Great B-Schools Where Your Chances Of Admissions Are At Least 50-50

Baruch10The odds of getting into a top-ranked business schools are tough if not cruel. Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, the most selective U.S. business school, rejected 92.9% of its applicants last year. Harvard Business School turned down 88.5%. UC-Berkeley’s Haas School said no to 86.2%, while New York University’s Stern School turned away 84.3%.

Those rather daunting probabilities begs an obvious question: Where do the odds fall in favor of the candidate?

Of course, all of this is relative. Acceptance rates for any school are based on the applicant pool its MBA program attracts. A lot of self-selection goes on here: If you think you stand a decent chance of getting in, you’ll apply, If you don’t think you’ll have a prayer, you’re likely to apply elsewhere.


Still, admissions officials have said that as a general rule, 80% of a school’s applicant pool is fully qualified to be accepted into its MBA program and do well. So you can assume that about 20% of the pool at the best schools is essentially non-competitive for the school to which they’ve applied. The candidate is tossing a Hail Mary pass in the hopes that he or she gets through the screen of a stretch school.

If you were playing the odds of getting into the best possible MBA program, how would you do it? If you’re within the mid-80% of the GMAT and GPA ranges for the school and the acceptance rate is 40% or higher, you have at least a 50-50 or better chance of receiving an invite. The three best business schools in the U.S. where that is true: the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, which accepted 40.6% of its applicants last year; the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, which said yes to 42.6% of those who applied, and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School, which accepted 43.4% of its full-time MBA applicants. These three schools and many others on our list below offer a top-rate MBA experience. And all three, in particular, have among the best placement records for MBAs.

Obviously, this is a simple way to look at MBA admissions. Work experience, the quality of your essays, recommendations and interview all play a role as well. But GMAT and GPA numbers loom large in the equation, enough so to create a list of the schools with the odds definitely fall in your favor.

So here’s our list of the very best “50-50 schools,” their actual acceptance rates, and the GMAT and GPA scores of the latest entering class.


SchoolAcceptance Rate  Average GMAT  GMAT Range  Average GPA  GPA Range
Michigan (Ross)40.6%703650 – 7503.402.80 – 3.80
UNC (Kenan-Flagler)42.6%692640 – 7503.342.73 – 3.86
Minnesota (Carlson)43.4%692630 – 7403.402.83 – 3.94
Washington (Foster)43.4%670610 – 7203.372.92 – 3.81
Georgetown49.4%683640 – 7303.322.86 – 3.80
Brigham Young54.2%672610 – 7303.503.03 – 3.86
Maryland (Smith)43.7%656598 – 7123.302.70 – 3.84
Michigan State40.8%641557 – 7203.302.80 – 3.80
Purdue (Krannert)44.8%643540 – 7023.232.84 – 3.74
Arizona (Eller)54.8%634570 – 6903.282.80 – 3.81
Iowa (Tippie)42.0%665620 – 7103.352.90 – 3.71
Wake Forest (Babcock)   53.6%648580 – 7103.252.69 – 3.77

Source: Business schools reporting to U.S. News & World Report

(See following page for more ranked schools)


  • Sonny

    Can anyone tell me if this post is still relevant today? Seeing Georgetown on this list titillates my senses 😉

  • RossFattie

    I knew you were a chubby chaser

  • Ross admission

    It’s better than Ross by a mile

  • Socrates

    Very seriously I think it is two things:
    1) A deeply rooted disgust based on sports rivalries
    2) The mistake of generalizing that an entire student body is just like the “inept” intern these people met and spoke to 3 times in 10 weeks

  • 2cents

    Ross is a great program with lots of wonderful attributes, but since when is Michigan the best public university in the country? There are quite a few schools that would disagree with that statement (Berkeley, Virginia, UCLA come to mind as those who off the bat are just as well if not better regarded).

  • geo47

    Actually this is true, not sure if this related but speaking to current students I hear that they are indeed reducing the class size 🙂

  • gt83

    I am heading to SMU Cox this fall with a 60 K tuition scholarship. I have no other options. Anyone from Dallas can give me some dirt on how this college does in the south? thanks

  • Ross2011

    That’s not entirely true. As a Ross graduate, I will say that it’s not overt racism but there is an air of “unfriendliness” to those who do not fit the mold. I suppose preferential treatment is everywhere, but at a top business school where most people are well traveled, educated and accomplished, it’s one thing to see regression back into high school like antics, but it’s another to revert to snobbery towards your fellow peers without ever taking the time to get to know them.

  • IsaacT

    That’s the funny thing, because Ross isn’t any of those things. I think there are some trollers on here. My father taught at Ross, Columnia and Booth and sai all have partiers. Ross has tons of diversity and of the three is known to have nicer more dynamic and down to earth students. Here are also few gunners. It’s a very reputable program and graduates go all over the country. I don’t Know why there is so many blatantly obnoxious comments. It’s generally true that people’s credibility can be gauged by the nature of their commentary. Just a thought.

  • What is going on with all the hate for Ross? It seems as though in the comment section of every P+Q article there is some jab at the school. As a disclaimer, I am not a Ross student, nor have I ever applied, visited, or even know anyone that goes to the school. If I was an admissions team member for Ross, I would get on the horn and start responding to some of these audacious comments coming from what I would consider a fairly influence source of MBA information.

    Some common, albeit ridiculous, comments I have been reading:
    1) Racism- I highly doubt an entire MBA program is racist
    2) Party / Frat Boy Life Style – This is plausible but it is also plausible at every MBA program. It is college and people like to party.
    3) Under qualified applicants – This doesn’t seem accurate. i know statistics can be rigged but with a 700 GMAT average and solid average GPA, the school isn’t exactly admitting bricks. My guess is that adcom has a certain standard and admit everyone that meets that standard, unlike perhaps other schools that start drawing strings out of a hat.
    4) Arrogance – I am sure there are people with varying degrees of humility similar to any other school

  • well informed comment

  • Drew

    Yay, spoken like a true Ross student. You really do your B-School proud and add to class profile.

  • Rosser

    who wants to eat my Ross sem3n?

  • Haas2013

    I don’t…most of my friends are “minorities.” the point is don’t call someone a “nigga.” it’s racist and immature. It also proves the stereotype of black people using bad language. If they don’t like it than change it. Don’t call anyone that no matter what.

  • getrealbro

    He meant applicant, not admit.

  • getrealbro

    where did Kellogg come into this?

  • getrealbro

    OSU has a business school?

  • Anderson

    Wow – do you realize how racist you sound? Maybe you should have gone to Oral Roberts University if you despise minorities so much.

  • HaasALL

    If by safety school you mean safe sex then you are right. Not like your punk ass dad that left when he realized he forget to wrap it up.

    Yours truly,
    All Haas students

  • Haas2013

    Wow you’re a jerk. I hope you’re not really at GSB. And I’m Caucasian so please don’t speak to me the way you do to your homies. If you’re black then don’t ever complain about discrimination or being judged for lack of maturity or class. If you are not black then someone should slap you for being a racist prick.

  • IscrewedHTCsMom

    Yes and I voted for Obama, had a threesome with Bush’s daughters and also your mom and grandma too.

    Ross still blows!

  • StanfordGSB

    I betta dan u nigg@!!!

    Cal = safety school!

  • Chris Watkins Pen15

    I am Chris Watkin’s pen15 and I am starving for some poon tang!!!

  • avivalasvegas

    No, but I am implying that nearly every Kellogg candidate is interviewed before an application packet is picked up for review. Candidates are reviewed by trained students and by admissions staff.
    As far as I know, no other top b-school has this approach. Why? Because fit is paramount at that institution. The belief is that one rotten apple can indeed spoil the bunch.

  • HTC

    You don’t know what you are talking about. Ross sends 4-6 students each year to internships and same number full time to the top cpg companies for marketing. General Mills, PepsiCo, P&G, Kradt, etc. the only school with better numbers is Kellogg, naturally. The facts don’t lie.You probably voted for Obama.

  • Chris Watkins

    Ashish – I am a Kellogg student so don’t have a dog in the fight, but I have to say you are a giant douche and will likely not amount to much success in business and/or personal life. Good riddance.

  • Ashish

    The rumor is that Ross is turning into the next community college. I heard that all top recruiters are pulling out and the only jobs available will be stripping ones for all the fat MBA females the school lets in. If you wann do sin goods – Ross is the place.

  • Jason Tedford

    ross racist and elitist? That’s laughable! It has the largest cohort of black and Hispanic students in the country! And those students are in most of the leadership. You are ignorant. stop hiding behind your screen name.

  • Running gal

    I got into UNC, Duke, Haas and Ross. I chose Haas for avareoty of reasons. It was the best fit for me and I wanted to be in Bay area. I also got half tuition. My top choice was Ross however but the tuition and family considerations I decided on Haas. That said, all 4 schools are great. However, UNC is a step below. That’s obvious. You do have really cool people though! best of luck.

  • Zander Hess

    yup. They’re either at a second tier school, or at peer school – which just wreaks of inferiority complex. Funny how pathetic and negative people can be.

  • Haas2013


  • Lawrence Jones

    I don’t really worry about this. Michigan is the best public university in the country and Ross will always be regarded as a top business school. I am choosing it because all the best CPG companies recruit Ross grads. For example, General Mills, P&G, Kraft and Pepsi each take 5 or 6 interns and full time hires. No other school except Kellogg can boast that type of success for brand management. Also, Amazon takes 20+ from Ross and Google about 8-10. Ross is a fun school with cool students and many options for curriculum, study abroad, leadership, clubs and a great college town with fun sports. this years acceptance rate was an anomaly because the large class size and the state of Michigan isn’t exactly a destination like Chicago or the Bay area. So keep that in mind.

  • Eyal


    Especially considering the fact that Princeton doesn’t even have a business school…

  • ThePrestige

    Arizona State is for losers who wanna hok up with hot undergrads but won’t get a real job

  • MBA

    Did you mean Georgetown or George Washington University?

  • Woohoolverine

    YEAH!! I go to Ross as well and we are a closely-knit group of golden men.
    F**K YOU ALL

    oh wait, AND YOUR MOTHERS!!!!!!!!!!

  • duh

    He means– don’t waste your time and money on Stanford, MIT, Booth, Columbia. It’s obviously a self-evident statement. What do you not understand?

  • ASU-WPCarey

    Never point out anything with the phrase “I heard that…”

    However, your point is valid. Wash U’s Olin program has waived all fees for years now, while George Washington’s program has a relatively expensive application fee. When considering the undergrad caliber of the two institutions, the application fee would have a larger impact to numbers than the perceived job placement opportunity.

  • ASU-WPCarey

    Yep. I’m surprised that no one has called the grammar police yet. I’m headed to ASU (WP Carey) on a full scholarship this fall… and if that’s a real Kelley/Ross student’s garbage writing, I’m afraid of what I’d be seeing in August.

  • Rosslvr

    You must have a small Pen1s don’t you?

    Eat my p00p nigg@!! B

  • Wolverine

    I go to Ross – all I can say is Go Blue! Yes we like to rage. Have sex with slutty social work, public health school girls, and drunken sorority undergrads. We also have classmates who get jobs at McK, Bain, BCG, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

    F*ck you Tippie, MSU, GT, UNC, Texas grads out there. We are going to be your boss. Until you get recruited by the same firms as us- this isn’t even a discussion.

  • Guest

    I’m not sure Kelley is happy it chose you given your awful grammar. And I’m sure it will be very easy for you to repair those loans.

    I must ask this out of sheer curiosity Are you also 10 other commenters on this particular page? You all write in an awfully familiar manner. If you are some of the other commenters here, I want to thank you for polluting this blog with misinformation.

    And before you ask, I’m not a Ross student.

  • Matt C


  • CurrentKelleyStudent

    I had a half scholarship at Ross and a full scholarship at Kelley and choose Kelley. I’m glad I choose Kelley because after interning with 6 Rossers, I can safely say only 2 were competent while the other 4 seemed over their heads. We had 4 Kelley interns and all of us got full time offers while only 2 Rossers did. The 4 who didn’t were arrogant and acted like “know it alls” which reflects poorly on their school. I can see why Ross is like that, when you admit 41% of applicants, you admit people who aren’t competitive for jobs, but act like they should be handed offers on basis of “Michigan Ross” is higher ranked the IU Kelley. I hope they get the consulting jobs they really wanted otherwise it’s an expensive road to repair those loans.

  • ConsiderTheFollowing

    While perception is in the eye of the beholder… With Ross grads averaging $111,000 starting salary and Tippe grads averaging $81,000… Tippie is losing out on the most important metric imo…

  • MSU

    I second that and I go to Michigan State….who’s the little brother now!

  • IowaTippieMBAisBetter

    The University of Michigan Ross School of Business is for losers! Don’t believe the lies they say!

  • F500companyguy

    As a UT Austin grad where Ross is considered the top school my firm recruits at, I find the people who attended lesser ranked schools such as Iowa, UNC, CMU and Illinois performed far better than the entitled Ross grads who were unwilling to get their hands dirty. I always thought we must have gotten the bottom of the barrel Ross grads but after seeing these post, I’m starting to think entitled mediocrity may be more prevalent there than just a few bad apples. High GMAT scores and undergrad qualities does not say anything about a person’s character, humility, work ethic, and resiliency – the characteristics that make a great team player and leader. The Ross grads I’ve worked with bordered on sociopathic, cunning, and extremely lazy people unable to think critically.

  • Applicant

    I’ve heard that Ross is a very soft school academically and some of the students complained that career services there are more like Admins who are paid to assign what rooms companies can use for presentation. They don’t do real work or actually support people. I saw Indiana Kelly and UT Austin and Gtown has better MBA schools for too banking and consulting. Ross is overrated even in CPG marketing.

  • Renault


  • charlesJR

    Only harvard, Yale, and Princeton worth attending, the others are just wasting time and money.

  • hunter

    I heard that Ross needs to increase applications that adcoms offer even some non-military candidates application fee waiver. Every little thing helps to game the ranking. Some people are voting with their feet.

  • HWS

    I heard GTown did better than Ross in banking!

  • LeavinCBUS

    I’ve lived in Columbus for 4 years now and am heading to an M7 this fall. I don’t mean to bash on Fisher MBA’s, however, I think your view of Fisher grad’s is quite skewed. For the most part, I would say that in Columbus, a “humble” Fisher grad is pretty tough to find. I would say these guys come out of Fisher acting pretty entitled to the Columbus corporate world. Additionally, I would say that I have been somewhat underwhelmed by a fair share of the Fisher grads I have met. Mostly, they lack perspective and the ability to think critically.

    I realize this is a very small microcosm, however, the above post is indicative of a typical OSU grad, in my opinion. They hate on anything UMich due the football program rivalry. It is unfortunate, because I think OSU has some great things going for it academically, but they have always been overshadowed by its football program. (Also, like to point out that it is generally accepted that Cornell/Darden/UCLA are peer schools to Ross.)

  • Socrates

    This guy just made a strong case against OSU. How embarrassing that people upvote his post.

  • David

    You’re not a student…

  • Guest

    His post just smells of vitriolic anger from his Ross rejection (or that he’s just a terrible troll)

  • H

    What an awful, erroneous, biased, angry, pointless post. I’m not even going to bother tearing this post apart piece by misinformed piece.

  • Socrates

    Alaskan here. Can confirm Carnegie Mellon statement is funny. Can’t confirm location of Carnegie Mellon.

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  • lazenby

    Are you implying that other b-schools don’t interview each admit? Contrary to the implication, I have not come across a b-school that admits without interviewing. Not even a rank 50 school, let alone top 20.
    Every school looks at multiple aspects and attempts to get in people who have the right fit. I am not suggesting that the process is perfect at Ross or UNC.
    My simple logic is: good schools are well-known worldwide and draw a crowd that is very diverse in several aspects. It is illogical, more so futile, to paint such a group with a broad brush.

  • avivalasvegas

    True, but a school like Kellogg actually interviews each and every single admit. They may not be able to improve a person, but they sure as hell can implement personality quality control. Maybe other schools see the value in this too?

  • Guest GT

    Current Gtown MBA here and I’d like to kindly request conducting some research before making the above claims. Whether your a prospective student interested in CPG marketing, consulting or IB (to name a few)….our students place at all the tops dogs in their respective industries. The blogging world tries to conceive this notion that only 3, 7, 12, 15 great MBA programs exist and it’s really unfortunate prospective applicants may be influenced by this fallacy.

    For the sake of brevity, let me just point out that my class this year is sending MBAs to Apple, Google, MBB and nearly every bulge bracket IB (even a few PE placements though I’ll admit PE/VC is not strong here). I personally went thru the IB recruitment process in the fall and guess who I (and ~30 of my classmates who almost all received at least 1 IB offer) competed against and beat out for those positions??? MBAs from CBS, Stern, Duke, UVA and many of the other “higher ranked” programs. Georgetown has the ability to get you almost any post-MBA job you strive for….that’s why people “actually attend Georgetown.”

  • Roger

    Ross or Univ of Phoenix online?

    Lol. Just kidding. The Ross folks seem to be quite sensitive. heh

  • popcornready

    It’s in Alaska. Btw can I get a small fry with my burger? Thx

  • Lazenby

    “I think my school has far nicer people than Ross.” Seriously? A b-school bring together a bunch of people with age over 26. Their value system is already in place. The school does not turn them into nicer/shallow people. Saying that school A is “nicer” than school B is really more absurd than it sounds.

  • GimmeABreak

    As a current Ross first year student, I can honestly say that I’ve heard of about 20 students with MBB offers, many of which I know personally, and not a single one has proactively claimed their status as receiving an MBB offer. So I’m not sure what world you live in, but Ross students tend to be extremely down to earth and humble. Are there exceptions? Probably. But the broad strokes with which you’re painting the school are a complete farce.

  • GimmeABreak

    Honestly, how many people from Ross could have “blamed you when things went wrong” for you to have painted the entire school with that broad stroke? 1 person? 2, maybe? Additionally, nearly 40% are international, mostly from the Far East and South America… kinda hard for everybody to be only nice to those who are white bread Americans,when most of them aren’t, eh?

  • Orange1

    I would pick the schools on this list, with the exception of Ross and UNC, only if there is a specific niche that is sought. For example, Michigan State for supply chain, Purdue for industrial management, Washington if you are strongly motivated to work in the Pacific Northwest. These places will get you there, but probably not be effective for other typical MBA roles.

  • Guest

    As a current Ross Student, I agree with this statement. These students with MBB offers at Ross are marginal at best. They will be laid off within two years and back at Accenture or Deloitte doing PMI. Just because you got a desired job does not make you entitled. People kiss your ass to get on the closed list, but remember when you get to the real world, you will be the real bitch.

  • DoingtheMath

    So let’s assume that 40% of Ross wants consulting. That’s 200 people with 60 internationals and 140 domestic. So the real chance of getting a Mck offer is 2.5%? Assuming that it’s the same for BCG and Bain that’s a 7.5% conversion rate for domestics who want MBB US offices. I can see why other top schools are better. I bet those people at Ross who have those offers act like they are God’s gift to the school and student body. If they were at other top schools, they may not even get that offer or even better, they won’t act like they are so special especially when 30-40 kids in your class are so well regarded by MBB that those firms sponsored them.

  • DontAssociateUNCwithRoss

    I think my school has far nicer people than Ross. The Ross people that I knew come off as nice when you meet them, but they aren’t that smart, and they will try and blame you when things go wrong. I do believe that there is a lot of indirect racism and elitism at Ross that hides beneath the surface. You would think that my school, UNC, would have more racism due to its proximity in the South, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Ross kids are clicky and only nice to those like them (white bread Americans) or will help them in their career. Being nice isn’t just about who you are nice to, but who you aren’t.

  • avivalasvegas

    To Realitycheck’s point, I don’t think Ross has lost its way entirely. It’s still a top 15 school and, personally, I would compare it to Columbia. Both schools have dropped in rankings over the past couple years. While Columbia’s New York location is a plus, the Columbia’s student body is the exact opposite of Kellogg, where most are just as smart yet friendly and approachable. Ross is better in that the students are nicer – but its location is good for automotive and consulting hiring but not much else.

  • OSUisUnderrated

    OSU Fisher at least has less racist people than Ross does…and we win at sports. Ross was never top tier. McKinsey, BCG, Bain only recruited there for international talent and now that they can’t get loans, why recruit a bunch of egotistical racist assholes. They aren’t as smart as the HSW kids, but they act like it, and aren’t as humble and hard working as us OSU Fisher guys. They are the worst of them all – like a female who is fat, ugly, and has no personality or redeeming qualities.
    If you go to a peer school like UNC/Texas/Carnegie Mellon – go there. Better job opps and better people. If you get into higher ranked schools like UCLA/Cornell/Darden – go there in a heart beat. Ross is full of people who put on a front but will backstab you when it’s convienent.

    Go Bucks!

  • TheFacts

    Of course, that was not my point. The reason why M7 schools are stronger because they have stronger applicants as a whole. That’s why they have more MBB offers than lower tier schools such as Ross.

  • RealityCheck

    I don’t think anybody is arguing that Ross is an M7 school. If you get into an M7 school, go.

  • TheFacts

    Ross may be okay with the GMAT/GPA stats but the issue the school faces is that they have too many career switchers that don’t have any relevant skills compared to other top tier business schools. Many of the students can’t make a decent argumentative power point presentation or have strong technical excel skills (i.e. finance). Students at the M7 schools come from top prestige jobs (top banks/consulting/F500) where they already come in with those skills – that’s why recruiters want them – they are smart and come with a strong skill set that is transferable. The low academic standards at the school are fine if you are staying in the same industry/function, but for all the career switchers (most people), especially those who want MBB jobs, they are in for shock when they learn how competitive those jobs really are. What people don’t see is the true math behind those jobs. Let’s say there are 16 McK full time Ross offers – 10 of those are international students who will work in their home country, which leaves 6 domestic offers. Of those 6 offers, 2 or 3 will be BTO (similar to Accenture IT implementation but with the McK name) which now leaves 4 domestic generalist roles. Two of those will come from people who got the offer from getting the summer internship and the other 2 are new offers for people who didn’t recruit for consulting the prior year.

  • Cajunman

    Does the 83% include applicants who were duped by Tulane adcom who cooked books on class GMAT/application number to boost ranking.

  • Intel Dude

    I wouldn’t call top 15 a real “fall”. I also wouldn’t use one year’s acceptance rate as comparison tool for programs; especially ones with vastly different program reputations. Under that criteria, University of Memphis is a better school than Harvard and we both know that just ain’t the case boss. Keep in mind the quality of the applicant pool.


  • Hunter

    Ross will just do a quick fix and reduce its class size to make its admittance rate look better. Ironic given the reason to build new building was to expand class size. Shame that some great international applicants will avoid Ross due to no cosigner loans. Hope this reflects in rankings.

  • RealityCheck

    You sure sound like an authority on higher education

  • Equaloppty4all

    Ross happens to get a lot of great candidates applying…I see no problem accepting 30-50% of applicants if they all qualify…700+ GMAT, 3.5 gpa, good background, etc…Ross may not be a top 5 program, but lets be honest, it’s still a world class MBA program that can get you a job at any consulting/I bank if you want it.

  • BillLaimbeer

    Alabama and Baylor have lower acceptance rates than Ross!

    How far the mighty have fallen.

  • Brit

    Yea yea yea yea yea. Sucks you got suckered into a program that’s in the same league as Tulane! ha ha ha

  • RealityCheck

    It’s interesting how some folks around here react with such excitement when they think they’ve found a weakness at Ross. The stench of little brother syndrome is strong.

  • RealityCheck

    When McKinsey recruits at Ross, they bring 30 consultants, from analyst to partner and from every region of the country. Say what you want about the admittance rate (which is an anomaly year anyway due to the recent revocation of international student loans), Ross students are highly sought after by all the companies MBAs want to work for.

  • Anonymous

    Its a one year anomaly. Its acceptance rate this year went way down. Don’t get too excited. Its still a top MBA.

  • Amita

    Georgetown with 50% admission and relatively soft GPA/Gmat stats. I think the BSchool lives off the achievements of undergrad and other grad schools (Law, politics). With its high tuition, prohibitive living cost and low financial aid, who actually attends Georgetown?

  • The Dhanjay

    I think our friend with a name OSU is trolling…ofcourse OSU isnt even a great school

  • The Dhanjay

    Where is Carnegie Mellon?

  • Sameer

    Tulane with an 83% acceptance? Better off going to a local library and picking up a good book about Corporate finance and Marketing.

  • Rick

    Ross isn’t a top tier school anymore. It used to be a great school…somewhere along the way it just lost its way.

  • OSU

    Ross is on this list….lol