MBA News: Toughest Year Ever at HBS?

Many MBA candidates learned their fates this week, after patiently (or maybe impatiently?) waiting for HBS to release its admissions decisions. Of course, for those who were disappointed by the results, taking solace in the Admissions Office’s clichés about the competitiveness of the application process and the quality of applications this year is difficult. But, is there some truth behind the clichés? Could this year actually be that competitive? The answer, at HBS at least, is yes.

Gaining admission to HBS this year will be challenging  not only because of the volume of applications but also because of the quality of applicants—a fact to which HBS Dean Jay Light attested on his Virtual Learning Series call (December 16th).  During this call, for paid members of HBS’s alumni associations, Dean Light told listeners that applications in the first round were up by 24% (which would indeed put HBS on pace to receive a record number) and declared that this was the “best set of applicants ever.”  Dean Light added that it was the biggest cyclical response recorded in the history of the school. According to a listener, Dean Light stated that the school was considering taking in extra students and joked that they may even add an extra section. We would not recommend that MBA candidates hold their breath for the extra section, but possibly, HBS may try to squeeze a few extra seats into the classroom. Time will tell…

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