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Leading B-Schools Make This Year’s Acceptance Calls in Reverse Alphabetical Order ‘Just for the Heck of It’

Philadelphia, PA – It’s a well-known fact that many leading schools enjoy congratulating accepted students via telephone, typically just before official admissions decisions are posted online.  Tools like Clear Admit’s MBA LiveWire have lent a great degree of transparency to this process; as applicants report their news in real time and indicate their location.  Of course, applicants often like to speculate about how exactly the admissions teams go about making these calls:

  • Is it by region?
  • By the person that interviewed the applicant?
  • By amount of scholarship dollars awarded?
  • At random?

One theory that seems to have stuck – at least among the applicant community – is that schools call candidates based on a combination of region and in alphabetical order.  This is evidenced by the constant stream of LiveWire posts where applicants share the first letter of their last name, and by the incredible amount of patience exhibited by the Wilsons, Youngs, and Zellermans of the world.

While leading MBA programs have traditionally pooh-poohed applicant conspiracy theories, it would appear that a group of elite MBA programs have conspired to have a little fun themselves this admissions season; each and every one of the prestigious ‘M7’ MBA programs (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago, MIT, Columbia) phoned admitted students in reverse-alphabetical order this season.

“It started out as a joke when a bunch of my colleagues and I were hanging out at last year’s GMAC conference bemoaning the ridiculous conspiracy theories that applicants tend to develop…”, said Kirsten Moss, Assistant Dean and Director of MBA Admissions at Stanford GSB, “…and by the end of the evening, my colleagues and I had agreed to have a little fun with the applicant pool in the 2018-19 cycle!”

Recent Wharton admit Elisabeth Adsworth was not amused: “I had to take a personal day after watching LiveWire fill up with Wharton acceptances from fellow applicants whose last names were in the back half of the alphabet.  First, I had a panic attack, then I insulted my boss who wrote my Wharton recommendation, and then I kind of went blank.  I turned off my phone, left my office, and sought solace in a few stiff drinks.  My roommates found me several hours later, indicating that Wharton had called our apartment’s land line – and had offered me admission.  I would have been ecstatic, but I was dealing with a major case of the spins – and a little part of me wondered if I might be the only member of the Class of 2021 who still has a landline.”

It’s April Fool’s Day!  We hope you enjoyed this “report.”

Posted in: April Fools

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