kellogg has always been known for?

  • Jason,

    Chicago’s rise can largely be attributed to the recently departed Dean Ted Snyder. He is a brilliant leader who knows the business school landscape inside and out and who made some very substantial and dramatic improvements to Booth, not least of which was a new building and a superb support team. In comparison, Kellogg has lost some momentum. It will be interesting, however, to see how this plays out over the next three to five years.

  • kingafrica

    wow- 10% underrepresented minorites @ Booth- yeesh! Does that mean Booth is 90% white? or 90% white/asian? What constitutes “underrepresented minority” in the mba arena?

  • Jason Schmidt

    Hi John,

    I was curious to get your perspective on what seems to be a bit of a downturn for Kellogg. I remember growing up that Kellogg was widely regarded as “the management school” to attend while Chicago was it’s nerdy cousin.
    It would seem from these articles and recent rankings that Chicago is in it’s ascendency while Kellogg has suffered.
    What do you attribute this to?