Playing the MBA Yield Game

Business schools are a business.  They have budgets, revenue, expenses and most importantly, a target for the number of students they take into the program.  This time of year, the game is afoot. Will you be a beneficiary or a casualty of the yield game?

It’s no secret that schools admit more students into their programs than they have space for, but the actual formula is a black box.  Especially at top schools, there is a fairly reliable percentage of students who say yes to the kind offer of admission, but on the margin, this number becomes tricky for schools to manage. 

The job of admissions director is not an enviable one, because if they admit too many, or if the yield is high, there’s literally no room for all those extra students in the program. 

If hey admit too few, or if the yield is low in any given year, there are empty seats, and lost revenue.  Of course schools are non-profit (at least the legitimate ones are), so while there is no lost shareholder value, having a less than optimal class size can rob the program of necessary funding to make the budget work.

The best way to take advantage of the yield game is simply to submit the best version of your application that you can. 

But this sounds easier than it is. Being competitive, compelling, interesting, impressive, and all those other positive adjectives will essentially make you attractive enough so they want to have you in their class.  Do you know what they’re looking for? Even if you don’t have the highest GMAT score, you want to polish up your story and couch your experience in a way that stands out.  Are you prepared to do this on your own?

This is precisely why your communication and writing is so important. 

Having a message that resonates with the adcoms can consistently put you in the “yes” pile.  Once you are there, it’s up to you, not them.  Schools do not change their mind.  From the most qualified to the “barely in the door” applicants, everyone either says yes or no to their offer of admission.  Even if the school is not clamoring over you with fellowship or scholarship offers, just getting a yes from them will put you in the driver’s seat.  Let us help you position your story in a way that increases these odds.  That’s essentially exactly what we’re here for!

To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at or contact us via