Here’s a look at HBS’s Class of 2020 taken from the Harvard Business School website:
- Number of Applications: 9,866
- Enrolled: 930
- Countries Represented: 69
- U.S.: 64%
- Asia: 14%
- Europe: 8%
- Mexico, Central & South America: 6%
- Canada: 5%
- Africa: 2%
- Middle East: 2%
- Oceania: 1%
- Women: 41%
- International (including U.S. permanent residents): 37%
- U.S. ethnic minorities (includes U.S. permanent residents): 26%
- Average age: 27
- Average GPA: 3.71
- Median total GMAT: 730
- Percent of class taking GMAT: 85%
- Median GRE verbal: 165
- Median GRE qualitative: 163
- Percent of class taking GRE: 15%
Breakdown of Undergraduate Majors (134 Domestic Universities and 154 International Universities):
|Economics & Business||46%|
|Humanities & Social Science||17%|
Breakdown of Pre-MBA Industry
|Venture Capital/Private Equity||16%|
The “big” news in these stats is relatively small: Harvard Business School’s application volume declined from 10,351 in the 2016-17 application cycle to 9,866 in last year’s application cycle, a roughly 4.7% decline. The application volume is still above the volume from 2015-16.
Does this drop mean that it is now “easy” to get into HBS? No. Is it “easier”? A tad, if application volume declines again this year, and I suspect that it will. Application volume tends to be counter-cyclical without the additional impact of ever-increasing tuition and the Trump administration’s immigration policies. So there is opportunity in the decline, but it’s not changing the fundamentals: It’s still very difficult to get into HBS.
Other items of note:
- More accepted applicants are taking the GRE: 15% in this year’s entering class compared with 12% last year.
- HBS experienced a tiny decline again in women’s enrollment, which was down 1% again after declining 1% the previous year too.
- The international percentage of the class actually went up to 37% from 35% in the previous year. Please note that HBS includes U.S. permanent residents in its “International” category.
Perhaps the real news here is the stability in the HBS class. Any change is slow and incremental.
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