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.

Stanford yield better than HBS

Why Stanford’s Yield, Despite Being Lower, Is Better than That of HBS?

No doubt, this is a controversial topic.

Traditionally, HBS has had the highest yield (88-90% range) of all MBA programs, followed by Stanford (78-84% range).

(Yield of an incoming class of an MBA program is the percentage of accepted applicants who join the program, and it’s one of the best market-driven statistics that reflect reputation of a program.)

Then, how does such bold, cold statistic lie?

It doesn’t.

But it doesn’t reveal the entire picture, either.

Why some applicants don't join HBS?

11% Accepted Applicants Don’t Join HBS – Where Do They Go?

MIT Sloan loses nearly 40% of its accepted applicants. Chicago Booth, too, loses nearly 40%. Tuck and Ross, almost 50%.

And these are some of the best MBA programs around.
Where do these accepted applicants go?

Most to higher-ranked and rival schools such as HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, and Kellogg. And a small fraction drops out i.e. doesn’t join any school (for reasons to be covered later in this post).

It’s understandable that a Sloan admit is very likely to prefer HBS over Sloan, but why does an HBS-admit, sometimes, not join HBS despite its unmatched brand equity.