HBS/GSB with (some) bad grades?

Junior at a semitarget undergrad rn (IU Kelley) and even tho I'm still probably gonna graduate with an ok gpa (3.6/3.7) I been hearing that grad schools dig deeper into your transcript than that and feel like I'm kinda fucked.I've pretty consistently gotten a mix of As and Bs but I also have a few really bad marks mixed in that might raise some flags (D, C, 2 Ws). mostly due to undiagnosed ADHD that I just recently found out about. Retook all of them and did fine.Other than that I feel like the rest of my resume is definitely up to par with lots of campus involvement, started a club, founding member of a large nonprofit, etc.I plan to eventually get an MBA a few years out from IB and basically my question is:Tldr - how much will M7 schools, especially HBS/GSB care about a few individual bad grades assuming decent GPA and the rest of my profile meets their standards? Is it more of a tiebreaker kinda thing that I can explain away in an interview or is it a crippling disadvantage?

Edit: ok y'all got me I go to IU. My condolences to the UVA and UNC kids I offended. can we move on now

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Comments (12)

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Sep 30, 2021 - 10:26pm

This is literally a Kelley kid -- look at his post history. I love how they try to compare themselves to those schools.

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Sep 30, 2021 - 10:26pm

This is literally a Kelley kid -- look at his post history. I love how they try to compare themselves to better schools.

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  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Oct 2, 2021 - 7:39am

Focus on the question and not on the fact that OP goes on IU Kelley. I would love to help you but I haven't gone to B school. I really would assume that the overall GPA matters and equally importantly the work experience you get from now and the 2-4 years pre-b school. I don't think they're going to dig deep into the transcript to see if you got a shit grade because the fact is you took it over again and clearly it didn't hit your GPA that deep that you have a bad GPA. A 3.7 is an A- overall isn't it. I feel like that's acceptable for most top B schools. Most have shitty GPA averages compared to Ned/law. Much much shittier

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 2, 2021 - 9:11pm

This post is funny as fuck

IU Kelley kid really stressing over HBS/GSB as if he wouldn't be lucky to get into any M7

First, focus on getting into BB/EB IB, then MF PE, then worry about HBS/GSB. 

Most Helpful
Oct 3, 2021 - 2:28pm

Wow what a toxic thread lol. Sorry the people  posting on here are not answering your question. 

A 3.6 / 3.7 is a 'good' GPA from an MBA perspective. MBAs have a lot of criteria to balance (GMAT, work experience, extra curriculars, diversity, diverse work backgrounds, diverse educational backgrounds, diverse post MBA goals) that it doesn't make sense for them to ding kids for having a 3.6. And after someone has been in the workforce for 3-5 years, their GPA just isn't that useful of an indicator of their potential anymore. This is a bit different if you apply for 2+2 programs, where GPA averages are higher  

And in regards to the withdrawals / bad grades, just write an addendum explaining the situation - 15 years ago discussing ADHD might not have played well but I imagine that modern adcoms are much more accepting and sensitive to those sorts of challenges. Frankly, the fact that you retook those courses after your diagnosis proves that you overcame the problem and is pretty badass, I wouldn't be surprised if a story like that played well in admissions. 

All that being said, MBA admissions for HSB / GSB have become insanely competitive in recent years. Anecdotally, it seems like it's near impossible these days to get in without some sort of hook. Having great work experience, a solid GPA, high GMAT, and some form of community involvement just isn't enough to be competitive anymore, and now you need all of that plus something that makes you special / unique. From that perspective, yeah, having a lower GPA might be an uphill battle for those two schools, but on the flip side a high GPA probably wasn't going to get you in in the first place, and if you do something unique that adcoms find really compelling (and the rest of your app is incredible) they will be reluctant to turn you down because your GPA is below their average by a point. 

For the rest of the M7, you should be fine so long as the other parts of your app are solid. These schools are still competitive, but there is a subset of elite candidates that 'only' want HBS / GSB (and everyone else would always preference those schools 1 and 2) so the bar is higher 

I am no admissions consultant so all of this is based on my rough feel for how admissions looks these days from researching / reading about it for the past couple years. If you want an answer backed by data and expertise, you'll have to talk to a (good) admissions consultant 

Oct 4, 2021 - 9:53pm

Just wanna caveat that Wharton was also insanely competitive this past cycle. I know this might not be representative at rest of the M7s, but Wharton this year has many MF PE/MF HF folks there that didn't get into H/S and had to "settle" for Wharton. Even have a few people from MF VC (Lightspeed/Bessemer). It doesn't really matter at the end of the day because I think most people at HSW and M7s are all very similar.

Also anecdotally I've seen a few MF PE folks that got rejected from all three of HSW. It's a crapshoot with these 3 at the end of the day.

Oct 3, 2021 - 3:04pm

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