has anyone heard this rumor before, that stanford does not accept, or is less likely to accept people over 30 years of age? any takers on this?
I had a very similar question about MBA courses in general. On the online forums, the general consensus is 'no, age does not matter'. I did ask an admissions officer at Northwestern Kellogg in a casual setting , here is what he/she said
"Age per se does not matter, but what matters is if age will hamper your fit into the program. Will an older person not contribute as much back to the program, as in , will they not take part in activities, clubs and class discussions? That is the question the admissions committee is asking. The advantage of being older is that you will have a lot more work experience, and you need to sell the fact that you will be a good fit."
I am 33, which is older than most candidates and outside the age range statistic of some of the top schools from last year, so this is definitely an issue for me.
Last year I interviewed at Ross, Michigan, and the student who interviewed me was younger and inexperienced. He was very rude, would not let me finish my answers. He even went on to say my long term goals were not good enough and described his goals and how mine should basically resonate to his , needless to say that ruined my Ross experience and impression of Michigan. Another interview I had, the younger person, just read of a script. When somebody reads off a script,I can only assume that their assessment of the candidate will also be poor. I have to conduct interviews as part of my job so I am familiar with both sides of the table.
here are my conclusions
1. Officially age does not matter, in fact in the USA it is against the law to discriminate on age, so no school will openly say that they reject based on age. Age is an important factor of the class diversity, so they will definitely be including it inthe decision process.
2. I don't think any candidate will get outright rejected because of age, might get some negative points at the most.
3. If you are not in the age "sweet spot" for a school, then you need to sell the rest of your application. For younger people, they need to sell that lack of experience will not hinder them, older people need to sell that they will participate in the program.
4. But, for that matter, I don't have much faith in the admissions committee in general being able to read between the lines or piece a candidates story together (maybe because of all my rejections!!). As a candidate , you need to assume that the ad com will not get the whole picture, unless you explicitly draw it for them. Some of them might have a mental block against age because of a bad experience. They might see age up front and assume the rest of the application is going to be crap. Remember an application and essay gets about 15 mins at the most to make an impression. I am hoping that this year will be better.
5. I think most ad com members are not qualified to be doing that job, and it is just something most of them fell into (at the lower levels at least), so as a candidate it is in your best interest to spell out all your attributes in the easiest possible manner.