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Is Fuqua a good "safety" school?

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Is Fuqua a good "safety" school? [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2009, 03:13
I know that it may seem like a strange question with Fuqua consistently being ranked in the top 15 U.S. programs. However, its acceptance rate is ~30% and thus closer to programs such as Mendoza, Foster, and Kelley (three that I am considering myself) than to the other "Elite" programs in this metric. And by "safety" I mean a safe bet for someone with great GMAT score, GPA, and work experience. Thoughts?
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Re: Is Fuqua a good "safety" school? [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2009, 04:41
It all depends on your profile.

I would say that if H/S/W is within reach for you (you stand a chance of getting in, not just playing the lottery) then yeah, Duke could probably serve as a safety.

If getting into a place like Northwestern is unlikely for you, I would aim lower than Duke for a safety school.

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Re: Is Fuqua a good "safety" school? [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2009, 11:46
Agreed - without knowing anything about you, we have no way of knowing if it would be a good back-up. One of my acquaintances, who only applied to HBS and Stanford, really wanted to go to Stanford, claimed that HBS was his back-up...go figure. That said, it's clearly relative. For some people Fuqua is a stretch - it's clearly not a back-up/safety for them.
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Re: Is Fuqua a good "safety" school? [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2009, 16:02
Personally I don't think any top 15 school is a "safe bet" based solely on GMAT, GPA and work experience. Even with an acceptance rate of 30%, Duke still rejects the vast majority of applicants. So do I know a lot of people here at Kellogg or on gmatclub that were accepted to Duke and chose to attend higher ranked programs? Yes. But do I think that you'll get accepted to Duke if you have great stats but don't convincingly portray Duke as a school you're truly interested in? Absolutely not.
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Re: Is Fuqua a good "safety" school? [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2009, 19:25
Jerz wrote:
Personally I don't think any top 15 school is a "safe bet" based solely on GMAT, GPA and work experience. Even with an acceptance rate of 30%, Duke still rejects the vast majority of applicants. So do I know a lot of people here at Kellogg or on gmatclub that were accepted to Duke and chose to attend higher ranked programs? Yes. But do I think that you'll get accepted to Duke if you have great stats but don't convincingly portray Duke as a school you're truly interested in? Absolutely not.


I agree with this opinion. One can't say a school is a "safety" school until he or she actually gets into that program. Then he or she actually earns the right to say it's a safety or not.

Many applicants apply to various bschools thinking he or she would be a lock at that bschool, and many more people apply to higher ranked schools just because he or she actually scored higher on GMAT than original expectation and one mistakenly ends up believing that ONE FACTOR alone suddenly changes one's candidacy by significant degree. Bschools look for many different criteria and certain schools look for different things in an applicant. This is especially true for top bschool programs.

Fuqua is a great program with great resources, faculty and excellent student body. Many of its current and former students would have been successful at other top bschool programs, and vice versa.

Also when comparing one program to another, one can't say that Fuqua must be a comparable program to Mendoza, Foster and Kelley because its acceptance rate is in the similar range. Although these 3 programs have excellent reputation, Fuqua probably attracts candidates with better profile overall compared to the other 3 programs. (reasons - for example, high caliber students are attracted to its high ranked HC program etc) Therefore, one should use different standards to compare school A from school B.
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Re: Is Fuqua a good "safety" school? [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2009, 22:47
Much thanks to all of you for the thoughtful responses. My apologies for not giving enough information for a definitive answer to be given. Here is my profile:

- 29 yr old (at matriculation) white American male
- 5.5 yrs total software engineering work experience at matriculation
- 4 years at "big name" software company
- 1 year in a "people management" role
- Undergrad: B.S in Computer Engineering 2003, 3.89 GPA from a small private university ranked among the top 5 Midwest "Master's programs" (i.e. those that do not offer Ph.D.) according to U.S. News
- Grad School: M.S. in Computer Engineering 2004, 3.50 GPA from a top 5 U.S. engineering program (according to U.S. News)
- GMAT: 770(99%)/Q50(93%)/V45(98%)/AWA 5.0
- UG extras: Tutoring, leadership position in fraternity, intramural sports, some charity work
- Post-grad extras: Some charity work this year for two different organizations and I coordinated an event for one of them, regularly active in casual team sports
- Strong recommendations that highlight my leadership ability, one of them coming from an executive (we worked together directly so he does actually know me) with an MBA from an "Ultra Elite" school that I am applying to
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Re: Is Fuqua a good "safety" school? [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2009, 22:53
machg400 wrote:
Much thanks to all of you for the thoughtful responses. My apologies for not giving enough information for a definitive answer to be given. Here is my profile:

- 29 yr old (at matriculation) white American male
- 5.5 yrs total software engineering work experience at matriculation
- 4 years at "big name" software company
- 1 year in a "people management" role
- Undergrad: B.S in Computer Engineering 2003, 3.89 GPA from a small private university ranked among the top 5 Midwest "Master's programs" (i.e. those that do not offer Ph.D.) according to U.S. News
- Grad School: M.S. in Computer Engineering 2004, 3.50 GPA from a top 5 U.S. engineering program (according to U.S. News)
- GMAT: 770(99%)/Q50(93%)/V45(98%)/AWA 5.0
- UG extras: Tutoring, leadership position in fraternity, intramural sports, some charity work
- Post-grad extras: Some charity work this year for two different organizations and I coordinated an event for one of them, regularly active in casual team sports
- Strong recommendations that highlight my leadership ability, one of them coming from an executive (we worked together directly so he does actually know me) with an MBA from an "Ultra Elite" school that I am applying to



If you put together a good application and have solid recommendations, I will personally be surprised if you don't receive a partial scholarship from Fuqua. Unless you have some other weaknesses that you're not telling us about, you really don't need to apply to schools lower than Fuqua. You will most likely end up at a top 10.
Re: Is Fuqua a good "safety" school?   [#permalink] 12 Nov 2009, 22:53
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