Inside and Behind the Numbers of Another Amazing Michigan Ross BBA Class

The Michigan Ross Winter Garden with a lot of students walking around.

Fall is a great time to be at the University of Michigan for all the obvious reasons. The campus teems with activity from football in the Big House to local cider mills, and so much more in downtown Ann Arbor. For me and my team, it’s also a great time to reflect upon this year’s admissions cycle and share some admissions insights on the most recent cohort of Michigan Ross BBA students. My goal with this blog is to provide transparency and clarity. 

Inside the Numbers

For the fall 2023 admission cycle, our application volume for our first-year process was approximately 9,210 applications, which is up from 8,680 in 2022. We saw increases in female applicants and students with racially diverse identities. These are very exciting outcomes for our team and they reflect positively on our goal to continue increasing the diversity of our applicant pool.

Admission offers
We admitted 818 applicants this year. This is lower than the 860 applicants we admitted in 2022. We admitted fewer in hopes of not over-enrolling our incoming class due to our high-yield rate. We seek to enroll a class of 500 first-year students, and last year, we enrolled 546. Thus, we decided to give fewer admission offers to get back to our target class of 500. Our yield formula worked, as we enrolled a class of 502 students this year.

Enrollment profile
The official class profile is available on our website. I am happy to report that we have again seen an increase in the number of students with racially minoritized identities enrolling in the BBA program. For the entering class of 2023, 23% identify themselves as Black, Hawaiian, Hispanic, or Native American. Additionally, Asian students make up 32% of our enrolled population.

We still have a long way to go with parity, but the incoming class of students is moving our community in the right direction with our focus on BBA Student Diversity and creating an inclusive learning environment.

Behind the Numbers

For the Michigan Ross BBA admissions process, the qualitative information we gather about your learning and the self-reflection of that learning is very important when making final admissions decisions. Quantifying these data points is not easy, and perhaps that is why we do not see a lot of transparency related to qualitative data. However, I believe sharing this information can be helpful to give a full picture of our incoming class and what we look for in applicants.

So let’s dig into the 2023 qualitative data from a few applications and highlight a few exceptional samples for each. Remember these are just a few examples - we want you to pull from your own experiences when you apply to Michigan Ross.

Over the years, applicants have shown an increased interest in sustainable business practices. One of our enrolled students shared that they work with a local non-profit to raise oysters in their community which has begun to improve the local water quality. The student took an oceanography course at their local university and realized their desire to make an impact. Our readers really appreciate when a student can take initiative to combine their passions and problem-solving ability.

Applicants are getting more experiences within their high schools or local universities to ideate and develop business plans or product ideas. And while you certainly do not need to start a business or pitch an idea to get into Ross, we are starting to see value in students that engage in the process. One enrolled student won a teen pitch competition through Grand Valley State University and was able to share their learning through that process.

Community Organizer
As a society, there are big issues that we must grapple with and address to be engaged citizens. We have seen an increase in applicants that are sharing their voice and perspective on issues related to social justice and positive change. One such example that resounded with our readers was a protest that a student organized in her town. The applicant shared a powerful photo of her protest and how she was able to use her voice to push for change. It is not always about the topic of the protest, but the fact that as a student you are beginning to develop a deeper awareness of who you are, what values you have, and what you want to stand for. Additionally, the student coordinated with multiple local businesses to support her mission.

Community Service and Social Innovation    
Our students are committed to helping others, and it is encouraging to see this reign true in our applicant pool as well. Enrolled students have spent countless hours volunteering in their communities. In particular, one student created a free tutoring service for students with hearing loss or unique hearing needs which  has now become an official non-profit and serves young students around the globe. Another student ran a vaccine information project in their community to combat misinformation. Many students went above and beyond the traditional volunteer commitment to provide a solution when a problem arose.

Small Businesses
I again want to state that starting a business is not a requirement to get into business school. And it is quite rare in the admissions process! What we do see are the skills that students learn through small business endeavors, or services that they provide. From lawn mowing businesses to babysitting services, and the popular sneaker resale businesses, we see applicants showing initiative in something that interests them, while also gaining skills related to management, sales, and marketing. 

Important Takeaways from these Qualitative Data Points 
What can be taken away from these experiences is that our Michigan Ross BBA admissions process looks at more than just the numbers that are provided in an application. We are looking for experiences that show leadership, contribution to community, initiative, creative thinking, empathy, and collaboration, to name a few. We are also looking for actual demonstrations of what students can do in real-world situations that relate to what they may have learned in their high school curriculum. The University of Michigan often uses the tagline “Leaders and Best”, and at Michigan Ross we truly believe that we are preparing the next generation of leaders, and this ability to demonstrate when you are at your best is often found in the qualitative experiences submitted in your Ross Admissions Portfolio.