AdmitMBA360 Blog formerly Journey to my MBA

Journey to my MBA

Friday, September 01, 2006

International Applicants: If you're not 1st class, BEWARE!

I was fielding a question for an applicant from India who was planning on applying to UCLA Anderson. He pointed out to me some interesting language on the application requirements section that stated something about how applicants from India could only apply if they graduated from 1st class. This seemed rather restrictive and unbelievable to me. So I decided to invest some time and inquire about it at the Admissions office directly for him. Here is what I found out.

Applicants from India:

Those with Bachelors Degree must have graduated in their 1st class to apply. (In other words, 2nd and 3rd class graduates are OUT OF LUCK).

Those who have a Masters Degree such as in Math or some other non MBA degree must have graduated either 1st or 2nd class.

Here's an interesting work around though.... if you graduated in 2nd class from Undergraduate, then went on to graduate 2nd class in a Masters Degree, you would be eligable to apply to UCLA's Anderson School of Business.

|| Make sure that your college record meets ||
|| the application requirements!!!!!!! ||

Scan your prospective school web sites, call or e-mail the MBA Admissions office of the schools you're interested. This is quite a serious matter.

Don't just assume that any above average acadamic record will do and that an 800 GMAT score will overcome it. In the case of UCLA, it doesn't. Well, perhaps if you talked to them and you had a 780 GMAT score, they might make an exception. Who knows.

Best wishes on your apps everyone...


Blogger -tvu said...

That is some stiff requirements for the applicants from India.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tvu, you are kidding right ? It's hardly a big deal to get a 1st class in India.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Wanna Be Dictator said...

you're talking about requirements for just UCLA i assume...

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These days schools distribute grades like candies. 10 years back 1st Class was hard to come, 20-30 years back only the top 5% of the class got a 1st Class. An Indian student without a Ist Class ( post 1995) is either really dumb or a lazy ass ( Good reasons for stopping them from applying to top US B schools). (ofcourse there are exceptions and schools acknowledge those).

7:34 AM  
Blogger aminoglycoside said...

as hypocritical as it gets....why not have the same qualifying rules for everyone? he who has the best gmat scores, essays, work experience gets the covetted just goes on to prove that these folks are still not sure if they suffice as indicators and need to dwelve into ur past!

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say, you are wrong here. I have seen guys who have not got even 50%, but got into LBS/ISB/ SAID/melbourne/ucla/kellogg....

What every Institute looks for in a student is HIS/her PORTABLE SKILLS etc.

Although the majority of students have a very good degree,but there are various circumstances that can prevent a person from obtaining one, such as training for a professional qualification or setting up own business. This is one of the reasons institutes have so many admissions requirements, and when an applicant is missing a key part of the admission criteria, they would be looking for them to be exceptional in
other areas.

As they want to build the class of most promising students in terms of intellectual distinction and professional merit.this judgment on the totality of information available. No single factor – whether your college performance, essay, GMAT score, interview, letter of reference, or work experience – is decisive. Every college consider each application individually and holistically, and take into account factors such as one's background, experiences, perspectives, fit with the School and its MBA program, aspirations, values, and accomplishments.

They evaluate each applicant in the context of the application year and are guided especially by the three primary admission criteria of intellectual vitality, demonstrated leadership potential, and personal qualities and contributions. Therefore, an applicant's chances of admission vary year to year depending on the applicant pool at the time of submission. Every univ. expect such candidates to have alternative professional
qualifications and/or outstanding work credential. They also look at the GMAT more closely as an indicator of academic ability.

So Any applicant who feels that he or she is a competitive candidate can apply anywhere.........

Your enthusiasm and determination in your pursuit of an MBA would certainly be an asset to your application!

Best Regards

Ankur Chawla

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any applicant who feels that he or she is a competitive candidate can apply anywhere......(even without holding a good degree)

6:01 PM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

Ankur and anonymous,
Glad you made a reply. They're always appreciated because I like all views to be represented. In this case, I hear and understand all that you've said. However.... Ankur. What I said about the 1st class requirements are not up for debate at UCLA. I talked with the Admissions committee staff and Sr Associate Director. This is a solid requirement that is NOT up for debate. It was actually set up by the Graduate Academic Division of UCLA. That is the reason for my posting. There is NO fairness on this issue. Either you meet the requirement before being evaluated or not.

I think it's unfair and I wanted people to know that I think it's unfair. But more importantly, I wanted people to know that other schools might have similiar requirements that we don't know about up front. So I'm asking everyone to just do their homework before applying. That's all.

Please be advised that this is not an opinion on my Blog that I've expressed. I believe that I was incredibly clear in my posting that this was fact. Please re-read either my Blog entry or my comment reply.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Nat4mba said...

Dave, for non-Indian people, can you please explain what is 1st Class?

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is how it generally works in India:

Above 70% or 75%: First Class with Distinction

Between 60% & 70/75% : First Class

Between 50% and 60%: Second Class

Below 50% but not failed: Pass Class

Failed: Fail Class
While it is true that a HUGE majority of Indian students achieve at least a 1st Class, unfortunately the Indian education testing system is rubbish. So a lot of "smart" people end up with shitty marks.

This is unfortunate behaviour by UCLA.

4:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCLA saying that they want 1st class is not enough. It depends on the school. There are many schools in India where it's easy to get a first class and there are places where it still means something to get a 1st class.

Also, Indian colleges don't give cumulative grades. So does UCLA mean 1st all four years or just in the final year.

I started as a second class student in India and got a university rank in the final year. Many companies didn't allow me to participate in on-capmus interviews because I had a second class in the first year. So I went to grad school in the US and now work for a fortune 50 comany and have had a great career so far...

10:47 AM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

It's what you graduate with overall. My instructions that I relayed did say that it matters what you graduated with right? What you got in your 1st year of college and then your 2nd year of college doesn't matter. Why would you even ask such a question?

I give up. I'm so done with this thread. Seriously... if you are still vague on any of this then contact UCLA. They'll just tell you what I'm saying.

The number one rule on any Business School Application is to follow directions. Every Admissions Director has very serious words for those who don't listen to what is being said on the instructions. This thread is such a wonderful example of why they would make this such a big issue.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many B-schools are unsure about the Indian undergrad thing. For the lesser informed,

1) In Bombay University, people getting 60% in Sciences / Engineering is definitely above average. atleast 85% of student body have less than 60% on 4-year average score.
About 90% students re-take atleast one exam in their four years - Although marked fail, they don't have to re-take the course; Only exam is re-taken.

2)In Bangalore Univ, anyone having less than 70% on 4-yr avg is termed dumb.

Even firms like Microsoft take "Average Joe" from Bangalore but not a brilliant guy from Bombay. Same goes with many B-schools.

Exceptions are H/S/W, Purdue and a few other schools where they understand this disparity.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

Thanks for your comment anonymous and for giving more detail about what really happens inside the walls of India.

I have to respectfully ask though. "Why is this so confusing to understand?" This is not a bizarre or a swap meet in India. There is NO room for negotiation in what UCLA's position is. Do you really think that they don't have any Indian's in their alumni? Do you really think that they are that naive? This is one of the top GLOBAL... not U.S. Business Schools.

Like any organization of people. They make mistakes. But this is not a mistake of whoops.. I forgot to consider this or I forgot to consider that type of thing! This is a decision on who can apply or not. PERIOD. No negotiation. No debate. No commentary allowed.

It's sort of like saying that if you get less than 450 on the GMAT, you don't qualify to apply. That's all. It's not that hard to understand.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bangalore Univ, anyone having less than 70% on 4-yr avg is termed dumb!!!

WOW____ Whoever said that?
I am HBS admit with 64% average of 4 years and 75% in the final year of which my degree is based on!!!
(1996 graduate)

Dont shout too hard else HBS will take away my admit...
Anonymous- stop make such statements!!!

7:21 PM  
Blogger suren said...

Dave I am a student from India. I received my degree from a top ten university in India. However the degree was a five year integrated Masters ie I joined the program right after my schooling. I am first class with distinction in my class, however I am neither 1st or 2nd in my class. I am worried as to how Anderson school will view my degree and whether my chances will be affected because I am not in the 1st or 2nd position in my class

11:30 PM  

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