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You probably saw the preliminary class profile that Dee Leopold posted on the HBS admissions blog on Tuesday and we just had a few quick comments on it.
Actually we have nearly no comments on it, because there’s so little to comment on. (Not that that ever stopped us.)
The Class of 2016 at HBS looks remarkably similar to the Class of 2015, to wit:
|Class of 2016||Class of 2015|
|# of apps||9,543||9,315|
|final class size||~940||941|
Quick note on the “U.S. minorities” stat: We haven’t bothered to pick up the phone and ask them, but we suspect that they’re rolling in Asian-Americans to that 25% figure. If you count just underrepresented minorities (African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino, Native Americans, Eskimos) then – unfortunately – it would probably be a much lower number. The schools with the best showing of URMs are only up to like 15% or so but many are hovering at 10% and even lower. While it’s possible that HBS is double the average of all other schools on this statistic, we are guessing that they’re using a broader definition of “minority” than many schools do.
On the percent of women, we had predicted that they’d be able to bump that number up this year, given the controversy around female students at Harvard that the New York Times stirred up last Fall and the renewed focus on issues of gender and class that it provoked. We were wrong; they didn’t get that figure up. Which of course proves out our claim in last week’s series on women in bschool that schools don’t admit unqualified women just because of their gender. At least HBS stayed even this year, with their 41%. This is a high among all bschools (NYU and Wharton both tend to have semi-comparable ratios, with percentages hovering in the high-30s).
Obviously the only actual change in all those Harvard data is the GMAT range. The dip to 550 in the prior year was about as low as HBS tends to go (we seem to recall perhaps a 520 one year). This does not give you freedom to believe that just anybody can get in with a GMAT that low.
You will also notice that their top-most boundary increased from 780 to 790 – and notably, they still didn’t admit any perfect 800s. We can’t remember seeing too many of those ever come along but sometimes they do, yet even that isn’t any guarantee of admission to any particular school. If your GMAT is below 700 then you’re below the average at Harvard (they don’t have to publish a mean GMAT for us to know that).
Just be real about where you stand.
Shameless self-promotion: We go into much greater detail on GMAT scores and Harvard in our 2014 HBS MBA application guide.