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# H/S/W Lottery

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Intern
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16 Oct 2008, 12:31
What % of applicants to H/S/W do you think are just simply playing the lottery? I understand that everyone that applies sees a spot for themselves at the school, but some people just know that they are way out of range. In other words, how many people that belong in Top 10 to 20 schools try to apply to top 3?

My guess is 25% for Harvard.

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16 Oct 2008, 12:56
Sure, but so what?

You have to also understand that admissions is a crap shoot, if there is suddenly a lack of applicants in whatever specialty you are an expert on, your chances dramatically go up.

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16 Oct 2008, 13:06
I agree with you, but when there are between 8,000 and 10,000 applicants per school, it is very difficult to be part of a small group of experts of some specialty.

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16 Oct 2008, 13:29
Tarmac wrote:
Sure, but so what?

You have to also understand that admissions is a crap shoot, if there is suddenly a lack of applicants in whatever specialty you are an expert on, your chances dramatically go up.

This is true with any school. It's just that most people rely more heavily on it with H/S/W.

I have no doubt that the adcoms sit around and think "Oh! This guy was a <insert job, EC or life experience>! He would make a great addition to our class. His GMAT might be lower than average, but he seems like a great fit."

If the adcom likes you, that counts for a LOT.

RF
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16 Oct 2008, 13:59
Harvard doesn't care about the GMAT score. Also, Harvard and Wharton both have enormous class sizes and therefore have the room to take anyone that they like.
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16 Oct 2008, 14:57
Captain wrote:
What % of applicants to H/S/W do you think are just simply playing the lottery? I understand that everyone that applies sees a spot for themselves at the school, but some people just know that they are way out of range. In other words, how many people that belong in Top 10 to 20 schools try to apply to top 3?

My guess is 25% for Harvard.

i think if people have exceptional numbers but are not so great elsewhere in the app, they feel almost compelled to apply to H/S/W in hopes of catching the Adcom snoozing a bit. this probably accounts for the highest percentage of "dreamers".

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16 Oct 2008, 15:21
terp06 wrote:
Harvard doesn't care about the GMAT score.

I don't know if I'd go that far. What is the GMAT average? 720?

RF
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16 Oct 2008, 15:26
refurb wrote:
terp06 wrote:
Harvard doesn't care about the GMAT score.

I don't know if I'd go that far. What is the GMAT average? 720?

RF

They didn't even ask for the GMAT for a period of approximately 10 years, and I believe they still put the least emphasis on it out of any of the top schools. It's just a coincidence that the high achievers that get into HBS have good GMAT scores.
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16 Oct 2008, 15:31
terp06 wrote:
Harvard doesn't care about the GMAT score. Also, Harvard and Wharton both have enormous class sizes and therefore have the room to take anyone that they like.

I think I disagree with the GMAT aspect of that. My understanding was that if they are considering two applications that are fairly similar but can only pick one, they'll use the GMAT/GPA to make a decision. Also, if you have a very low GMAT, that's also a bit of a flag on your app (but in a bad way).

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16 Oct 2008, 15:40
ac8706 wrote:
terp06 wrote:
Harvard doesn't care about the GMAT score. Also, Harvard and Wharton both have enormous class sizes and therefore have the room to take anyone that they like.

I think I disagree with the GMAT aspect of that. My understanding was that if they are considering two applications that are fairly similar but can only pick one, they'll use the GMAT/GPA to make a decision. Also, if you have a very low GMAT, that's also a bit of a flag on your app (but in a bad way).

If your application is very similar to someone else's for HBS - chances are you did not dig deep enough and will get dinged anyway. They look for leadership, pure and simple. The kids with the flashy extracurriculars, VP titles in the workplace at age 23, entrepeneurs, people with significant international experience, etc. If you don't fit that mold - they don't care what your GMAT is.

HBS is a very unique beast and it should not be treated like every other school.
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16 Oct 2008, 15:42
terp06 wrote:
They didn't even ask for the GMAT for a period of approximately 10 years, and I believe they still put the least emphasis on it out of any of the top schools.

That statement I can agree with. The GMAT is as important to Harvard as to other schools, but I wouldn't go as far as saying "they don't care".

RF
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16 Oct 2008, 15:45
refurb wrote:
terp06 wrote:
They didn't even ask for the GMAT for a period of approximately 10 years, and I believe they still put the least emphasis on it out of any of the top schools.

That statement I can agree with. The GMAT is as important to Harvard as to other schools, but I wouldn't go as far as saying "they don't care".

RF

Put it this way - a lot of schools would pick a high GMAT over someone with killer extracurriculars, all else equal. They are worried about their brand image and their average GMAT for the class.

HBS would not.
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16 Oct 2008, 16:09
Basically, it's good to be the king. HBS is very free to do whatever they want, because as #1, they know they have too many qualified applicants anyway.

That said, people do get accepted, obviously. The acceptance rate isn't 0.00001%, it's more like 15%. This is much, much higher than any 'lottery'. It could be you. If you want to go for it, do it. It doesn't hurt at all, except for the \$250 application fee, 5 essays which take a month to write and bothering 3 references for recs.

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16 Oct 2008, 16:12
terp06 wrote:
Put it this way - a lot of schools would pick a high GMAT over someone with killer extracurriculars, all else equal. They are worried about their brand image and their average GMAT for the class.

HBS would not.

Agreed. Like Tarmac said (and true in any aspect of life), when you're on top, you have a lot more leeway.

RF
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16 Oct 2008, 17:51
terp06 wrote:
ac8706 wrote:
terp06 wrote:
Harvard doesn't care about the GMAT score. Also, Harvard and Wharton both have enormous class sizes and therefore have the room to take anyone that they like.

I think I disagree with the GMAT aspect of that. My understanding was that if they are considering two applications that are fairly similar but can only pick one, they'll use the GMAT/GPA to make a decision. Also, if you have a very low GMAT, that's also a bit of a flag on your app (but in a bad way).

If your application is very similar to someone else's for HBS - chances are you did not dig deep enough and will get dinged anyway. They look for leadership, pure and simple. The kids with the flashy extracurriculars, VP titles in the workplace at age 23quote]

A VP at the age of 23 works for Daddy

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16 Oct 2008, 18:50
terp06 wrote:
If your application is very similar to someone else's for HBS - chances are you did not dig deep enough and will get dinged anyway. They look for leadership, pure and simple. The kids with the flashy extracurriculars, VP titles in the workplace at age 23, entrepeneurs, people with significant international experience, etc. If you don't fit that mold - they don't care what your GMAT is.

HBS is a very unique beast and it should not be treated like every other school.

*gulp*

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16 Oct 2008, 18:52
jlola21 wrote:
A VP at the age of 23 works for Daddy

You'd be surprised at some of the kids going into Stanford and HBS. There's going to be at least a few dozen in each class who have attained titles like "Director" or "VP" by age 23-25. I'll admit, they're mostly with smaller companies and start-ups, but it is still pretty impressive to be Director of Strategy or Director of Corp Dev for a venture-funded start up at that age and provides multitudes of leadership stories.

There's also a lot of kids who have had accelerated career paths at banks/consulting firms/other typical MBA employers and are already at the post-MBA level prior to attending HBS/Stanford.
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16 Oct 2008, 19:11
terp06 wrote:
jlola21 wrote:
A VP at the age of 23 works for Daddy

You'd be surprised at some of the kids going into Stanford and HBS. There's going to be at least a few dozen in each class who have attained titles like "Director" or "VP" by age 23-25. I'll admit, they're mostly with smaller companies and start-ups, but it is still pretty impressive to be Director of Strategy or Director of Corp Dev for a venture-funded start up at that age and provides multitudes of leadership stories.

There's also a lot of kids who have had accelerated career paths at banks/consulting firms/other typical MBA employers and are already at the post-MBA level prior to attending HBS/Stanford.

I understand what you're saying - but I was also kidding.
I get it that people are superstars.
However; we need to remember the holistic picture, which I feel is even more important to schools like Harvard.

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16 Oct 2008, 19:20
I agree, and that's the only reason that I'm bothering to play the lottery. I know that I will stand out from the sea of consultants/bankers/IT guys/engineers, and if they think that I can add value to the class through diversity - then I'll be glad to take them up on it.
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16 Oct 2008, 19:32
terp06 wrote:
I agree, and that's the only reason that I'm bothering to play the lottery. I know that I will stand out from the sea of consultants/bankers/IT guys/engineers, and if they think that I can add value to the class through diversity - then I'll be glad to take them up on it.

Definitely.. essays are vital. Essays increase our lottery chance

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Re: H/S/W Lottery   [#permalink] 16 Oct 2008, 19:32

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