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Does your Undergraduate Institution Matter?

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Does your Undergraduate Institution Matter? [#permalink] New post 18 Nov 2005, 15:29
I have received a number of questions about whether one's undergraduate institution matters.

Yes, it certainly does matter but often not in the way that applicants think.

First, capable students tend to go to the high prestige colleges. If you are looking for students who are low academic risks, it makes sense to look at the high prestige colleges.

Second, high prestige colleges often have a higher performing reference group. Knowing that someone is in the top 10% of her class at Caltech gives the admissions officer a pretty good idea of how this student performs against the best students in the country. Knowing that someone performed in the top 10% in a provisonally accredited school does not provide as much insight into how that student performs against the best.

However, you certainly do not need to attend one of the Tycoon U, Ivy, Public Elite, or Little Ivy schools for your degree to be respected in the admissions process. There are many ultra elite MBA alumni who attended quality schools outside of the Tycoon U, Ivy, Public Elite, or Little Ivy groups, not to mention the many outstanding schools outside of the US.

Here are the education bios for some SP500 chief execs who did not attend schools in the Tycoon U, Ivy, Public Elite, or Little Ivy groups

Franklin and Marshall then HBS
Drake then Chicago
Alabama then Penn
Arkansas then HBS
DePauw then HBS
Manhattan then Columbia
Loyola then Chicago
Utah then HBS
Hamilton College then HBS
Kettering then Columbia
Tufts then HBS
Auburn then HBS
Boston College then Penn
Wheaton College then Chicago
Kenyon then Penn
Oregon then Stanford
Weber State then HBS
Middlebury then HBS
Knox then Chicago
Miami then Penn
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east/west [#permalink] New post 29 May 2006, 23:56
Do you think that going to school on the east coast (went to Franklin and marshall) then trying to get into a west coast school hurtur chances?
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 [#permalink] New post 30 May 2006, 16:18
If anything it would give you a slight advantage since your institution is more of a novelty in the West.
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true true [#permalink] New post 31 May 2006, 22:28
I did go to Franklin and Marshall, in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania!
Happy to hear that some big shots went to my school and still got to great B-schools as in your post above.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2006, 08:34
Hjort,

I went to three undergrad schools because of various circumstances. Will my GPA's from all schools be factored or do you think AdComs will look at only my graduating school?

I started off at a tier 3 school and transferred to a tier 1 school, I then took a semester at a different tier 1 school to try it out but came back. I spent about half my time at the original tier 3 school and half at the tier 1 (with a semester at another tier 1).

Any thoughts?
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2006, 17:45
Is there a pattern in your performance, e.g. was your performance much stronger at one of the schools?
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2006, 10:28
Hjort wrote:
Is there a pattern in your performance, e.g. was your performance much stronger at one of the schools?


My GPA was much stronger (3.5+) at the tier 3 school, and it was also my firt two years of engineering. The tier 1 school became increasingly difficult and my grades suffered because of the more advanced subject matter and tougher competition. I graduated with just a hair under 3. If I factor all my credits/grades my GPA translates to around 3.3.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2006, 19:21
Admissions officers would likely consider the transcripts together, with more weight given to the more recent (and higher prestige) school. Declining performance and weaker performance at the more competitive schools are often regarded as yellow flags.

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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2006, 08:03
Hjort wrote:
Admissions officers would likely consider the transcripts together, with more weight given to the more recent (and higher prestige) school. Declining performance and weaker performance at the more competitive schools are often regarded as yellow flags.
Hjort


Thanks Hjort, I'll have to figure out a way to show that it will not reflect my performance in b-school.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Nov 2006, 21:13
Middlebury and Tufts are both top notch undergrads.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2007, 11:49
So, if you were considering someone in my situation, who attended the University of Iowa as an Undergrad, do you think this will hurt or help me? I know it is not an Ivy League school or a HIGH prestige school, but like most Big Ten schools it is a quality institution. The reason for me going was the fact that I grew up in-state, but I never even really looked anywhere else, which was kind of dumb looking back (I could have been accepted at a lot more prestigious schools). But, how much do you think going somewhere like Iowa would hurt me, if at all?
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2007, 20:57
Mark4124 wrote:
Middlebury and Tufts are both top notch undergrads.


Are you a Middlebury or Tufts alum?
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Re: Does your Undergraduate Institution Matter? [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2008, 09:11
I went to a Michigan "directional" school (tier 3 in USNWR rankings) and finished with a decent GPA (3.7), with my last two year's GPA being about 3.95 and a 4.0 in my major classes. Because of the low profile of my undergrad and only probably having about 2.5 years work exp when I plan on applying, how do you think this will effect my chances? Am I going to have to shoot the lights out with the GMAT to "prove" that getting a decent GPA at a smaller school, or will still anything 7XX be alright?

I guess the question is, how badly does my smaller school hurt my chances and what are some steps I can do to mitigate this?
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Re: Does your Undergraduate Institution Matter?   [#permalink] 31 Dec 2008, 09:11
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