Foster School of Business | Mr. Corporate Strategy In Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.32
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Columbia | Mr. Developing Social Enterprises
GMAT 750, GPA 3.75
Harvard | Mr. Billion Dollar Startup
GRE 309, GPA 6.75/10
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Harvard 2+2, Chances?
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 To Healthcare Reformer
GRE 338, GPA 4.0 (1st Class Honours - UK - Deans List)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Guy
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Overrepresented MBB Consultant (2+2)
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Wharton | Mr. Big Four To IB
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Rice Jones | Mr. Tech Firm Product Manager
GRE 320, GPA 2.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Mexican Central Banker
GMAT 730, GPA 95.8/100 (1st in class)
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Harvard | Mr. Tech Risk
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Ms. Strategy & Marketing Roles
GMAT 750, GPA 9.66/10
Harvard | Mr. Bomb Squad To Business
GMAT 740, GPA 3.36
IU Kelley | Mr. Advertising Guy
GMAT 650, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Yale | Mr. Lawyer Turned Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Whitecoat Businessman
GMAT 740, GPA Equivalent to 3(Wes) and 3.4(scholaro)
MIT Sloan | Ms. Digital Manufacturing To Tech Innovator
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Healthcare Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Yale | Mr. Education Management
GMAT 730, GPA 7.797/10
Columbia | Mr. Neptune
GMAT 750, GPA 3.65
Darden | Ms. Education Management
GRE 331, GPA 9.284/10
Columbia | Mr. Confused Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2

Ding Time At HBS, Round One

For a couple of thousand hopeful candidates who applied to Harvard Business School in time for its round one deadline, today (Oct. 5) will likely be a day of disappointment. Starting at approximately noon EST, HBS will send out its remaining invites for an admissions interview but will largely notify the applicants who didn’t quite make the cut. In the more gentle language of highly selective admissions, HBS calls rejection a “release” and labels “waitlisted” candidates as those getting “further consideration.”

For the admissions team at Harvard, which only admits 11% of the nearly 10,000 candidates who annually apply for admission to its MBA program, it’s also a tough day because the school is mostly dinging a group of extraordinary would-be students who are fully qualified to go to HBS and do well in its program. After all, it’s a self-selecting group of high achievers who apply to Harvard. But with only 930 seats in an incoming class, the system is designed to turn down the vast majority of candidates.

Dings often mean that a school just liked other candidates a bit more than the ones they turn down. Rejection, however, can still be nuanced or rather obvious, especially to those who have been turned away. Typically, the most common reasons for getting dinged are varied–and often there is a combination of them. Bad timing. Poor execution on the application. A low GPA. Graduating with your bachelor’s from a less-than-stellar college. Working for an employer that is not known for sending candidates to Harvard or Stanford. No visible advancement in your job.


Get Sandy Kriesberg's advice to make handicapping your odds of getting in possible

Sandy Kreisberg, founder of

Once again, HBSGuru Sandy Kreisberg, a prominent MBA admissions consultant, has agreed to lend some insight into why a person didn’t quite make it through this round one hurdle. Sandy has been analyzing the profiles and raw stats of jilted candidates for for several years. If you’ve been dinged, let him know your stats in the comment section below and he’ll tell you why he thinks you’ve been turned down. (Please only post if you were rejected. For forthcoming applicants, Sandy’s regular handicapping series will resume shortly.)

Many candidates who take a shot at HBS usually apply to an array of business schools. In fact, many other elite schools report a cascading effect on acceptances of their admits when HBS releases waitlisted applicants. So just because you’ve been dinged by HBS doesn’t mean you won’t be getting an invite from another great MBA program, one that may even suit you better than Harvard.