So you’ve put your heart and soul into your applications. But you aren’t sure still cause of the unknowns in the admission equation – who knows who else applied to the same set of schools you did and who knows if they were better than you on more than one profile parameters?
Given this predicament, it serves to play safe if for instance it’s a make or break year for you or any other personal reason that may necessitate this strategy.
With this premise in mind, we explore the choices when it comes to making things stick and also provide some numbers that may help you arrive at the decision.
Getting the definition out of the way first. Selectivity is simply the number of offers a school makes over the number of application received.
The data provided by US schools on this count is apparently more transparent and forthcoming than for those outside. The following chart will give you a quick sense of the range we are talking about.
Yes, there does exist a school with 100% admittance! This is in stark contrast with schools such as Stanford (6.1%) and Harvard (10.7%) that have really low selectivity rates. The above average is based on a group of ~150 schools. You can find a list of the schools with highest admit rates available in the table below:
|S. No.||School (name) (state)||Full-time acceptance rate|
|1||University of South Florida||100%|
|2||Northern Arizona University (Franke)||96.20%|
|3||Belmont University (Massey) (TN)||91.90%|
|4||Missouri University of Science & Technology||84.80%|
|5||Appalachian State University (Walker) (NC)||84.40%|
|6||Coastal Carolina University (SC)||84.10%|
|7||Oklahoma State University (Spears)||83%|
|8||Tulane University (Freeman) (LA)||78.30%|
|9||University of Colorado—Boulder (Leeds)||74.90%|
|10||Clarkson University (NY)||72.90%|
Source: US News
We advise to tread with caution here though. You may not find several of the schools mentioned above in most ranking lists. This means that if you do apply to one of these, research more than what you would for other more popular schools.
As mentioned before, the data for US schools seems to be available readily. For the non-US ones, it is not the case. In situations where actual data is not available, it is often the case that one falls back on surveys/dip stick analyses.
This means that you cannot compare the data of US and Non-US schools. Even so, we do what best we can with the available data. We got hold of 25 such schools that had been surveyed by Poets and Quants.
These are certainly not run of the mill schools and one could argue that they are amongst the better ones out there. The range of schools is huge and there would certainly be a lot of them with more than 100% selectivity potentially (those giving out admits to candidates who’ve just taken the GMAT for instance). But it’s still a good set to start off with.
Here’s what the range looks like:
Since we are dealing with a small set here, the range is expectedly lower. By the way, this includes the schools of the likes of LBS and INSEAD, though the hardest business school to get into is NUS (Singapore).
Without further ado then, here’s the list of schools where you might find lady luck smiling more at you than the more famous ones.
|S. No.||School||Acceptance Rate|
|4||Hong Kong UST||50%|
Source: Poets and Quants
As mentioned before, these are certainly not comparable to the US list where we may not even have heard about various schools.
ESADE, SDA, Rotterdam are splendid schools provided you can settle into those cultures/languages and know where you are headed. But the cherry on top is that some of these schools, which are great brands in themselves, also seem to be less selective than their equivalent US counterparts.
Europe could be a bit tricky as a destination though. So the advice on research applies here too – more from the external to school factors perspective rather than the school itself.
Also take the above data with a pinch of salt since some of this is self-reported and some other is anecdotal/survey based.
As an overall school strategy, one should always have a mix – ranging from the ambitious ones to the within reach/safe ones.
We’ve written articles before that may help you start the process of school selection which at first looks intimidating. Go about this methodically as this sets the tone of things to come.
If you are looking for a more rigorous approach to this, check out our MBA MAP.