There’s nothing quite like going out on top. And in the class average GMAT game, outgoing Stanford Graduate School of Business Director of Admissions Derrick Bolton is doing just that. The school announced today (Sept. 28) its full-time MBA Class of 2018 boasts an average GMAT score of 737 — four points higher than last year’s class and the highest of any school to announce class profiles this fall. After dropping from a GMAT average of 730 in 2011 to 729 in 2012, the GSB has slowly increased GMAT scores consistently to this year’s number.
What’s more, the school’s popularity seems to have gone unscathed in the wake of last year’s sex scandal and leadership shakeup that made headlines world-wide. This year a record 8,116 candidates applied for a seat in Stanford’s Class of 2018, up 2.7% on last year’s 7,899. The school, which boasts the most selective prestige MBA program in the world, received 19.5 applications for each of its 417 seats. That’s nearly twice as many as the 10.4 candidates for each Harvard Business School seat. Applications have increased by at least 200 year-over-year for the past five years.
According to the school, the acceptance rate lowered to 6%, nearly a full percentage point lower than two years ago and one tenth of a percent off last year’s 6.1% acceptance rate. The school said its yield–the percentage of admits who enroll in the program–is 88%, second only to HBS.
This year’s GMAT bump can be attributed to a tightening of range in scores. The lowest GMAT to be accepted was 590, up 20 points from last year and 40 from the Class of 2016, which had a bottom score of 550. At the top end, 790 was the highest score — down from a perfect 800 that entered in the Class of 2017. So far, only Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Harvard Business School have come close to similar GMAT scores, Wharton with a 730 average and HBS with a 730 median. A few other school are way up there as well:
Kellogg is now at 728, while Chicago Booth now has a 727 average.
The school has also enrolled one of its most diverse classes ever. Women represent 41% of this year’s class, a slight uptick from last year’s 40%. Some 62 countries, including the U.S. are represented. International representation stayed put at 40%. And most impressively, the school enrolled a record 29% of U.S. minorities — up a full 10 percentage points from last year’s class.
While this year’s average undergraduate GPA dropped from 3.75 to 3.73, the school says it has enrolled a more diverse class in terms of educational and professional backgrounds. Nearly half of the class (48%) hold undergraduate degrees in humanities or social sciences. Some 37% hold degrees in “engineering, mathematics, or natural sciences.” And 15% are bringing business degrees. Average work years remained the same at four. This year’s range included an incoming student with zero years of work experience up to someone with 13 years of experience.
For the first time ever, the most students (20%) came from investment management, private equity, or venture capital. The number grew from 16% in last year’s class. Percentages of students coming from consulting also grew from 16% last year to 18%. Students coming from tech also ticked up from 15% last year to 16% for this year’s incoming class.
While percentages increased for those three categories, incoming students with backgrounds in government, education, and nonprofit fell from 13% to 9%. Financial services also fell for the third year in a row from 10% two years ago to 8% to 7% this year.
To see the entirety of Stanford GSB’s incoming class of 2018, go here.