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MBA DecisionWire Reveals Candidates’ Gravitation Toward Certain Pairings of Schools

D. Scott DeRue

MBA DecisionWire, where candidates share where they’ve decided to attend business school based on the offers they received, has drawn hundreds of entries already in its inaugural season. This level of activity has prompted us to introduce a new bi-monthly column where we will share observations gleaned from the MBA DecisionWire data. Read on for our first set of insights, and stay tuned going forward for more of the same!

Popular School Pairings

Today we wanted to look at a few popular school pairings—that is, schools where candidates who apply to one program often also apply to the other. When we spot this type of overlap, we can then drill down into the MBA DecisionWire data to look at how those candidates ultimately choose between the two. Of course, because we are currently working with merely hundreds of entries, we should stress that these insights are anecdotal and should not be used for anything more than pure interest.

Michigan / Ross DecisionWire ShieldMichigan / Ross DecisionWire Shield

 

 

 

 

Duke’s Fuqua School & University of Michigan’s Ross School

# of Candidates Applying to Both Schools: 35

# of Candidates Admitted to Both Schools: 11 (31.43%)

Where Those Admitted to Both Enrolled: Duke: 4 (36.36%), Michigan: 2 (18.18%)

# of Candidates Admitted to Both and Enrolled at Neither: 5 (45.45%)

# of Candidates Admitted to Duke and not Michigan: 8 (22.86%)

# of Candidates Admitted to Michigan and not Duke: 9 (25.71%)

 

Why There Is Overlap in Applicants to These Schools:

Both schools are team oriented, with strong and loyal alumni networks, a lively community and student life. They are also both known for their strength in general management and are widely considered to be top-15 programs.

U. Chicago Booth DecisionWire ShieldNorthwestern / Kellogg DecisionWire Shield

 

 

 

 

Northwestern’s Kellogg School & University of Chicago Booth School

# of Candidates Applying to Both Schools: 31

# of Candidates Admitted to Both Schools: 9 (29.03%)

Where Those Admitted to Both Enrolled: Northwestern: 3 (33.33%), U. Chicago: 4 (44.44%)

# of Candidates Admitted to Both and Enrolled at Neither: 2 (22.22%)

# of Candidates Admitted to Northwestern and not U. Chicago: 9 (29.03%)

# of Candidates Admitted to U. Chicago and not Northwestern: 6 (19.35%)

Why There Is Overlap in Applicants to These Schools:

Although the schools are quite different in some regards—Booth is widely regarded as a finance powerhouse, whereas Kellogg is much better known for its strengths in consulting and marketing—both schools are in the same geography and considered to be among the leading MBA programs in the country. It is not surprising to see a decent amount of overlap in applicants, especially among those for whom the Chicago region is a desired location.

Stanford DecisionWire ShieldHarvard DecisionWire Shield

 

 

 

 

Harvard Business School & Stanford GSB

# of Candidates Applying to Both Schools: 58

# of Candidates Admitted to Both Schools: 3 (5.17%)

Where Those Admitted to Both Enrolled: Harvard: 2 (66.67%), Stanford: 1 (33.34%)

# of Candidates Admitted to Both and Enrolled at Neither: 0 (0.00%)

# of Candidates Admitted to Harvard and not Stanford: 13 (22.41%)

# of Candidates Admitted to Stanford and not Harvard: 5 (8.62%)

Why There Is Overlap in Applicants to These Schools:

It is unsurprising that the admit rate for those who applied to both schools and gained admission to both schools is very low. Harvard and Stanford are two of the most selective MBA programs in the world, which makes gaining admission to both extremely difficult. The fact that Harvard wins out in these groups, even with such small numbers, only tells us a little about those who chose to apply to both schools; many successful candidates select one school over the other much earlier in the process, opting to apply to only one. Both schools are widely considered the top two MBA programs, so it is unsurprising to see a significant number of applicants applying to both, even though the schools offer very different experiences in terms of fit. We are looking forward to gaining a greater understanding of the overlap in applicants to the two schools and how they choose as we collect more data.

Stay Tuned

We hope this provides some interesting insight in terms of how candidates make their decisions in the admissions process. We should acknowledge that not only are the numbers small at this stage—and should therefore be taken with caution—but we also have not examined how scholarship offers and other personal issues might have impacted decisions.

Please consider sharing your admissions decision on MBA DecisionWire—it’s anonymous and only takes a minute.

Posted in: Decision Tips, DecisionWire, General

Schools: Duke / Fuqua, Harvard Business School, Michigan / Ross, Northwestern / Kellogg, Stanford GSB, U. Chicago Booth

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