3 reasons why the best business schools reject applicants


At top B schools, such as Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School, acceptance rates can often drop well below 20%. Most of these top B schools have similar criteria in the type of candidate they are looking for: demonstrated leadership, strong soft skills, and a good fit. However, not everyone is accepted. Fortune recently spoke to experts who highlighted some of the most common reasons applicants are rejected at top B schools.


While test scores and GPA are only one part of your MBA application, they still play an important role. Quantitative deficiencies are one of the main reasons applicants may be rejected from top B schools. If you are applying to a large B school with a lower than average number, experts recommend offering admissions officers more than context for your application.

“While getting a good GMAT or GRE score is helpful in demonstrating the strength of their candidacy, they have a lot more control over their story,” said Kaneisha Grayson, owner of The Art of Applying, a consultancy firm in admission to the MBA. Fortune.


Experts Another reason applicants are rejected is simply because they rush the application process or focus on one aspect of the application more than another. This in turn can often make an application poorly executed or not specialized enough for a B school.

“It’s just a matter of time to get to know the school ahead of time,” said Shaifali Aggarwal, HBS alumnus and founder and CEO of Ivy Groupe. Fortune.

Personalizing your business school application is important. Ultimately, business schools are looking for a candidate who will match their culture. And, according to experts, applicants should consider selecting a business school in the same way.

“Sometimes applicants are attached to a school’s name, but they don’t know much about the school, or it doesn’t even relate well to their career goals,” Grayson writes. “Sometimes it’s about leaving a school or two to save time and space for a school that might be better suited for them.”


Often times, B schools reject applicants not because they are unqualified, but because they just don’t look different enough from other applicants. According to experts, having a unique story counts for admissions.

“There is no real theme. You do a good job, but again there are hundreds of other applicants in the same situation doing a good job and getting great reviews, ”said Mark Lellouch, Admissionado consultant and Stanford University Graduate. School of Business. Fortune. “It is difficult to distinguish oneself with a common background.

Sources: Fortune, Top MBA

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