Acceptance Rates and Yield Rates at Top Business Schools

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Some business schools are more selective than others. Acceptance rate and yield rate are the two metrics that convey the selectivity index of a business school. First, let’s understand what these two terms mean.

Acceptance rate – It is the ratio of the number of admissions offers made by the business school and the total number of applications.

Yield rate – It is the ratio of the number of admissions offers accepted (students who enroll in the MBA program) and the total number of admission offers made by the business school.

acceptance rate and yield rate of business schools

Acceptance rate helps you decide what are your chances of getting an admission offer from your target business school. The yield rate helps you understand the probability of converting the waitlist to an offer. If the yield rate of the business school where you have been waitlisted is high then the probability of getting an admission offer decreases.

Acceptance rate and Yield rate of top 50 business schools (2016-2021)

Here is the total data on acceptance rates for the top 50 business schools from 2016 to 2021:

Data2021202020192018201720162-Year Trend6-Year Trend
Acceptance Rate18.4%22.3%19.7%17.2%16.0%14.5%-4.0 (17.9%)3.9 (26.9%)
Applications57,97557,18750,43953,90757,31154,694788 (1.4%)3,281 (6.0%)
Admits9,48411,3248,6648,3978,3097,934-1,840 (16.2%)1,550 (19.5%)
Enrolled5,4595,5005,3615,4465,3495,100-41 (0.7%)359 (7.0%)
Yield57.6%48.6%61.9%64.9%64.4%64.3%9 (18.5%)-6.7 (10.4%)

The acceptance rates of the top 50 business schools increased for the 2020 admissions because of the uncertainty created after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. It jumped to 22.3% in 2020 from 19.7% in 2019. 

Even though the applications and offers increased in 2020, the yield rate dropped significantly from 61.9% in 2019 to 48.6% in 2020.

However, as the global economy improved in 2021 so did the interest in attending business schools. This is evident from the yield rate which improved from 48.6% in 2022 to 57.6% in 2021. It is also expected to improve in subsequent years.

Now that you have an understanding of the top 50 business schools’ acceptance rates and yield rates, let’s now take a look at the acceptance rates and yield rates of individual business schools.

Acceptance rates and yield rates of business schools

S. No.Business SchoolAcceptance Rate 2021Yield 2021Applications 2021Admits 2021Enrolled 2021 (Class of 2023)Acceptance Rate 2020Yield 2020Acceptance Rate 2019Yield 2019Acceptance Rate 2018Yield 2018
1Stanford GSB6.2%93.6%7,3674554267.2%82.3%6.7%84.2%6.3%85.3%
2MIT (Sloan)12.1%52.4%7,11285945022.0%34.7%11.5%69.5%12.1%60.6%
3Harvard Business School12.5%82.7%9,7731,2221,01012.0%65.6%12.0%89.0%11.0%90.0%
4Columbia15.7%64.8%6,53594861416.2%69.2%19.1%67.2%17.0%73.5%
5UC-Berkeley (Haas)17.6%43.0%3,84167729123.3%38.5%17.7%46.3%12.0%49.4%
6Wharton18.2%67.0%7,3381,33889725.0%51.2%22.0%66.0%20.6%66.9%
7Duke (Fuqua)19.2%61.8%3,76272344725.0%48.7%22.9%56.8%22.0%55.1%
8NYU (Stern)19.5%46.7%3,95877136028.7%29.9%26.1%39.1%23.0%42.2%
9Michigan (Ross)20.2%49.3%4,00380839837.0%37.6%31.0%45.6%27.0%49.0%
10Chicago (Booth)22.6%54.4%5,0371,14062022.0%57.5%22.5%59.5%22.9%60.1%
11USC (Marshall)23.0%39.3%2,41855521824.3%28.3%29.9%37.7%28.0%38.8%
12Yale SOM23.6%38.2%3,87791434929.7%34.1%25.2%42.8%20.0%45.0%
13Northwestern (Kellogg)26.0%42.2%4,6321,20550820.0%48.1%26.0%48.0%20.7%51.6%
14Dartmouth (Tuck)29.5%40.5%2,46372629434.8%37.4%34.5%40.5%22.7%48.2%
15Cornell (Johnson)29.5%49.0%2,10562030439.6%39.4%38.3%48.0%33.0%52.7%
16CMU (Tepper)29.7%39.6%1,96358323127.4%24.6%41.5%36.8%35.0%41.0%
17UCLA (Anderson)29.8%40.5%3,08591937235.3%35.6%26.0%49.2%24.3%43.3%
18Virginia (Darden)29.9%38.4%3,05891335135.6%38.1%36.3%42.5%32.9%45.3%
19Indiana (Kelley)31.5%42.4%1,17337015742.7%29.6%49.4%37.4%38.0%44.7%
20Washington (Foster)35.2%42.7%83929512641.3%32.0%36.0%38.9%35.0%38.1%
21Texas-Austin (McCombs)35.5%36.1%2,10274727037.0%33.3%38.0%35.1%34.0%37.9%
22Rice (Jones)42.0%48.9%86736417839.5%49.3%37.3%45.9%39.0%51.3%
23Vanderbilt (Owen)44.0%35.7%1,15951018246.3%32.8%58.7%36.8%61.0%41.1%
24UNC (Kenan-Flagler)44.3%44.7%1,49466229650.6%35.6%52.9%36.0%46.0%34.1%
25Georgetown (McDonough)48.1%36.2%1,62678228357.0%29.2%60.5%33.5%55.0%33.6%
26Emory (Goizueta)53.1%34.0%91548616546.1%29.5%44.0%32.7%37.0%36.3%

Let’s take a look at the class size, acceptance rates, and yield rates of top business schools from 2019 to 2021

Acceptance rates of top business schools (2019 to 2021)

S. No.SchoolAcceptance Rate 2021Acceptance Rate 2020Acceptance Rate 2019
1Stanford GSB6.2%8.9%6.7%
2MIT (Sloan)12.1%21.9%11.5%
3Harvard Business School12.5%9.2%12.0%
4Columbia15.7%13.6%19.1%
5UC-Berkeley (Haas)17.6%23.3%17.7%
6Wharton18.2%23.1%22.0%
7Duke (Fuqua)19.2%24.9%22.9%
8NYU (Stern)19.5%29.0%26.1%
9Michigan (Ross)20.2%37.0%31.0%
10Chicago (Booth)22.6%27.6%22.5%
11USC (Marshall)23.0%24.3%29.9%
12Yale SOM23.6%29.7%25.2%
13Northwestern (Kellogg)26.0%27.9%26.0%
14Dartmouth (Tuck)29.5%34.8%34.5%
15Cornell (Johnson)29.5%39.6%38.3%
16Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)29.7%27.7%41.5%
17UCLA (Anderson)29.8%34.4%26.0%
18Virginia (Darden)29.9%35.1%36.3%
19Indiana (Kelley)31.5%42.7%49.4%
20Washington (Foster)35.2%41.3%36.0%
21Texas (McCombs)35.5%36.9%38.0%
22Rice (Jones)42.0%39.5%37.3%
23Vanderbilt (Owen)44.0%46.3%58.7%
24UNC (Kenan-Flagler)44.3%52.5%52.9%
25Georgetown (McDonough)48.1%56.9%60.5%
26Emory (Goizueta)53.1%46.1%44.0%

Class size of top business schools (2019-2021)

S. No.Business SchoolEnrolled 2021 (Class of 2023)Enrolled 2020 (Class of 2022)Enrolled 2019 (Class of 2021)3-Year Trend
1Harvard Business School1,01073293872
2Wharton89791685542
3Chicago (Booth)62062159327
4Columbia614782754-140
5Northwestern (Kellogg)50855947434
6MIT (Sloan)45048441634
7Duke (Fuqua)44740839552
8Stanford GSB4264364179
9Michigan (Ross)398358422-24
10UCLA (Anderson)37236034329
11NYU (Stern)3603173591
12Virginia (Darden)35140933813
13Yale SOM3493503454
14Cornell (Johnson)30429228222
15UNC (Kenan-Flagler)29634425244
16Dartmouth (Tuck)29428928410
17UC-Berkeley (Haas)2913312838
18Georgetown (McDonough)2832472758
19Texas (McCombs)27024226010
20Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)23114120031
21USC (Marshall)2182172144
22Vanderbilt (Owen)18218214735
23Rice (Jones)17818010771
24Emory (Goizueta)16514514718
25Indiana (Kelley)1579213720
26Washington (Foster)1261101179

Yield rates of top business schools (2019-2021)

S. No. Business SchoolYield 2021Yield 2020Yield 2019
1Stanford GSB93.6%67.0%84.2%
2Harvard Business School82.7%85.2%89.0%
3Penn (Wharton)67.0%55.4%66.0%
4Columbia64.8%69.2%67.2%
5Duke (Fuqua)61.8%48.7%56.8%
6Chicago (Booth)54.4%45.8%59.5%
7MIT (Sloan)52.4%34.7%69.5%
8Michigan (Ross)49.3%37.6%45.6%
9Cornell (Johnson)49.0%39.4%48.0%
10Rice (Jones)48.9%49.3%45.9%
11NYU (Stern)46.7%29.9%39.1%
12UNC (Kenan-Flagler)44.7%35.6%36.0%
13UC-Berkeley (Haas)43.0%38.4%46.3%
14Washington (Foster)42.7%32.0%38.9%
15Indiana (Kelley)42.4%29.6%37.4%
16Northwestern (Kellogg)42.2%34.5%48.0%
17Dartmouth (Tuck)40.5%37.4%40.5%
18UCLA (Anderson)40.5%35.6%49.2%
19Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)39.6%24.6%36.8%
20USC (Marshall)39.3%28.3%37.7%
21Virginia (Darden)38.4%38.1%42.5%
22Yale SOM38.2%34.1%42.8%
23Georgetown (McDonough)36.2%29.3%33.5%
24Texas (McCombs)36.1%33.3%35.1%
25Vanderbilt (Owen)35.7%32.8%36.8%
26Emory (Goizueta)34.0%29.5%32.7%

FAQs

Which business school had the lowest acceptance rate in 2021?

Stanford GSB had the lowest acceptance rate of 6.2% in 2021

What is Acceptance rate?

Acceptance rate is the ratio of the number of admissions offers made by the business school and the total number of applications.

What is Yield rate?

Yield rate is the ratio of the number of admissions offers accepted (students who enroll in the MBA program) and the total number of admission offers made by the business school.

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