Stanford GSB | Mr. Healthcare AI
GRE 366, GPA 3.91
INSEAD | Ms. Social Business
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. Non-Profit Latino
GMAT 710, GPA 3.06
Harvard | Mr. Fresh Perspective
GRE 318, GPA 3.0
USC Marshall | Mr. Supply Chain Guru
GMAT GMAT Waiver, GPA 2.6
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Green Energy Revolution
GMAT 740, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. MPP/MBA
GRE 325, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Analytical Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Ms. Risk-Taker
GRE 310 (to retake), GPA 3 (recalculated)
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Technopreneur
GRE 328, GPA 3.2
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
London Business School | Mr. College Dropout
GMAT 690, GPA NA
Harvard | Mr. MBB Latino Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Ms. Top Firm Consulting
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
INSEAD | Mr. Truth
GMAT 670, GPA 3.2
INSEAD | Mr. Powerlifting President
GMAT 750, GPA 8.1/10
Harvard | Mr. Mojo
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Ross | Mr. Law To MBA
GRE 321, GPA 3.77
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Startup Founder
GMAT 740, GPA 4
Wharton | Mr. African Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Sommelier
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Wharton | Mr. MBA When Ready
GMAT 700 (expected), GPA 2.1
Kellogg | Mr. AVP Healthcare
GRE 332, GPA 3.3
HEC Paris | Mr. Strategy & Intelligence
GMAT 600 - 650 (estimated), GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Schoolmaster
GMAT 710 (to re-take), GPA 3.5 (Converted from UK)

Top Business Schools Have Grown More Selective Than Ever In Past Decade

Hand 2

When it comes to full-time, two-year MBA programs, the conventional wisdom is that they are on the wane. Applications are dropping. Acceptance rates are increasing. And it’s generally thought that it’s a lot easier to get into the MBA program at a business school.

Forget it. That notion may apply to the vast majority of business schools. After all, there are now as many as 13,000 business schools in the world. But when it comes to the leading business schools–and not necessarily the very elite institutions–the data shows that it’s harder than ever to get into an MBA program that is ranked in the Top 50.

Truth is, today’s top applicants are running into lower odds of being accepted–almost without exception. Even more, many are arriving on campus with higher GMAT scores and undergraduate GPAs than their predecessors, better track records at work, and leaving higher paying and more prestigious jobs for the honor of getting into a full-time program at a highly ranked school.

SCHOOLS GROWING MORE SELECTIVE AS THEY EXPECT MORE FROM CANDIDATES

Take Harvard Business School. In 2005, Harvard Business School accepted 15.7% of students looking to join the Class of 2005. Their average GMAT was 707, with their average undergraduate GPA coming in at 3.64. Fast forward to 2014 and HBS’ acceptance rate had fallen to 11.0%. Just 1,053 of 9,543 applicants were accepted by the school. Even more, the average GMAT had risen 19 points to 726 (though the average GPA had only crept up .03 to 3.67). To put it another way, HBS’ Class of 2007’s 707 GMAT is roughly equivalent to the 706 average produced by Class of 2016 at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Indeed, the top MBA programs have become a more exclusive club than ever. And the expectations for applicants are higher than ever. How high? Consider this: Among the schools ranked in Poets&Quants’ most recent Top 10, nine had lower acceptance rates in 2014 than 2005 (though this rate does not account for yield). For example, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business’ acceptance rate has plummeted from 45.6% in 2005 to 25.1% in 2014. That makes Fuqua nearly twice as difficult to get into over the past 10 years. Similarly, the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business (23.1% to 13.2%) and MIT’s Sloan School of Management (22.0% to 13.8%) also significantly tightened their acceptance rates over the past ten years.

In fact, the only Top 10 program whose acceptance rate grew more generous during this timeframe was Columbia Business School (15.0% to 18.2%). But getting into Columbia is anything but a cakewalk. For starters, Columbia is only one of seven schools with an acceptance rate under 20%. Even more, its average GMATs have climbed ten points in the past decade (from 706 to 716). And its average undergraduate GPA is up well (3.4 to 3.5). In other words, Columbia has been drawing higher caliber students to campus over the past decade, which offsets any slack on its acceptance rate.