For Chinese and Indian MBA Applicants, It’s Time to Step it Up

Fact: The number of MBA applicants coming from China and India is up.
Fact: The number of MBA admissions for applicants coming from China and India is down.

According to last year’s application and acceptance data, several schools are reporting that although international students make up a large percentage of their total applicants, most of them are getting rejected.

…. Not the best news, eh?

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

70% of Washington-Olin’s 1,490 applicants were international, yet only 35% of the accepted class is made up of international students. Unfortunately, the same type of trends showed up in the data for Duke-Fuqua, MIT Sloan, Michigan-Ross, and Purdue-Krannert as well.

Even more alarming, the data also showed that Chinese and Indian applicants were 4-5 times more likely to be turned down compared to applicants from Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the rest of the world!

So… what now? Should Indian and Chinese applicants give up? Forget about an MBA? Continue doing what they’re doing?

I don’t think so, friends.

Look, the facts aren’t fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Instead, use this information to your advantage and step up your game. Be smart and do what you have to do to show the adcom why you deserve to be part of that tiny 35%.

And here’s how you do it:

For one, it means honing those English language skills. Just like during your interview, international applicants have to overcome that language barrier and convince admissions that they can read, write, and speak English just as well as any domestic applicant. It’s as simple as that. So brush up on your writing skills, send your essays to native English speakers for review, and practice your spoken English so it doesn’t become a red flag for your interviewer. Your goal is to make sure admissions reps can understand you AND communicate with you effectively.

And the other important part of the puzzle: make your essays STAND OUT. This is something we tell our clients every day. Don’t just answer the essay prompts; do so in a way that lures the reader in, holds their attention, and gets them EXCITED about you. Approach them like you’re writing STORIES and not answering essay questions. Do you know how many generic “This is what matters most to me and why” essays those adcoms will read? We do. A lot. And you don’t want to be just another boring, generic essay. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you better pack some major punch and load those pages up with impressive statistics, vivid imagery and well-thought out plans for your future.

Data and acceptance trends are constantly changing, but instead of giving up, focus all of your energy into making your application the kind they can’t turn down, no matter where you’re coming from. Show admissions that you are NOT just another international applicant, but one they can’t be without.

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