Worst GPA for Top Business School

What's the worst GPA you've heard of for getting into schools like Stanford, Kellogg, MIT, etc? Not talking Harvard et al. With great work experience, ~720 GMAT, solid essays, at what point do you think they just say 'no' regardless?

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Low GPA Accepted Into Top MBA Program

In the below thread our users shared their thoughts. While some feel that a low GPA can be justified by a great story, ECs, and work experience - others point out that the top business schools are able to be ultra-selective and that there are plenty of people with goods stories and good GPAs.

mikebrady:

2.75-2.99 is possible with a good story. However, keep progression in mind. You are more likely to get dinged with a downward progression. Below 2.75 you better hit a 750+ GMAT with an alternative transcript and a good reason.

hungryman1:

I hate to burst your bubbles, but a low gpa is not going to do shit for you. you guys need to understand, that most top b schools have median gpas 3.5+. like other have said, if you want to get into uchicago (for instance), you are going to need to fucking kill the gmat (740+ ....which is highly unlikely given your poor academic performance in college, there is some correlation, believe me...and also bear in mind, a 740+ is like 99.5 percentile) and you are going to need very strong work experience, LORs and do a hella convincing to get into such programs. there are way too many strong applicants you are going to compete with who have very prestigious backgrounds. face the reality, your facing a huge uphill battle.

However, User @jaschen27 shared a different opinion in response:

jaschen27 - Asset Management Analyst:

This is false. Low GPAs can be supplemented with high test scores as far as the academic portion of the profile goes. Also, 740+ is not like 99.5 percentile. I'm not sure you understand how percentiles work, and even if did, a 750 is 98th percentile. Obviously, strong grades help your case, but the farther you are from having graduated, the less relevance your GPA has on your admittance. It should be noted that a few of the very top programs tend to accept younger students these days, which may skew the significance of undergrad GPAs for these schools.

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Comments (76)

Jun 8, 2011

I know a guy who went MIT undergrad, got a 3.3 on a 5 point scale and got into Harvard business. He was an amazing coder, really good GMAT and had some serious science research experience.

I am not cocky, I am confident, and when you tell me I am the best it is a compliment.
-Styles P

Jun 4, 2013
eokpar02:

I know a guy who went MIT undergrad, got a 3.3 on a 5 point scale and got into Harvard business. He was an amazing coder, really good GMAT and had some serious science research experience.

Totally irrelevant to the conversation, but you quoted Jadakiss, not Styles P in your signature.

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Jun 8, 2011

I honestly think schools start to favor the 2.1 gpa over the 2.7 gpa - because if you are below 3.0, you will have to have a story regardless.

The really low gpa with high stats/good work exp/ec's, etc...will make the somber story that you are giving more validity then seeming like a smart guy that just got a B- average

Jun 8, 2011
wannabe2013:

I honestly think schools start to favor the 2.1 gpa over the 2.7 gpa - because if you are below 3.0, you will have to have a story regardless.

The really low gpa with high stats/good work exp/ec's, etc...will make the somber story that you are giving more validity then seeming like a smart guy that just got a B- average

Shit, this gives me hope.

Jun 10, 2011
UFOinsider:
wannabe2013:

I honestly think schools start to favor the 2.1 gpa over the 2.7 gpa - because if you are below 3.0, you will have to have a story regardless.

The really low gpa with high stats/good work exp/ec's, etc...will make the somber story that you are giving more validity then seeming like a smart guy that just got a B- average

Shit, this gives me hope.

lmao dude..but i feel you

Still I Rise

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Jun 8, 2011

im pretty sure that the GPA is becoming a bit less regarded -- usually the trap with the low gpa means they suck at achievements and wont have a solid job or do well in ECs as a result... but if circumstances cause the GPA to be lacking but you still kick ass its brushed off. that being said always helps to take a few classes n kick ass in them

Jun 8, 2011

2.75-2.99 is possible with a good story. However, keep progression in mind. You are more likely to get dinged with a downward progression. Below 2.75 you better hit a 750+ GMAT with an alternative transcript and a good reason.

Jun 8, 2011

how about nontarget 3.2 gpas? with 700+ gmat? IB/PE exp.?

Jun 8, 2011
oldmansacks:

how about nontarget 3.2 gpas? with 700+ gmat? IB/PE exp.?

Very doable if you have instances where you stand out in work exp/EC and great recs... and if your quant split on the GMAT is ok

Jun 8, 2011

i hate to burst your bubbles, but a low gpa is not going to do shit for you. you guys need to understand, that most top b schools have median gpas 3.5+. like other have said, if you want to get into uchicago (for instance), you are going to need to fucking kill the gmat (740+ ....which is highly unlikely given your poor academic performance in college, there is some correlation, believe me...and also bear in mind, a 740+ is like 99.5 percentile) and you are going to need very strong work experience, LORs and do a hella convincing to get into such programs. there are way too many strong applicants you are going to compete with who have very prestigious backgrounds. face the reality, your facing a huge uphill battle.

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Jun 8, 2011
hungryman1:

i hate to burst your bubbles, but a low gpa is not going to do shit for you. you guys need to understand, that most top b schools have median gpas 3.5+. like other have said, if you want to get into uchicago (for instance), you are going to need to fucking kill the gmat (740+ ....which is highly unlikely given your poor academic performance in college, there is some correlation, believe me...and also bear in mind, a 740+ is like 99.5 percentile) and you are going to need very strong work experience, LORs and do a hella convincing to get into such programs. there are way too many strong applicants you are going to compete with who have very prestigious backgrounds. face the reality, your facing a huge uphill battle.

Right, the GPA is certainly going to hurt but it can be overcome. You've outlined some of the ways to do so... If you look at the middle 80% GPAs at top programs 3.2 is towards the bottom of the range, but in it. As for the GMAT 750 might not be the cut off, but you are going to for sure what 700 with a good quant score.

If top MBA is your goal then go for it but know what else you need to have to overcome the GPA. It has certainly been done before.

Jun 13, 2011
hungryman1:

i hate to burst your bubbles, but a low gpa is not going to do shit for you. you guys need to understand, that most top b schools have median gpas 3.5+. like other have said, if you want to get into uchicago (for instance), you are going to need to fucking kill the gmat (740+ ....which is highly unlikely given your poor academic performance in college, there is some correlation, believe me...and also bear in mind, a 740+ is like 99.5 percentile) and you are going to need very strong work experience, LORs and do a hella convincing to get into such programs. there are way too many strong applicants you are going to compete with who have very prestigious backgrounds. face the reality, your facing a huge uphill battle.

This is false. Low GPAs can be supplemented with high test scores as far as the academic portion of the profile goes. Also, 740+ is not like 99.5 percentile. I'm not sure you understand how percentiles work, and even if did, a 750 is 98th percentile. Obviously, strong grades help your case, but the farther you are from having graduated, the less relevance your GPA has on your admittance. It should be noted that a few of the very top programs tend to accept younger students these days, which may skew the significance of undergrad GPAs for these schools.

Also, OP groups Stanford into the non-Harvard, despite the fact that it is more difficult to get into than is HBS. Both great institutions, but I think worth noting.

Jun 8, 2011

A quick point to add...

When you write your app the whole thing should lay out "This is why you want me at your school." Always keep that in mind.

The GPA and GMAT are looked at to make sure you can handle the courses. Once they check off that box for you its about what you can contribute to the class and what you will do after you graduate that will reflect positively on the school.

Jun 8, 2011

The reason GPA matters = You sucked at school so you most likely are lazy and dont have much else to put on your resume anyway. Yea you there are people who beat their shitty GPA, but that is simply because they actually get their heads out of their asses. Most just talk, yea ill get a 740 on my GMAT to make up for it. BULLSHIT you will. You couldnt pass classes in college with high marks and now you are going to dominate an exam, rock an interview, and then stay committed long enough to do well at a top MBA program. The correlation is simply low gpa = low effort level throughout. of course there are exceptions to the rule. But probability says most wont be the exception.

Jun 9, 2011
kvkenyon:

The reason GPA matters = You sucked at school so you most likely are lazy and dont have much else to put on your resume anyway. Yea you there are people who beat their shitty GPA, but that is simply because they actually get their heads out of their asses. Most just talk, yea ill get a 740 on my GMAT to make up for it. BULLSHIT you will. You couldnt pass classes in college with high marks and now you are going to dominate an exam, rock an interview, and then stay committed long enough to do well at a top MBA program. The correlation is simply low gpa = low effort level throughout. of course there are exceptions to the rule. But probability says most wont be the exception.

From my experience, all it really takes is a shitty group for a class mostly based off of group projects and a teacher that doesn't understand that interviews are more important than their class for you to end up with a 3.5 for the semester.
There will always be exogenous variables that you won't be able to account for that will affect your gpa.

Jun 9, 2011
reddog23:
kvkenyon:

The reason GPA matters = You sucked at school so you most likely are lazy and dont have much else to put on your resume anyway. Yea you there are people who beat their shitty GPA, but that is simply because they actually get their heads out of their asses. Most just talk, yea ill get a 740 on my GMAT to make up for it. BULLSHIT you will. You couldnt pass classes in college with high marks and now you are going to dominate an exam, rock an interview, and then stay committed long enough to do well at a top MBA program. The correlation is simply low gpa = low effort level throughout. of course there are exceptions to the rule. But probability says most wont be the exception.

From my experience, all it really takes is a shitty group for a class mostly based off of group projects and a teacher that doesn't understand that interviews are more important than their class for you to end up with a 3.5 for the semester.
There will always be exogenous variables that you won't be able to account for that will affect your gpa.

I completely agree. Some teachers are ridiculous.

Jun 8, 2011

such misguided monkeys :>

Jun 8, 2011

Are there any stats on the actual spread of GPAs at top Bschools? The average stats are not useful to me: I'm looking for outliers to use as case studies of how to beat the odds......

Jun 8, 2011

Read about a guy with a 1.8 or 1.9 getting in Oxford and INSEAD, he had a story though.

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy

Jun 8, 2011

I know severl 2.6-2.8 that went ivy and a few sub 2.6 at booth... All had from 650-710 gmat

Jun 8, 2011

I'm sure these guys had some serious stories or accomplishments (i.e. Navy Seals, climbed Mt. Everest, etc.).

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Jun 8, 2011

all exceptions...the underdog story probably wont happen

Jun 8, 2011
kvkenyon:

all exceptions...the underdog story probably wont happen

Dude, with all due respect, STFU. We know the odds aren't good. Stop taking up space on this thread and go troll somewhere else.

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Jun 8, 2011

Guys from my school 3 years out (top 10 uni) that had good work exp (IBD, research) are heading to top biz school (Booth, Wharton etc). Few had 2.7-2.9s. Just because people didn't get a high GPA in school doesn't mean they are not going to do well in the workplace. Think some people still haven't come out of the "GPA is everything in life" bubble. Its about performance in the work place.

Jun 8, 2011

Really laughable how negative and uninformed some people are. There's a story out there of a guy with a 2.2 that (gasp) got into Stanford. The caveat being you need to have a very clear and systematic plan to tackle this- EC's, alternative transcript, good GMAT score, progression at your work and of course a good story. Definitely doable but it take a good 2-3 years to build up those resume "assets" so make sure you plan far ahead even if it means delaying your bschool application year.

Jun 8, 2011

How helpful is a solid GPA? Like a 3.8 from a decent school while studying econ and math?

Jun 8, 2011
econ:

How helpful is a solid GPA? Like a 3.8 from a decent school while studying econ and math?

Surely doesn't hurt... when I was going through the app process every school said that they look at GPA/GMAT to make sure you can do the work (I said this above I know). Once thats passes out then they look at the rest of your app and what you can contribute to the school to see if they want to admit you or not. So, with the 3.8 as long as your GMAT is decent I'd think you'd pass the mental ability part...

Jun 9, 2011

They look at it holistically: grades, experience, EC's, rec's, leadership, background/story, the whole package. If you've got every base covered, more power to you. If you are weak in one or two areas, you can build it up or overcompensate.

Jun 9, 2011

just be ready to fight!

Jun 9, 2011

My apologies no intent to troll simply stating realistic opinion. I have been browsing for a while and I always notice people worrying about their GPA and asking if their chances are realistic. Yes they are possible, but of course you are fighting uphill. You must take control of your own situation and fight for it, but also must understand that TOP MBA is not the be all end all, and if the likely situation arises that you do not get accepted, understand it's not the end of the world. and also yea my post was harsh but it was the truth...lets be real.

Jun 9, 2011
kvkenyon:

My apologies no intent to troll simply stating realistic opinion. I have been browsing for a while and I always notice people worrying about their GPA and asking if their chances are realistic. Yes they are possible, but of course you are fighting uphill. You must take control of your own situation and fight for it, but also must understand that TOP MBA is not the be all end all, and if the likely situation arises that you do not get accepted, understand it's not the end of the world. and also yea my post was harsh but it was the truth...lets be real.

Agreed, and sorry for my tone....I've accomplished things that I was told were not possible and have little patience for "Job's comforters" and naysayers at this point. With some smarts and some effort, people can raise their chances of recovering from a poor undergrad experience. This is America after all, and anyone who really puts out the effort can get what they want, or at least end up better off than they started.

If not, I'm opening fire on my neighbor, robbing a bank, and moving to the Bermuda.

Jun 14, 2011
UFOinsider][quote=kvkenyon:

.I've accomplished things that I was told were not possible and have little patience for "Job's comforters" and naysayers at this point. With some smarts and some effort, people can raise their chances of recovering from a poor undergrad experience.

Know how you feeling dude, had the same thing. And actually it changed me a lot. I don't really listen to people when they say "that's impossible". Because, like someone else said, things aren't impossible. You'll have an uphill battle though, that's for sure.

Jun 14, 2011
Walkerr][quote=UFOinsider:
kvkenyon:

.I've accomplished things that I was told were not possible and have little patience for "Job's comforters" and naysayers at this point. With some smarts and some effort, people can raise their chances of recovering from a poor undergrad experience.

Know how you feeling dude, had the same thing. And actually it changed me a lot. I don't really listen to people when they say "that's impossible". Because, like someone else said, things aren't impossible. You'll have an uphill battle though, that's for sure.

Yep, tell me about it - I simply want to know what is possible, however improbable. My reasoning is this: THIS IS AMERICA. Anyone can make a mistake, but the day that it's not possible to work hard and get ahead, it's probably time to tear the system down.

Do I need/deserve HYP? No. Will it still make my game better to prepare for them? Yes. Either way, I'll be better off than I was before. The other thing is this: outside of wall street and a few academic places AND after you've worked for a few years, people truly do not care at all what your grades are, at all, ever, end of story.

Best Response
Jun 9, 2011

I think people with lower GPA's has a bigger hook to overcome then others. You also have to look at GMAT as well. I was in a Wharton session and two people are there this year with sup 560 gmat's.... same at Kellogg... that is about the same as a sub 3.00 gpa..I dont work in admissions so dont bite my head off but the numbers dont always tell the truth.. for instance, my good friend went to columbia with a 2.8 in the hardest major his school offered and had a 760 gmat... that alone proves your logic wrong about lower gpa/high gmat...another person with a 2.77 and 660 got a full ride at Booth.. he was 1) over 7 years of work exp 2) great story 3) urm... he had some things going in his favor

i know a guy right now heading to stern with a 630 and a fellowship..

i think b school is one of the few times when they say full application and mean it. what have you done? how have you done it is a semi bigger factor then why you made a D in accounting when you were 19

for the record, i have a 2.5 gpa

Jun 9, 2011

comment deleted

Jun 9, 2011
monty09:

I think people with lower GPA's has a bigger hook to overcome then others. You also have to look at GMAT as well. I was in a Wharton session and two people are there this year with sup 560 gmat's.... same at Kellogg... that is about the same as a sub 3.00 gpa..I dont work in admissions so dont bite my head off but the numbers dont always tell the truth.. for instance, my good friend went to columbia with a 2.8 in the hardest major his school offered and had a 760 gmat... that alone proves your logic wrong about lower gpa/high gmat...another person with a 2.77 and 660 got a full ride at Booth.. he was 1) over 7 years of work exp 2) great story 3) urm... he had some things going in his favor

i know a guy right now heading to stern with a 630 and a fellowship..

i think b school is one of the few times when they say full application and mean it. what have you done? how have you done it is a semi bigger factor then why you made a D in accounting when you were 19

for the record, i have a 2.5 gpa

It's all good. I agree with the concept that all things are possible through effort. No one should tell you what you can and cant accomplish. I hope everyone here gets to their program of choice. As I hope I will as well. When I talk about correlation I mean that in the normal case yes GPA correlates with GMAT score simply because It entails the same thing: Studying. Of course there are people who kill the GMAT and had lower GPA's. Anyway, no harm intended.

Jun 9, 2011
kvkenyon:
monty09:

I think people with lower GPA's has a bigger hook to overcome then others. You also have to look at GMAT as well. I was in a Wharton session and two people are there this year with sup 560 gmat's.... same at Kellogg... that is about the same as a sub 3.00 gpa..I dont work in admissions so dont bite my head off but the numbers dont always tell the truth.. for instance, my good friend went to columbia with a 2.8 in the hardest major his school offered and had a 760 gmat... that alone proves your logic wrong about lower gpa/high gmat...another person with a 2.77 and 660 got a full ride at Booth.. he was 1) over 7 years of work exp 2) great story 3) urm... he had some things going in his favor

i know a guy right now heading to stern with a 630 and a fellowship..

i think b school is one of the few times when they say full application and mean it. what have you done? how have you done it is a semi bigger factor then why you made a D in accounting when you were 19

for the record, i have a 2.5 gpa

It's all good. I agree with the concept that all things are possible through effort. No one should tell you what you can and cant accomplish. I hope everyone here gets to their program of choice. As I hope I will as well. When I talk about correlation I mean that in the normal case yes GPA correlates with GMAT score simply because It entails the same thing: Studying. Of course there are people who kill the GMAT and had lower GPA's. Anyway, no harm intended.

yup

I have a 2.01 and people told me there was no way I'd ever work on Wall Street, let alone get a job. They were wrong. I'm willing to bet {and I'm not the betting type} that given a few years I and several of the guys on this thread will find a way into good programs......I'm convinced that anything is possible.

Jun 9, 2011

Most of the stories I've heard of people getting into a top mba with sup 3.0 gpa graduated for ivy leagues, urm, had an adopted sister with brain tumor, started social entrepreneurship...etc.

Jun 9, 2011

One of my older bros got into kellogg with like completely random work experiencd and a sub 3.0 poetry major from small but okay liberal arts school (Wesleyan, etc)... My dad might have had to endow a professorship or some shit though... Lol

To his credit this particular brother of mine is actually the best test taker of all of us though by far the most slacker... I think he probably got a 770 or so. I remember hearing he got a 1580 on his SAT way back in the day when I was like 8... He got into a solid college despite having like straight cs in hs so I guess he figured he could do it again for business school and he ac tually did....

Jun 9, 2011

the resounding 'oh this is what i read or heard and u must be ivy high gpa to make it' shit makes me want to start to assassinate people.

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Jun 9, 2011

to follow up on shorts post

the columbia mba guy
penn UG, white, MC for 5 years in DC

booth mba guy
texas ug, black, trader at cme 7 years in chicago

stern mba guy
state school in NJ, hisp, f500 supllt chain analyst in NJ

Jun 10, 2011
monty09:

to follow up on shorts post

the columbia mba guy
penn UG, white, MC for 5 years in DC

booth mba guy
texas ug, black, trader at cme 7 years in chicago

stern mba guy
state school in NJ, hisp, f500 supllt chain analyst in NJ

To add to this, I'm headed to Booth this fall (got offers from Wharton, Tuck and Fuqua as well)

Smallish but good liberal arts ug (think Williams/ Grinnell etc), consulting @ MBB 2.5yrs

Still I Rise

Jun 10, 2011
maktec5:
monty09:

to follow up on shorts post

the columbia mba guy
penn UG, white, MC for 5 years in DC

booth mba guy
texas ug, black, trader at cme 7 years in chicago

stern mba guy
state school in NJ, hisp, f500 supllt chain analyst in NJ

To add to this, I'm headed to Booth this fall (got offers from Wharton, Tuck and Fuqua as well)

Smallish but good liberal arts ug (think Williams/ Grinnell etc), consulting @ MBB 2.5yrs

haha the whole thread was about GPA and you didnt post your gpa...come on man.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jun 10, 2011
monty09:

booth mba guy
texas ug, black, trader at cme 7 years in chicago

Must be a mutual friend....

Jun 11, 2011

2.8 a co-worker of mine had, got into wharton...for what that's worth....MD called a pulled it off cause the kid could f'ing crank

its one way or the other: hate me or admire.

Jun 12, 2011

I had a 2.7 ugrad with 3.4 finance and Econ and have a 3.7 over the past few semesters at NYU which I hope makes up for it ( and it seems to have had :p)

Jun 14, 2011

I don't live in the US but I totally agree man. Set goals and you'll work towards them. The goals you set have to be realistic though: everyone has there qualities.

I haven't worked, still in my bachelor program so i can't comment on your last remark from experience, but I do think after a couple of years people will be more interested in how you performed in your last job.

Jun 14, 2011

Didn't some dude get into HBS without even going to college?

Jun 14, 2011

yea Blake Gottesman got a "presidential pardon" after working as an assistant for GW. Fucking bullshit. Only finished one year of college.

Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

Jun 14, 2011

I was also going to throw out that if you take a look at the class profile of undergrad majors, some of the kids that get into top business schools pursue majors considerably harder than a bba (engineering, chemistry, biology) which could be an explanation for some of the low gpa outliers

Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

Jun 15, 2011

and also has been said they dont really care about gpa that much. crap work experience, crap gmat, crap ECs (to a degree, more so at the top of the tier) will ding you harder than a crap gpa

Jun 15, 2011

I have heard of a 2.4 at HBS but you better cure cancer while serving as a Navy SEAL and building schools for kids in chile or some shit

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

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Oct 17, 2013

*like*

Oct 17, 2013

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Oct 17, 2013

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Oct 17, 2013

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Jun 15, 2011

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Oct 17, 2014

comment deleted

Jun 1, 2013

I just read a post over at the gmatclub forums of a woman who got dinged at every school she applied to, including Anderson, with a 2.8 GPA and a 740 GMAT. She graduated with an engineering degree from UC Berkeley, worked as a consultant for 7 years and had extensive volunteer and tutoring experience.

I guess the moral of the story is: don't study engineering as an undergrad if you eventually want to end up in a top MBA program. No but really, this is just more another anecdotal/inconclusive story.

Jun 1, 2013
Esuric:

I just read a post over at the gmatclub forums of a woman who got dinged at every school she applied to, including Anderson, with a 2.8 GPA and a 740 GMAT. She graduated with an engineering degree from UC Berkeley, worked as a consultant for 7 years and had extensive volunteer and tutoring experience.

I guess the moral of the story is: don't study engineering as an undergrad if you eventually want to end up in a top MBA program. No but really, this is just more another anecdotal/inconclusive story.

Plenty of engineers get into top b-schools. They actually do reasonably well admissions wise. The problem with her was not so much her gpa but my guess is she goofed on her essays and execution.

I know a decent number of sub-3.0 people at sloan/Columbia/booth/Kellogg/tuck/Berkeley. You just have to offset your weaknesses in other areas and come across as someone who can add value to the class.

Jun 3, 2013

I got into Kellogg R3 and Tuck R2 with a 3.1 from a top public university in an easy ass major (philosophy) and very non-traditional work experience (worked on capital hill, employee number 1 at a startup). Seriously rocked the GMAT to make up for my lol GPA though.

Jun 4, 2013

I got into Columbia (and likely would have at Booth too but I withdrew my application after the CBS acceptance) with a 3.03 GPA. Granted it was in Mechanical Engineering from a top engineering school and I got a 750 on the GMAT to balance it out.

Oct 15, 2013

i started with an EE major, was addicted to gambling, kicked out of undergrad, twice, and the dean told me to give up. since the school couldn't stop me from signing up from summer school, i got 1 A and 2 B's in one session, and managed to convince the dean to give me another chance. i ended up graduating with a cummulative 2.1 and 2.8 in econ.

i started my career as a research analyst for a firm that provides advisory services to institutional shareholders in how they should exercise their voting rights, on issues such as M&A, executive & employees compensations (including options / black schole), etc. btw they didn't ask for my gpa during the interviews.

i was then laid off after two yrs during 2008 for an obvious reason, and then while struggling with finding a full-time finance job, i was working as a contract Chinese / English translator for an agency, specializing in securities related documents (public filings, securities research reports, etc).

during that time, i also took securities analysis, portfolio management, and behavioral finance at the uc berkeley extension and got all A's. i also did some day trading and made over 2 million usd.

after two years i landed on a job as a corporate credit analyst for the biggest bank in Japan (there's a popular Japanese drama called hanzawa naoki; they used my bank as the background), and is now going into my 3rd yr. several MD's (HBS and wharton alums) are willing to write recs for me.

i just scored a 720 on my practice GMAT.

so, let's say i'm applying to stanford, columbia, NYU, USC, vanderbilt, georgetown, rice, univ of colorado, and CUNY Baruch. wut r my odds for getting into any of these schools?

Oct 15, 2013

I would say that your situation is so unique that it's going to be hard to give you an accurate analysis of your chances. A couple of things though: one would be to obviously get 720+ on the GMAT to prove aptitutde, which it sounds like you're going to do.

Second, and this is more of a concern, is how old are you? Based on your work experience, you got laid off in 08 after working for two years. If you started in 2006, and it probably took you more than four years to graduate college, it sounds like you're pushing your early 30's. Seems like AdCom's might think it makes more sense for you to go for an EMBA based on that.

Assuming you're 30, and applying this year, I think you still have a shot at places, depending on execution and goals (what are your goals??) Stanford is basically out (it's out for people with no blemishes, let alone people with a couple issues). Columbia is a serious longshot, and you already missed ED, although I could see you doing an EMBA there. NYU is a reach but if you get a 740, I think you'd be right there. After that, assuming GMAT and execution, I think all of those are in play.

Age, goals, and getting that GMAT score are all major variables though. You can't afford to miss anywhere because of the GPA.

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Oct 16, 2013

thank you for you response. you are right, i am currently 30. i am aware that my age will start counting against me at this point. after going over the manhattan gmat set, i scored a 720 on their practice exam. i am aware that i'd need a +750 to get their attention, so i've just signed up for a gmat class at a local cram school (i'm currently in asia). that will at least guarantee some additional practices. i am still debating if i should apply now or a yr later; i'm likely to get promoted to manager the coming spring. would that xtra year really count against me that much?

btw, my actual goal is to return to US for my career, and companies are really not that eager to interview someone oversea. but that's probably weak in terms of something to be on an essay.

Oct 16, 2013

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Oct 16, 2013

Although I would ask an expert (consultant), I would not wait until next year. You're already on the older end of the age range. One year makes a big difference. Assuming you're on track to get promoted in the spring, make sure your recommenders indicate as such. I am going to be promoted officially in December, but since it hasn't happened yet and I applied R1, I made sure that my recommenders indicated as such.

As for the GMAT, while I think a 750+ would help, don't put insane pressure on yourself to get a 750. Get a 720+. Not even a 780 is going to make up for your GPA, but anywhere from 720 or 730 on up will prove to them that you have the aptitude. That doesn't mean that you'll get in, because they still care about GPA, but all you can do is prove the aptitude. I would also note that your classes at Berkeley Extension will help prove your aptitude.

Last thing I would say is forget about that class. You're hitting 720's right now, meaning that you don't need a general crash course (you're already doing better than 95% of people on the test). To get a 740, you literally need to improve on like one or two skills. Figure out what you're worst at, and hammer those out until you're better. If you need a tutor to get better at those things, I think that'd be a lot more worth your time and money than a course.

Basically, my opinion is that you should apply R2 this year. You'll be busting your ass, but you have plenty of time. Take the GMAT by 10/31, and then you have two solid months to do apps. I would pick 4 of those schools, so say: CBS, NYU, Georgetown, and Vanderbilt. Bottom line is that witha 720+, at some point in the rankings, schools will let you in (don't know where that cutoff is). Also, definitely would get a consultant to help you figure out how to frame your story, given your weak GPA and pretty interesting overall story (did you really make $2M day trading???).

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Oct 16, 2013

thank you again for your response. so you think the $2M from trading is interesting? i think i shouldnt had called it day-trading since my positions lasted almost a yr. i'm still deciding how i should tell the story since if i do it wrong, it might look like compulsive gambling at a moment of desperation.

so you think i shouldn't bother with stanford. other than columbia, what other good schools do you think would be more forgiving on my gpa? i'm also considering taking a year off to commit in some volunteer work, but then you did say that one year will make a big difference...

Oct 16, 2013

Good question - I didn't think your day trading sounded like desperate gambling, but given your prior issues, I now see where you're coming from. Again, I would ask someone more experienced than myself, but making $2M in a year on your own is impressive. That is standout, business stuff that will make you rise above a lot of fellow applicants, even A players. Moreover, if you can sell it as being quantitative and entrepreneurial in nature (love buzzwords), it's even better. Something along the lines of how you invented a system of investing using formulas/numbers in some way and scrapped together money and returned XXXX%. To me, that's awesome stuff, but I have no idea how that plays into having had a gambling addiction.

Even stronger would be to somehow play the investing off of your addiction, showing how the investing wasn't gambling at all, but a calculated strategy that was based on research... You get the picture, but that would be an incredibly strong story if you can somehow tie in your weakness (why you did very poorly in school), and how you have grown to be incredibly successful not just despite that, but because of it. A good consultant will really help put this story together.

I would not bother with Stanford. If it was May and you'd already taken the GMAT, I'd say why not. You, however, are dealing with limited time. Would not waste time on that for a

For schools that are most likely to blink at that GPA, very few will in the top 10. Tuck is the most likely to read your esasys and be attracted to a unique story, especialy if you can display fit. Given that you haven't visited though, would be a longshot. 10-20 could all look past the GPA, but still would be reaches. Outside of that, I would say you've got decent shots. A school like Georgetown, around #20-25, has a middle 80% GPA of 2.8-3.8. I can definitely see you getting in there with execution.

There are a few posters on here that have gotten in with

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Oct 17, 2013

Thank you again for your feedback, I will definitely look further into Dartmouth.

With regards to my trading story, i did the usual, went thru filings, sell-side reports, but the deciding factor was my first-hand observations at macau, it was really hard to believe that those casinos were going bust. Again, the reader might wonder why i was there. but to be honest, looking back, i did put down more than i could afford to lose, considering that i was unemployed at the time. i will definitely address the story in my essay, and get outside opinions in how it presents myself.

For my goal, asset management has been my first choice. at one point i got an offer by an asian PE fund co-founded by a leading american hedge fund manager. but two months after working there, their lead investor lost faith in china and backed out, so the new fund i was on was cancelled. is this story worth mentioning? but to be realistic, age will again likely be an issue when recruitments start.

thank you again for the valuable feedbacks.

Oct 18, 2013
BGP2587:

Tuck is the most likely to read your esasys and be attracted to a unique story, especialy if you can display fit. Given that you haven't visited though, would be a longshot.

Today is October 18th. Tuck's true R2 is due on January 3rd.

He has plenty of time to do both an official interview and a visit. He isn't applying to last year's class.

(OP -- I'm in a kinda/sorta similar boat. I have a ~2.9 GPA, one that put me in the top 25% of my academy engineering class. Long live low GPA bros.)

Also, if you managed to make $2MM in a year on your own, why would you even want to go to business school? Why not just keep doing what you were doing?

Oct 18, 2013

Thanks for the info on tuck.

I want go to b school because im not confident that i will be achieving consistent performance. Same reason im doing this current corporate bamking job, which pretty much prohibits me from trading, but gave me a pretty solid skillset in corporate research and financial statement analysis.

Oct 18, 2013
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