Finally, we see that undergraduate STEM majors fare slightly better than other majors, but that shouldn’t dictate what applicants major in if he/she is a veteran currently in undergrad. There are many factors we didn’t account for in this model. For example, it’s possible that STEM majors are more inclined to possess stronger quantitative abilities and higher GMAT scores, which did in fact influence their admission decision. In short, correlation does not equal causation.
AGE AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION
Age matters in MBA admissions. The median age of MBA classes is generally getting younger at most schools. However, military applicants find success despite being older than their civilian peers. Anecdotally, we’ve seen that this trend is even more pronounced if an applicant comes from an aviation or special operations background as admissions officers are generally aware of their career track and minimum service obligations.
TARGETING TOP SCHOOLS
Veteran applicants enjoyed remarkable success at M7 schools (40+% at Columbia, MIT, & Wharton to 50+% at Booth & Kellogg) in addition to the T16 schools this past year. Keep in mind, this data set does not account for the competitiveness of applicants. In other words, the data points aren’t adjusted for the finer details of an applicant’s admission or ding, whether he/she had an 800 GMAT, 4.0 GPA, Ivy League/SOF background (i.e. highly competitive for M7) or a 500 GMAT, 2.0 GPA at an online non-accredited institution (not competitive for M7). Some non-competitive applicants applied to reach schools and got dinged while some highly competitive applicants applied to back-up schools and got admitted. In short, the model below is a very broad snapshot of success stories from this past year (when exit surveys were introduced).
Everyone’s story and application is different but we hope this has given you an idea of the landscape and the competitiveness of your application relative to other military applicants.
David Lee, Co-Director of MBA Operations, was commissioned through the NROTC program at the University of Michigan and graduated with degrees in Political Science and History. He was stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines where he served as a platoon commander, the assistant operations officer, and the operations officer. David is currently serving with 3rd ANGLICO as a Firepower Control Team Leader and will be pursuing his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business upon completion of his service.
A Singaporean native, Gary Ng came to the United States for his undergrad after serving two years of military service in his home country as a combat signaler. He received his M.B.A. from Chicago Booth and B.A. in mathematics and economics from Connecticut College, a small liberal arts college located right across the street from Coast Guard Academy. After brief stints at an investment bank and a management consulting firm, Gary ultimately decided his true passion lies in data analytics. He’s currently a Data Scientist at Rocketmiles, an online travel website that helps customers earn airline loyalty miles while booking hotels.
Service 2 Schools is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides free application counseling to military veterans. S2S helps veterans win admission to the best universities and maximize education benefits.