IMD | Mr. Gap Year To IMD
GMAT 660, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Upward Trajectory
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Brazilian Banker
GMAT 600, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future VC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Fish
GRE 327, GPA 3.733
Harvard | Mr. Italian In Tokyo
GMAT (710-740), GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Community Impact
GMAT 690, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Blockchain
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Ms. Digital Health
GMAT 720, GPA 3.48
Wharton | Mr. Colombian M7 Deferral
GMAT 710, GPA 3.84
Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
Chicago Booth | Mr. Consulting Hopeful
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Yale | Mr. Healthcare Geek
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Healthcare Provider
GMAT COVID19 Exemption, GPA 3.68
Kellogg | Ms. MBA For Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Controller & Critic
GMAT 750, GPA 6.61 / 7.00 (equivalent to 3.78 / 4.00)
Kellogg | Mr. PE Social Impact
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.51
MIT Sloan | Mr. International Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Enthusiast
GMAT 730, GPA 8.39
Chicago Booth | Ms. Future CMO
GMAT Have Not Taken, GPA 2.99
Said Business School | Mr. Global Sales Guy
GMAT 630, GPA 3.5
N U Singapore | Mr. Just And Right
GMAT 700, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Youngster
GMAT 720, GPA 3.55
Columbia | Mr. Chartered Accountant
GMAT 730, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Spanish Army Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3

U. S. Schools Favor Middle East Applicants

Inside Wharton School operations and innovation management professor Christian Terwiesch' class - Ethan Baron photo

Inside Wharton School operations and innovation management professor Christian Terwiesch’ class – Ethan Baron photo

Most elite American business schools brag about how internationally diverse they are. Although American business schools try to make sure they have students from all over the world, the reality is that there are winners and losers. Applicants from some countries have an easier time than others. In this analysis, I calculated the MBA acceptance rate by country and region for American MBA programs, using publicly available data at the GMAT Club.

MBA Acceptance Rate by Region


MBA Acceptance Rate by Region International Business School

Since there is limited data for many of the countries, first I grouped the countries to look at MBA acceptance rates at a high level. Not all regions apply to the schools in the same proportion. In fact, European applicants tend to apply to the higher-ranked schools with lower acceptance rates. On the other hand, applicants from India are more likely to apply to lower- ranked schools with higher acceptance rates. I calculated the expected acceptance rate for each region based on the school application distribution.

The regions that have the highest acceptance rates are the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. If you limit Europe to the large western countries such as England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, then the acceptance rate for Europe jumps to 31%. The USA has a slightly higher acceptance rate than average. On the other hand, Asia, Australia and India are all at a significant disadvantage when applying to business school in the United States.

GMAT and GPA by Region MBANext I looked to see if the difference in acceptance rates could be explained by a GMAT score. Grade point average isn’t a good indicator because different regions have different average GPAs based on how much grade inflation there is in the area. Most regions are clustered around the average GMAT of 722 with two exceptions. Latin America has an average GMAT 16 points lower than average and still has an acceptance rate 6% higher than expected. Africa has an average GMAT that is 34 points lower than average but it only hurts them a small amount. Asian applicants have the highest average GMAT, however Asian MBA acceptance rate is 6% lower than average.

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.