NYU Stern | Mr. Risky Analyst
GMAT 740, GPA 2.4
Harvard | Ms. Retail Enthusiast
GRE 320, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Healthcare Finance
GMAT 730, GPA 3.91
Tepper | Ms. Project Manager Muffy
GMAT 500, GPA 2.89
Stanford GSB | Ms. Government To EdTech
GRE 323, GPA 14/20 (B equivalent)
Harvard | Mr. Hopeful Consultant
GRE 330, GPA 3.21
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Dreamer
GMAT 790, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Ms. Product Strategist
GMAT 700, GPA 7.3/10
NYU Stern | Mr. Finance Manager
GMAT 660, GPA 2.6
Kellogg | Mr. MBB Private Equity
GMAT TBD (target 720+), GPA 4.0
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Data Analytics Guy
GRE 318, GPA 3.49
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Product Development Engineer
GMAT Requirement Waived, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. 2+2 ENG Entrepreneur
GRE 322, GPA 3.82
Stanford GSB | Mr. Results-Driven
GMAT 770, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Ms. Experiential Beauty
GRE 315, GPA 3.32
Wharton | Mr. Law & Entrepreneur
GRE 325, GPA 3.86
Harvard | Mr. Fitness Startup
GMAT 750, GPA 3.20
Harvard | Ms. Craniofacial
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Yale | Ms. Classical Singer
GRE 317, GPA 3.9
Tepper | Mr. Experiential Marketer
GMAT 660, GPA 2.8/4.0
Harvard | Mr. Life Science Consultant
GMAT 700, GPA 3.73
Stanford GSB | Mr. Infra Investor
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Future Trusted Advisor
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
Columbia | Mr. Indian PM
GMAT 740, GPA 3.04
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian MBA Aspirant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Robotics Entrepreneur
GMAT 770, GPA 3.7

Data Guru Analysis: The Low GPA Challenge


Many applicants worry about applying to business school if they have a low undergraduate grade point average. I analyzed the low GPA MBA acceptance rates at the top 25 schools to see what the realistic chances are for applicants with a GPA below 3.0. In my data sample from GMAT Club, less than 3% of applicants had a low GPA, which I defined as below 3.0. Individual schools did not have enough data for me to analyze in depth, so I grouped schools into clusters for analysis. I was surprised to see that low GPA MBA acceptance rates are a lot higher than I expected.

Low GPA MBA Acceptance Rate by Business School Rank

For applicants who have a low GPA, school selection is extremely important. Only 8% of applicants with a GPA below 3.0 are accepted by top 10 schools. This is much lower than the 18% acceptance rate for applicants with a higher GPA. Acceptance rates are much closer at schools ranked 11 through 16 for low applicants with lower grade point averages. The low GPA MBA acceptance rate is highest for schools ranked between 17 and 25 on US News’ top business school rankings. There is only a small disadvantage for low GPA applicants who apply to schools ranked 17 through 25. Next, I looked at how GMAT scores impacted the chance of admission for low GPA applicants.

Low GPA MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT and Business School Rank

As you can see in the graph above, GMAT scores are especially important for applicants with low GPAs. An applicant applying to a top 10 school with a GMAT below 700 has an extremely low chance of being admitted. Scoring a 750 or higher raises an applicant’s acceptance rate to 13% at the top 10 schools. However, an applicant is much better off just applying to lower-ranked schools. Low GPA applicants with a GMAT below 700 had a respectable 20% acceptance rate at schools ranked 11 through 16. An applicant with a GMAT of 750 or higher has double the chance of admission, with an acceptance rate of over 40%. For MBA programs ranked 17 through 25, it seems that applicants with a GPA below 3.0 only need to score 700 or higher to have a 50% chance of admission.

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