Admissions Rates for the Top Business Schools

UPDATE:  For the statistics below, the Clear Admit iPhone app only provided the figures “class size” and “admission rate” in their app.  I used those two figures to back into a number for “total applications.”  The total applications figure is only intended as a ballpark.

One of the most difficult data points to find is the actual admission rates for all of the top schools.  Most of the school rankings have incomplete data; not all schools report their rates during the ranking process.  Additionally, when you cross reference the numbers between different sources, they rarely match one another.  Furthermore, the way each a school defines it’s admissions rate can be different each time.  Did they include the part time and executive applicants as well?  Is this for the admissions year or the calendar year?  Usually these specifics are left out.

Anyway, I wanted to get a broad picture of what the admissions were, so I decided to compile a set of numbers from a single source that had stats for all the top schools.  I’ll ignore the potential data integrity issues for now and just use that as my baseline.

The source I used was Clear Admit and their newly updated MBA Planner App.  Here is the data for all the Top U.S. Schools, sorted by selectivity.  Please note that I backed into the “applications” number by considering class size and admit rate only.  Since I didn’t have the data, I did not consider an “admit and decline” rate, so these are just back of the envelope estimates.  One thing I need to take note of is the fact that 4 of my 6 schools are in the top 10 of this list.  (gulp)

Finally, the last view I created is a graph of sorted by overall demand.  I was a little surprised to see some of the low numbers at the bottom of the graph.  McDonough (Georgetown) has one of the lowest levels of demand and one of the highest admissions rates.  Kenan-Flagler and Tepper are similar.  I also didn’t know that Columbia had more apps than Stanford.

What are my chances?  If I take the weighted average admission rates of Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Haas, UCLA, and Ross, the percentage is 13.5%.

5 thoughts on “Admissions Rates for the Top Business Schools”

  1. Mark,
    Unfortunately, these numbers are incorrect. Just take Harvard. I’ve just checked the numbers back to the year 1975 and HBS has never received 7,808 applications in a given year. For the Class of 2011, the number is 9,093, up from 8,661 for the Class of 2010 and 7,424 for the Class of 2009. I have no idea where Clear Admit got these numbers but they are way off. Columbia does not receive more applications than Stanford, either. For the correct numbers on applications for full-time MBA programs alone, we did this story last week:

  2. The link in the comment above is great, really interesting stuff, I wish more schools would publish this kind of data.

    If we throw out the 57% flat yield assumption things get interesting. Lets assume that the overall yield rate must be 57% (presumably Kellogg reports this accurately), but that within that constraint, the 750-800 yield rate is allowed to vary. If yield drops to 33% then the predicted admissions rates for applicants in the 750-800 GMAT range goes up to 50%. Thirty three percent might be unrealistically low, but it is definitely reasonable to assume that yield is lower on average among applicants with higher GMAT scores. After all, if you have a high GMAT score you’re more likely to get into more than one school and thus more likely to not choose Kellogg. So if we benchmark 33% as the lower bound of predicted yield and 57% as the maximum, then if you score a 750-800 on the GMAT, the chance of getting into Kellogg, ceterus paribus, is somewhere in the 29% to 50% range, quite a bit higher than the overall admission rate of 21%. At a minimum, scoring a 750 increases your odds of admission by nearly 10% and potentially as much as 30%! Again, ceterus paribus.

  3. Hi there! This blog post could not be written any better!
    Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I’ll send this article to him. Fairly certain he’ll have
    a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

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