Good news for b-school applicants: There has been a decline in business school applications. While that might not mean that getting into MBA programs has gotten easier, it does mean that the median GMAT score has been lowered.
Poets and Quants (“GMAT Scores Slip At Many Top Schools”) did an analysis of the median GMAT score at the top 25 US business schools and discovered that median scores are slowly dropping. MIT Sloan, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Carnegie-Mellon’s Tepper School, North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, and the University of Southern California’s Marshall School all reported a 10-point drop in their median GMAT scores.
Poets and Quants analysis also reveals that a larger percentage of students were accepted to some b-schools this year than in 2010. USC’s Marshall School accepted 38% of applicants, in comparison with 22% last year, Georgetown’s McDonough School accepted 49% of its applicants, up from 42% last year, and Michigan’s Ross School accepted 32% of its applicants, up from 25% last year.
Implications for MBA applicants:
This is an excellent year to apply to business school.
While you still can’t slap together a mediocre application and expect to get accepted to a top-tier MBA program, if you know why you want an MBA and where you would like to get it, now is the time to apply. If you are competitive at your target schools, invest the time in your MBA essays, work with your recommenders, and submit for the round 2 deadlines.
You may also want to apply to an additional “reach” school or two. However, don’t get too cocky. This data does not imply that all your target programs should be “reaches” or that the GMAT no longer matters.
There is just a little less competition to enter the MBA class of 2014, especially for those not coming from super-competitive cohorts in the applicant pool.