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3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying?

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3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying? [#permalink] New post 30 Oct 2012, 23:16
Hi All,

I apologize for making a post about a redundant topic, but your personal insights would be highly appreciated.

As the title suggests, I have a 3.19 ug gpa in finance at a good state school (top 25ish) with upward trend. Of more concern, there are a couple F's on my transcript due to personal issues I was going through at the time (which I will fully address in my essays, no excuses).

Leaving work experience aside for a second (assuming it's pretty solid), I am putting a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to compensate for my gpa by doing well on the GMAT which I will be taking in a month.

I am targeting top 10 to 20 schools (think Ross, Anderson, Fuqua, etc.)

I guess my question is, how do you think my gpa is perceived by these programs (it falls within the very lower of the 80% range for most programs I'm looking at), and if the damage is bad, what would you consider a sufficient GMAT score to offset the gpa? (It's tough for me to gauge since most of these programs median score of accepted admits is ~700).
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Re: 3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying? [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 06:11
If your GPA is in the bottom quartile, it makes sense to try to come out of the GMAT with a score in the top quartile (for your school). Looking at the GPA/GMAT breakdowns by school (http://poetsandquants.com/2012/03/27/gp ... -get-in/2/), I think 730+ would place you at that point for the schools you listed.

Without knowing your goals, I can't say if it would be a good fit, but you may want to look into Cornell (Johnson), which has a lower average GPA (3.28) and 10th percentile threshold (2.78) than other top 15/20 schools.
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Re: 3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying? [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 06:18
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Well, a 3.19 is maybe not to bad considering that there were some Fs. I would say that besides acing the GMAT, it would also depend on how good your story is. But a 720+ would be sweet, if you can hit it.
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Re: 3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying? [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 06:41
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Given (a) that you had multiple failing grades on your record and (b) that your overall GPA is ~3.2, my guess is that you did pretty well in all of your other classes. So, despite your overall GPA, there might be some hope here. Here are some basic rules to how MBA admissions interprets situations like yours:

- They will look at your overall GPA and will expect you to provide an explanation as to why you failed these classes. Please do not go into intense details about what went wrong; keep your discussion focused and direct. These are people reading your application so they understand that all lives do not happen in perfect harmony.
- Admissions will look at your performance during the last two years of college as these grades are more reflective of the person that you are today rather than the person who you were when you were a freshman in college (remember that you were most probably a very distracted 18 year old at the time). So, if your grades do show improving trends, then this is actually a good scenario (it would be much worse if your grades started off high and then got worse over time).
- You are correct about your GMAT score being important and that you have to perform well on it; if you are shooting for the schools listed in your posting - I would say a minimum of 700 would be acceptable. Also try to make sure that you score above the 75th percent in both verbal and quant as this is the way that you can further demonstrate that you will be able to handle the academic demands of this program.

As for what you need to do in your application:
- Explain what happened with your academics; however, do not write a dissertation about it. Keep it focused and direct.
- Do not dwell too much on this matter on your application -- business school applications are much more about what you want to do than what you did.
- Make sure that you mention what you learned from your academic experiences (specifically the less than stellar ones) and how you have used this information to your advantage in both school and work.
- Do not make apologies about your performance - nothing is less attractive than an application full of excuses and apologies

I work with candidates every year who face similar problems and from my experience, the following schools seemed most receptive last year.
- Ross, Fuqua, Johnson, Booth and Anderson (although a bit less receptive last year than in the past)
- Schools that seem to have no tolerance to people in your situation include: HBS, Stanford, Columbia, Berkeley, Yale and Darden.
- Schools with mixed records on such candidates include; Wharton, MIT, Tuck, NYU and Kellogg

Good luck.

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Re: 3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying? [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 12:33
ManhattanReview wrote:

I work with candidates every year who face similar problems and from my experience, the following schools seemed most receptive last year.
- Ross, Fuqua, Johnson, Booth and Anderson (although a bit less receptive last year than in the past)
- Schools that seem to have no tolerance to people in your situation include: HBS, Stanford, Columbia, Berkeley, Yale and Darden.
- Schools with mixed records on such candidates include; Wharton, MIT, Tuck, NYU and Kellogg


I am in a similar boat. I have a low undergrad GPA (3.0) but I did pursue grad school after that to focus on my area of interest and graduated with 3.75 (and a thesis/published paper)....not that it is an apples to apples comparison but does that help my case? GMAT was decent but not spectacular, 88th percentile. I do address my undergrad GPA in the essays.... Thanks!
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Re: 3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying? [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 13:08
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I have a 3.03 GPA and a few F's on my transcript. Granted it is in engineering at a top engineering school so that might have helped. Either way, I got accepted to Columbia and an interview invite to Booth today. Knock the GMAT out of the park and it will really help. Anything is possible with a good explanation you just need a strong GMAT score to help them overlook the GPA.

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Re: 3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying? [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 14:10
Thank you guys so much for your informative responses. As a matter of pure curiosity, is undergrad GPA used in MBA ranking systems the way GMAT scores are? I'm interested because if not, adcoms could look at GPA purely holistically, whereas if it is used in rankings, they would have to be more conscious of making sure they don't let the median or mean fall too low.
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Re: 3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying? [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 14:53
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Your undergraduate GPA is something you can't change, so at this point is does you no good to worry about it. As stated above, the GMAT can help compensate for a low undergrad GPA. If you do well on other aspects of the application it will hopefully make up for GPA mishaps.
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Re: 3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying? [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 17:31
kdog28 wrote:
Thank you guys so much for your informative responses. As a matter of pure curiosity, is undergrad GPA used in MBA ranking systems the way GMAT scores are? I'm interested because if not, adcoms could look at GPA purely holistically, whereas if it is used in rankings, they would have to be more conscious of making sure they don't let the median or mean fall too low.

Yes, undergraduate GPA is used as a mathematical factor in (arguably) the largest business school ranking: US News.

Source: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-gr ... l-rankings
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Re: 3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying? [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 18:31
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If the Fs were in quant classes like stats or calculus then it's a good idea to retake those classes at either a community college or reputable online extension program.
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Re: 3.19 UG GPA: Legitimate concern or am I overworrying?   [#permalink] 31 Oct 2012, 18:31
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