Top Feeder Colleges To The Tuck School

Middlebury. Bowdoin. Colby. Williams. Bates. They’re among New England’s very best liberal arts colleges and they tend to dominate a list of the top feeder schools into Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, according to an anallysis of Tuck’s Class of 2013 by Poets&Quants.

Indeed, the largest single group of new Tuck MBA candidates is from Middlebury College–an estimated 11 members of the 268-strong incoming class. Like Dartmouth itself, Middlebury is located in a quant New England town in a rural setting with scenic mountain views. The only difference: Dartmouth is in New Hampshire while Middlebury is in Vermont.

Obviously, the geographic appeal of New England is a major factor in Tuck’s MBA draw. Seven of the 11 top feeder colleges are in New England, including Bowdoin, Boston, Colby, and Williams Colleges. The only exceptions: Duke University, Columbia, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania.

This makes Tuck’s feeder a dramatic contrast to those at Harvard, Wharton and Columbia where the elite liberal arts schools play a much lesser role. It also lessens Tuck’s dependence on the Ivy League schools despite the fact that Dartmouth is as Ivy League as they come.


Only 13.8% of the incoming class have undergraduate degrees from the official Ivy League schools, for example, compared to roughly 21.2% of this year’s incoming class at Columbia Business School, 30.0% at Harvard Business School, and 33.1% of the class at Wharton.

If you subtract students who earned their undergrad degrees at international schools, 18.8% of the incoming Tuck students have an Ivy League degree, versus 38% at Harvard and 44% at Wharton. Yet, every single Ivy is represented in the class along with Stanford, MIT, the University of Chicago, UC-Berkeley and UCLA. And most of the other small elite liberal arts schools also are in the class: Amherst, Bucknell, Colgate, Hamilton, Haverford, Middleburg, Smith, and Swathmore,

The Facebook data provides a rare glimpse into the educational and work backgrounds of the students accepted and enrolled at Dartmouth’s Tuck School. Business schools keep this information close to the vest, never disclosing this information in typical class profiles.

Yet, an applicant’s undergraduate and work backgrounds loom large in admission decisions, in some cases dwarfing the importance of other factors from grade point averages and GMAT scores to the quality of one’s essays or admissions interview.

The Tuck School data was collected from the Facebook page for the Class of 2013. Poets&Quants was able to identify and confirm the undergraduate backgrounds of 246 members of the 268 MBA students enrolled in the incoming class. We then used that sample–representing 92% of the entire class–to estimate the number of students from any one institution in the full class.


The heavy predominance of students from private colleges allows for only a minority of MBA candidates with public university backgrounds. Only 13% hail from state schools at Tuck, the lowest percentage of any of the five schools examined by Poets&Quants. By comparison, about 30% of Cornell’s Class of 2013 got their undergraduate degrees from public universities. Some 17.6% of the incoming class at Harvard and 16.7% at Wharton is from public universities. If you subtract out students with undergraduate degrees from international schools, about 18% of the Tuck graduated from a state college or university versus 44% at the Johnson School at Cornell.

On the other hand, most of its public students are from a wide range of state schools, ranging from Arizona State, the College of New Jersey, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State as well as the Universities of Conneticut, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi Oregon, and Rhode Island.

Few Tuck students are drawn from the so-called public Ivies: Berkeley, UCLA, Michigan, the University of Virginia and the University of Texas at Austin. Only 3.3% of Tuck’s Class of 2013 come from those five publics, compared to 6.3% at Harvard, 7.7% at Wharton, and 5.7% at Johnson.

(See next page for table of the top feeder colleges to Dartmouth’s Tuck School for the Class of 2013)

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