Record GMAT Score & Women at Kellogg

Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management today (Aug. 4) said its incoming class of two-year MBA students boasts the highest percentage of women ever as well as a record average GMAT score. Some 43% of the incoming class this fall will be female, up five full percentage points from last year’s 38% total.

The GMAT average for the class, meantime, will be 724, an eight-point rise from last year when GMATs averaged 716. If other business schools maintain their GMAT averages from last year, Kellogg’s new score would give it the fourth highest numbers of any U.S. school, behind only Stanford, Harvard, and Wharton. The record GMAT now matches last year’s average score for the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Kellogg did not reveal the full range of GMAT scores for its new class, instead reporting that the middle 80% range is 690 to 760.

An eight-point jump in a single year is unusual. In the previous five years, Wharton and Chicago increased their averages by 10 and nine points, respectively, from 718 to 728 and from 715 to 724. In that same timeframe, Kellogg’s GMAT average had fallen by one point. The highest reported GMAT average for a U.S. school belongs to Stanford which last year boasted a 732 average. GMAT scores have added importance because they are a key metric used by U.S. News to annually rank the best U.S. MBA programs.


Kellogg achieved both records in a year in which applications were flat, according to Kate Smith, director of admissions, who did not disclose actual numbers on applications. “While the total number of applications was about the same, the strength of the candidates we saw seemed to grow,” she said. “We are fortunate to have an outstanding pool of applicants. Our goal is to make sure that students can handle the rigor of the classroom. That (the record GMAT average) is not as interesting as the diversity profile.”

The 43% number puts Kellogg ahead of most business schools and matches UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business which last year hit a record 43%, highest among the elite MBA programs. Some 41% of Harvard Business School’s incoming class this fall is composed of women. At Wharton, 40% of last year’s incoming class was female, while at Stanford it was 42%.

Overall, women make up only about 35% of the U.S. MBA student population. Kellogg Dean Sally Blount was among 10 female deans at top business schools who met earlier this year in a historic session, vowing to undertake steps that would remedy the gender imbalance.

Smith said the increase in women was largely the result of outreach programs. “Over the past few years, we’ve become more focused on attracting more women to Kellogg,” she said. “We have a deep commitment to diversity in every facet of our school. If you look at our track record, we’ve educated many terrific female leaders, including Ellen Kullman, the CEO of DuPont, and Jenny Lee, the managing partner of GGV Capital who is the only woman on Forbes’ Midas List.”


The school also increased the percentage of international students in the new class to 40%, up from 38% a year earlier. The international contingent at Kellogg will be from 56 different countries, said Smith.

The industry backgrounds of incoming students remained relatively stable, with a few exceptions. The school doubled the percentage of military in the class to 4% from 2%, while incoming students from financial services declined by two percentage points to 21%.

  • avivalasvegas

    Now there’s a new one!

  • 2cents

    I’m confused by those on this comment thread that see Kellogg as a bastion for entrepreneurship second only Stanford… seems like the other schools that do this kind self-aggrandizing (also seems to specifically attack other peer schools which does not prove ones own worth). Hoteltonight does not make a school a startup heaven, but certainly smart and talented kids across the M7 and in truth, these kids (including myself when i was a student) are pretty much identical as a pool behind the top two. Justify differences all you like on online blogs.

  • 2cents

    Just throwing Tuck under the bus eh? history always looks better with revisions anyways

  • 2cents

    You do realize avivalasvegas went to Kellogg right? Also clearly you don’t understand VC, but that’s a different subject..

  • avivalasvegas

    Is that your defense Fidel? You assume that I’m a quant jock and try to mock your imagined impression of me?

    You’re doing really well…except…not very social. The only thing you had going for you that too…

  • avivalasvegas

    Yes, but Kellogg does not have the same numbers that pursue those diverse career paths as any other M7 school. It trails the pack in entrepreneurship, finance, media (the school recently axed its unique media management major), non profit etc.

    To claim that a Kellogg student doesn’t need the guidance of excellent faculty in the finance profession because of his/her “chops” is arrogant and ignorant. The reason the 2nd years who don’t have trouble landing internships and offers is because most Investment bank, Goldman included, never fill their MBA recruiting quota from Kellogg because the number of students applying is so low (unlike Wharton and Booth, where its a rat race). This is why it is always recommended to go to Kellogg if you want to work at a top IB firm, simply because the odds are always in your favor.

    Stanford GSB’s 16% in Consulting (incidentally, lower than their number for entrepreneurship) shows just how much appetite the GSB student have for risk. Not to mention courage and passion. I would argue that this is the very definition of a healthy student mix. NOT sending over a third into the very social, very alcohol friendly consulting lifestyle. Where real world impact is as imaginary as the bond between “Kwestie Besties”.

  • fidel305

    Lmao. The monolithic them. U used it in an undifferentiated way. Own up to ir own comments.

    The some other dude defense. Pathetic.

    Point remains u quant jocks lack the personal skills to do VC, which requires very little of what u do. PE too for that matter.

    Stick to risk analytics and other things u can do from ur cubical, like causing another subprime market meltdown. What goes up must continue to go up more right? lol

    Gotta go make some more money. Seeya

  • avivalasvegas

    Aww Fidel…you give me too much credit. The terms for finance are what B schools (including Kellogg) came up with.

    As far as personal skills goes, why not save that propaganda for TG? Ya know..chug some MGD with the other “personally skilled” consultant wannabes? Bring back memories?

    Whatever you do, spare us from your baseless, data-less comments. They’re only taking away even more credit from your institution, if you are any indication of the product that comes out of it.

  • fidel305

    no time to have fun with your silly assertions right now. will be back later.
    but for now, suffice it to say, eskimos have a hundred words for snow and you have at least that many for finance. Trouble is much of what you claim as finance has little to do with the finance programs that I detest.
    Take VC for example. lots of those generalists from Stanford that you detest are in VC. The “finance” aspects are basic. What you really need, especially at the entry level, are the personal skills to find deals. that’s something finance guys from Wharton. booth and cbs typically don’t have, like you.

  • avivalasvegas

    – Can you back up your claim about Kellogg being better in Tech? Outside of the MMM program, which is more design focussed and takes in around 10% of the 2Y MBA class, what else you got? A class with 50 Indian students, many from the IITs? Sure that’d be a good place to look…except most of them end up as plain ol’ management consultants as well. Isn’t it true that if a student gets a job with Netflix or Xbox, Kellogg reports the hire as “Tech”?

    I’ve posted multiple threads about consulting and my views on them. Outside of saying I know nothing about consulting, what do you have to back any of your claims with? Forgive me for not entering into another defensive debate with a Kellogg grad.

    Feel free to refer to finance however you want to – my Top 5 program isn’t known for finance. But unlike consulting, “finance” has impact investing/ micro finance/ PE/VC, outside of the jobs you’re referring to.

  • Greyguy

    That may be true in some cases, but they still have to come up with a factual and logical case to justify their fee, many cannot do a credible job for the fee they charge, because much of it is merely rationalization.

  • fidel305

    Sorry but Kellogg is better than HBS in tech.
    And, your statement “plain ol management consulting” shows you know nothing about consulting either.
    btw, I am going to start using the term “plain ol finance. ” And, by that I don’t mean PE. I mean the craaap jobs most of the booth and cbs finance grads get with employers like tiaa.

  • fidel305

    sadly, the main reason consultants are hired is to justify a predetermined course of action that management who hired them wants to undertake.

  • avivalasvegas

    I can safely say that my school doesn’t compete with Kellogg. Good luck to you as well!

  • M7hopeful

    Unless there are new part-time MBA programs in the M7, and more specifically in the top five schools, it’s pretty clear to anyone with interest where you went to school. But hey, keep bashing Kellogg and Wharton, your school’s two main competitors, on every P&Q article applicable…I’m sure you’ll manage to convince at least a few people.

    Best of luck in the future.

  • avivalasvegas

    You’re mistaken – I have never claimed and have no affiliation with Booth. And no, you’re bowing out because your arguments lacked substance and were countered successfully every time you’ve tried new ways to prove points you couldn’t. Just like your mystic claim about future rankings.

    Enjoy your time at Kellogg. In a way, you appear a poster child for what the school is becoming.

  • M7hopeful

    You mentioned the “entirely ex CPG marketing team,” which is what I was alluding to. Marketing team =/= admissions team.

    The info you provided about Tim does nothing to refute my argument that he found success in industry before moving to academia. My suggestion that he wanted to “try something new” was followed by “after being in industry his whole career,” so speaking about his two years at GE doesn’t really apply here.

    I really struggled to understand your deep disdain for Kellogg until I looked into your post history and found your link to Booth. You know that you don’t need to tear down Kellogg to make Booth look better, right? The fact that Booth places almost as many grads into consulting as Kellogg (28% last year) and places a whopping 78% of grads into one of three fields (consulting, finance, tech) makes your previous arguments altogether nonsensical–unless you’re fine with bashing your own alma mater.

    Either way, it’s become very clear that this argument isn’t going anywhere–I leave when unfounded adjectives like “naive” and “oblivious” start getting thrown around–so I’m going to bow out. Feel free to bash your Chicago rival all you want–at the end of the day, the numbers don’t lie, and neither will the rankings a few years down the line.

  • avivalasvegas

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Her myopia has spread from the career management center where its staff have been told to route candidates to any available jobs regardless of the student’s passion, in an effort to boost their recruitment stats.

    But that’s just the exiting pool. It’s spread to the incoming pool screening as well.

  • There’s not much “thinking bravely” coming out of McK or CPG companies.

  • avivalasvegas

    Sure, Kellogg has as many paths. All the M7 schools do. But how many Kellogg students walk down those paths, free of the “atrium effect” ? The answer: Not many.

    My point about Finance professors is extremely relevant. Why would a student want to enter a finance profession when they don’t have the best faculty support possible to guide them down the “path”? Are you claiming that Kellogg students don’t need good finance faculty because of their pre-existing financial proficiency?

    GSB’s stats in consulting show how incredible the Stanford student’s
    appetite for risk is. The fact that a greater number of students chose entrepreneurship over consulting says it all. Which is why the school will always outperform the M7.

    Your arguments are weak at best. The data says it all, my naïve friend.

  • M7hopeful

    By almost any meaningful metric, Kellogg has as much diversity in exit career paths as any of the other top schools. I don’t know how many different ways I need to parse the numbers to get my point across. Look at the top three or four industries for each school and you’ll see that Kellogg’s numbers line up with everyone else’s numbers. The only difference is that Kellogg has consulting where GSB and HBS (or Wharton, or CBS) have finance.

    Arguing about rockstar finance professors is pointless. I never claimed that Kellogg is known for its finance professors. All I said is that Kellogg students have the chops for any finance gig they want (talk with second years who are interested in finance, you’ll find that they have no trouble landing internships or full-time offers). That they CHOOSE a path other than finance says nothing about Kellogg’s ability to PREPARE them for finance careers. Recruiting statistics only communicate what students are interested in at each school. Does GSB’s 16% placement in consulting indicate that Stanford does not adequately prepare its students for consulting careers?

  • avivalasvegas

    I haven’t mentioned any marketing faculty. I mentioned Tim Simonds , Kellogg’s CMO, who’s only major accomplishment thus far is ditching “Think Bravely”, probably one of the catchiest phrases that any business school has ever launched only to replace it with “Inspiring Growth”. lol.

    (FYI, Tim Simonds was the Marketing Managing Director (what is that anyway?) at United for Merchandizing for 7 years and Customer Experience for 6 years before that. He did try something new – he went to GE for <2 years before coming to Kellogg).

    I'm sure you would state that any of Sally's staff are doing swimmingly, Betsy included. But you haven't proved any of it. Which is why you're Sally's dream admit. A well funded, naïve visitor, completely oblivious to the fundamental erosion of a great school's DNA.

  • M7hopeful

    First off, using Betsy as an example for this and stating that there’s “enough data to answer the key question” is a bit pointless, as we’ve established that you think she’s doing horribly and I think she’s doing fine.

    You seem to be muddying the water now–you start out talking about Dean Blount and her “cronies” (apparently “ex-industry rejects”) who only care about boosting numbers in the short term, but then you back up your statements by…talking about the marketing faculty? Something doesn’t fit. If you want to compare apples to apples, at least find someone on the admissions team whom you don’t like. (And if you want to keep talking about higher-ups in the administration who have no say in admissions decisions, there are plenty of former F500 CFOs, MDs, and partners in there to choose from. Maybe your inside track at Kellogg has given you dirt on all of them, who knows.)

    Tim Simonds, the former marketing MD from United? Yeah, why would any school want an MD from a $20B company as its chief marketing officer…that would be a horrible idea. He was DEFINITELY an industry reject after working in that role for 12 years. It’s not at all possible that he, I don’t know, wanted to try something new after being in industry his whole career.

    Again, former industry experience does not indicate industry reject status. Plenty of people in the administration (and in the faculty) found measurable success in industry and made a conscious decision to try something new. I, and the rest of the Kellogg student population, am benefiting from those decisions immensely.

  • avivalasvegas

    Again, you try to muddy the water, this time by stating that I’ve claimed something that I haven’t.

    I stated that more than 1 out of 3 students at Kellogg is a management consulting in the making. The next highest industry is Tech at 2 out of 11. I did not state that Kellogg pumps out only consultants, the same way I will not say that the other schools pump out only finance career hopefuls. What I will say is that HBS and GSB have diversity in student careers in numbers that spread across the student body more evenly, a credit to their admission committees. There is no risk aversion amongst the administrative staff there, unlike the myopic rankings game that Kate Smith has been told to play.

    I would argue that finance IS a weakness for Kellogg. In terms of “rockstar” finance faculty, there is Mitchell Peterson, Jose Liberty and Sergio Rebelo and that’s about it. In terms of recruiting, there isn’t much there either, with less than 1/2 the recruitment than any other M7 school.

    Finally, when you claim that Kellogg attracts those interested in the “social” aspect of business, you destroy any credibility that the institution has worked so hard to establish but more importantly, you reinforce my argument in a culture that has been perfectly matched for consulting i.e. more fluff, loads of alcohol and less substance.

  • Greyguy

    I have worked with 7 different consulting groups and in every case they had a formula or methodology for their work. It fit a pattern and your situation was going to conform to the pattern in some way. Many of these consulting groups from an ethics perspective tell you they will not do work for two companies or organizations in the same “industry” in a given period of time. Yet down the road you find this not to be true. In some cases reports that were supposed to be confidential show remarkable similarities to each other.
    My observation has been that the main reason consultants are brought in is that the next level or two of management has no confidence the current folks can get the job done. If they feel that way its their job to fix it not a consultant’s. If they are merely looking for an outside opinion to help solidify their feelings so be it, but it is still management’s job to execute the plan. My major gripe with consultants is most are formula driven and their formulas do not fit most situations they encounter and you must be smart enough to recognize if their formula is applicable before hiring them. I had a very nice conversation with A. D. Little years ago and we agreed that what they did was not what we wanted to do “at that point in time” in the development of out organization, basically we were too small and might need them later. Management seems to forget that consultants are just another vendor and need to create value like everyone else and the value better be more than perceived.

  • avivalasvegas

    I wasn’t referring to Kate. She’s undeniably awesome but sadly is being pressured by her leadership to admit a certain kind of candidate (high GMAT, sponsored).
    Take a good look at Tim Simonds for instance and the entirely ex CPG marketing team at Kellogg. Or if you prefer to use Betsy as an example, she may have been a successful consultant, but there is enough data to answer the key question: Has she been a successful Dean?

  • M7hopeful

    Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Kate Smith, pulled from an earlier P&Q article about the admissions process (circa September 2012):

    And your first reader is a student?

    Yes. Where we can have a student involved, we do. There may be a handful of applications when we’re on break that we might read first. But the intent is to have student involvement with each and every application we can. We have a wide range of specific attributes that we evaluate each applicant on. We believe they are indicators of what makes a great student at Kellogg. We train every reviewer to look at that entire range of qualities and to seek for evidence of those qualities in every applicant. They are reviewing and calling out evidence of each of those attributes to help make a recommendation. We do have this one to five scale, but we are asking each student to recommend an admit or a deny based on this review. You don’t get to pick wait list.

    Then, the application comes to an admissions officer regardless of the recommendation. So every application gets two full reads before it comes to the director. We tell our staff not to look at the previous recommendation but to read the application independent of the first review. Then, you can go back and look at the student review so your recommendation is based on the two reviews. Then, it comes to the director who reviews all of the applications.

    So if the student and admissions staffer agree that an applicant should be rejected, you would still look at the application?

    Yes. I did a lot of reading when I first got here. The benefit of that is that you have three people coming to a conclusion. It’s the value of making sure we are admitting all the students we should. We don’t want to say no to someone that we should be considering for admission. And sometimes all eight of the admission officers will come together to talk about some of the applications. That happens organically.

  • M7hopeful

    …and yet that matches what is seen at many of the other top schools. HBS has 45% and Chicago Booth has 55%, and a lot of the others are upper 30s/lower 40s (hard to get good numbers for economics, not many other schools break it out into a separate category). Business and economics backgrounds are simply feeders to B-school in general.

  • M7hopeful

    I would LOVE to get some facts to back up your statement that the administration is full of “ex-industry rejects.” Dean Z was a super successful McK partner, Kate Smith was a super successful brand manager at some of the top CPG companies in the world…not really seeing how the “reject” label applies at all. They could have both continued on in industry and had amazing successes.

    There’s a difference between being rejected by industry and choosing to step away from it.

  • M7hopeful

    You don’t seem to be grasping what I’m getting at with my posts, so I’m going to attempt to be very to-the-point with this particular response. You claim that Kellogg pumps out nothing but consultants. I refute that by stating simply that grads going into consulting after Kellogg are matched or exceeded by those going into finance after GSB and HBS. If you want to say that Kellogg only pumps out consultants, then you must also be comfortable saying that GSB and HBS only put people into finance. Are you comfortable with that classification?

    I don’t understand why you think the whole finance thing is a weakness for Kellogg. As I stated in an earlier response, correlation does not imply causation. Kellogg students don’t generally go down the finance path, but it’s not because they don’t have the chops for it (believe me, they do…plenty of my friends came from GS, BlackRock, PE, hedge funds, etc.). Kellogg simply tends to attract people who are interested in the social aspect of business…and that’s just not going to be found in entry-level analyst positions in finance.

    I’ll say it one more time and hope it sticks: correlation =/= causation.

  • M7hopeful

    Consultants don’t need to be subject matter experts to be able to offer value to their clients. There’s a reason that the top firms leave their associates as generalists for the first few years…problem-solving in general is not industry-specific, and in fact subject matter expertise tends to constrain thinking when it comes to more blue-sky thinking. Successful consultants are able to break any problem down into its constituent parts, find the root cause of the problem, fix it, and reconstitute the entire thing. Subject matter experts are brought in as needed.

    It’s clear that your negative experience with McKinsey is coloring your view of the value that consulting firms are generally able to bring to the table in client engagements (and before you ask–no, I’m not a consultant), so I don’t expect to be able to have a dialogue about it with you. Your two references to “dismantling and debunking” the work of highly paid, highly trained consultants at one of the top firms in the world confirms to me that that’s a bit of a lost cause. All I’ll say is this: if there wasn’t a value add, F50/100/500 companies like yours wouldn’t keep bringing them on for engagements.

  • It used to be that every application was ready by three people, one of whom was an admissions officer and two of whom were current students. A straight best-of-three vote determined whether the applicant was moved on to be recommended. This was designed to weed out the statistically attractive assholes. Is that still true today?

  • Blount is as near-sighted as Jacobs was foward thinking.

    Jacobs built Kellogg into the best b-school in the world by listening to students and to the needs of corporate America, and radically departing from old-school ways to reinvent the MBA curriculum. He did it without great facilities, and without being more selective than the Harvards of the world. But corporate America took notice and Northwestern vaulted to the top of b-school rankings in the late 20th century. It took decades before Harvard and Wharton started trying (only partially successfully) to copy some of Kellogg’s success formula.

    Years later, the world has changed again, and Sally Blount’s formula for maintaining top rankings is to focus on admissions statistics and to attracting a more statistically selective-looking applicant pool based on superficial criteria like facilities and GMAT scores. It’s cynical and lazy. I will not donate to the school again until she’s gone.

  • …and 48% of the incoming class had undergraduate business or economics degrees. Yikes. That’s really sad. Doesn’t bode well for the critical thinking skills of future graduates.

  • morning_in_america

    Yes the new business palace will make a difference. Now get rid of the “transforming together” slogan which has far too many negative inferences and is a rookie marketing mistake.

  • morning_in_america


  • morning_in_america

    The school that rose to prominence on the BusinessWeek rankings has figured out that you have to dissect every ranking system and present your data to maximize your results. Well done, if GMAT score is a vector of “quality” you admit more high GMAT scores.

  • morning_in_america

    Fidel, you comments seem on the mark. definitely a feeling at NU that Kellogg needs to get moving again. The only issue was that for me, at least, Kellogg provided very generous aid, but that was back in the 1980s.

  • Greyguy

    How can you be a consultant when you have very little background or experience? This is why so much consulting is a solution looking for a problem, not the other way around! I you do not understand the basic math, science , and engineering that underlies accounting, finance, and integrated computer systems you might just not get it right. And a lot of consultants do not, even the ones at the big firms; I know, because I have dismantled and debunked their work.

  • Greyguy

    So Inviting someone from consulting to help teach the minds of the students how to be part of the corporate culture is a positive aspect to our society? I worked for a very large fortune 500 company that needed reorganizing and McKinsey was the Cultural change agent of choice. I am not sure their text book approach was the answer since the final result was to loose all the good up and coming managers who understood the company and bring in higher priced talent of lesser quality managerial skills and higher degrees of political skill. The profits did not change, just the politics.

    Most consultants are formula driven and fit your situation to their solution. I have worked with outside consultants and most are not terribly original and on several occasions have debunked their work and cost them a lot of money. Remember, they are vendors like everyone else and should add value to your operation; if not do not pay them, many cannot produce results and are about intimidating you into believing, they are ALWAYS RIGHT, which is problematic.

  • avivalasvegas

    And that is precisely my problem with Kellogg’s new Dean and her cronies. I know that they are an incredibly risk averse bunch of ex- industry rejects who essentially want to do everything to boost numbers in the short term. Sadly, this means that they are NOT “Thinking Bravely”.

    Kellogg will never see its return to the top of the rankings till the spirit of Don Jacob’s (and his protege’s) fearless leadership returns to campus. Till then, all Kellogg will become is a consultant factory with new building, a shadow of what it once was.

  • avivalasvegas

    Your attempts to muddy the water are amazing. Are you a former/ future consultant?
    The facts are that Kellogg trails GSB and HBS on entrepreneurship and non profit..
    Additionally, you’ve lumped consulting in with tech, finance and entrepreneurship (4 completely different career tracks) to claim diversity at Kellogg. What I am saying is that more than 1 out of 3 students is a consultant at Kellogg. There is no other profession that comes close to that majority at the school and while no one is claiming that Kellogg doesn’t send more grads into more industries than any other school, the real question is how many students go into these industries? The answer is: not many. The next highest is 2 out of 11 for Tech. When you have 550 students, that’s 180 odd sponsored consultants running around firing substance-less blanks (and PowerPoint presentations) at everything.
    I’d think that, given this is Kellogg we’re talking about, you would have stayed mum about the Finance bit. Kellogg students under index in a profession that doesn’t place as much of an emphasis on the softer skills. Moreover, do you mean corporate finance, micro finance, investment banking? When I say management consulting, I mean management consulting.

  • M7hopeful

    A few points:

    1) I’ll admit that Kellogg is behind Stanford with respect to nonprofit/government and entrepreneurship paths…but every single M7 school is a ways back in both of those. Kellogg is only slightly behind HBS in both…and a percentage point or two isn’t exactly enough to make a statistically significant claim.

    2) Saying that Kellogg has filled those slots with more consulting is disingenuous at best. Look again at the breakdown and tell me that Kellogg doesn’t have the most diverse career paths of any M7 school. Stanford sent a whopping 86% (!!!) of its graduating class into consulting, finance, tech, or entrepreneurship, while HBS sent 81%. The number at Kellogg? 72%.

    Also supporting this: the sheer number of companies successfully recruiting on campus at Kellogg. Companies don’t keep coming back for recruiting if graduates aren’t signing with them, yet we continue to see an absurd number of companies recruiting on campus. Just look at the career reports for top companies at Kellogg and see how many companies there are that come away with 5+ grads each year. You’re simply not gonna get that kind of diversity at HBS or Stanford.

    (This also doesn’t touch on the fact that, as was alluded to in another comment, consulting generally leads to other fields…there are very few career consultants coming out of business school. The same can’t really be said for finance, which seems to be a popular destination for HBS and GSB grads. I’d fathom a guess that the class makeup and career path diversity for Kellogg looks even better three to five years out than it does at graduation, though I don’t have the numbers to back that up.)

    You still haven’t addressed the point about finance. Why is it fine to rag on Kellogg for putting 35% of its graduates into consulting, but it’s no big deal that 33% of HBS grads and 29% of GSB grads go into finance? You can’t expect completely balanced career paths from one school and completely disregard them in the other two.

  • avivalasvegas

    My claim was not pure speculation. Look at the intake/ output numbers for students from HBS/ GSB and you’ll see a startling difference. Almost all the entrepreneurship and social sector numbers that those school have, Kellogg lacks. In their place lurks more management consulting. While I agree that the profession is known to be more social, it also has the reputation of lacking any substance. This is unfortunate, as Kellogg students will undoubtedly have to field this stereotype as well.

    I have always loved the school, just as you clearly do – I just don’t agree with the myopia that runs rampant at the leadership level there. They’ve lost some really great faculty as a result of this (PJ Lamberson, Daniel Diermeier to name a couple).

  • avivalasvegas

    My claim was not pure speculation. Look at the intake/ output numbers for students from HBS/ GSB and you’ll see a startling difference. Almost all the entrepreneurship and social sector numbers that those school have, Kellogg lacks. In their place lurks more management consulting. While I agree that the profession is known to be more social, it also has the reputation of lacking any substance. This is unfortunate, as Kellogg students will undoubtedly have to field this stereotype as well.

    I have always loved the school, just as you clearly do – I just don’t agree with the myopia that runs rampant at the leadership level there. They’ve lost some really great faculty as a result of this (PJ Lamberson, Daniel Diermeier to name a couple).

  • jk2018

    Tbf, GSB asks on the application if you took the GMAT more than once. I don’t know how much weight they put on the answer, but if they didn’t care at all then they wouldn’t ask.

  • fidel305

    true. but there are many off ramps. and many pursue consulting initially to take advantage of those

  • fidel305

    except of course for the engineer who applied to gsb, hbs, sloan and kellogg and got in to all 4 without taking the gmat, for example.

  • fidel305

    don’t be defensive. NOT being a finance-dominated school — like Wharton, booth and cbs — is a good thing.

  • fidel305

    Considering that Kellogg , together with HBS and Wharton, pretty much innovated the mba program and historically has been in the same tier as those schools, many at NU find the “fall” into the ranks of booth and CBS to be the product of neglect of the brand. And, if you’ve been to the Jacob’s center you can see the neglect.

    Money is now being spent to correct this.

  • fidel305

    she is on the hot seat. but youre right on the rest

  • fidel305

    Northwestern is not financing the new building and faculty with kelloggs endowment . NU is paying for it via the university endowment and capital campaign which is the largest in school history. Btw the existing endowment of NU wasnt too shabby to begin with.

    So once again you’ve been proven to be a moron.


  • BM

    Kellogg’s endowment ($700 million) is puny when compared to HBS’s ($3B), Stanford’s ($1.3B) and Booth’s ($1B).
    Unfortunately for them they are spending the money on trolls like you…

  • fidel305

    rumor is that it is easier to cheat, get others to take the test, in certain foreign countries.

  • fidel305

    Kellogg requires disclosure of ALL scores, unlike GSB, Sloan and HBS and others who take your best score.
    The real takeaway — and this is for all schools — is that if you have a compelling personal story / professional background and are worried about your gmat score, take the GRE. that way adcoms won’t be tempted to reject you because of a standardized test score.

  • fidel305

    no. northwestern is notoriously tight with scholarship money across all schools and programs

  • DiggaLittleDeeper

    Stephen you obviously will not fare well in reading comprehension. My point was that Kellogg is NOW laying a bigger emphasis on higher GMAT scores and hence that might affect the type of candidates it admits to the class of 2017. Simply because earlier they primarily looked for, in your own words, outgoing candidates. My previous comment was never referring to Kellogg admits in previous classes. You are also likely to do badly in critical reasoning. Kellogg always admitted tons of candidates with consulting background. So that doesn’t explain the sudden 8 point jump. However, as somebody pointed out, what could explain a significant part of this jump would be Kellogg separating 1-Yr and 2-Yr MBA data for the class of 2017.

  • DiggaLittleDeeper

    I too did and got into a several schools including a top 10.


    I did and got into MIT.

  • K 2017

    My 2 cents: scholarships at K might be increasing.

  • Admit

    BS. This hypothesis is laughable. No serious candidate submits only the GRE (even less a subpar GRE).

  • Consultant

    I agree on the general idea. The only thing I argue is that if the GMAT allows people to take the test once per month then that is GMAC’s error. It should be more like the CFA which can only be done 2-3 times per year at most.

  • David

    1) not sure how you cheat the GMAT. Have someone else take it? Seems really difficult.

    2) I think it’s hilarious that you believe “nerd graduates” “fantastic in numbers” with no social skills want to go to business school.

    You’re basically saying engineers (like me) who are smart but have no social skills just can’t wait to go somewhere to barely do anything technical for 2 years?

    You really haven’t worked with many people who are smart but have no social skills.

  • eerdman

    and it will lead to the results:
    1) nerds graduates fantastic in numbers, spreadsheets, but ill in communication skills and weird behavior. and then the MBA will become source of good analysts not leaders.
    2) more people will cheat and fake high gmat.

  • FXTrader33

    What happens is people just study for the GMAT until they score high enough to get into a top school. So schools raise the bar a little bit each year and in turn people study for the GMAT a little longer to get a little higher score. The cycle continues. Top schools primarily only taking 730+ GMAT scorers means they are basically choosing among people that scored in the top 4% on the GMAT. This trend will make it fairly easy for high GMAT scorers to get into the top schools.

  • hbsguru

    One stat I would like to know, about K and other schools, what percent of its incoming class took the GMAT more than once.
    My guess is, that number is creeping up along w. GMAT scores themselves, possibly to the point where taking GMAT 2x is now the new normal. Even if first score was like 700-710!
    It is very hard to advise someone w. a first take of 710 NOT to retake and try to get 730.
    Sad, and at bottom, the schools are to blame. Schools could ALL live with a 710 (any kid w a 710 can easily do the work at ANY business school assuming normal Q and V balance). They believe the character of someone who retakes a 710 to get a 730 is something they want. What character is that?
    Scared, smart, informed, strategic, shuts up, sits still, eats s!!t and gives it back, even if meaningless.
    That profile may be different from whom they say they want–oh no, are they not telling us the truth???? Say it ain’t so.

  • ralf

    The consulting career isn’t always bright, you should be very careful when taking that path. My close friend works in consulting firm Mckinsey and Company, he told me the probability of promotion in Mckinsey, from associate to engagement manager>> 80-90%, from EM to Principal 30-50%, from principal to partner 5-10%. Nowadays, they even divide it into more, senior associate, junior EM, jr partner, ..etc …just to add more steps in the ladder.

  • Kheess

    Yes, it is possible. at the end, the admission team’s main job is to maintain high score to report it to the ranking magazines.

  • DrinkingtheKoolaid

    You are failing to realize the career path of consulting. Yes a large number go to consulting (mostly at the top firms) but do you want to guess what proportion stay in consulting long term? I’ll bet not much. Consulting provides the single best career for exit opportunities. So where are these kids going that eventually leave top consulting firms? Either entrepreneurial startups or management in the F1000 most likely. To say consulting is a negative for Kellogg is a bit short sighted.

    One may also think with a large proportion interested in consulting it would make the school very competitive but just the opposite bc the jobs are there for those who want them and can get through casing. Kellogg is the most collaborative environment compared to any of the M7 and if you don’t believe me go see for yourself.

    Again to reiterate my point above, this is splitting hairs over one of the top schools in the world — the equivalent of knocking Booth/CBS for placing too much in Finance cmon lol.

  • TC

    I’d be interested to see what those consultants do in the future. How many of them stay in consulting vs. entering industry? As a recent Kellogg grad, I’m more interested in my network 5-10 years out and I’m not sure many folks stay in consulting that long.

  • avivalasvegas

    I don’t believe that Kellogg has lost its edge in Marketing. It’s impossible to graduate from there without spewing brand terminology at every social gathering. Its more that consulting has quickly become the profession of choice at the school, given the higher income and the welcome rug being rolled out to unsuspecting international students (40% of the student body).

    I do believe it takes away from the experience. Look to HBS or GSB as examples of schools with healthy background mixes. Then think about it practically – if 1 out of 3 of your classmates is going to consult for a living, would you feel like your network was as diverse as it could be were that ratio 1 out of 5 (the ratio of the higher ranked schools I mentioned)?

  • avivalasvegas

    I applaud the greater female admit ratio. I just don’t believe having a third of class with ties to consulting leads to a healthy mix of student experiences. I mean, how many powerpoint experts does business school really need?

  • Perspectives

    Kellogg long had a struggle breaking out of its reputation as solely a marketing school and now has become a top school for consulting. I don’t find that to be a negative so long as top firms keep hiring. The intake of consultants is still abt 25% but I don’t think that takes away from the experience by any means.

    Kellogg has a lot going for them but obv needs to be mindful of Haas creeping up and to an extent Tuck/CBS. The bigger point is that although it’s important to the school we are talking abt a school ranked #6 in the U.S. and T15 IN THE WORLD. Are we that elitist to be picking hairs here at the top .01% of bschools who has one of the best placement profiles?

  • fidel305

    while I am sure that morty has not liked the slide in the rankings out of the top 4, and wants it restored, the plan for Kellogg is not a crass rankings formula play as it is at booth and Wharton. it has focused on recruiting women, spending for infrastructure and academics, including entrepreneurship, where the school had been lagging. unlike some competitors [ you know who you are booth], NU doesn’t pay for gmat scores.

    and since when are consulting candidates with high scores “fluff” and your “unassuming” candidates with “strong breadth of industry muscle” {whatever that means to you} somehow non-fluffy?

  • fidel305

    Kellogg’s increase is largely organic. They stopped including the 1yr program gmats which were lower and admitted more women who generally have higher scores. acceptance rates and yields have improved too with increased spending on entrepreneurship and with the announced new facility opening next year.
    and, unlike some, they don’t buy high gmat scores with scholarship money

  • avivalasvegas

    Let’s just say that I have intimate knowledge of the “love” for Sally, Dean Z and the inner workings of the adcom and the CMC. Their brief has been simple- rankings are flat to negative, do whatever you can to get high GMAT score applicants in and to get as many people jobs in high paying professions (like consulting). Oh and Sally didn’t have to convince Betsy to give up her partner job – quite the opposite really.
    While this may temporarily boost rankings, it is myopic to think that this is good for the school. Kellogg’s strength has always been in its ability to attract slightly more experienced, unassuming , self made candidates with a strong breadth of industry muscle. While HBS and Stanford have moved away from recruiting large numbers of consultants, Kellogg has become THE place to go for that profession.

    Guess what happens when you overindex on fluff?

  • ho

    Yup. Their application volume did not go up, so the only way to make better stats is to follow Wharton and be a GMAT ho.

  • perazziman

    Is it possible schools could be rejecting applicants with low GMAT scores for applicants with low GRE scores and boosting their average GMAT score?

  • M7hopeful

    Not sure where you’re getting all that. I go to Kellogg and I can tell you that everyone here loves Sally Blount. The fact that they were able to convince a McKinsey partner to COME to Kellogg to be the dean of students speaks more to Blount’s draw than anything else. She’s got plenty of support, believe me.

    Kellogg seems to be on the upswing in terms of recruiting in recent years (jump in tech, most notably), yield is up (rivaling Wharton’s last year), acceptance rate is down, and the new building is opening next year. I’d argue that the GMAT scores are just catching up to the rest of the school.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that the GMAT bump wouldn’t look so sudden if Kellogg hadn’t been reporting 1Y stats with the rest of the class in years past. They stopped doing that last year and the GMAT jumped immediately.

  • avivalasvegas

    I’ve heard quite the opposite from their students, especially those with roles on the student adcom.
    Sally Blount is no Dean Jacobs. Her performance has not lived up to expectations and she’s probably feeling the heat from not seeing her school return to its former glory. When the top of the totem pole hires a McKinsey partner to be her Dean of Students, you know you’ve got problems.
    Risk aversion has made its way to the admissions committee and the career center. The sudden spike in GMAT scores clearly highlights the myopia that has run rampant at the school, with large numbers of consultants coming and in and going out. Good thing they’ve got a new building coming up. Hopefully, it’ll come with new leadership as well.

  • JohnAByrne

    The article does not say that Kellogg didn’t reveal average GMAT scores for the class. Not sure where you got that because it was never in the article. What we’re saying is that Kellogg did not reveal the full range of GMAT scores for its new class but rather choose to disclose the middle 80%. So you don’t know the lowest accepted score or the highest accepted score. That’s all. By the way, most schools only report the middle 80% range, which I strongly feel is a mistake because it discourages candidates with lower GMATs from applying. Harvard and Stanford are unusual in this regard, reporting the full range.

  • Stephen

    Kellogg admits primarily those with consulting backgrounds. This group primarily boasts the highest GMAT due to extra resources ($ for tutoring and company reimbursement for GMAT prep). With ~40% placement in consulting this is a natural group to apply to Kellogg. To say Kellogg only recruits based on high GMATs clearly shows you’ve never engaged with Kellogg’s students since they are probably some of the most outgoing out of the M7 and towards the top of the ‘have a beer with’ test.

  • loll

    Could be the case…the other case is that GMAT scores in general are increasing with all the new material/programs out there. Could also be the case that the applicant pool is getting strong and stronger.
    I don’t think an increase of 8 points translates to Kellogg not caring about all the other factors. In fact, I think reputation wise, Kellogg has always been less stat focused compared to other schools, don’t think a few GMAT points means they are changing strategy, especially since all schools have pretty much gone up in the past few years. Things are not always so mutually exclusive.

  • DiggaLittleDeeper

    In pursuit of improving it’s ranking (and beat it’s arc rival Booth) Kellogg has no option but to admit applicants with higher GMAT scores. It’s not very difficult for any top 15 school to do this as they receive tons of applications with ridiculous GMAT scores. Kellogg’s new mantra is: pay LESS importance to essays, recommendations, interesting accomplishments and admit as many GMAT acers as possible. Good short term strategy but devastating in the long term. The biggest culprits are the folks who compute the various rankings. The day the ranking “guru’s” decide that GMAT average should play a MUCH smaller role in determining the pecking order, then we will see business schools freely admitting candidates who they truly love.

  • Christoph Wilhelm Schmidt

    Yikes, sobering news for us 2016 applicants.

  • MBARoadWarrior

    “Kellogg did not reveal the full range of GMAT scores for its new class, instead reporting that the middle 80% range is 690 to 760.” They revealed the average, just not the top 10% and bottom 10% of the GMAT Range. The top 10% could have been as high as 800 and the bottom 10% could have been in the 500’s.

  • huh?

    I’m confused. You start the article by saying they have an average GMAT of 725, but the shortly after you point out thta they “didn’t reveal the average GMAT for the whole class”. Which is it?