Well, if Harvard’s Class of 2015 statistics are any indication, then our guess about last season’s application volumes was true: There were more Brave Supplicants tossing their hats into the ring than the prior year.
In fact, Harvard is telling us that they saw near-record volumes of apps last year: over 9,300, compared to 8,963 in 2011. That’s a 2% bump, and it is the second highest number they’ve ever reported. The highest was 9,524 in 2009.
HBS also increased the size of the class, to 941, from 919 last year. So that’s good news; they responded to the increase in demand by increasing availability. Of course, as Dee Leopold said, that number may change as the summer goes on (the schools call it the “summer melt” – it’s especially profound in undergrad admissions). But the yield ticked up to 90% so far, after having held constant at 89% for years and years. Most people admitted to Harvard go to Harvard.
We had some signals from other admissions directors that they were seeing an increase in apps last year too. None have released official numbers yet but we’ll be watching to see where the trends are. Columbia and NYU are almost certain to have seen an increase over last year; we’re guessing that Ross did too. We’ll report on this later in summer, as we know the data.
The more important trends to note? That HBS increased its acceptance in financial services – to 14% of the class, from 12% the prior year. Since the class size also increased, then this is noteworthy. The percentage of PE/VC peeps stayed constant. Healthcare industry acceptances went down, from 8% to 6%. None of these changes are earthshattering – but with Harvard, everything is fair game to be dissected and analyzed. Mostly what it tells us of course is that Harvard is consistent, which is always reassuring.
If you’re ready to dive in, Harvard also opened up its application yesterday. And we published our SnarkStrategies Guide for HBS on Friday – completely updated for 2013 (it’s a third longer than the previous version!).
So you’ve got what you need. Have fun with it!
Here's what others have said about this:
Really starting to love Harvard now. If they had done this last year, I’d have probably taken a shot too.
But Pru, you say that AFTER having gone through the process of writing your essays – successfully, in fact – you know how to do them now! If you were staring that single HBS essay question in the face without having had that experience, do you think you’d be feeling that way? (It’s an honest question – we’re not challenging you – the ‘Snark is curious to know what you think.)
I’ve said this before on this blahg, but I’d really like to see HBS’ acceptance rate after you remove the “oh, what the hell” applicants.
Exhibit A: http://gmatclub.com/forum/members/member-317653.html
This dude (or dudette) applied to McCombs, Rice, Cox, and…HBS. Quite the gap, no? Seems like this person’s goals lie in Texas, but if some sort of odd miracle happened, he/she would renounce Texas nationality (someone needs to tell texans they’re a state, not a country) and go to HBS. No other school on the planet draws this kind of interest.
Don’t get me wrong – EVERY school has reach applicants. But at least those applicants are in love with the school, call it their “dream school” And have done extensive research. People applying to HBS on a wing and a prayer are only doing so because of the prestige and tend to have the attitude “I’m not sure if its the best school for me, but if I get in, how could I say no?” That’s a big ‘but’ and I’m going to go out on a limb and say people with that attitude donate $250 to the HBS admissions staff Xmas party fund and end up in the ding w/o interview pile.
So… just reading your comments on the Texan national makes us not want to go to that GMAT Club post, for fear of what we might find there.
We totally get what you’re saying. We’ve had untold numbers of people tell us that they want to go to Harvard because “I’ve always wanted to go to Harvard.” That’s it, end of story. Or maybe they add on, “It’s been my dream, ever since I was a kid.” They even say that in their essays.
By the same token: We see a gazillion others who are totally “qualified” – they’re just not bringin’ it to the extent that they need to. Solid GMAT, solid GPA, solid career. But that’s it. Nothing to distinguish. We’d be willing to bet that there’s just as many BSers in this category as there are the ones floating on wings/prayers.
HBS does collect a hefty revenue number in app fees though. Must be nice.
Ha – that link was just to a member’s profile that shows schools applied to. I made the Texas remark based on my interactions with Texans over the years.
Also – I get what you mean by qualified applicants not bringing it. My brother was in that category in the mid-2000’s – 4 years of badass performance at An MBB firm, 3.7 in Econ from HPY ivy, 770 GMAT. Went to the interview without taking it seriously and got dinged. Ended up being sponsored by his firm the a couple if years later at a “lesser” B-school and is now a Partner at said firm. So *gasp* you can be successful w/o going to HBS. It’s not the end of the world ppl!
Well. Little sympathy for not taking an HBS interview seriously!! The fact that he made it that far said he was doing something right in the essays and app. The moral of your story is completely true though: Success comes from many paths! “Ivy League” or “M7” or whatever the other ridiculous labels and categories are just don’t matter. It’s not like you’re gonna put the name of your bschool on your gravestone.
Ugh I missed the webinar Dee Leopold hosted just recently… EssaySnark, did you manage to get to it? Any highlights you’d like to highlight? Also, when can we expect the Kindle version of the HBS guide? It’s just the perfect format for a read during the commute!
@Dee, we weren’t on the HBS call either but usually P&Q is all over that stuff, look for a report from them. And the Kindle guides are gonna be a bit delayed – glad to know there’s need for them though! We’ll see what we can do to expedite (the production process is a little onerous to create the ebook format).
Great to know you’re ready to go on the app!! The ones who start early are usually the ones who make it.
Ronaldo Marcatto says
Dear. I’m Brazilian, physician and currently pursuing my PhD in Rosario in Argentina. I´ll do my postdoctoral Rosary and also have a dream to do my MBA at Harvard and would like to start my project now, to realize this dream around 2015 or 2016. I ask guidance and help for the realization of this dream. Respectfully, Ronaldo Marcatto.
Hey Ronaldo – you’ve come to the right place! All sorts of guidance and help available on this website. Check it out and let us know if you have questions. Many people find that the Comprehensive Profile Review is a great first step for helping them understand what they’re up against.