Columbia | Mr. Aussie Military Man
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0 (rough conversion from Weighted Average Mark)
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Food Waste Warrior
GMAT Not written yet (around 680), GPA 3.27
Harvard | Mr. Hopeful Philanthropist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.74
Stanford GSB | Mr. Sustainable Business
GRE 331, GPA 3.86
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Analytics Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Ms. Future Tech Exec
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. FinTech Startup
GMAT 570, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. FinTech
GMAT Not Taken Yet, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Darden | Ms. Teaching-To-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Future Angel Investor
GMAT 620, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Ms. Software Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.84
Harvard | Mr. PE Strategist
GRE 326, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. FBI To MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.85
Harvard | Mr. MBB Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Yale | Ms. Impact Investing
GRE 323, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Cal Poly
GRE 317, GPA 3.2
Darden | Ms. Business Reporter
GMAT 2150, GPA 3.6
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65
Harvard | Ms. IB Deferred
GMAT 730, GPA 3.73
Harvard | Mr. Amazon Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Kellogg | Mr. Military In Silicon Valley
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0

Top Schools To Adopt Common Recs

Source: 2014 AIGAC survey of MBA applicants

Source: 2014 AIGAC survey of MBA applicants

NEW AIGAC SURVEY SHOWS 9% OF CANDIDATES WROTE ALL THEIR LETTERS

Some consultants predicted it would lead to higher application volume. “After last year’s AIGAC survey revealed how many applicants are asked to write their own recommendations, schools realized how onerous the recommendation process had become,” says Linda Abraham, founder of accepted.com, an admissions consulting firm. “Several of the leading schools, to their credit, took that information and decided to ask the same questions to reduce the burden on recommenders and increase the likelihood that recommenders will actually be the authors of the letters bearing their signature. This move may also increase application volume because some applicants didn’t apply because they simply couldn’t ask their recommenders to write additional letters.”

When AIGAC again asked this past year’s applicant pool the same question about recommendations, 36% of 815 responding applicants said they were asked by recommenders to draft or write recommendations letters for them. In 9% of the cases, applicants admitted that every one of their recommenders asked them to do their own letters (see graphic at left).

When asked what applicants would like admissions committees to know about the recommendation process, many expressed that the process is onerous for recommenders. “The most common response was a call for schools to adopt a shared, standard set of questions,” according to the survey, which quoted one responding applicant in support of that notion.

“They should really work together to use a common recommendation system,” wrote one candidate who filled out the survey. “The questions each school ask are virtually the same. It was a lot of duplicative work and a major inconvenience to my recommenders, so much so it is directly related to me choosing not to apply to more schools because of the amount of additional work I’d have to ask them to do.”

RELATED STORIES:

WHY MBAS ARE WRITING THEIR OWN RECOMMENDATIONS

HOW TO SOLVE THE MBA REC LETTER SHAM

RECOMMENDATIONS: DOES PRESTIGE MATTER?

WRANGLING GREAT RECOMMENDATIONS

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GETTING THAT MBA RECOMMENDATION FROM YOUR BOSS

 

 

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.