How Much Does the Ranking of Your Undergraduate College Matter?

Posted By SWatts on Jun 1, 2014 | 0 comments

From The Staff of MBA
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How Much Does the Ranking of Your Undergraduate College Matter?

Does where you attended college for your undergrad matter? Top business schools accept candidates from a broad range of undergraduate colleges. This means that even if your school is not nationally ranked, you may still be competitive based on your GPA. Many times business schools will favor candidates who attended a mediocre school but who show excellent work ethic, high GPA, and outstanding extracurriculars over candidates who attended a top university but lacked a competitive GPA or any additional undertakings. The greatest factor will be the context of your overall profile and the strength of candidacy. Make sure your whole package looks great.

As an additional note, when you write your essays and prepare for the MBA admissions interviews that will hopefully come your way, don’t apologize for the college you attended. With a strong academic performance, always present your choice of undergraduate institution as one made with great intention. For instance, maybe your undergraduate college was ranked slightly lower than other colleges you were considering, but it offered a specialized program and allowed for smaller class size with greater interaction with your professors. Also, if you earned an “A” average, don’t undercut that – you should present your academics as a shining reason why you should gain admission to the MBA program of your choice. An “A” average at a lesser known state university may give the admissions committees greater incentive to admit you over a Harvard graduate with a “C” average, depending on the competitiveness of your profile.

If you would like more advice on this topic, please refer to my book, published by McGraw Hill, called How to Interview Like a Top MBA (available on Amazon).

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