Getting into top MBA with low GPA
Every year I work with clients who have a low GPA, and we are successful. We get into top programs. How are they able to do that? First of all, let’s talk about what a low GPA is. When I worked in admissions, every year we posted the average GPA of the incoming class, and we did that with the expectation that if you’re applying to the program, you would have a very similar GPA. If it’s substantially lower than that, that’s going to make admissions a bit nervous about your candidacy. What do you do? Well, you can’t go back in time. You can’t redo your undergraduate performance. But what you can do is tell the story of what happened, and you want to use the optional essay to do that. Note any upward trends. Note any extracurricular involvement that may have kept you busy and up at night. All of that can be complied together into a nice, succinct story in the optional essay. The second thing that you’re going to want to do, and you might not want to hear this, but you are going to have to ace the GMAT. That is ever-more important for the folks that have lower than average GPAs. They’re going to look to that test as an indicator that you can keep up in the classroom and that you belong at a top program.