A Businessweek article reveals MBA admissions committees’ methods of tracking the interest showed by a candidate and the influence on his or her admission chances. For example, Fuqua Business School at Duke uses special software to trail the interest showed by the candidate for the program, specifically pointing out whether the candidate sent emails to the admission committee, how many times the candidate attended school events, etc. Other schools use even more sophisticated software to calculate data such as which candidates underwent alumni interviews or requested information about the program.  This data is calculated along with grades and essays to form the candidate’s profile and affects the committee’s decision.

This information influences the candidate’s admission chances since the admission committee wants to identify which candidates really want to get accepted, meaning the school prefers to accept a candidate who will in fact register for the program if accepted. This improves yield, so important for a school’s prestige. Chicago and Kellogg also began using similar software, marketed to maximize yield since applicants generally apply to a number of programs and often do not register at programs that accept them.

It is important to note that some schools claim that this data is not a significant factor in admissions decisions. Berkeley and MIT do not use such software to track candidates’ interest.

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)