Beware The Urban Legends of MBA Admissions

True of False? 

1.  You increase your chances of admission to an MBA program if you get a famous person to write your letter of recommendation. 

2.  Being admitted from the waitlist means that you’re a “second-class” student.

3.  If you are 29, you’re too old to get an MBA.

4.  Don’t let an MBA program know which schools you are applying to, because they could negatively influence your applications at the other schools. 


1. False

2. False

3. False

4. False

Yes, all false. And yet, these are very common fears of MBA applicants. I call them the Urban Legends of MBA Admissions.” Well-meaning MBA applicants and others pass around these statements as fact. MBA Admissions offices frequently receive these questions in their email in-boxes. 

Many applicants view the MBA admissions process as a mysterious process fraught with dire pitfalls. In reality, each MBA admissions team is working strategically to admit and yield the group of MBA applicants that best fit the goals of their institution. Every school knows how many applicants and admits they need in order to meet their target (statistically speaking). MBA programs want to admit the best candidates for the right reasons.

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