I am 29 years old. I was talking to my 27 yr old friend who will probably be attending Haas next year about business school. I told him I planned to apply to business school at 31 or 32 and he told me it would be hard for me to get in because of my older age.
We both come from some kind of engineering background(me-software, him-biomedical). I was thinking of doing entrepreneurship in business school. I will only be applying to the top 20 because I'm not looking to graduate with six figure debt and make 120k/yr.
Will it really be harder for me to get in to the likes of Anderson, Sloan, or Kellogg if I'm in my early 30s? Thanks.
When is it Too Late To Apply for MBA?
The average age of top business school candidates is 27 - 28 according to the site Poets and Quants. Our users shared their thoughts and experiences applying to business schools after the age of 30 below.
Some users shared that it will be more difficult for those that apply to MBA schools post 30.
Not a deal breaker but it will be quite tough once you're 30+ unless you have a compelling reason for getting an MBA now, come from a non-traditional cool background, and can demonstrate SIGNIFICANT professional accomplishments. The bar is a lot higher since you're older, and they expect to see more from you. I personally think the age discrimination at top b-schools is quite unfair, but that's the trend, and it is what it is.
Age will be a red flag, but not a deal breaker. At the end of the day it's all about your "why MBA story" and your ability to be a cultural/professional fit at a particular school. To be very blunt, you have a very slim chance at HBS or Stanford, due to their habit of trending young. Outside of those two schools your age won't prohibit you for getting admitted, but you need to have all the right stats and bring diversity (intellect, experience, skills, perspective, etc.).
However, some users explained that there is not an issue applying after 30 as long as you have a good story.
User @Recap detailed that this isn't as much of an ageism problem in Europe.
Here in Europe Business Schools, candidates do tend to be slightly older than in the US. I know a few people who went into B-School at 30+ with only four years work experience.
There are fewer 30+ business school students because there are fewer 30+ business school (full-time) applicants. I applied at 31 and matriculated at 32. I got into 3 top 5 schools, two of them with significant scholarships. Age is only a negative if you haven't done much in the additional years since undergrad or if you're too far along in your career (senior manager or director level role).
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