Yale SOM To Change Out Essays

Yale University's School of Management

Yale University’s School of Management

Not long after “Ted” Snyder arrived as the new dean of Yale University’s School of Management in 2011, then university President Rick Levin made clear the university’s goal is to be among the top five business schools in the world.

“Our aspiration is to rank among the top five, where all of our other professional schools are,” claimed Levin in an interview conducted a year after Snyder’s arrival. “We want employers in all sectors — including Fortune 10 companies, McKinsey and the big banks — to say that they like to get their recruits from Harvard, Stanford, Wharton — and Yale. That’s the league SOM should be in.”

Levin, who left Yale three years ago to lead online education provider Coursera as CEO, would be pleased with the progress Snyder has made. This year Yale jumped five places to rank eighth in U.S. News & World Report’s annual MBA ranking, catapulting over six of the world’s most prominent business schools to gain its highest ranking ever. For the first time, the school also cracked the Top Ten in Poets&Quants’ latest composite rankings.

A 6% INCREASE IN MBA APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2015-2016 SEASON

Yale School of Management admissions chief Bruce DelMonico

Yale School of Management admissions chief Bruce DelMonico

Rankings aside, Yale SOM already is in the top three of the most elite business schools when it comes to applicants per seat and in the top six schools for average GMAT scores for incoming classes. After a whopping 25% increase in MBA applications last year, the school is now reporting an additional 6% rise to 3,652 applications for the 325 seats in this fall’s new class. That will boost its applicant-per-seat ratio to 11.2, behind only Stanford and UC-Berkeley (see The Ultimate B-School Test: How Many Applicants Want That Class Seat). Though stats for the cohort that will enter this fall are not yet final, it’s possible that Yale will slightly improve on last year’s average GMAT score of 721.

“We’ve just started to pick our heads up but we’ve had another good year,” says Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean and director of SOM admissions. “We had a big increase last year and we are up another 6% this year. Building off that large jump, we felt good about it.

“The average GMAT of the pool inched up a little bit from last year and that is a good indicator. We also are seeing well distributed growth in the pool from both U.S. and international applicants. It’s grown pretty well across geographic regions. The top three industries continue to be consulting, finance and the social sector, but applicants with technology backgrounds have grown.”

SOM, which released its final-round decisions May 20, will hear from admits Tuesday (May 31) on whether they intend to enroll. “Right now, we are over our class size and will probably carry the waitlist into the summer as people drop off in the summer melt,” says DelMonico in an interview with Poets&Quants. Though summer melt — the applicants who decide not to come to a school after putting down a deposit because they ultimately choose another school or stay at work due to a professional opportunity or family issue — varies from year to year, Yale SOM typically loses about 10% of the admitted class.

ESSAY AND VIDEO CHANGES IN THIS YEAR’S APPLICATION EXPECTED

DelMonico says that roughly half of the melt has already played out, leaving roughly 5% more likely dropouts over the summer on a class that is already oversubscribed. “Our class size is 325 this fall,” he adds. “We are at a standstill and will stay at 325 for this year and possibly might grow next year a little bit to 340, which would be the top end. But there is no mandate that that will happen at all.”

Though Yale SOM just set its application deadlines for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle, DelMonico has yet to release the school’s new essay questions.  “We are looking to freshen up the application,” he relates. “We have used the current essay questions — that explore the impact a candidate has had at work — for the last two years. We felt we were getting good responses, so we kept it this past year. But it is almost certain we will change it. We are looking at a question focused on commitment. We met with our OB faculty to talk about elements like the essay questions and how everything is going to hang together. We hope to update the questions in the next couple weeks and put the new application online in early July.”

DelMonico also expects to update the video questions required of SOM applications. “We have a better sense of how we can and can’t use the videos,” he says. “We are trying to build out more competency-based evaluations as opposed to just a general undifferentiated analysis of whether a person did a nice job or not. We hope to do a much more structured approach this year. If nothing else, the videos have been very valuable to evaluate English language ability.”

DON’T MISS: THE MBA GATEKEEPER TO YALE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT or DEAN OF THE YEAR: THE THREE-PEAT CHANGE AGENT

  • chunkylover5769@gmail.com

    I think we can take it one step further… best graduate school ever period.

  • Jim

    is there any denying that SOM is the best school in US now? lower acceptance than HBS/SGSB

  • Roger

    No one can deny the strength of the Yale brand. When you tell someone you have a Yale MBA the only thing the person hears is ‘Yale’. This fact alone is what will propel Yale SOM to the top 3 within the next few years.

  • HERMAN

    Thank you for letting us know.

  • Michael Andolina

    Just an FYI: Yale’s class size has almost doubled since Snyder began. GMAT manipulation is still a fool’s errand, but the increase does seem to indicate that the overall applicant pool has likely improved.

  • Jim

    wouldn’t be surprised to see Yale’s admit rate drop below 5% soon. Several of my friends turned down big name schools (HBS, Wharton, Booth) for SOM this cycle.

  • JackaDandy

    I dispute that McKinsey is somehow a defining benchmark of success for a majority of MBA students. It is not for me or many others, but I am happy that it has value to you. Please refrain from presuming that you know what others prize as important and focus on you. And yes, imo you are trending towards a troll with your top 8 statistics and momentum to a top 5 very soon commentary. You are sounding a lot like the person/people that BSG referenced. I hope not the same one using different names. Again, I do appreciate your perspective but ask that you do not project it as gospel – it is not. Cheers and best of luck!

  • BSG

    I’m referring to Maximus.

    This was a reply to the “But what got me irritated was the self promoting individuals or individual” bit.

  • Roger

    I’m a troll? I’m simply stating the facts. See orange’s post below. Yale SOM sent 20+ people to McKinsey from a single class. These statistics are in line with a top 8 school and given the recent momentum it’s conceivable to see Yale in the top 5 very soon. What data are you disputing?

  • JackaDandy

    You are right of course, but it is tough at times. Cheers

  • BSG

    Don’t feed that troll, Jack. He’s just here to stir the pot. I don’t that person is even affiliated with Yale or any top 15 school.

  • JackaDandy

    Roger, what you may be missing too in fairness, is that not everyone wants to be in MBB, and that as you yourself somewhat point out, that these firms may or may not pay more. MBB has meaning to some but not everyone. I hope to be paid very well by a great firm but like many I do not really care if it is MBB or another great name. Cheers

  • Roger

    What you’re missing is likelihood of receiving an offer at a prestige firm like MBB. Schools in the lower part of the top 15 struggle to place students in these firms which tend to have higher starting salaries. Yale’s strategy to get the most qualified students in terms of GMAT, GPA, etc. and ultimately boost its ranking is completely sensible, and explains partially why their average starting pay has skyrocketed. Like I was saying in another post Yale is a notch below the M7 at this point but the gap is much smaller than what most people think. I won’t be surprised if they break into the top 4 or 5 in USN next year or the year after.

  • JackaDandy

    Well said and argued, as did BSG btw. And I do understand the differences between averages and outlier numbers in a distribution of data. We agree on far more then we disagree.
    My point though again is that averages do indeed matter. They matter in rankings and they matter to applicants (as you also say), and imo they do matter to potential employers. Yale has no problems with their average total pay stats – they are great. But what got me irritated was the self promoting individuals or individual (sadly using multiple names) cheering Yale on by virtue of “average” GMAT scores and USN rankings, all while taking shots at other high quality bschools. Since averages are clearly important, my point is that people who live in glass houses should not cast stones, because on the basis of average total pay, Yale is not in front, it is in the top 15 range. This is a fact and it does influence outcomes. Now Yale recently decided that higher GMAT scores were important and so it made a decision (with all associated consequences) to change that input. If Yale finds that it wants higher total average pay stats then it will make a decision to weed out applicants intending to go into work areas that will drag its average down….
    Cheers!

  • BSG

    Much better articulated than my previous posts. Well done.

  • som

    Jack – i think you may be mixing up a few small but important details.

    1) in your original post, you asked “why do employers not want to make average total pay for Yale grads similar to other top 10 or 15 schools”. employers arent driving the lower than avg comp stats. i think thats the point that BSG was trying to make – that comp per employee is the same regardless of whether you getting an offer out of HBS, SOM, or the McDonalds Hamburger academy. its weighting and distribution of offers that lead to any variance in aggregate comp stats between the top 10/15 schools. employers are the price setters, not the takers. a school with a higher class avg will not be able to go to goldman and get their students a higher starting salary. its all very formulaic and standardized.

    2) i agree that total comp stats matter. but more for applicants looking to compare schools than for employers. if a school is top 10/15 with good baseline stats, has alumni at the company, and a good track record with intern performance – they’ll get the appropriate # of seats. if those seats convert to full time offers, then they will get the same exact starting pay package as everyone else.

  • Orange

    What are you talking about? Consulting is the top industry SOM grads go into. As for MBB, your data must be old. There are nearly 20 people from the class that just graduated heading to McKinsey ALONE, from a school that is smaller than most of its peers.

  • JackaDandy

    As you see it but not me. Cheers

  • Roger

    You’re talking more about the cases where scholarship is in play. Sure if I’m comparing Yale sticker price to a full ride at Darden / Duke / Cornell it might give me pause, but all else equal Yale is a clear notch above.

  • BSG

    Wharton and CBS both have extensive network and strong reputation in Asia. Of the top ten schools, perhaps only Tuck is weak in Asia because the alumni from both Tuck and Dartmouth is smaller in numbers here. Yale has a weak alumni base in Asia as well, but its overall prestige and the willingness of its undergraduate alumni to help does make up for some of that weakness.

  • Benerable Vede

    Point is simple – New Haven is kinda sketchy, Hanover is not. Not sure that one or two places in the “rankings,” especially in the top 10, really makes a difference. Glad you dig YSOM though 🙂

  • BSG

    I think at the end of the day, the best quantifiable stats that best indicate the strength of a certain business school is a mix of total applicants, yield, and acceptance rate.

    For what it’s worth, I agree Yale is gaming the rankings, but I replied because I feel like everyone is doing the same with the exception of Haas and Sloan.

  • JackaDandy

    Gross generalizations are often a dangerous thing imo. So You can say what you wish about your own expected decision-making results but that certainly would not reflect the opinion of everyone as you suggest. I for one would 100% consider the “no way” schools you mentioned over Yale if I had the opportunity. Such differences in opinion are what makes a marketplace for consumers of management education. I personally put very little overall weight on USN rankings. That is me. Amongst the top 15, after the top 3 to 5 schools – and especially H/S and W, I just do not see near the difference in total outcome for my desired career as others do. All top 15 schools would get me to where I wish to be and then some. And so, as an outdoor enthusiast, I would personally rather spend 2 years in Charlottesville, Durham, and Ithaca over New Haven. Again that is me, and clearly you would select differently – so be it. Cheers!

  • C. Taylor

    Thanks. Comment was correction on Asian perspective only.

    Yale’s current ranking on USN is a separate topic–as is selection of any particular program according to fit, and as are actual peer groups.

  • Roger

    I agree with this except for one clarification, I think Yale has made enough headway in rankings, performance, etc. to safely say they’re the solid #8 right below the M7. I could see people splitting between Tuck/Haas/Yale depending on geographics & career plan but there is no way someone would pick a lower tiered program like Cornell/Darden/Duke over Yale.

  • JackaDandy

    We disagree but I appreciate your well thought out argument. Average total pay stats do matter. They matter as much as average GMATs and average GPAs, and admissions rates, and yield rates etc. It all makes a difference in perception and ranking. All schools could come up with reasons why certain less desirable statistics should be discounted – but all of these metrics help shape rankings, perceptions, and expectations. It would be great if we all could just decide which performance indicators we should discount to achieve our intended results, but life does not work that way and either do rankings or recruiter expectations. If Yale does not like its average total pay stats then it will begin to focus less on students whose outcomes will likely go in that direction. It is a choice like rejecting lower GMAT score candidates etc. This is not to say by the way that Yales average total pay statistic is not a good number – it is. But it is not a top ten (or even top 15 for that matter) statistic.

  • C. Taylor

    The repeated assertion Asians are unaware of quality US business schools is complete nonsense.

    In China, HBS’s rep is unparalleled. This is purely because Chinese are highly competitive, value topping the list*, and HBS always pops up ‘number one’. They like Yale very much–but as a university, not a business school. HYP, people. Outside of HBS, Wharton and Stanford are well known.

    However, this idea that multitudes of Chinese would go to Yale over Booth based on rep is unfounded. Being success oriented, Chinese will (*gasp*) check the lists and progress to selecting according to fit.

    Fortune 500 hiring managers don’t forget target programs the moment they open an office in Shanghai–and these are widely the target companies. That is due to the gap between internationally competitive pay rates and pay rates local to emerging market economies.

    *For the Americans used to ‘every child is equal’–it is completely opposite in many parts of Asia. In China, for instance, rankings of test scores and grades are prominently posted on the wall starting with primary school. Education is highly valued in many such societies and children are pushed to get into the most competitive programs possible. Those who get into top universities have larger than life pictures of their faces prominently displayed outside the schools.

    Having debunked this ludicrous myth with China, I see no need to continue with more Asian countries.

  • BSG

    Yale graduates get paid as much as the equivalent hire in the same company as graduates from other schools. So they don’t get paid less, rather quite a lot of them end up pursuing jobs that don’t pay well. This is particularly prevalent for Yale graduates because they have a loan forgiveness program for those who end up in public, social or nonprofit sectors. For those who were admitted without scholarship, it’s essentially a full ride.

    Yale’s average pay may never break the charts, but it isn’t without reason.

  • Xiao

    I agree outside of the US, especially in Asia, the only schools people have heard of in the M7 are HBS and Yale SOM, and maybe MIT. No one knows what Booth, Kellogg and Wharton are. My parents would only pay for Yale over Booth, Kellogg they never heard of those schools

  • JackaDandy

    let’s agree to disagree on this. Specifically, we do not agree that ultimately this strategy will yield higher totals average pay results. You are making that assumption because you want it to be true and without any facts. Also, we do not agree that better students are the result of higer GMATs. Read the article on P&Q about secrets from an admission officer who indicated that his/her school found out that focusing on high GMATs led to a bunch of did students who were not a partof the community of the business school. I think recruiters understand this subject.

    Interesting also that at least three posts, all with similar writing styles and all positively inclined to Yale came out at the exact time on this thread Hope you are not posting under multiple names? Because that would not be cool…..
    Cheers!

  • Quinton

    I think he is very smart! Know how to best game the system and how to best utilize the Yale name in the short term. 10 years down the road, the younger generations will not know how he did it and will only see Yale as a top 5 school.

  • Edward

    in the long run, SOM will do better than Tuck for recruiting as it will be much easier for recruiters to get to SOM (middle of NYC and Boston with large airports) compared to Tuck. SOM will also need to ask for the undergrad alums help to boost their recruiting effort.

  • Samuel

    What’s wrong with this strategy? Yale SOM has the brand to play on. They are playing on its strength, and it is doing well. By doing so: Reduction in admissions rate -> Higher Gmat score -> Attract better students -> Increase in Prestige (cycle goes on and on). If SOM can keep this loops and able to attract better and better students every year, the average total pay will goes up. Employers would want to pay more for top students.

    I am pretty confident that Yale SOM will be a solid top 6-7 schools within the next 5 years. In fact with Yale prestige and the money they have, I would be disappointed if they can’t beat Kellogg or Tuck in the future. At least for international students, Kellogg and Tuck are almost unheard of until students look into MBA ranking. Yale has the name that will attract top students and they should play with this strength.

  • JackaDandy

    UVA is wonderful but not even in the same league in terms of well-established global prestige as Yale or Chicago!

  • BSG

    Didn’t he already do that with Darden? UVA isn’t exactly a global brand. Having said that, having access to Yale’s enormous war chest does put him at an advantage. But this also means Yale has significant potential to improve and perhaps keep climbing the ranks given its enormous brand and endowment.

  • JackaDandy

    Average total Pay is my point and Yale trails most in top 15 let alone top 7…what is your point? Facts are facts toolbar

  • Maximus

    No one would ever take Booth over Yale. Yale SOM is M7, Booth is not. And to the career statistics, almost every Yale SOMer gets a high-prestige job, whta’s your point?

  • JackaDandy

    Let’s see him do it a perfectly fine and solid business school like Arizona State or Minnesota but one that has a very different global brand/appeal than Yale or Chicago

  • JackaDandy

    Anyone that inherits brands as globally significant as Yale and Chicago

  • BSG

    I’m pretty neutral on Snyder, but if it’s so easy, why hasn’t anyone else done this?

  • Boothie

    Aren’t Tuck and SOM tied? And in any event, rankings are great, but placement is more important than anything. SOM does fine with banking, but drastically lags the rest of the top 14 in terms of MBB and general management.

  • Xing P

    Not only is Yale the biggest GMAT gamer, over a quarter of his admitted class got in using the GRE! (Thus, the higher GMAT numbers aren’t representative of the entire – or close to entire – class). Ted Snyder is creepy and snaky..

  • ferr

    This Yale thing doesn’t make any sense.

  • JackaDandy

    I am sure many schools are guilty of GMAT wars as you say, but I am tired of the Snyder effect praise and commentary. Yale hired an an already accomplished Dean for sure but what is so revolutionary about what he has done – he implemented the same script from Chicago? The script: 1) Get hired by an already highly regarded globally recognized brand (Chicago/Yale; 2) Raise GMATs even if class size has to shrink initially; 2) Raise GPAs through same efforts and to same potential initial effect as with the aforementioned GMATs; 3) Lower acceptance rate through impact of #1 and #2; 4) get acclaim from rankings organizations like USN for excellence and move up rankings; 5) Resulting move-up in rankings attracts rankings obsessed applicants; 6) Sit back and enjoy and watch websites and prospective students gush over what a wonderful job has occurred. Just seems too easy to impress the system. And never ask the hard questions like why have employers not recognized these great “quality improvements” by making Yale SOM average total pay equal to other top 10 or 15 schools…
    Just seems like a shallow and simple way to game the ranking systems into loving a school…

  • BSG

    By the sound of your post, it seems like only Yale is guilty of this practice?

    In my eyes, the only top ten schools that don’t really care about the GMAT wars are Sloan and Haas. Everyone else is in the arms race.

  • Maximus

    Tuck is ranked below YSOM what’s your point?

  • Benerable Vede

    Visited Yale, Tuck, and HBS recently. New Haven is a piece of work, and not the place I’d like to spend two years of my life. YSOM’s school was nice, but looked more like an airport than a university building. I’m sure the b-school is great, but the city that comes with it is pretty sketchy.

  • JackaDandy

    Very humble opinion you have been displaying on P&Q – seriously? Another great puff piece for Yale from P&Q btw! Why not challenge Yale on more than the simple tasks that they have achieved already, like only accepting students with very high GMATs? how hard is saying no to a talented student who only has a 700 on their GMAT? Real tough. For example, why do employers not want to make average total pay for Yale grads similar to other top 10 or 15 schools. Seriously why? Cornell, Virginia, Michigan, and Duke total average pay is more. Oh the non-profits drag down the average right…gimme a break. No more excuses. Then be a non profit school instead of a business school – otherwise drop the excuses and get paid like the best schools and stop GMATing around with everyone.

  • Maximus

    amazing! I am so proud of YSOM. They say they want to be a top 5 school but they’re already top 3 in my humble opinion! Hope they can bump booth or SGSB on USnews next year they deserve it!