Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare PE
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Military Quant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Kellogg | Mr. Concrete Angel
GRE 318, GPA 3.33
Kellogg | Mr. Maximum Impact
GMAT Waiver, GPA 3.77
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Ms. Interstellar Thinker
GMAT 740, GPA 7.6/10
Harvard | Mr. Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Female Sales Leader
GMAT 740 (target), GPA 3.45
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Gay Techie
GRE 332, GPA 3.88
INSEAD | Mr. Product Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 63%

Why You Were Dinged By HBS Or Stanford

Thousands of elite MBA applicants will get good and bad news this coming week when several of the most highly ranked schools in the world accept, reject or wait list them. Wharton, Kellogg and the University of Virginia’s Darden School are expected to deliver their news on Tuesday.

Then, both Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business will inform post-interivew applicants on Wednesday, though Stanford Admissions Director Derek Bolton will likely call a good number of accepted candidates on Tuesday. Most HBS applicants will get their decision online at exactly 12 noon on Wednesday when they log into their applicant status page. Later on, the lucky candidates will hear directly from an admissions staffer, perhaps, even MBA Admissions Director Dee Leopold.

As Leopold put it in a blog post, “We won’t make phone calls ahead of time. You’ve been feeling ‘out of control’ for quite a while, so we want to make sure that you can be where you want to be – and with whom – when you get the news from us.”

Meantime, Chicago Booth notifications go out on Thursday. Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business released its latest decisions last Friday. Booth often calls admits early, leaving the dings for the official release day. Then, Booth provides financial aid details when the official admit notice goes out.


Once again, Founder Sandy Kreisberg will be on hand to analyze the dings at both Harvard and Stanford as he did in both round one and pre-interview round two. Getting a handle for why a candidate was rejected after an interview is especially difficult because these are often close calls. After all, no school agrees to interview a person if he or she doesn’t stand a very good chance of admission.

So this round will particularly challenge Kreisberg, a leading MBA admissions consultant. Post-interview decisions like these are often made in the context of an admissions officer crafting a class so they may very well be less about the individual and more about who has already been accepted from what industry or country.


As Kreisberg did during the first round, Kreisberg asks that applicants to Harvard and Stanford who failed to gain admission share their stats and background profiles so he can tell you why you were turned down. We hope his analysis accomplishes two goals: 1) To show others that some truly exceptional people are routinely dinged by Harvard and other top business schools simply because they accept so few MBA candidates, and 2) To give people who have generally experienced nothing but success in their lives some insight into why they didn’t pass the hurdle here.

Give us your profile in the comments below and Sandy will take a shot at why you were dinged.

As you anxiously await your verdict, check out the best profiles posted by candidates and analyzed by Kreisberg in the 2013-2014 admissions season so far:

Best of Round One Ding Report

Best of Pre-Interview Round Two Ding Report

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.