3 Records For NYU Stern’s MBA Class Of 2022, But A Much Smaller Class

Another New York B-school is reporting a strong MBA Class of 2022. Days after Columbia Business School announced that it had received a school-record volume of applications to its full-time MBA, NYU’s Stern School of Business is further testifying to the wisdom of an extended app season with a class profile that matches or sets three school records — and that reverses a two-year slide in applications.

NYU Stern extended its 2019-2020 round four deadline by 46 days, from March 15 to May 1, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and now comes the reward: an average Graduate Management Admission Test score and average undergraduate GPA that are both the highest in school history, and a women’s enrollment level that matches a school record. Stern’s class of 317 — much smaller than last year’s 359 — averaged 723 on the GMAT, up from 721 last year, while reporting an average GPA of 3.60, up from 3.52. The lowest GMAT score to gain entry? 640, much higher than last year’s 600.

Another record: Stern’s 43% women — up from 36% last year — matches the school mark set way back in 1998. Stern’s female MBA representation had been stuck in the 30s for the last five years.


Rabia Ahmed, executive director of MBA admissions at NYU Stern. LinkedIn

NYU Stern released its class profile today (September 4) and highlighted more good news: The school upped its percentage of underrepresented minorities in both calculations — with U.S. citizens and permanent residents who identify as African American/Black, Hispanic, or Native American/Alaska Native, from 9% to 12%; and including those demographics as well as U.S. citizens and permanent residents who identify as Asian and Hawaiian native/Pacific Islander, which Stern reports is 32% of the incoming class. That latter figure is up from 27.1% last year.

After coronavirus, some “applicant-centric” practices will persist at Stern, says Rabia Ahmed, the school’s executive director of MBA admissions.

“Given the rapidly changing conditions the world has faced this year, we’re especially thrilled to bring in one of the strongest, most diverse classes on record at Stern,” Ahmed said in a news release. “As we head into the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, we will continue our applicant-centric approach, including adding three new standardized test options — LSAT, MCAT, and DAT — to the existing GMAT and GRE.”

Stern saw an overall uptick in applications this fall: 3,652, up from 3,518 in the 2018-2019 cycle, a 3.8% increase. That stopped a two-year slide going back to the 2016-2017 cycle, during which the school lost more than 10% of its app volume. However, the school also increased its number of admits this year (to 1,059 from 919, 15.2% higher), pushing its acceptance rate to 29% from just under 27%.

Because of coronavirus and other major challenges of 2020 that have disproportionately impacted international students, Dean Raghu Sundaram says the school decided in July to offer deferments at the expense of class size. Consequently, the 2020 fall intake is 11.7% smaller than the previous year’s. (Stern reports that 32% of its new class has foreign citizenship — which would seem to be an improvement on last year’s international student total of 26.8% — but the former number includes students with dual citizenship and U.S. permanent residency.)

“Despite the forces at work restricting the free flow of high-skilled immigrants to the U.S., the demand for a Stern MBA among international students remained very strong this year,” Sundaram says. “However, in late July, in view of the continuing uncertainty created by ICE pronouncements — adding to an already stressful situation for many new students of closed U.S. consulates worldwide — we made a conscious decision to offer all our international admits the option to defer for a year at the cost of admitting a smaller class.

“This was absolutely the right thing to do. Since its founding, NYU has opened its doors to immigrants, and this remains an essential part of our DNA.”


Much like last year’s incoming Class of 2021, 97% of the Class of 2022 has work experience; also like last year, the average age is 28, and the age range is similar: 22 to 40, compared to last year’s 21 to 39. The average work experience is identical — 5.2 years — as is the range of years, with a high of 14 years and a low of zero.

In the fall of 2019, the biggest chunk of incoming students came from financial services backgrounds: 28%. Another 11% hailed from consulting, and 9% from technology. Here, too, this year’s cohort is similar: 27% come from finance, 10% from consulting, and 8% from tech, while another 8% hail from nonprofit/arts/education, and 7% each from consumer products/retail and entertainment/media. Those from the advertising/public relations and healthcare/pharmaceuticals industries each make up 4% of the class, as do those with military/government backgrounds.

Last year, the largest group of students — 30% — come to Stern with undergraduate degrees in business, followed by 22% with degrees in engineering, math, or science. Some 19% of Class of 2021 students boasted a degree in social science, 15% in economics, and 14% in the humanities or arts. This year little had changed: 29% have business degrees, 23% have degrees in engineering, math, or science, and 20% have social science degrees. Fourteen percent majored in economics and another 14% in the humanities.


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