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A Look at MBA LiveWire Data for Round 2 from the “Holy Trinity”

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As many of you are only too aware, last week brought fateful decisions from three of the heaviest hitters in the MBA world. Anxious Round 2 applicants to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Stanford Graduate School of Business began receiving admissions decisions on Tuesday, March 29th, and Harvard Business School (HBS) followed close behind, issuing its admissions decisions as promised at noon Boston time on the 30th.

Recognizing that some applicants might actually choose to share their news first with family or friends—and not on MBA LiveWire the instant they received word—we’ve given folks a few days to get their entries in. But with decision week for the so-called “holy trinity” of business schools now in the rearview mirror, it seemed time to dig into the LiveWire data for Round 2. Here’s some of what we’ve found.

Highest Average GPA and GMAT Scores Among Admits
Calculating the average GMAT score for applicants who shared they’d been admitted to H/S/W revealed that the bar was set highest by Stanford in terms of GMAT score, with accepted applicants reporting an average score of 745. HBS and Wharton were neck and neck, with averages of 731 and 729, respectively. Where grades were concerned, Harvard led the pack. Accepted applicants to HBS reported an average GPA of 3.64. At Stanford and Wharton both, the average GPA was 3.59.

LiveWire data for round 2
Rejected Candidates Strongest on Stats at Stanford
Those candidates reporting rejection by Stanford, meanwhile, led those reporting rejection at the other schools in terms of both average GMAT score and GPA, though by just a smidge. Average GMAT score for those who didn’t get into Stanford was 727, compared to 726 at both HBS and Wharton. Interestingly, the average GPA of those rejected from Stanford was just slightly higher than those admitted, 3.61 as compared to 3.59. Candidates rejected by HBS and Wharton reported average GPAs of 3.52 and 3.53 respectively.

Obviously, the strong average stats for those who didn’t make the cut at these top schools reflect just how competitive the process is.

LiveWire data for round 2

A handful of still hopeful candidates shared that they’d been waitlisted at one of the holy trinity schools. Here’s how the averages broke down among those waitlisted.

LiveWire data for round 2
In terms of how those accepted measured up to those rejected in absolute numbers, HBS rejected 6.2 applicants for each one it accepted. At least on MBA LiveWire, the notoriously selective Stanford didn’t quite hold up to its reputation, rejecting 3.6 applicants for each one it invited to join the Class of 2018. At Wharton, rejected candidates only outnumbered accepted candidates by a factor of 1.2. Of course, this is where we must remind you that our sample size is small—though ever growing!—and likely subject to some response bias. We think it’s pretty interesting nonetheless.

Don’t Forget MBA DecisionWire
If your acceptance to one of these schools made it immediately clear where you’ll be headed in the fall, congratulations! Or maybe one door closing helped make it clear that you should step through another door that’s open to you. In either case, won’t you share your enrollment decision on MBA DecisionWire? It’s anonymous and will only take a minute.

We know that for some it’s Harvard/Stanford/Wharton or bust—in which case you may be planning to reapply at a later date. Stay tuned from an upcoming post that will provide tips on how best to approach the MBA admissions process as a reapplicant and be successful in your subsequent attempt.