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Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008?

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Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2008, 14:23
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Listen, I know there are a lot of overachievers on here, and I respect everyone for that... but I also know that a 700+ score isn't totally necessary to get into a top school. That said, I just finished my first GMAT attempt and scored a 600 (Q 34, V38, Q42%, V84%, 68% overall). The schools I am/was shooting for include UCLA, USC, NYU, and Columbia. I was considering entering second to last round at USC/UCLA and final round at NYU/Columbia for 2008 admission in February. I'm wondering if it's worth it to give it a shot....

Before you jump on me and tell me how mediocre my score is and how low my Quant score was, let me explain that I went to a top Ivy League school, graduated with a 3.5 GPA, and have had six years work experience in the entertainment/media fields, including working for a TV startup company, which from what I've been told, differentiates me from a lot of candidates who come from banking/consulting backgrounds. And, furthermore in terms of diversity, for what it's worth, I'm gay, and I've found that after visiting schools and expressing interest in the LGBT groups I've gotten the sense that schools want to add gay candidates to the mix.

I would love you to be honest and not sugarcoat things here, but I ask you not to be mean, either about my score or my suggestion that being gay adds to a diversity of a school, since of course it is not something considered anything near being a "minority" or "underrepresented group" - however, many schools do appreciate the individual as opposed to the cookie cutter applicant. The last thing I want to do is disrespect "true" minority groups.

Honestly, I'd love to be relieved of the burden of having to fill out four applications within the next month; on the other hand, if there's a shot, I want to go ahead with it so that I'm not stuck another year in a job that isn't taking me to the next level. Plus, from what I hear, even if I'm rejected re-applications are looked upon favorably, especially if it is shown you've improved scores, made an alternate transcript to take math courses (which clearly I lacked given my Humanities BA degree), and an renewed interest in the school. (Please correct me if I'm wrong about re-applications.) :?:

Any advice would be vastly appreciated.

Thanks.

Last edited by beninBK on 19 Jan 2008, 15:43, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT and gay - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2008, 14:52
Honestly, I dont think your sexual preference should/will give you a leg up over other applicants. Focus on your other attributes instead. And if you attended an ivy league school, I think you are more than capable of scoring higher on the gmat.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT and gay - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2008, 15:35
I might be wrong about academia, but I don't think gay is a protected class, so I wouldn't put too much stock in that. It might add to the overall diversity of lifestyles in the pot but I seriously doubt the admissions office is going to have to answer to some dean at the end of the year as to why there aren't more gays on campus. If anything, you're much better off focusing on your undergrad GPA and work experience, which is going to be vastly different than the average number cruncher who's worked spreadsheets and excel models most of their career. I'm sure you're not the first gay person who's walked into the admissions office but you may very well be the first applicant who's worked xx years in film or entertainment doing xx, and in your spare time you did xx. Also, if an admissions officer is looking at this post and figures out who you are, I think that would probably deep-six your chances of getting in reeeeeal quick.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2008, 15:52
Ok, perhaps I should have left out the gay part, since, when brought up in any aspect of society these days (politics, activism, etc.) that is the thing that people latch on to.

If you reread my post, my question was not whether or not being gay will get me into school, but whether having a low score, high GPA, varied work experience, and coming from a group that is underrepresented in business would equate to possible admission or not in 2008. Of course no one has the answers, but I would hope any response would focus on the whole picture, not latching on to one aspect of my question.

Furthermore, just because I mentioned I'm gay (a fact) and that I've received many e-mails and letters from schools I've visited asking about my interest in LGBT organizations on campus (A fact) - this should not mean that I'm in any way suggesting I have a leg up over other people. And your implication that an admissions officer reading this would "deep-six my chances reeeeal quick" is actually pretty offensive. If anything, I would think he/she would appreciate the fact that I recognize getting into B-school isn't all about the score, something people on this forum tend to forget sometimes.

Sorry to get defensive - if I could delete this post I would - because this is entirely the type of discussion I didn't want to get into.... However, if anyone has any thoughtful advice that doesn't hone in on sexuality, then I'd love to hear it.

All the best to you.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2008, 16:31
If I were you I'd retake the GMAT.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2008, 16:40
thanks terp. ;-) and wait to apply for 2009 or apply now and see what happens? i guess it can't hurt? if i take it in another month schools would still receive the scores in time.

much thanks.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2008, 16:47
I just suggested you focus on experience and undergrad GPA, and given the strength of those two factors as you described, should get you at least serious consideration. Good luck.

Last edited by faraji13 on 20 Jan 2008, 00:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2008, 17:04
benin, here are my thoughts:

1. 600 is at/below the 25th percentile for the schools you mentioned.
2. 3.5 GPA is good, but not better than average for the schools you mentioned.
3. Your work experience is better than average (it is certainly distinct!).
4. I didn't see you mention any leadership experiences or community involvement. I think your application would be strengthened about 100% if you mentioned in one of your essays that you are really passionate about the GLBT cause and have been active/shown leadership in GLBT community organizations.

Conclusion: Wait 8-9 months, work on #1 and #4 above, and apply for 2009. Currently, your chance of success is not as high as it could be.

Does this help you?
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2008, 18:12
yes, very helpful....thank you. i have #4 covered with community involvement and leadership positions in lgbt community... i don't want to get too specific since the previous poster claims to "know" people in the admissions world who read this board, and while i think he's just blowing hot air if it is the truth i don't want to give away what i do or the exact details of my community involvement, but i am involved on a national level. (not that i have anything to hide or have disclosed anything negative...but that poster really irritated me.)

you're right #1 is what i need to work on. the only question that remains is do i apply now in late rounds for the hell of it, in the off chance they see something in me beyond my poor GMAT... and then if i don't get accepted (very likely) reapply for 2009.

i hear from many people, particularly at two of the schools i mentioned, that persistence pays off, including letters and updates on courses taken in the meantime, updates to resume, and commitment to a certain school as a #1 choice.

knowing my Quant skills aren't great (and after 8+ weeks of study haven't improved much), i don't expect to be getting a 700+ down the line... so i think highlighting my other strengths early and my commitment to a certain school may pay off in the meantime. although i know others believe that applying when not "ready" numbers wise is not the most wise thing to do.

thanks for the thoughtful response.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2008, 10:38
if you need more clarifications, post it in "ask accepted.com" section.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 06:18
Your GMAT score is low, plain and simple. Applying to the final rounds of schools is exponentially tougher than the earlier rounds.

Even if you went to Bo Dunk's College for Dummies, I think you could improve your score at least to the 650+ range with another year of practice. The fact that you did so well at an Ivy-school, means you certainly can.

I would hold off, if you want to get into an UE school. The rest of your profile sounds great, so you wouldn't want a test score holding you back.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 06:24
There are a couple of things to consider here:

-You have 6 yrs WE, which is a bit above the avg. It's better to be under 30 yrs old at matriculation so you don't fall into the "older" student category, which usually has less spots reserved than the typical 26-28 year old student slots. Just something to consider before holding off applications til next year.

-Personally with strong essays I think you have a chance to get into NYU, UCLA, and USC. For CBS, I would suggest retaking the GMAT, which probably means applying til next year. Actually, if you can get your app out quickly, then maybe taking the GMAT again and sending them the updated score isn't a bad idea -- since RD runs til April.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 13:16
Bottom line, 600 is too low for the schools you want to attend. I don't think 2009 will be any easier, except you will get about 8-9 months to improve your score. You should be able to raise your score if you really try.
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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 19:11
I would retake next month and get your applications out before the final deadline.

If you don't like your job, you need to move on.

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Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008? [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2008, 13:19
Hey there beninBK -

I think that the people who have responded have made some fair points.

It's important to keep in mind that your application is considered in its entirety and that the GMAT element is just a piece of this. But, it's the most quantifiable element. Your 600 will detract from the average that the school reports to Business Week, US News, etc. for ranking consideration.

If you are going to be a GMAT "taker" (vs. "giver") to this scale, you will need to bring a lot to the table in the rest of your application. Your academic background will get you a lot of that respect, but your competing with others with similar academic backgrounds who did 50 to 170 points better than you on the GMAT.

You are really going to have to sell your work experience. Make it memorable. Highlight the creativity that is required by your job. Be sure to give examples of complex problems that you've solved that are going to be unique to you but still applicable. Sell your case for needing the MBA and how you will contribute on campus. It sounds like you've got a good drip of these concepts.

Will your recommenders be annoyed by having to go through this process four times this year and four times next year?

Have you thought about going part-time at USC or UCLA? Would one of these help you accomplish your goals?

The GMAT is a learnable test -- I am confident that you can learn your way to the high 600's. I suggest that you revise your approach in preparing for the GMAT and take it again or focus on USC and perhaps add Emory, UNC or some others where your work experience might be way off the beaten path - vs. NYC and LA markets.

I hope everything works out well for you. Be confident and unapologetic in your decision.

- G
Re: Ivy/high GPA/low GMAT - worth it to apply for 2008?   [#permalink] 31 Jan 2008, 13:19
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