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When Kellogg admissions officers review an application, they evaluate potential students based on six categories. Here, Melissa Rapp, director of admissions for Kellogg’s Full-Time MBA Programs, demystifies what happens once you submit your materials and helps you think about how to formulate the story that will help the Admissions team learn more about you. 



Our goal is to be sure you can handle the rigor in the Kellogg classroom. Your undergraduate GPA, course selection and GMAT score help us assess your readiness. But we’re also invested in finding creative thinkers who can solve problems. Qualitative evidence of intellectual ability is going to come out in your essays, your interview and your recommendations. We truly take a holistic look at our applicants rather than only relying on a number.

Hard numbers like GPA and GMAT scores may seem like make-or-break factors, but one great test score doesn’t tell us nearly as much as seeing that you’ve taken challenging classes or broadened your knowledge base. And because each applicant is an individual, we recognize that someone with a liberal arts background may have different results than someone from an engineering background, but both could be competitive candidates.

We look for applicants who are well-rounded, who have demonstrated academic success, and have strong leadership potential. If your scores or grades cause concern in the evaluation process, we look at other components of your application for evidence you’ve taken steps to develop those skills. That tells us if you’ve taken charge of balancing your skill set. If you believe any of your grades or scores require further explanation, you can use the optional essay to provide context. Standardized test scores are valid for five years, and we accept both the GMAT and GRE for the One-Year, Two-Year and MMM Programs. (JDMBA applicants can only submit a GMAT score.)

For more information about Kellogg’s application components, visit our website.

Melissa Rapp is the Director of Admissions for the Full-Time MBA and MS in Management Studies Programs. Melissa joined the Evanston Admissions team in January 2016 and was previously the Director of Admissions for the Evening & Weekend MBA Program located on Kellogg’s Chicago campus. She has over 15 years of higher education and admissions experience.