Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Gmat
GMAT 690, GPA 73.45 % (No GPA in undergrad)
Darden | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Tuck | Ms. Nigerian Footwear
GRE None, GPA 4.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Low GPA High GRE
GRE 325, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Finance Musician
GRE 330, GPA 3.6
NYU Stern | Mr. Hail Mary 740
GMAT 740, GPA 2.94
Harvard | Mr. London Artist
GMAT 730, GPA First Class Honours (4.0 equivalent)
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
USC Marshall | Mr. Ambitious
GRE 323, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
SDA Bocconi | Mr. Pharma Manager
GMAT 650, GPA 3,2
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Mr. Young PM
GMAT 710, GPA 9.64/10
Wharton | Mr. Indian VC
GRE 333, GPA 3.61
MIT Sloan | Mr. Tech Enthusiast
GRE 325, GPA 6.61/10
Harvard | Mr. Midwest Dreamer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Foster School of Business | Ms. Diamond Dealer
GRE 308, GPA Merit
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Undergraduate GPA
GMAT 720 (Expected), GPA 2.49
Stanford GSB | Ms. Try Something New
GMAT 740, GPA 3.86
Darden | Mr. Military Missile Defense
GRE 317, GPA 3.26
Wharton | Mr. Army Bahasa
GRE 312, GPA 3.57

Big Drops In MBA Applications, International Students At Michigan Ross

Deferments at Michigan’s Ross School of Business caused the international student population of the incoming MBA Class of 2022 to stand at just 18%. Ross photo


Michigan Ross was one of a few top B-schools that, like Harvard Business School, offered deferments to internationals — and many took advantage of the offer, though the school wouldn’t divulge the number. “We are not releasing the number of deferrals because it could be misleading to candidates who are looking to assess their chances of admission, given that the target class size for next year has not yet been determined,” Kwon says. “That said, fewer international students opted to defer than we anticipated. As a result, we did not need to extend the deferral period to two years.”

So many took one-year deferments, though, that the school’s international ranks fell to just 18%, down from 27% last year. In the last five years the Ross School has lost nearly 44% of foreign student enrollment. Three years ago, the incoming Ross MBA Class of 2019 hailed from 45 countries; a year later, that number dropped to 40. In last year’s intake, the number of countries Ross MBAs called home fell again, to 33, and in 2020 the number dropped yet again, to 28.

However, the dire outlook isn’t entirely hopeless. It’s likely the Ross School won’t stay so dramatically low in foreign enrollment past this most unusual admissions season because, for one thing, students who deferred will start rolling into Ann Arbor in the next cycle.

“We do expect 18% to be an anomaly and we do expect that to increase next year, as our international percentage has historically been strong,” Kwon says. “International students are extremely important members of the Ross community for the diverse perspectives and experiences they bring to our class. The international student percentage dropped this year in large part due to the deferrals we offered to international students. We expect the number of international students to go back up next year, but there are a number of factors beyond our control that will impact international student enrollment (e.g., domestic immigration policy, visa policies, Covid and international travel).

“We still believe that offering our international students deferrals was the right thing to do for our students and we stand by that decision. We strongly support each student’s learning outcomes, and the deferral option was needed given the tremendous challenges international students faced coming to the U.S. and attending class this year.” Kwon also points to a pair of testimonials of international admits:

“I am very grateful for granting my request to defer until Fall 2021,” a Ross admit from Ghana writes. “It was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made. Likewise, I know the school had to make the difficult decision of granting deferrals to international students.”

Adds another admit from India: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the Ross admissions team and the Ross leadership who have shown such immense support to internationals during these difficult times. It makes me all the more eager and proud to become a part of the Ross Family. Eagerly waiting for 2021!”


University of Michigan’s Soojin Kwon

Another key stat that declined at the Ross School: GMAT average, which fell to 710 from last year’s 719. That’s a 10-point drop from the school’s record high of 720 set in 2018. And for the first time in a long time, Ross lost ground on the number of women in its MBA program, slipping by 2 points to 43% from last year’s record.

“Our average GMAT has stayed about the same outside this anomalous year: F17: 716, F18: 720, F19: 719, F20: 710,” Kwon tells Poets&Quants. “Part of this year’s drop can be attributed to our generous deferral policy, which we believe was necessary in light of the unprecedented challenges facing our international students. In addition, we took an even more student-centric approach in our admissions process this year. We weighted factors of resilience, character, and adaptability very heavily this year. This can be seen in the record number of veterans we have in the class.”

Not every stat dropped in 2020. Admits grew to their highest level, 951. The percentage of enrollees who submitted Graduate Record Exam scores jumped to 37% from just 12% in 2019, a more than 200% increase. And the school set three records: minority enrollment (36%), military enrollment (7%), and enrollment of first-in-their-family collegians (14%), the latter an increase from just 6% last year.

“Forty-three percent are women, 14% are the first in their families to go to college, and 7% are veterans,” Kwon says. “They have very diverse educational backgrounds, having attended more than 200 universities across the globe, and majoring in business, economics, engineering, and the sciences as well as in English, art history, theater, and film. Before arriving at Ross, 40 members already earned graduate degrees, while another 32 are pursuing dual degrees at the University of Michigan in medicine, law, sustainability, public policy, and more.”


Consulting continues to be the top background of most Michigan Ross MBA candidates, but less so this year, dipping to 22% of the class from 26% in 2019. “Other” — which includes advertising, energy, hospitality, media/entertainment, legal, real estate, and sports — is next this year, at 18%, up from 12%, while finance is third at 13%, down from 16%. Tech is where 10% of the class comes from, down slightly from 11%. Education/nonprofit/government slipped to 7% from 9%.

In undergraduate major, a near-majority (42%) majored in business in 2020, which was in keeping with past cohorts — in fact it was exactly the same number in 2019. The percentage of students with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) majors grew this year to 35% from 33%, which came partly at the expense of the humanities, which dropped to 23% from 28%.

“Generally, the majors of our incoming students are reflective of our applicant pool,” Kwon says. “We don’t have admission targets by major. We have always been and continue to be interested in students from a wide range of backgrounds. It is that diversity that makes our cohort strong.”