HBS reported earlier this month that 10,351 candidates applied for admission in the last season, compared with 9,758 a year earlier. It is the first time in seven years that HBS reported more than 10,000 applications.
The 6% rise compares with a 12% increase at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (US) and a 13% increase at Yale University’s School of Management (US), website Poets and Quants reported, adding that most business schools have not yet reported on their application volumes for the 2017-2018 academic year.
HBS’s acceptance rate stood at 11%.
The percentage of admitted candidates who intend to enrol, also known as yield, was 91%, the highest rate for any top business school in the world. HBS says that its yield rate is calculated each year by removing from the equation admitted students who defer joining until a future date due to various factors such as joint degrees, military service, or medical reasons. Some 58 admitted candidates deferred this year, while so far another 88 decided against enrolling. HBS counts 2+2s admit decisions in the year in which those students enrol.
The percentage of incoming students with economics and business undergraduate degrees rose four percentage points to 45% of the class. Students from the humanities and social sciences fell to 19%, down from 21% a year earlier, while students with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) backgrounds also slid two percentage points to 36%, from 38%.
According to the preliminary class profile, women will account for 42% of incoming students, down from the record 43% last year, international students make up 35% of the class and US ethnic minorities account for 26%. The average age is 27, the same as last year.
Check out: Breaking Down the MBA Application Timeline
Strong international enrolment
Despite fears that international applicants were worried about the election of Donald Trump and his less welcoming immigration policies, HBS’ ability to admit and enrol students from overseas appears unaffected. Linda Abraham, founder and CEO of Accepted.com, told Poets and Quants that:
Concerns about international enrolment dropping and making MBA programmes easier to get into aren’t reflected in these numbers. It will be interesting to see if other MBA programmes report similar increases in overall numbers or experience a drop, especially from international applicants.
So far, many second-tier schools are reporting declines in international students.
Check out: More Students Eye MBA Abroad
Median GMAT remains steady at 730
Yet, there were signs that it has become harder to gain a seat in a Harvard MBA class. Though the median GMAT score for the class at 730 remains unchanged, the middle 80% range of scores between 700 and 770 is slightly higher than it was a year ago at 690 to 760.
For the second consecutive year, HBS chose not to reveal the full range of GMAT scores it will enrol. Under Dee Leopold, the former managing director of admissions and financial aid, the lowest and highest GMAT scores had always been disclosed. The median grade point average for the incoming class is 3.71.
Source: Poets & Quants