McCombs School of Business | Mr. CRE
GMAT 625, GPA 3.4
IU Kelley | Mr. Jiu-Jitsu Account Admin
GMAT 500, GPA 3.23
Wharton | Mr. Sales From Law School
GMAT 700, GPA 11/20
Wharton | Mr. Rural Ed To International Business
GRE 329, GPA 3.6
Yale | Mr. Tambourine Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. LGBT+CPG
GMAT 720, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
Columbia | Mr. URM Artillery Officer
GRE 317, GPA 3.65
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer To PM
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (with Honors)
Harvard | Ms. Eternal Optimism
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Harvard | Mr. Captain Mishra
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. Lady Programmer
GRE 331, GPA 2.9
Ross | Mr. Double Eagle
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Harvard | Mr. UHNW Family Office
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. International Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85

A Third Top-25 MBA Program Extends GMAT/GRE Test Waivers

Clock Arboretum outside the Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, Ind.

After a 61% surge in applications to its full-time MBA program, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business is extending its GMAT and GRE test waiver policy for the 2021-2022 admissions season. The school attributes the substantial uptick in the number of applications this past year to its decision to waive standardized test scores for some applicants and for stepped-up admissions recruitment efforts.

The boost in volume will lead to a significant increase in this year’s entering MBA cohort. Kelley recently graduated a class of 135 full-time MBAs, though its second year class now numbers only 92 students. While still waiting for a few more admitted candidates to make up their minds, some 176 admitted students have notified Kelley that they intend to enroll this fall. About 37% of them have gotten in with a waiver, with the remaining 63% submitting either a GMAT or GRE test score.

Kelley is the third top 25 MBA program in the U.S. to extend its test waiver policies. Both the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business have already announced decisions to continue their GMAT/GRE waivers into the new admissions cycle. Darden says it received more than 1,300 requests for a test waiver from potential applicants in the past year. Roughly 13% of its next entering cohort of MBAs this fall will have enrolled with an approved test waiver.

TEST WAIVERS HAVE HELPED TO INCREASE DIVERSITY AND QUALITY

James Holmen, director of admissions and financial aid for the full-time MBA program at Kelley

James Holmen, director of admissions and financial aid for the full-time MBA program at Kelley

In 2020-2021 admissions cycle, some 67 of the top 100 business schools have now gone fully test-optional or are actively promoting test waiver policies. MBA admission officials insist that their admission standards have not declined as a result of the policy changes. Instead, they are relying on other parts of candidates’ applications to gain confidence that an applicant can handle the academic requirements of their programs.

James Holmen, director of admissions and financial aid for the full-time MBA program at Kelley, believes the waiver policy also helped to increase the diversity and quality of Kelley’s applicant pool. This fall’s cohort will boast students from more than 25 countries around the world. 

Holmen says the school decided to extend waivers into the new cycle after “feeling that the information we were able to gain from other parts of the application enabled us to make good admission decisions.”

PUTTING MORE FOCUS ON UNDERGRADUATE RECORDS AND CERTIFICATIONS LIKE A CPA OR CFA

In valuating waiver requests, Holmen says his admissions team will focus on strong academic achievement in prior undergraduate and graduate degree programs, with particular attention to successful completion of quantitative and analytic coursework. Holding CPA or CFA certification (or their international equivalents) can also serve to demonstrate academic potential. 

“It’s not always simply about what their official major was,” he says. “We  have admitted fine arts majors who have taken quantitate electives to demonstrate their ability to be successful in a more rigorous curriculum. You have to take a real look at where they had their successes.”

Kelley is maintaining the exact same application deadline schedule for 2021-2022, with a round one deadline of Oct. 15th and a final fourth round deadline of April 15 for the incoming cohort in 2022.

MUST REQUEST A WAIVER TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applicants who want to request a waiver typically need to do so a couple of weeks before each application deadline. The school promises to decide on those requests within a week. Deadlines for submission of waiver requests are as follows:

  • Round one applicants: October 1
  • Round two applicants: December 15
  • Round three applicants: February 15
  • Round four applicants: April 1

To request a GMAT/GRE waiver, you must complete the following two steps:

  1. Complete and submit our online information request form (to ensure that we have your most current contact information); and
  2. Submit via email (iumba@indiana.edu) a current professional resume, your unofficial or official undergraduate transcripts (and graduate school transcripts, if applicable), and a brief statement (300 words or less) summarizing why you believe you qualify for a waiver.

DON’T MISS: MEET INDIANA KELLEY’S MBA CLASS OF 2022 or MBA PROGRAM OF THE YEAR: KELLEY’S ONLINE KELLEY DIRECT