That is the statement on the Kellogg website . And it’s what the admissions directors at many other schools have told us for years. Yet we often get BSers who believe that if their GMAT score is super high, and they indicate on their application that they’re applying with their spouse or boy/girlfriend whose GMAT is not so great, then that’ll compensate for the not-great score and allow the adcom to say “yes” to them both.
It doesn’t work that way. 🙁
Or, maybe it would, in a rare case with an EXTREMELY distinguished candidate. If you’re the kind of hot-stuff applicant that the schools are falling over themselves to admit, where they’re throwing all this money your direction and salivating over the prospects of having you in their newly-admitted class, then sure. They might consider your partner as part of the package, and be willing to admit you both.
We’ve just never seen that situation in real life.
It’s usually one candidate with like a 750 GMAT, and one with like a 690 or maybe a 710.
Using the more generous higher score, we get an average of 730 between the two.
A 730 is barely at the class average at many of these top schools.
Which means that this combination of candidate is a net-neutral.
You’re not helping the school in any way for them to admit the two of you.
All you’d be doing is helping them maintain their status quo.
Which means that they would need to see a healthy GMAT on one side, and evidence of differentiation and distinction on BOTH sides to make it worthwhile.
If they’re giving up TWO spots in their class for you as a pair, then how will BOTH of you contribute in some way?
The contribution is not coming through any benefit the school would get to their potential standing in the overall school rankings.
As a couple, you’re only hitting on the “qualified” button.
You would need to show how you’re both very distinctive in one or more ways.
Typically this means that there needs to be evidence of interesting life experience, or an impressive career track to date, or some other way for your partner to also stand out.
Otherwise, when we’re talking about schools like Kellogg and Tuck which are often top of the list for many couples trying together, it’s just hard to justify an admit.
ESPECIALLY at Tuck where the class is so small. To give up TWO slots out of a <300 seat class.... That's asking a lot. If the partner's GMAT is significantly below 700 then we're worried it just won't happen at all. Again, not unless the partner really carries his/her own weight in some other way in the profile. If you're coming from an more crowded international applicant pool, then this is even more of an issue. Often, two people who end up marrying are going to have similar life stories; they will come from the same type of background or even in many cases the same geography. If the school is admitting the both of you, are you different enough from each other -- and, individually, representative enough of the broader pool that you are coming from, for the adcom to justify having you two make up such a big proportion of the subset of students from your country? In other words, if you're trying for a school with a smaller class size like Tuck, and you're both Indians with an engineering background who have worked in tech your whole lives, then are you bringing enough other attributes for the school to use up two of their limited international seats to accommodate? It's not like the schools have quotas; they don't. They do have ratios and proportions that they are seeking. They don't want their incoming class to all be too similar, right? That's what they mean when they value diversity: Diversity of experience, of background, of demographics, of socioeconomic class, of gender and race and religion and everything else. If the two of you are very similar to each other, then it makes it harder for them to invest in you both. If you're both more unique and bring different strengths and values to the school, where you can make different contributions and are each offering something of substance, then sure. The adcom will be very interested. But don't assume that one person will ride in on the coattails of another. It un/fortunately just does not work that way. And think about it: If it did, would it be fair to everyone else?