Top Feeder Colleges to Johnson at Cornell

Of course, the pedigree of one’s undergraduate degree is just one of many factors used by admissions to decide whether to admit or deny an applicant. Unlike GMAT scores, grade point averages, however, it’s one of the more mysterious factors because no B-school publicly discloses the colleges attended by their admits. Yet, the school where an applicant earned his bachelor’s degree can loom large in an admissions decision, often given far more consideration than most admissions directors will admit (see Getting Into Wharton: Does College & Work Pedigree Trump Merit?).

“School and job pedigree count more than schools would like to publicize because the mythology of admissions is that everyone starts equal, and schools are open to all comers,” says Sanford Kreisberg, an MBA admissions consultant who runs “But schools are not equally open to all comers, and job pedigree especially can be critical, even more so than schooling. You are not getting into Harvard Business School or Wharton from the local bakery or real estate office.”

Other findings:

  • The largest international school represented is Shanghai-based Fudan University  which supplied as many as seven students in the class.
  • Three schools alone–Cornell, Michigan and New York University–acount for 18% of the Class of 2013.


Top Feeder Colleges to Cornell’s Johnson SchoolEstimated 

% of

Class of 2013


Number in

Class of 2013


Found in


1. Cornell University Ithaca, NY10.6%2913
2. University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI4.1%115
3. New York University New York, NY3.3%94
4. University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA2.4%73
4. University of Connecticut Storrs, CT2.4%73
4. State University of NY Stony Brook, NY2.4%73
4. Fudan University Shanghai, China2.4%73
8. Princeton University Princeton, NJ1.6%42
8. Northwestern University Evanston, IL1.6%42
8. UCLA Los Angeles, CA1.6%42
8. Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA1.6%42
8. Georgia Institute of Tech Atlanta, GA1.6%42
8. Boston University Boston, MA1.6%42
8. University of Toronto Toronto, Canada1.6%42
8. Morehouse College Atlanta, GA1.6%42

Source: These numbers are calculated from Cornell University’s Johnson School Class of 2013 Facebook page. The undergraduate backgrounds of 122 members of the incoming class of some 275 students could be verified by Poets&Quants using Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sources. The sample size represents 44.4% of the entire class. The estimate of students from a specific school are based on the percentage of the confirmed sample who have come from that university. Data compiled by Diana Tarrazo.

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