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MBA Acceptance Rates


Acceptance rates at top MBA programs?
So, what are my chances to be admitted to a top MBA program like Harvard Business School or Stanford GSB? Let’s look at the funnel for a second, this may explain more:

Let’s assume we have business school XYZ, the average top 10 MBA program in the US. Each year, over 5,000 applicants pay the $300 application fee and hope to be the lucky ones to be admitted in the end. Of these 5,000 applicants, perhaps 40% will be invited for an interview; the remaining 3,000 applicants are unfortunately rejected. Of the lucky 2,000 who receive an interview invite, about 50% are rejected, leaving only 1,000 applicants in the end who will receive an offer, which equals an MBA acceptance rate of 20% of the initial 5,000 applicants. Want to see MBA acceptance rates of top US MBA programs? Enter the name of the MBA program in the box below.

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The yield rate

However, not all of the 1,000 lucky applicants who got in will attend the MBA program in the end, because they will decide to attend another MBA program which better suits their needs, or they give up on business school entirely and remain in their jobs or pursue other careers (e.g. law school). For top 10 MBA programs, the average yield (so percentage of admitted students who enrol) is about 70%. Hence, of the 1,000 admitted applicants, only 700 will actually enrol in the end.


These statistics of course wildly vary by business school. For example, Stanford GSB has the lowest MBA acceptance rate of all top 10 business schools, usually lower than 10%. But typically, all top 10 MBA programs have acceptance rates of less than 25%. Then, when looking at yield rates, both Harvard Business School and Stanford GSB are at the top. Usually, 90% of admitted students attend in the end if given an offer.

Even despite similar acceptance rates, yield rates vary drastically. For example, Harvard Business School has a relatively high MBA acceptance rate of ~15% depending on the economy due to its large class size of 900 students. New York University’s Stern School of Business has about the same MBA acceptance rate as Harvard Business School, but the yield percentage is much lower. This is because NYU Stern has a relatively small class size and is an attractive MBA program due to its location in New York close by Wall Street. However, should an applicant to NYU Stern and Harvard Business School get admitted to both MBA programs, s/he will most likely attend Harvard Business School because of its superior reputation, which will lower NYU Stern’s yield percentage. Unlike NYU Stern’s case which has the location and class size advantage, yield rates usually negatively correlate with acceptance rates. And, the higher the yield rate, the better the reputation of an MBA program most of the time.

Learn more about the advantages of attending a top 10 MBA program and about MBA admission requirements to top business schools.

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