Monthly Archives: October 2013

October 9, 2013

Trends in MBA Admissions

Selecting students for admission into a competitive and prestigious MBA program is no easy feat. In order to effectively evaluate applicants, the admissions offices draw upon a wide variety of data, including applications, essays, interviews, and test scores. Programs are constantly looking for ways to improve their admissions procedures by streamlining the process, vigorously screening applicants, and by searching for the subtle personality qualities that make an applicant stand out.

Trend #1: Smart Data, Smart Decision Making with AMP

  • Analyze data with data reporting tools to compare applicants.
  • AMP is a college admissions software built specifically to handle complex admissions processes. Originally developed for medical admissions, it is an extremely flexible product that can be customized for your existing processes.
  • AMP can handle complex admissions procedures such as Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI), interview scheduling, committee evaluations, and applicant screening.
  • AMP’s powerful custom reporting tool means that you’ll be able to generate statistics to better evaluate your applicants and more efficiently narrow the pool to only the most promising prospects.

Trend #2: Evaluating Ethics with Turnitin

  • Turnitin.com is an online tool commonly used by professors to screen submitted papers for plagiarism. It has also proven useful for screening application essays in the admissions office.
  • Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal School of Business used Turnitin during the 2012-2013 admissions season and subsequently rejected 48 applicants because of plagiarism. At the UCLA Anderson School of Management, 15 applicants were rejected as a result of plagiarism.
  • Especially in an MBA program, ethical decision-making is a very important quality in a strong applicant.

Trend #3: Rethink the essay question

  • Several MBA programs are getting personal & creative when it comes to their evaluation criteria. These unorthodox methods put the applicant in an unexpected situation, catching them off guard. Then, the admissions office can better evaluate an applicant’s personality and grace under pressure.
  • At Chicago Booth’s MBA program, they allow applicants to submit a 4 slide powerpoint presentation instead of a traditional essay response.
  • Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business challenged applicants to tweet a reason why they want to attend the school’s MBA program.
  • The University of Toronto’s Rotman School has replaced a traditional written essay question with a 90-second video interview. “We wanted to know more about the personality and passions of our applicants”, explains Niki da Silva, Rotman’s Director of Admissions. “Candidates were picking out keywords from our website for their essays, and we felt that we were losing in authenticity.”

With abundant resources, here are many ways to improve the performance of your admissions office.

Has your school implemented any new evaluation methods?