McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Engineer
GMAT 720, GPA 7.95/10 (College follows relative grading; Avg. estimate around 7-7.3)
Wharton | Mr. Rates Trader
GMAT 750, GPA 7.6/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Former SEC Athlete
GMAT 620, GPA 3.8
Tuck | Mr. Army To MBB
GMAT 740, GPA 2.97
Columbia | Mr. Forbes 30 Under 30
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB Advanced Analytics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Impactful Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Banker To CPG Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 7.36/10
Ross | Mr. Leading-Edge Family Business
GMAT 740, GPA 2.89
Darden | Mr. Logistics Guy
GRE Not taken Yet, GPA 3.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Desi Boy
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Stylist & Actor
GMAT 760 , GPA 9.5
Columbia | Mr. Ambitious Chemical Salesman
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Tepper | Ms. Coding Tech Leader
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. Irish Biotech Entrepreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Cricketer Turned Engineer
GMAT 770, GPA 7.15/10
Wharton | Mr. Planes And Laws
GRE 328, GPA 3.8
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Refrad
GMAT 700, GPA 3.94
Harvard | Mr. Supply Chain Photographer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Space Launch
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Ms. Product Strategist
GMAT 700, GPA 7.3/10
Columbia | Mr. MBB Consultant
GRE 339, GPA 8.28
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Avocado Farmer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.08
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Development Consultant
Columbia | Mr. Wannabe Grad
GMAT 710, GPA 3.56
Kellogg | Ms. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3

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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