You want to apply to a top MBA program, but that low GPA… what can you do to overcome this blemish and apply successfully to your dream school? Watch the video below for concrete, realistic advice on applying to b-school with a less-than-an-ideal GPA.
You want a top-notch MBA program, but have a basement level undergrad GPA. Tune in. I’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to deal with your messy undergrad record.
Every applicant to a top MBA program faces tough competition, but those of you with a low GPA face a formidable additional hurdle. Your undergrad record combined with your competition’s more impressive transcript could easily cause your rejection.
Now perhaps you’re embarrassed about your college performance and some of the choices you made then. Or you could be worried that events from long ago or behavior when you were 18 will damage your chances of acceptance and even your future career.
Perhaps circumstances beyond your control hurt your grades; perhaps it was immaturity. Whatever it was, it was years ago. You know you’re better than that GPA.
Let me help you convince the schools of that. For over 20 years, as founder and president of Accepted, I’ve helped applicants with all kinds of blemishes, and many with a low GPA, get accepted to top MBA programs. In addition to helping thousands of applicants, our expertise in MBA admissions has been sought by publications like U.S. News, The Wall Street Journal, Poets and Quants, and many others.
If you have a low GPA here’s what you need to do:
1. Assess your GPA
How low is it? Is it really low for your target school? A lot or a little?
2. Analyze the causes of your GPA
Was it immaturity? Sudden illness from which you’ve recovered? Family problems?
3. Add context to your GPA
Without whining, and usually in the additional information section, let the schools know what contributed to the number that is concerning you. Take responsibility for mistakes and show that whatever contributed to that poor performance either is not a factor in your life anymore or is something that you’ve learned how to deal with so that it will not affect your performance anymore.
4. Provide evidence that shows your true ability
Examples include a high test score, recent A’s in business-related classes, certification like the CFA, high achievement at work.
5. Provide positive reasons for the schools to accept you
Convincing them to overlook that irksome number is not enough. You have to also present the qualities, achievements, and fit that b-schools seek in all candidates.
The steps outlined here helped John (not his real name), overcome his undergraduate record. John had been rejected at the top programs he applied to the year before he worked with Accepted, but now has started his MBA education after being accepted to a U.S. News top 5 program. His undergrad GPA was approximately 1.0 point below the school’s average, and he had a GMAT more than 30 points below the school’s average GMAT.
You now have 5 concrete action items, the same ones John used, to help you overcome your GPA, but there are other steps you need to take and mistakes you need to avoid. And the confines of a short video mean that I didn’t go into quite as much depth as you could use.
No worries. Here’s what you should do:
2. Download Applying to B-School with Low Stats: What You Need To Know.
3. Read this resource that goes into more depth than I can accomplish here, and that can be easily referred to as you overcome your GPA challenges.
Follow this guidance so that you can get accepted, attend an outstanding MBA program, and pursue your dream career.
Looking for more guidance on getting accepted with low stats? We’ll match you with an expert MBA consultant who will walk you through every stop of the b-school admissions process, from initial school selection to final interview prep. Check out Accepted’s MBA Consulting Services here for more information on how we can help you overcome that low GPA and get ACCEPTED!
• Applying to Business School With Low Stats: What You Need to Know, a free guide
• 5 A’s for Your Low GPA, a podcast episode
• 3 Steps for Applying to Business School with a Low Undergraduate GPA