A 12.3% Rise In MBA Apps At Yale SOM

Students working together at the Yale School of Management


“They dance (from ballet to Bollywood; hip-hop to hula) and play music (including guitar, cello, piano, viola, flute, and guzheng, to name a few instruments), added DelMonico, in a blog post. “Some are professionals, including a saxophonist who graduated from the New England Conservatory, a violinist from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a drummer who won a silver medal in the world’s fastest drummer contest. Others are not, including an amateur Romanian pan flute player and an aspiring ukulele player. One has perfect pitch, while another describes himself as a failed a cappella singer.

“They are athletes, including an NCAA national swimming and diving team champion and World University Games gold medalist, a Chinese National Women’s single and doubles badminton champion, a third-place finisher in the Thai national table tennis championship, an Austrian professional handball player, a New England Adult Equitation champion, an Academic All-American in Nordic skiing, an All-Ivy League selection in volleyball, a member of the Bruneian national cricket team, captains of the Army baseball and hockey teams, a silver medalist in the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, a representative of Malaysia in the World Junior Tennis Championship, a captain of the 16th-ranked ultimate Frisbee team in the U.S., a nationally ranked U.S. fencer, and a U.S. Collegiate Ballroom Dance champion.

“They run marathons and half-marathons (one on snowshoes), duathlons, triathlons, long-distance triathlons, and even a 205-mile relay race. They travel—one to 48 different countries, others to fewer. One student likes to travel with her stuffed llama, Lola; another with Layla, his self-described “half-horse, half-Golden Retriever”; yet another likes to camp “beyond the reach of cellular signals.”


Yale SOM’s Class of 2019

“One of them placed eighth in the National Spelling Bee; another won the best dressed award in the Korea Wall Street Marathon Competition. One has read every issue of the New Yorker from 1936 to 1946, and another won the bronze medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad. We have others who received honorable mention in 34thInternational Physics Olympiad, first prize in the Chinese National Olympiad in programming, and first prize in the Chinese National Olympiad in information; ranked in the All-India National Science Olympiad; and reached the national round of the Chemistry Olympiad.

“They are foodies—one likes finding under-15-minute recipes; others enjoy bread baking, gluten free baking, central California BBQ, and pour-over coffee. One hosts competitive, themed potlucks—and for those who aren’t into that, another enjoys hole-in-the-wall restaurant exploration.

“They participate in archery, kite surfing, semi-effective recreational basketball playing (his words), sneaker design, amateur dressmaking, quilting, cross-stitch, Mahjongg, boxing, competitive powerlifting, MMA, SCUBA diving, PADI, and longboard surfing. We have Eagle Scouts, fans of French New Wave cinema and Game of Thrones conspiracy theories, certified pilots (including one commercial pilot who is A320 high-altitude endorsed), astro-photographers, and a freelance telenovela translator.


“Their professional credentials are equally diverse and impressive, covering all sectors and a range of industries, including large financial institutions such as Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs; major consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG, and Deloitte; and a host of other employers such as Cummins, Google, Dropbox, Schlumberger, the Peace Corps, World Bank, Unilever, and many others. The class includes a Colombian tax lawyer, a Saudi hedge fund manager, professionals from public finance to the Public Theater, architects, patent holders, doctors, lawyers, an Israeli tank commander, a naval aviator, and an Army Ranger.”


  • avivalasvegas

    Except perhaps in most B school ratings, I’m afraid. It would appear that Blue has indeed Gone!

  • iFeng
  • Aussie1

    I don’t think this is necessarily true since, as mentioned, SOM has the highest applicant to seat ratio. Supposedly, that would allow them to take rounded candidates.

  • avivalasvegas

    I’m VERY excited to see that Yale SOM is doing so well. While I have never had any affiliation with the school and have already received my MBA from an M7 MBA program, I predicted nearly 7 years ago that Yale SOM was the only real sure shot addition to the Top 10 business schools, by replacing Ross and by offering a lot more than the Fuqua and Darden schools ever could.

    While I doubt it will replace Columbia to round out the bottom of the M7, I do believe it is a worthy alternative to Tuck. To get here so quickly deserve massive praise!

  • Fajor

    This focus on hard stats is probably a medium-term tactic to widen their applicant pool, and it that seems their numbers have been jumping every year. People see the high GMAT & GPA and assume Yale is in the same league as Harvard and Stanford.

  • Split

    I agree, the GMAT/GPA arms race has got to stop (no sour grapes here, I’m long past those years). The top b-schools are really losing out on talent by chasing that fleece. I understand the need to show a strong level of academic performance, but that can be done at levels well below this nonsense.
    It’s bad enough that college kids who want to aspire to be lawyers ruin their undergraduate education by taking gut courses or avoiding challenging their weaknesses, all in order to keep their GPA’s near 4.0 for the elite schools.
    I always thought the b-schools had a more mature attitude about things like that. I guess I was wrong.
    Maybe the answer is for the top 15 b-schools (and yes, USNWR and media sources like Poets and Quants) to stop reporting specific GPA and GMAT scores, and live with some directional ranges. That would eliminate the silly granularity and invidiousness that goes into the rankings and admission considerations.

  • iFeng

    Makes sense. Thank you for the comments!

  • Ze

    Wow, i never thought I’d see the day when Yale has a better GMAT and GPA than Harvard. HBS is HUUUUGELY Overrated.

  • elite

    i recruit at all the top school.s SOM is playing a stupid game… just boosting rankings with high gmat and gpa and ZERO focus on leadership. which explains why in the startup funding ranking yale is 15 or 16
    I will stick with the M7.. we need creative and entrepreneurial leaders.. not GMAT robots

  • BSG

    All top business schools are guilty of this. Even schools who traditionally don’t care about stats, such as Haas and Sloan, are upping their game in this arms race.

    I also counter your friend’s anecdote with one from a friend who is a class of ’18 from Yale SOM. He’s enjoying every minute of his time there and loves his classmates. Does that mean Yale has the best community? Nope. It’s dangerous to paint schools in the same brush. CBS and Wharton are both known for their cut throat culture, yet some of the nicest people I know are from these schools.

    I can see that some people are frustrated to see Yale climb so quickly in rankings – but it’s all part of the game. Since Yale SOM is a relatively nascent business school, their goal is to quickly improve the quality and quantity in applicants to supercharge their growth. Moreover, they’re poaching high quality faculties from other schools. Their tactics are working and I see nothing wrong with that.

  • iFeng

    You are right that the whole package of resume, essay, and reference letter cannot necessarily reflect the true personality. What I wanted to say is that Yale seems to focus much much more on these factors including GMAT and GPA to raise its rankings. I think that there is no perfect candidate. If Yale sets the bar that high and would prefer candidates proofing more convincing academic records, the class would be fixed with students lack of other strengths, e.g. strong personalties. One of my friends went to Yale’s admission event for class 2019. He finally decided not to go to Yale, because he felt that the most participants including the class 2018 are more academic driven but less fun.

    If you pay attention to all the press report about Yale SOM, they are all talking about how high the GMAT and GPA score is. I can understand that Yale wants to catch up M7 with its ambitious. But personally, I think that Yale SOM will neglect the true asset of an MBA classroom: the people. People should be the key to leading a unique MBA experience, rather the pure numbers.

  • gaofeng.arthur@gmail.com

    I agree with you.

  • Yale_App

    Yale is only looking to up its rank. Period. They have rejected some really talented folks for GMAT and diversity..

  • BSG

    How do you gauge people’s personality based on their resume, a ~500 word application, and some reference letters from their obvious champions?

    Yeah, Yale’s definitely looking to boost their stats, but I’m not sure if GMAT/GPA inversely correlates with personality and capability.

  • gaofeng.arthur@gmail.com

    Personally, I think Yale focuses too much on academic background, e.g. GMAT and GPA, which relates directly to rankings, which means that personality might be neglected. I am not sure if that is the ultimate goal of an MBA education.