New York University’s Stern School of Business is reporting a five-point rise in the average GMAT score for this year’s entering class of full-time MBA students. The school says that the average GMAT reached 721, up from 716 a year earlier, with a low score of 600 and a high of 780.
Stern is among the first schools to report a class profile this year. If rival MBA programs hold their own on GMAT scores from last year, Stern’s 721 would place the school 11th among the highest average GMATs for an entering class, right behind Dartmouth Tuck (722), Yale SOM (724), and Berkeley Haas (726).
The school also reported an increase in the average grade point average of its newest crop of MBA students. The average undergraduate GPA rose to 3.52, from 3.45 a year earlier, with the lowest score being 2.84 and the highest at 3.99.
The scores were disclosed yesterday (July 20th) with the publication of Stern’s Class of 2021 profile. The school was able to achieve the increase in both GMAT and GPA stats even as applications declined by 5.4% to 3,518 from 3,718 the prior year.
ACCEPTANCE RATE RISES OF 26% DUE TO APPLICATION DECLINE
The application decline, following last year’s 3.7% drop, pushed the school’s acceptance rate to 26%, a three percentage point increase from 23% a year earlier. It also had an impact on the school’s entering class size of 359, down slightly from the 370 enrolled the previous year. These numbers do not include the 358 applicants to Stern’s one-year accelerated MBA programs in technology and fashion and luxury (see Stern Achieves Gender Parity In Tech MBA).
The increase in the quality of the newest students—as measured by GMAT and GPA scores—comes as the school posted a slight increase in women in the class, 36% vs. 35%, while military and active duty students held strong at 7% of the class for the third year in a row since the launch of the Fertitta Veterans Program. Roughly 33% of the class from 36 countries is composed of students with international citizenship. Underrepresented minorities account for 9% of this year’s entering class.
The GMAT increase, while significant for a single year, brings Stern back to the average posted five years ago in 2014. Since then, average GMATs at Stern have ranged from a low of 710 in 2016 to this year’s high of 716 (see Average GMAT Scores At The Top 50 Business Schools). The school said that 75% of its enrolled students entered with only a GMAT. Some 17% got in with a GRE score, while 3% submitted both GMAT and GRE results. Another 5% were accepted with an LSAT, MCAT or DAT score.
28% OF NEW MBA STUDENTS HAIL FROM FINANCIAL SERVICES
While the average age of a new Stern MBA is 28, the ages of the students range from 21 to 39, with 97% of the class having work experience. The average years of work experience is 5.2 years, with a high of 14 years and a low of zero.
The single biggest chunk of students—28%—come from financial services, while 11% hail from consulting and 9% from technology.
Students with work experience in the consumer products and retail industries make up 7% of the class, the same percentage as students who brought experience from the nonprofit, arts and education fields.
Real estate as well as entertainment and media each accounted for 4% of the class, while law, advertising and PR, and healthcare and pharmaceuticals each reflect 3% of this year’s entering MBA students.
The largest group of students—30%—have undergraduate degrees in business, followed by 22% with degrees in engineering, math or science. Some 19% of the new students have a degree in social science, 15% in economics, and 14% in the humanities or arts.