30+ and applying to MBA programs

Are You 30+? MBA Programs May Have 3 Concerns on Your Application

Average age of the class at HBS is 27 years. At Columbia, it’s 28. That’s usually the range for most U.S. B-schools: 27-28 years. Some schools, however, don’t provide average age of their class; instead they provide average work experience, which usually is 5 years (to name a few: Wharton, UCLA, and MIT – 5, Stern – 4.5, and Stanford, a relative outlier – 4). The average work experience too points toward a similar average age.

Though the average age of most programs is not too far from 30, B-schools do have some specific concerns about the candidature of applicants falling in 30+ age bracket, though very few air it openly. (There is nothing sacrosanct about 30; it’s just a metaphor for older applicants.)

Acceptance rate and yield of MBA programs

The Two B-School Popularity Indices Most Applicants Are Unaware Of

You’ll only obscurantly come across the two, almost in conjunction with each other, in few MBA admission-outreach events, articles comparing MBA programs, and MBA program websites.

Nevertheless, these are two of the most keenly monitored and, often, proactively-managed indices by MBA programs.


Because they are strong, market-determined reflection of popularity of their programs.

Does Recommender’s English Affect Your Recommendation?

Proficiency (or lack of it) of your recommender in written English has little impact on how adcom evaluates your recommendation. After all, they are not judging your recommender’s communication skills.

As far as recommendations are concerned, adcoms primarily focus on content.

Probably, the best insights in this regard come from Stanford GSB. In response to the following two questions, they say:

How Accommodative Are MBA Programs of Your Sub-Par English in Essays?

Does the quality of English in your essays matter?

That’s no-brainer. It does. Higher the quality, the better it is. After all it’s reflective of your communication skills.

But how accommodative are admission committees of your sub-par English – rule-based things (grammar, punctuation, and spelling) as well as style (structure, transition, variation in sentences, and so on).

Before getting into it, let’s first see some of the examples (source: Harbus Essay Guide, a compilation of essays of 16 students admitted to class of 2017 at HBS) where admits to HBS deviated from the canons of good English (comments in brackets):