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# Least Selective Ultra Elite?

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Manager
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06 Jun 2007, 09:00
Out of the top 7 or so Ultra Elites, which is the least selective? Understanding that least selective may mean the difference between 12% and 14% which is still super selective.
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06 Jun 2007, 09:51
It's difficult to say based on acceptance statistics because there is a "self-selection" that takes place at some schools. For instance, a lot of people think of MIT as a boring, quant-based program, so people who do end up applying might actually be people who are looking for a rigorous program to challenge them, i.e. stronger candidates. This is just conjecture though.

Based off of admittance numbers, I think Chicago may have the highest percentage of accepted applicants, although similar to MIT, I would guess there is a self-selection process that causes stronger candidates to apply there in the first place.

Harvard and Stanford appear very selective from their stats, but again if you think about the people who apply to these schools, you have plenty of strong candidates as you would at Chicago and MIT, but then you also have weaker candidates like me who say, "What the hel, let's swing for the fences and throw an application in to Harvard and see what happens!" So people like me are probably inflating the perceived selectivity of some ultra-elites (and I mean "inflating" in the sense that "rational players" wouldn't just "swing for the fences," they'd pick a realistic reach school).

Harvard and Kellogg are also thought of as more "fun" schools to attend. So this probably attracts more candidates (weak and strong) across the board.

So let's say you're a candidate whose "strength" or "quality" is "X," you're probably going to be going up against a PROPORTIONATELY higher number of candidates that are greater than X if you apply to MIT or Chicago, than if you apply to Harvard or Kellogg.

At the end of the day, if you're set on going to an ultra-elite, I'd say your best chances are Columbia or Chicago if you have a strong quant background and Kellogg if your profile is stronger based on interesting life/work experiences.
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06 Jun 2007, 10:11
I have to jump in and dispel a bit about the Chicago myth. I know people like to say that Chicago is the least selective, but based on everything I've been hearing from the adcoms, that isn't the case - or, at the very least, it certainly wasn't the case this year. Based on the few numbers they've disclosed over conversation, its clear that Chicago's admit percentage is right in line with Kellogg and other similar schools (but not as low as Harvard or Stanford). I don't feel comfortable being more specific than that, but just be forewarned -- Chicago is not the "easy" one to get into.

Similarly, forget the quant thing. So many of the kids I've met are not quant jocks - a few are sure - but the MAJORITY (not the minority) are not. I know of only two people who are planning on analytical finance as a concentration.Kellogg has always had a market perception of being the "easier" school while Chicago has had the perception of "raw intelligence" -- but even that, I think is overplayed. All my friends at Kellogg tell me its impossible not to get a B, and while my friends at Chicago tell me C's are possible, they also say its quite manageable. So I think there might be a bit of truth there, but I dont think its this massively different program as you might otherwise believe.

Suffice to say, I wouldn't oversimplify and try to find the "easiest" ultra-elite to get into..... I think you'll set yourself up for failure if you do.
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06 Jun 2007, 10:12
Johnny,

How would you think a non-sterotype applicant would fare at MIT? My current profession is not very quant based, and my profile certainly isn't similar to those that you would think generally apply to MIT (IT, Engineers, etc...). However, I do have a Econ/Math degree from undergrad.

Sorry to derail the OP a bit, but my question may help shed light on how one's profile could make it easier at a Ultra Elite. I agree with Rhyme, that the original question "which is the easiest" doesn't really make sense.
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06 Jun 2007, 10:18
rhyme wrote:
I have to jump in and dispel a bit about the Chicago myth. I know people like to say that Chicago is the least selective, but based on everything I've been hearing from the adcoms, that isn't the case - or, at the very least, it certainly wasn't the case this year. Based on the few numbers they've disclosed over conversation, its clear that Chicago's admit percentage is right in line with Kellogg and other similar schools (but not as low as Harvard or Stanford). I don't feel comfortable being more specific than that, but just be forewarned -- Chicago is not the "easy" one to get into.

Similarly, forget the quant thing. So many of the kids I've met are not quant jocks - a few are sure - but the MAJORITY (not the minority) are not. I know of only two people who are planning on analytical finance as a concentration.Kellogg has always had a market perception of being the "easier" school while Chicago has had the perception of "raw intelligence" -- but even that, I think is overplayed. All my friends at Kellogg tell me its impossible not to get a B, and while my friends at Chicago tell me C's are possible, they also say its quite manageable. So I think there might be a bit of truth there, but I dont think its this massively different program as you might otherwise believe.

Suffice to say, I wouldn't oversimplify and try to find the "easiest" ultra-elite to get into..... I think you'll set yourself up for failure if you do.

Rhyme,

Out of curioustiy, have the adcoms told you why Chicago does not disclose their admissions rate? I just wonder why such a highly respected school would not. It obviously does not matter in terms of rankings or job opportunites, I am just curious as to why they don't.
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06 Jun 2007, 10:22
squali83 wrote:
rhyme wrote:
I have to jump in and dispel a bit about the Chicago myth. I know people like to say that Chicago is the least selective, but based on everything I've been hearing from the adcoms, that isn't the case - or, at the very least, it certainly wasn't the case this year. Based on the few numbers they've disclosed over conversation, its clear that Chicago's admit percentage is right in line with Kellogg and other similar schools (but not as low as Harvard or Stanford). I don't feel comfortable being more specific than that, but just be forewarned -- Chicago is not the "easy" one to get into.

Similarly, forget the quant thing. So many of the kids I've met are not quant jocks - a few are sure - but the MAJORITY (not the minority) are not. I know of only two people who are planning on analytical finance as a concentration.Kellogg has always had a market perception of being the "easier" school while Chicago has had the perception of "raw intelligence" -- but even that, I think is overplayed. All my friends at Kellogg tell me its impossible not to get a B, and while my friends at Chicago tell me C's are possible, they also say its quite manageable. So I think there might be a bit of truth there, but I dont think its this massively different program as you might otherwise believe.

Suffice to say, I wouldn't oversimplify and try to find the "easiest" ultra-elite to get into..... I think you'll set yourself up for failure if you do.

Rhyme,

Out of curioustiy, have the adcoms told you why Chicago does not disclose their admissions rate? I just wonder why such a highly respected school would not. It obviously does not matter in terms of rankings or job opportunites, I am just curious as to why they don't.

Yea, see PM.
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06 Jun 2007, 10:29
rhyme, do you mind sending me that info too? i am applying to the gsb this fall. also, do you know when classes start in the fall and if there are restrictions on visiting?
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06 Jun 2007, 10:48
I'd say Columbia might be the least selective ultra-elite. The numbers don't bear this out - their admit rate is generally second or third behind Stanford & sometimes Harvard and almost always ahead of Wharton. But I believe this is largely a product of their binding early-admissions policy. The caveat is that you must attend if admitted in the early decision round.

I have heard that Columbia's early-decision is similar in difficulty to perhaps Michigan, while their regular decision (rolling) might be as difficult as Stanford & Harvard. They use this system to maintain an spectacularly high yield rate for people admitted early, and can play a WL game to inflate their admit rate during the regular round.

Regarding Chicago, I believe that at the point they stopped releasing their numbers for rankings, they were clearly the least selective ultra-elite, by a pretty substantial margin. I definitely don't believe that is the case this year. I believe that their new building makes Hyde Park a lot more appetizing for perspective applicants, and their BW ranking and marketing efforts have probably increased their application volume a lot. That said, I believe Chicago is still viewed by most people as a back-up to Wharton - I'd guess that Chicago & Kellogg are very close in selectivity. No inside information, just a gut feeling.

Last edited by pelihu on 06 Jun 2007, 11:39, edited 1 time in total.
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06 Jun 2007, 11:03
Rhyme - I guess a lot of my perception of Chicago as a "quant" school is based off reading people on BW -- I should know better than to trust anything I read over there! I agree that people's knee-jerk reaction to Kellogg is, "Oh, yeah, they do marketing right?" Meanwhile i-banks and top MC firms hire out of Kellogg in big numbers, but people always think "marketing."

Baer - I'm not sure how a non-traditional candidate would do at MIT. I thought that might help me get in, but it didn't (got dinged). From what I've heard, MIT really wants people that are tech-focused, quant-competent. In short, I don't think they're looking for as many of the "poet" types as other schools do. But at the same time, if you look at the website they seem to have people from random industries (publishing, healthcare) so it looks like some people do manage to get in there.
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06 Jun 2007, 11:11
the "What is Chicago's acceptance rate?" thread on the BW forums is high comedy
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06 Jun 2007, 11:47
dabots wrote:
the "What is Chicago's acceptance rate?" thread on the BW forums is high comedy

I'm going to spare myself the pain of reading it. It no doubt would make my blood boil.
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06 Jun 2007, 11:54
Selectivity, Yield etc are just a few numbers which are fun for statisticians, but are of little value to applicants. There are just so many factors that can effect selectivity and yield that basing any of your judgement on these numbers is highly inaccurate.

It's obvious to want to find out the least selective ultra-elite or elite schools and then only applying there to increase the chances of selection (Not saying that this is what the OP intended). But the thing is that if you are a great candidate for a school which adores quant, then you'll have a better chance of getting selected in that school than a slightly less-selective but entrepreneurship focussed school where you don't fit.

In BW, random people mentioned Chicago GSB's selectivity as somewhere between 20-35 %. Darden has a selectivity of 46% or so. Does that mean that you'll have better chances of getting into these schools than in, say, Columbia (Which has a selectivity of around 18%)? Absolutely not !! Does that mean that you'll get better quality people at Columbia? Again, absolutely not !!

Selectivity number means as much to a school's reputation as my GMAT score means to my application .. i.e. close to zilch !! (This is something that I realized AFTER getting a great score)
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06 Jun 2007, 11:57
mNeo wrote:
Selectivity, Yield etc are just a few numbers which are fun for statisticians, but are of little value to applicants. There are just so many factors that can effect selectivity and yield that basing any of your judgement on these numbers is highly inaccurate.

It's obvious to want to find out the least selective ultra-elite or elite schools and then only applying there to increase the chances of selection (Not saying that this is what the OP intended). But the thing is that if you are a great candidate for a school which adores quant, then you'll have a better chance of getting selected in that school than a slightly less-selective but entrepreneurship focussed school where you don't fit.

In BW, random people mentioned Chicago GSB's selectivity as somewhere between 20-35 %. Darden has a selectivity of 46% or so. Does that mean that you'll have better chances of getting into these schools than in, say, Columbia (Which has a selectivity of around 18%)? Absolutely not !! Does that mean that you'll get better quality people at Columbia? Again, absolutely not !!

Selectivity number means as much to a school's reputation as my GMAT score means to my application .. i.e. close to zilch !! (This is something that I realized AFTER getting a great score)

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06 Jun 2007, 12:03
I am an Indian, working in the Telecom field. It appears that everybody with my kind of profile scores above 750 (I got a 770) .. and so, GMAT is more of a "minimum threshold" criteria for us .. rather than a difference maker.
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06 Jun 2007, 12:10
mNeo wrote:
I am an Indian, working in the Telecom field. It appears that everybody with my kind of profile scores above 750 (I got a 770) .. and so, GMAT is more of a "minimum threshold" criteria for us .. rather than a difference maker.

LOL.
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06 Jun 2007, 12:28

Congrats on the score though!
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06 Jun 2007, 12:38
mNeo wrote:
I am an Indian, working in the Telecom field. It appears that everybody with my kind of profile scores above 750 (I got a 770) .. and so, GMAT is more of a "minimum threshold" criteria for us .. rather than a difference maker.

hmm, I'd say your high GMAT would still make a difference to grab at least a couple of scholarships if you apply to some lower - clustered schools. I agree that it probably won't make any difference at Ultra - Elites or maybe Elites. As I said before, these schools already have enough applicants with high stats, so you'll need sth else on top of your high GMAT to succeed.

L.
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06 Jun 2007, 12:38
the Indian IT field is truly brutal

im surprised i dont see nearly as many chinese applicants
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06 Jun 2007, 13:10
Maybe someone can answer this question for me:

Why do Indian IT folks usually have such high GMAT's?

Is it:

A. The Indian IT people that find their way onto forums like this are extra motivated, the creme-de-la-creme

B. They know that there is limited space for their demographic so they all study much harder than most other GMAT-takers (I studied until I was scoring around my target score on GMAT-prep tests, if I had set a higher target for myself, presumably I could have studied longer and done better, but knowing that somewhere around 720 would work for me, I didn't wait until I was scoring 790's on practice tests)

C. They've already been through one round of tough selections by making it into the industry in which they work (it's my understanding that competition for these sorts of jobs is fierce in India) so they're a group of very bright people. In other words, they're just brilliant people in general.

D. Some combination of the above
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06 Jun 2007, 13:17
I've read somewhere that engineers (regardless of nationality) tend to score higher (by about 20 - 30 points in average) in GMAT than the overall average taker. Since most IT folk are engineers in the first place, their averages are higher. Add some of the factors that you mentioned (I'm not sure which one) and you have higher average GMATs for this sub-group.

Edit: found some data, check pages 19-22

http://www.gmac.com/NR/rdonlyres/4311CE ... _Final.pdf

L.

Last edited by lepium on 06 Jun 2007, 13:28, edited 1 time in total.
06 Jun 2007, 13:17

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