Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Oil & Gas Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 6.85/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Wharton | Mr. Real Estate Investor
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Chef Instructor
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. New England Hopeful
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65
Wharton | Mr. Digi-Transformer
GMAT 680, GPA 4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Harvard | Mr. Military Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. BB Trading M/O To Hedge Fund
GMAT 710, GPA 3.23
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98
Harvard | Mr. Army Intelligence Officer
GRE 334, GPA 3.97
Harvard | Ms. Data Analyst In Logistics
GRE 325, GPA 4
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Comeback Story
GRE 313, GPA 2.9

Rankings Still Sway Most MBA Applicants

Source: 2014-2015 AIGAC applicant survey

Source: 2014-2015 AIGAC applicant survey

Each year, the admissions consulting group asks applicants which schools got to know them best through the application process. This time, however, AIGAC also tracked which schools’ scores declined and then attempted to find out why. The group came up with the rather self-serving conclusion that schools which reduced the number of required essays fell more in popularity than those that didn’t. Of course, the greater the essay requirement by schools, the more likely it is that applicants would hire a consultant to help them choose their topics and edit their essays.

Nonetheless, a group of familiar schools floated to the top: Duke, Chicago, Virginia, Dartmouth, and Northwestern (see above). The schools showing the largest year-over-year declines on this measure were Yale, Michigan, Tuck, and Kellogg. “Surprisingly, a few of the schools that showed year-on-year declines in applicants’ perceptions of how well schools got to know them were also schools that have implemented innovations like video essays and group interviews,” notes Ricci. Oddly, given the fact that Harvard Business School brought its essays down to only one last year and made it optional, Harvard had a slight increase in its score (see below).

Source: 2014-2015 AIGAC applicant survey

Source: 2014-2015 AIGAC applicant survey

The survey also found that most applicants–68%–engage an MBA admissions consultant less than six months before their target schools require the submission of an application. Some 31% hire a consultant seven months or more before application deadlines (see below.

Source: 2014-2015 AIGAC applicant survey

Source: 2014-2015 AIGAC applicant survey

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