Stanford GSB | Mr. Marine Corps
GMAT 600, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. AI & Robotics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Ms. MD MBA
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Fundraising Educator
GMAT 510, GPA 2.89
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Work & Family
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Fintech Startup
GMAT 570, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Ms. Ukrainian Techie
GMAT 700 (ready to take it again), GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Pretty Bland
GMAT 710, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Ms. Sales & Trading
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Long Shot
GRE 303, GPA 2.75
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Dream
GMAT 760, GPA 3.1
Columbia | Mr. Alien
GMAT 700, GPA 3.83
Harvard | Mr. Veteran
GRE 331, GPA 3.39
Wharton | Mr. Naval Submariner
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83
Wharton | Mr. Second MBA
GMAT Will apply by 2025, GPA 7.22/10
IU Kelley | Mr. Builder
GMAT 620, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Supply Chain Data Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Ms. Aspiring Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8 (Highest Honor)
Yale | Mr. Environmental Sustainability
GRE 326, GPA 3.733
Yale | Mr. Project Management
GRE 310, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Samaritan Analyst
GMAT 690, GPA 3.87
MIT Sloan | Ms. Physician
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Cal Poly
GRE 317, GPA 3.2
HEC Paris | Ms Journalist
GRE -, GPA 3.5
IU Kelley | Mr. Educator
GMAT 630, GPA 3.85
IU Kelley | Mr. Tech Dreams
GMAT 770, GPA 3
Tuck | Mr. Strategic Sourcing
GMAT 720, GPA 3.90

Is Wharton An Undervalued Stock?


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Source: Wharton Career Management

Bauer says his firm is actually seeing increased interest in Wharton from this year’s current crop of applicants. “Having seen a bump for Round 1 and expecting more of the same for Round 2, we’ve added consultants with Wharton backgrounds to our team at The MBA Exchange,” he says. “A Wharton MBA education is like a ‘blue-chip stock’ with a long history of growth. Yes, the market’s enthusiasm and demand for any investment will ebb and flow over time, but in this case, the long-term ROI is rock solid.”


Yet, the Journal isn’t talking trash about Wharton for nothing. In fact, the newspaper was being somewhat charitable to Wharton by reporting that MBA applications there have fallen by 12% in the past four years. The decline over the past five years has actually been a more severe 17.2%. And this past year’s fall in applicants–5.8%–occurred as rival Chicago Booth reported a 10% increase. Finance rival and powerhouse Columbia Business School had a 7% rise, and Harvard was also up, with a more modest 4% increase.

Some believe the latest decline at Wharton can be attributed to a new team-based discussion requirement which scared away candidates who speak English as a second language. That is a plausible explanation, though the decline of Wall Street has clearly had an impact on the school which is still considered by many to be number one in finance, along with a fair degree of turnover of leadership in the admissions office at Wharton. The school has had four different admission directors in the past ten years.

More worrisome than the application drop, perhaps, is Wharton’s fall in both the Bloomberg BusinessWeek and The Financial Times’ rankings in recent years. For years, the general impression–though rarely confirmed by independent rankings–has had H/S/W (Harvard, Stanford and Wharton) as the top three business schools in the world.


The No 1 showing by the University of Chicago’s Booth School in the BusinessWeek rankings since 2006, however, has clearly eroded that positioning. For each of the past three years, in fact, Poets&Quants–which publishes an annual composite rating of the five most influential MBA rankings–has placed Wharton fourth behind Harvard, Stanford and Chicago.

In truth, the differences between Chicago and Wharton are so slim as to be statistically insignificant. But the gap between Wharton and the top two schools–Harvard and Stanford–is more meaningful. The acceptance rates at both HBS and Stanford are about half of what they are at Wharton: Stanford’s 8% and Harvard’s 12% versus Wharton’s 22%. The yield–the percentage of accepted applicants who enroll at a school–also is significantly higher at both Harvard and Stanford. Roughly 90% of the applicants accepted at Harvard enroll, and about 85% of the applicants at Stanford take the school up on its offer of admission.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.