Stanford MBA Class Of 2024: Apps Down 16.5%, But Program Gets More Diverse

Stanford Graduate School of Business has released its MBA Class of 2024 profile showing a big drop in international students but an uptick in minority representation. Elena Zhukova photo

Like most of its peers, Stanford Graduate School of Business did not avoid the widely felt (and reported) application downturn in 2021-2022, with apps to the GSB’s MBA program dropping 16.5% — its lowest total in many years. And at first blush when reading Stanford’s MBA Class of 2024 profile that was released today (October 6), it appears that unlike most other top B-schools, Stanford opted not to lean into a pool of international talent to fill the gap, as the world’s most selective B-school reports that 37% of its new class are international.

But that data point is misleading. For the first time this year, Stanford reported international enrollment using the Graduate Management Admission Council’s GME Admissions Reporting Standards, by which dual citizens are assigned to either the domestic or international column based on their primary citizenship. Previously, Stanford adhered to a policy of pooling all international and dual citizens. Using the latter approach, Stanford’s international population this year is actually 46% — only 1 percentage point below last year’s class, not 10 points as it initially appears (and as P&Q initially reported — see note at the bottom of this page).

Whether 37% or 46%, anyone who has visited Stanford’s campus in Palo Alto or talked at length with the school’s leadership and students knows that the GSB has a rich international flavor. This year’s class is well in line with that tradition, hailing from 56 countries and boasting 77 languages, up from last year’s 66.


Besides retaining its global essence, Stanford improved its diversity markedly in 2022: For the first time, more than half of its class’s U.S. citizens and permanent residents identify as people of color (51%), with the numbers of Black (12%) and Hispanic (13%) students reaching their highest levels in history under the program’s multi-identity reporting. U.S. minority students also jumped, to 35% from 24% last year.

Academically, Stanford bucked at least one other big trend this year: Its Graduate Management Admission Test score did not grow. As B-schools have made the GMAT and the Graduate Record Exam interchangeable — and in many cases made it possible to waive either, giving admissions teams the luxury of choosing from only the best scores — averages have climbed across graduate business education.

But not at Stanford, which to be fair didn’t have much room to move up, being already at a school record 738 last year. The Class of 2024 reported a GMAT 1 point lower, 737, with a range between 630 and 790. And while more class members submitted GRE scores than last year, 25%, matching the school record set in 2020, GRE averages slipped as well: The average GRE Verbal score was 164, down 1 point from last year, with a range between 149 and 170; the average GRE Quantitative score was 163, down 2 points, with a range between 150 and 170.

A third academic yardstick is also down slightly: The average GPA for the Class of 2024 was 3.76, down from 3.78. Yet even with the slight drop in some academic measures, Stanford still outpaces its peers. See the table below.


Stanford enrolled a similar class this year compared to last in a couple of tangible ways: size, and women. The new crop of MBA students numbers 424 this year, just two seats fewer than the Class of 2023. And at 44%, the school maintains its gender makeup from last year, though it is down from 47% in 2020 and 2019.

Among the new Stanford MBA students are "highly decorated military veterans, former White House policy advisers, film directors and musicians, world-class athletes, teachers, financial analysts and consultants, and social impact entrepreneurs who are tackling complex problems across the globe," the school declares in its announcement.

“Every year, we seek out students who demonstrate enormous potential, an eagerness to contribute to the Stanford GSB community, and a commitment to make the world a better place,” says Kirsten Moss, assistant dean of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid.

“The Class of 2024 delivered on all counts. We are so excited to welcome them to campus.”

This story was edited after publication to clarify Stanford's use of a new reporting guideline to categorize student nationality, under which the school has 37% international students. Using previous years' policy, the school has 46% internationals this year.

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