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Is age a big hindrance at Harvard/Stanford/Wharton?

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Is age a big hindrance at Harvard/Stanford/Wharton? [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2010, 12:06
Hi,

I took GMAT last year and scored 730. Verbal - 41/92%, Quant - 49/87%, Total 730/96%, Analytical writing 5.0/56%. I did not (could not) apply anywhere for 2010 because of some financial responsibilities. I am planning to apply for 2011 session. My brief profile is as follows:
Age: 29 (born in Feb, 1981).
Ethnicity: Indian
Undergrad - from one of the IITs in India, GPA 3.7
Grad - one of schools (not high ranked) in U.S., GPA - 3.95
Work experience - I have been working in U.S. since 2005 (I will have 6 years of full time work ex at the end of 2010). I work in high end technical consulting. 2 years in a big five company, past 3 years in a blue chip company.

As I mentioned, I am planning to apply for 2011 session. I will be 30 in Feb 2011. I have a couple of questions:

1. Would I have had a much better chance had I scored 750 instead of 730? I am asking this question because I screwed up the exam a little bit. I have mild ADD and I forgot to hit 'submit' on the last Quant question. I think I made a couple of other stupid mistakes on Quant and could have easily got 750.

2. Is my age going to be a hindrance when applying to top 5 schools - specially Harvard, Stanford and Wharton? If yes, are there any schools in top 10 that are friendlier to applicants with 30 years of age?


Thanks,

Abhi
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Re: Is age a big hindrance at Harvard/Stanford/Wharton? [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2010, 19:52
With your current score, it's not going to make a difference if you score higher. In fact, by retaking it given your already high score, it can actually tell the adcom that you don't have your priorities straight and/or you don't understand the admissions process (or, you are simply neurotically obsessed with academic scores which can trigger concerns about your social skills and street smarts).

As for schools, focus on schools outside of H/S/W. They have a lot of highly accomplished folks under 27 applying now that unless you come from a non-traditional career path (i.e. school teacher, military officer, filmmaker, clergy, nonprofit professional, etc) your chances are very slim. Wharton has traditionally had more older folks, but in the last 2 years or so it also has gone younger -- partly due to the adcom's desire (they did mention it explicitly that they were hoping for more younger candidates) and also due to the fact that there is a spillover effect from HBS/Stanford applicants (the young kids that apply to either HBS or Stanford or both tend to apply to Wharton as well -- especially those who apply to HBS -- as such, you're going to get more younger folks in the applicant pool that will crowd out the older applicants). You're best off focusing on schools such as Kellogg, Chicago, Columbia, Sloan, and others where you'll end up pursuing many of the same career opportunities anyhow.
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Re: Is age a big hindrance at Harvard/Stanford/Wharton? [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2010, 20:04
Thanks Alex, I appreciate your response.
Re: Is age a big hindrance at Harvard/Stanford/Wharton?   [#permalink] 07 Mar 2010, 20:04
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