How Important is My GPA 4 Years After College?

Posted By SWatts on Jun 4, 2015 |

How Important is My GPA 4 Years After College?

Some business school applicants simply never “gained their footing” in their undergraduate years.  Perhaps moving far from home to attend college was difficult for them and they did not achieve high grades.  Perhaps they chose the wrong major and never applied themselves to courses in which they had only lackluster interest.  Perhaps they chose to party too hard and made poor choices in balancing “work” with “fun”.  Yet, following their undergraduate years, those same applicants blossomed in their business careers. Some such MBA applicants might have already enjoyed 2-3 promotions before applying to business school, which speaks to their professional success.  But, their undergraduate GPA tells a different story. That GPA could be a 3.0, a 2.8, or a 2.5. Perhaps a tad bit lower. A question that looms large in the minds of such applicants is, “After four years of outstanding work experience, will my weak undergraduate GPA still sink me in my quest for admission to a top business school?”

This is a situation that we at MBA deal with very frequently, and we have great expertise in helping candidates override less-than-ideal GPAs. The good news is that, even for applicants with less work experience than four years, if you put together a business school application skillfully, it is possible in many cases to overcome a low GPA to gain admission to a top business school. Certainly, the undergraduate performance will represent a weak spot in your candidacy, but you can address this through the application. Addressing it does not mean simply writing a paragraph about it in the “optional” section of the application (which may or may not be a good idea, depending on the candidate and the circumstances). Rather, addressing the matter can also mean drawing attention – through the MBA essays and recommendations – to the other notable achievements that convey to the admissions committee that after four years, your defining and relevant achievements are your professional successes, not your academic performance.  At MBA, we have helped candidates with GPAs as low as 2.7 and 2.8 to gain admission to the business schools of Stanford, Harvard, Wharton and Columbia.  It’s all about the strategy implemented through the application.

Good luck in the admissions process!

Dr. Shelle and the Team at MBA