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Breaking News - Stanford will accept GRE Scores too (MIT too

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Breaking News - Stanford will accept GRE Scores too (MIT too [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2006, 16:45

By Kerry Miller

Stanford Smiles On GRE Scores

Trying to widen its applicant pool, the university will now allow B-school hopefuls to skip the GMAT for a less costly exam.

Accepting GRE scores for all full-time MBA applicants is a novel idea that could have far-reaching implications. Admissions officers at other top schools like Wharton and Chicago will be watching closely to see how Stanford's decision, which starts with the admissions cycle for the class entering in the fall of 2007, will play out.

DESIRE FOR DIVERSITY. In recent years many B-schools have started waiving the GMAT requirements for applicants to executive MBA programs (see, 8/8/05, "Sidestepping the GMAT"). And a few schools, like Harvard, have waived the GMAT requirement for their MBA programs entirely, out of concerns that the test cannot predict how well a candidate will succeed in B-school. (Harvard has since reinstated the GMAT requirement.) Most schools allow Business PhD candidates to submit either the GMAT or the GRE, and some waive the GMAT requirement for MBA applicants who already have advanced degrees.

Yet Stanford's decision is driven by different set of concerns—part of a larger discussion among B-schools about reducing barriers to admission for underrepresented minorities, women, and applicants from developing economies.

The lack of socioeconomic diversity in business school classes is a major problem, Bolton says, and reducing the upfront costs of applying to B-school is one way to make the admissions process more equitable, as well as to broaden the pool of applicants.

COVERING THE COSTS. The GMAT is one of the most expensive exams to take— it costs$250 worldwide, an amount Bolton notes can be a hardship, especially in developing nations, depending on the relative value of the U.S. dollar. While the price of the GRE is set to increase in July 2006—to $130 in the United States and U.S. territories, $175 in China, Korea, and Taiwan, and $160 in all other countries—it will remain less expensive than the GMAT. While a limited number of GRE fee waivers are available for U.S. citizens or residents eligible to receive financial aid, no fee waivers are available for the GMAT exam.

GMAC, which administers the GMAT exam, has tested several voucher programs, one in South Africa in 2004, and one at a number of U.S. schools in 2005. GMAC is still studying the outcomes of those programs.

Rod Garcia, director of admissions at (MIT Sloan School of Management], says his office is seriously considering the idea of accepting the GREs. For MIT, he says, the primary thought behind accepting the GRE would be to widen the applicant pool to include top nontraditional candidates, such as liberal arts majors, who may also be applying to several other graduate or doctoral programs.

"SLICE" SEARCH. Broadening the applicant pool is crucial, Bolton says, with the top schools already competing for the best applicants—in particular the best female and racial/ethnic minority students: "If you look at your applicant pool and you're missing a certain slice, then you go after that slice. We need to start thinking about making that whole pie bigger." Excluding applicants who might not have the financial resources to apply to a school like Stanford does a disservice not only to Stanford but to the business world at large, given the school's role in forming future leaders, he said.

The decision to accept either the GRE or the GMAT also seems to align well with the watchwords of Stanford's newly redesigned MBA program: customization and flexibility (see, 6/6/06, "Stanford's New Look MBA"). Announced earlier this month, the new curriculum will tailor each student's course schedule individually, based on past education, work experience, and future goals.

It may also allow Stanford to admit more women and ethnic minorities like blacks and Latinos—who on average do not perform as well on the GMAT exam—without affecting their overall GMAT score, and therefore, their overall ranking by information sources such as BusinessWeek and U.S. News & World Report.

Other schools are taking a wait-and-see approach. Rose Martinelli, associate dean of student recruitment and admissions at the University of Chicago's (Graduate School of Business], says she is interested to see how Stanford fares with the new policy, but says Chicago will probably hold off until more research is done about the differences between what is measured by the GRE versus the GMAT.

AIMING TO ASSIST. Susan Kaplan, director of business school programs at Kaplan Test Prep, says that while the two tests have similar sections (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing), they focus on different types of questions, and the ability of the GRE to predict performance in business school has not been proven.

Accepting the GRE isn't the only way Stanford is trying to reduce the up-front costs of applying. Like several other schools, Stanford already offers waivers of its $235 application fee for college seniors receiving financial aid. Offering waivers to other applicants for whom the steep fees might be a deterrent has been trickier, Bolton says. "How do you screen? Do you set income limits? What if companies are paying the fees?"

One model might be the Fee Assistance Program offered by AAMC, which administers the MCAT exam for medical school entrance. That program grants assistance to MCAT test-takers whose total family income is 200% or less of the federal poverty level; eligible applicants pay $85, instead of $210. The University of Chicago also waives application fees automatically for applicants who have recently served in the military or the Teach for America program. Waivers for other applicants who demonstrate "extreme need" are granted on a case-by-case basis.

Bolton says his office is also discussing the idea of waiving fees for applicants from certain developing economies, starting next year. First, he says, his office would need to find a way to deal with the tremendous increase in applications that would result.
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New post 28 Jun 2006, 17:06
why not just reduce the price of the gmat?
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New post 28 Jun 2006, 17:22
oh^(*&(.... I don't want to hear it... after investing so much money and effort in GMAT :x

on the brighter side, at least for me, if I eventually will not want to show my low score on GMAT, I can try to succeed on GRE from the first attempt... yet I am determined to get a decent score on GMAT :wink:

another thought... isn't GRE administered by ETS as well? so price reduction is a good idea...

haddy77, nice article... but I if you (everyone else) are considering to apply in the near future, then you shouldn't focus on this "wait and see" approach now...
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New post 29 Jun 2006, 03:23
This is only a way for stanford to accept some more "exotic" type students without lowering the mean GMAT score they have to reoport to the magazines.
GRE math isn't even close to GMAT math. Most people on this forum would get a perfect score on the GRE quant.

Don't think if you are from IIT or a american finance male that you will get acecpted with taking only the GRE.
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New post 29 Jun 2006, 06:06
Hmmm, I disagree with Stanford's idea.
I mean I don't think the Gmat exam is the problem.

The problem is that the Gmat is not a fair exam when you take english into consideration because today many applicants are from overseas, some will graduate from US Bschools but come back later to their home country and even if they use english they may not need a 99% percentile to do so. I think that it's a little biaised concerning the verbal part but I can also conceive the idea that some of the adcom may also understand that and therefore may also be indulgent with overseas applicant.
In my mind it's easy : either all applicants take the same test or no test at all. After that the main issue is the weight that schools give to this exam and I think that today it's sometimes too much because many people are very creative and are smart leaders but they may be bad at standardized tests or stuff like that so I am not a big fan of the Gmat, I prefer interesting people with ideas than Calculator-people but at the end if all schools really need and want some test to be taken I would rather stick to only one and the same if possible...Gmat or Gre but only one please :roll:
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New post 03 Jul 2006, 07:51
It is not a novel idea - Indian School of Business (ISB) has been accepting GRE scores since 2 years!
  [#permalink] 03 Jul 2006, 07:51
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