Does Zip Code Matter when applying to business school, provided all other attributes (GMAT, GPA, EC, Work Experience, etc) are equal? Will a preference be given to those living in impoverished areas? Or is affirmative action based on race alone?
-Someone living in the Upper East Side vs. someone living in Harlem
-Someone living in Beverly Hills vs. someone living in East LA
-Someone living in Lincoln Park vs. someone living in the South Side of Chicago
I have never heard of zip code playing any role whatsoever.
Ethnic background is one element in what the admissions committees prefer to call "enrollment management" AKA the creation of diverse classes. Your actions will tell them far more about how you can contribute to their the diversity of their classes than your address, which can easily be faked and manipulated. Furthermore, they don't have the time to check the socio-economic or ethnic implications of thousands of zip codes around the world.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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