Harvard Business School (HBS) has updated its class profile for the class of 2019. Let’s see how you’d fit in.
• HBS’s application volume blew past 10K applications in a single cycle — rising to 10,351 from 9,759 in the 2015-16 cycle, a 6% increase.
• HBS’s yield climbed a bit: up 1% to 91% from 90% last year as it also grew its class slightly (6 additional students)
• The percentage of women declined slightly to 42% this year from last year’s 43%.
• The average GPA also dropped this year from 3.71 for the Class of 2018 to 3.67 for the Class of 2019.
• The median GMAT remains the same (730).
• The percentage of U.S. citizens remains unchanged. The feared drop in international enrollment in the wake of President Trump’s election and policies hasn’t materialized at Harvard.
• Enrollment from Africa, while still low, increased by 33%, from 12 to 16 students.
• The percentage of the class coming from a business or economics educational background climbed by roughly 10% (41% of last year’s class to 45% of this year’s). STEM and Humanities each dipped by roughly 5%.
Profile of the MBA Class of 2019:
This is the first time that HBS is displaying the average quant and verbal scores of the admitted students who took the GRE. The ETS School Comparison Tool provides a predicted GMAT Total Score as well as a very wide Predicted Score range for a given GRE score. According to ETS, the Predicted Score for an entering student at HBS with a verbal score of 164 and a quant score of 164 is 710, 20 points lower than the actual average GMAT score at Harvard. This 730 score is well within the predicted score range (650-760) GMAT average of HBS students.
These numbers demonstrate that applicants seem to be getting into HBS with slightly lower GRE scores than GMAT scores. That differential gives those of you struggling with the GMAT a small window to apply with a slightly lower, but still high, GRE. And realize as Chad Losee, Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, says, “You’re much more than a test score.“
Posting the average GRE scores will be very helpful to applicants trying to decide if they’re competitive or need to retake an exam. I hope that more schools will follow Harvard’s influential lead and begin posting their GRE numbers as well.
Some of you may still wonder which test to take. Quoting Losee again, “Choose the one that allows you to best show your strengths, then move on to other parts of your application.” I couldn’t agree more.
Final point, very much in line with Losee’s “You’re much more than a test score“ comment: While HBS certainly isn’t ignoring academic stats, the non-movement in GMAT scores in this era of a GMAT race to the finish and the slight dip in average GPA combined with HBS’s 11% acceptance rate, show that HBS is weighing experience a little more in its process. It is not disregarding academics, but appears to put its thump on the “much more” side of its evaluation scales. Make sure your experience shows that habit of leadership and engaged community citizenship that HBS is looking for.By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.
• Harvard Business School MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• What Does Harvard Business School Want?, a video
• What HBS is Looking For, a blog series