Admission into a top school?

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Admission into a top school?

by nestlepurelife » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:03 pm
Hi, I've just found this site so correct me if I've posted this in the wrong area.

I will be graduating from Mississippi State University with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and possible Mathematics minor, in about a year. I expect my GPA to be around 3.2. I realize this is a sub par GPA. It was caused by my first few years of goofing off. However, I don't expect that to be taken into consideration with my application, so I suppose it is irrelevant.

I would like to study an MBA program at a top school, after I graduate. Something along the lines of Wharton, Yale, Columbia, Chicago Booth, and the like. However, I am worried that my academic standings will hold me back.

I was wondering if a very high GMAT would be able to counteract this?

Thanks, for all future replies.

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by Graham » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:55 am
Dear Nestlepurelife,

Thanks for your post. You raise a couple of good questions:

1) Will a very high GMAT score offset a low undergraduate GPA? The short answer is that a very high GMAT score can certainly help improve your academic profile. Obviously, if you've got a 2.0 GPA, there's likely no GMAT score out there that can bridge the gap. But as in your case, with a 3.2 GPA, a high GMAT could certainly help.

2) Will schools take into account circumstances surrounding poor grades? Many applicants draft optional essays to explain their undergraduate performance. If you have a clear upward trend with your grades and can candidly explain that you overextended yourself upon arrival in college (too many activities, social events) and that it took you time to get things on track, etc, it could go a long way to helping the adcom better understand your performance. [Hint: be sure to get good grades in your senior year.]

As a side note, I presume that you aren't applying now and that you intend to work for a period of time before applying to business school? The reason I ask is because the standards for applicants who are trying to go directly from college to b-school are a bit different (especially when it comes to academics). In other words, a 3.2 GPA may not cut it if you are applying to business school while still in college, whereas if you work for a couple of years and have other experiences to share, the emphasis on academics will diminish somewhat.

Best of luck,

Graham Richmond
Clear Admit, LLC
[email protected]
215 568 2590

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Re: Admission into a top school?

by AnthonyFoster » Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:49 am
And colleges will have admission problems and progression of courses very near impossible with upper level courses having to deal with under prepared students for the next 4 years.

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Re: Admission into a top school?

by Indradeep1click » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:42 am

Admission to the best schools in the world requires an overall well thought and articulated approach - it is not simply a matter of scores; it is a combination of scores, your past experience (how long, where and career progression), leadership skills, your goals, articulation of your vision and why an MBA is important and so on.

Having said that, your GPA and GMAT contribute to about 40-50% of your application - in my experience, this criticality reduces as you apply to higher ranked schools. Your GPA is very important and having a stellar score definitely helps negate some of the shortcomings of your GPA but its still wise to address it.

It is more important to demonstrate why your score is low (no excuses but acceptance), what have you learnt from that and how have you changed yourself since then.

If you can do so along with a strong GMAT score, you have a better chance.

Hope that helps,

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Re: Admission into a top school?

by MargaretStrother » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:19 am
Fortunately, there will be a few years between your undergraduate graduation and beginning your MBA studies -- typically 3 or 4 years of full-time, post college work experience. So that gives you a lot of time to do things that can minimize the negative impact of the low GPA.

* First, of course, be sure you're getting a 4.0 in your final semesters! An upward trajectory on a GPA is the best proof that you're done "goofing off."
* Another good idea is to focus on building your leadership, particularly in the community, after graduating. Depending on your field, first jobs often require long hours, and young professionals don't have time to also commit to an impactful community role. So becoming deeply active in one specific community service engagement -- ideally as a team leader -- would give you a competitive advantage.
* Also, choosing an employer that has a strong track record of sending folks to the schools on your MBA short-list would be a strategic way of adding value to your candidacy.
* And finally, yes, a mind-blowing GMAT will show the schools that your undergraduate issue was maturity, not overall analytical/academic ability. It's not a magic bullet, but it's a definite asset.

The idea here is to be such a strong applicant overall that a school will be tempted to overlook your GPA, because they like everything else about you so much.

The flipside: you can't be 100% sure how damaging your below-median GPA will be when you apply, because so much depends on your competition.

To summarize: MBA admissions is a holistic process, and leadership is the #1 driver of admission. So IMO the best way to neutralize that GPA as much as possible is to be so spectacular as an applicant in every other respect that the admissions readers will want to overlook this one weakness.
Margaret Strother
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Stacy Blackman Consulting

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