Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Ernst & Young
GMAT 600 (hopeful estimate), GPA 3.86
Harvard | Mr. Armenian Geneticist
GRE 331, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 1st Gen Grad
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Ross | Mr. Travelpreneur
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Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
London Business School | Ms. Numbers
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Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
IU Kelley | Mr. Fortune 500
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.2
N U Singapore | Mr. Naval Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
INSEAD | Ms. Spaniard Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 8.5/10.00
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthtech Venture
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Columbia | Mr. Senior Research Analyst
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Stanford GSB | Mr. Doctor Who
GRE 322, GPA 4.0
Rice Jones | Mr. Carbon-Free Future
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Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
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Harvard | Mr. Healthcare PE
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Data Savvy Engineer
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Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
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London Business School | Mr. FANG Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 2.9

MIT Sloan MBA Apps Soar By 35%

MIT's Sloan School of Management in Cambridge

MIT’s Sloan School of Management in Cambridge

Making it easier for candidates to apply to an MBA program can pay huge dividends. Just ask MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

This past year, the school saw applications to its full-time MBA program jump by a remarkable 35% to an estimated 5,740, from 4,254 a year earlier, the highest increase in app volume for any leading business school so far.

Dawna Levenson, director of admissions at Sloan, largely attributes the increase to last year’s decision to go to only one essay question, with a second required short-answer question if candidates moved forward to the interview stage. The school also last year expanded its admissions cycle to three rounds from just two, in common with most other business schools. Sloan used to close off its admissions cycle as early as Jan. 8, but extended it until April 11 of this year. Sloan is the only Top Ten school that has not yet released its new application deadlines.

‘WE HAD A DIP THE YEAR BEFORE SO WE MADE UP THAT AND THEN SOME’

MIT Sloan Admissions Director Dawna Levenson

MIT Sloan Admissions Director Dawna Levenson

The increase comes after a 10.2% decline a year earlier when the applicant pool shrunk by 481 applicants from 4,735 in 2013-2014. “We had a dip the year before so we made up that and then some,” Levenson explains. “We restructured the application to align more with our peers and it made the difference. We love this new format. I like to think it contributed significantly to the increase in applications. How hard it should be to apply should not be a factor in application volume, but it turns out it just is.”

Sloan apparently likes the result so much it is going another step in that direction this year. Instead of asking applicants to respond to an essay question, the school is now only requiring a cover letter along with a resume. The school says the cover letter of 250 words or less is an opportunity to introduce yourself, describe your past successes, and explain why MIT Sloan’s MBA Program is the right place for you. Applicants can also submit an optional essay of 500 words or less and can do so via video or other multimedia.

Levenson also believes that a substantial rise in the use of social media by Sloan played some role in the increase in applications last year. “Historically, we hadn’t done much with social media. But we upped our social media presence, building on the experience we have had with our master’s of finance program.”

Last year, Sloan admitted 623 applicants out of the 4,254 who applied for an acceptance rate of 14.6%, just behind Stanford GSB (6.1%), Harvard Business School (10.7%), and UC-Berkeley Haas (13.0%). Sloan enrolled 400 students last fall in its full-time MBA program. The 35% rise will likely allow Sloan to pass Haas and give it bragging rights for having the third most selective MBA program in the world.

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.