Applying to business schools can be intimidating. What if you don’t get in? Are there any programs you’ll almost definitely be accepted at? If you’re looking for the easiest business schools to get into, look no further.
In this article, I’ll go over what makes an MBA program’s application process less competitive and help you decide whether a less selective business school is right for you. You’ll also find lists of MBA programs with high acceptance rates and the the easiest top MBA programs to get into based on average GPAs and GMAT scores.
What It Means for a Business School to Be “Easy” to Get Into
There are two main factors that contribute to a business school being easy to get into: a high acceptance rate and low GPA and GMAT requirements.
Many MBA programs are highly selective. The average MBA acceptance rate at the top 10 business schools is only 14.5%; the most selective program, at Stanford, admits only 6.1% of applicants each year.
However, you can find plenty of high-quality MBA programs with much higher acceptance rates (all the way up to well over 50%), and where successful applicants regularly have lower GMAT scores and lower average undergraduate GPAs. Whatever your GMAT score or undergraduate GPA, you can most likely find an MBA program where you have a good shot of acceptance.
So where do you find easy business schools to get into?
You can find the average GMAT scores and GPAs of incoming MBA students on a business school’s class profile, and use those to find the easiest MBA programs to get into. Here’s an example from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where the average GMAT of an incoming student is 715 and the middle-80% GPA range is 3.2 to 3.8.
Using recent class profiles, you can find plenty of business schools with high acceptance rates and where the average GPAs and GMAT scores of admitted students aren’t sky-high. This is a great way to find easy MBA programs to get into.
At UT San Antonio Business School, for example, the average undergraduate GPA of incoming students is 3.2, and the average GMAT score is 600. At Cal State University San Bernardino Business School, the average GPA of incoming students is also 3.2, and the average GMAT score is 540.
As you explore potential MBA programs, to find schools that would be easy for you to get into, look for ones where the average GPAs and GMAT scores of incoming students are below yours. Having a higher GMAT score or undergraduate GPA than most of your fellow applicants ups your chances of a successful application.
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Looking at the average GMAT scores and GPAs of students at your prospective business schools is better than simply looking at acceptance rates, because an acceptance rate alone doesn’t give you enough information. A school that might be easy for you to get into because of your GPA and/or GMAT score, for example, might not have an exceptionally high acceptance rate.
Next, let’s take a look at some of the easiest MBA programs to get into: those with the lowest average GMAT scores and GPAs among incoming students.
Easiest Top 50 MBA Programs to Get Into Based on GMAT Score and GPA
Looking for a highly ranked business school, but concerned about a GMAT score or GPA that’s on the lower side? What’s the easiest top MBA program to get into? Here are the 15 easiest business schools to get into out of the top 50 MBA programs (according to Poets&Quants): the first list includes the programs with the lowest average GMAT scores and the second covers those with the lowest average GPAs.
15 Top 50 MBA Programs With the Lowest Average GMAT Scores
|School||Average GMAT Score|
|Texas A&M (Mays)||649|
|Penn State (Smeal)||659|
|Boston College (Carroll)||667|
|Michigan State (Broad)||670|
15 Top 50 MBA Programs With the Lowest Average GPAs
|Boston College (Carroll)||3.20|
|Michigan State (Broad)||3.30|
|Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)||3.30|
|Southern Methodist (Cox)||3.31|
|Southern California (Marshall)||3.37|
|Penn State (Smeal)||3.37|
|Notre Dame (Mendoza)||3.37|
|North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)||3.37|
10 MBA Programs With the Highest Acceptance Rates
Applying to MBA programs with high acceptance rates is a good way to up your chances of admission. Some business schools, regardless of average GPA or GMAT scores, accept a high percentage of the students who apply.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, these are the 10 MBA programs with the highest acceptance rates. If you’re looking for easy MBA programs to get into, you might want to consider the following business schools. Two—the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Tulane University—regularly receive rankings in the top 100 in the U.S. News and World Report.
|University of Colorado—Boulder||74.9%|
|Oklahoma State University||83%|
|Coastal Carolina University||84.1%|
|Appalachian State University||84.4%|
|Missouri University of Science and Technology||84.8%|
|Northern Arizona University||96.2%|
|University of South Florida||100%|
Is a Less Selective Business School Right for You?
It might be tempting to just apply to the easiest business schools to get into, but is a less selective MBA program really right for you? Let’s go over some of the pros and cons of applying to easy business schools to get into.
Benefits of Less Selective Programs
Although less selective programs are usually less popular, there are some real benefits to attending one.
#1: Easier Path to Admission
The biggest pro to applying to easy business schools to get into is, of course, a higher chance you’ll get in! Applying to the easiest business schools to get into means that you don’t have to apply to as many schools, so you’ll save on application fees.
Also, if you’re worried about a low undergraduate GPA or low GMAT score (or don’t want to spend the time and money to take the GMAT again), applying to MBA programs with high acceptance rates will up your chances of admission and be a less stressful waiting game.
Many MBA programs with high acceptance rates boast lower tuition rates than more highly selective ones.
At the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a year’s tuition is $68,868 (and a year of full expenses for a single student living on campus could come to as much as $112,797).
Meanwhile, at the less selective University of Colorado, Boulder, Leeds School of Business, a year of resident tuition is $17,892, while non-resident tuition is $33,300 for a year. Other business schools with high acceptance rates often have similarly low tuition rates and other expenses, leaving you with less debt.
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Easy MBA programs to get into may also offer more scholarships to an applicant with a solid academic record or a high GMAT score. Many low-to-mid ranking MBA programs are looking to move up the ranks in the U.S. News and World Report and other publications, and are willing to provide incentives to especially promising students in the form of funding.
So if you’re one of the top applicants to a less selective school, you’ve got a better shot at a partial or full scholarship, teaching or research assistantship, or fellowship than you would at a more competitive MBA program.
Drawbacks of Less Selective Programs
Unfortunately, just because a program is easier to get into doesn’t necessarily make it the right choice for you. Keep these issues in mind when considering where to apply.
#1: Fewer Recruiting and Networking Opportunities
More selective MBA programs attract more instructors, workshop leaders, and recruiters from top financial firms and other frequent MBA employers (such as Google) than less selective programs do.
Since two of the main reasons students cite for applying for MBA programs is the chance to get recruited for employment and to network with potential colleagues, the fact that especially prestigious employers are usually drawn to more selective MBA programs can be a major downside.
MBA graduates from less selective programs may also have a harder time finding full-time employment right away after they finish their degrees. 100% of Harvard MBA grads are fully employed a year after graduation.
Meanwhile, only 36.4% of full-time MBA grads from the much less selective Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business are fully employed a year after graduating.
#2: Lower Starting Salary After Graduation
While where you get your MBA doesn’t wholly determine your earnings after graduation, a big-name school can help. A less selective MBA program is less likely to snag you a six-figure salary immediately upon graduation, though there are, of course, exceptions.
After earning an MBA at Harvard Business School, a graduate’s average base salary is between $110,000 and $160,000 if they enter the financial services field.
Meanwhile, at Belmont University’s Massey Graduate School of Business, a graduate’s average base salary is $53,000. Your business school’s overall reputation definitely plays a role in whether you get employed and how much you’ll get paid once you do.
Want more info about how your GMAT score measures up to other business school applicants? Our list of average GMAT scores by school will show you where you stand.
Don’t want to take the GMAT at all, but still want to get your MBA? Our list of 67 MBA programs that don’t require the GMAT will help. Many of them are MBA programs with high acceptance rates.