Kelley School of Business – Acceptance Rate, Ranking, and More

When one thinks about great graduate American graduate schools, institutions on the two coasts leap to mind, perhaps Harvard Business School or the Stanford School of Business. 

But anyone who skips over the Midwest runs the risk of missing some of the best and most affordable business schools. 

Founded in 1920, the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University at Bloomington regularly sits among the 25 best business schools in the country. 

Over the years, several outstanding business leaders have joined the faculty at Kelley, including the editor-in-chief of Small Business Economics, David B. Audretsch, and former Bureau of Economics Director Michael Baye. 

At the heart of the Kelley School is the 180,000 sq. ft. Godfrey Center. Godfrey provides classroom and office space for most of Kelley’s classes, as well as a home for faculty members and administrative support that drives the school. 

Crucially, the Godfrey Center also features state-of-the-art technology, which prepares students to take their place on the global business stage. 

In addition to its high-speed internet and videoconferencing capabilities, the Godfrey Center offers a trading room, which has all of the information one would find in the best Wall Street firms. These resources allow students to gain hands-on experience with watching and analyzing market fluctuations. 

All of this and more, sitting not in Los Angeles or New York, but in the heart of Indiana. 

Kelley School of Business Acceptance Rate

Indiana University Kelley School of Business
Jeff Hart, Kelley School of Business, CC BY 2.0

As a respected business school in one of the best schools in the Midwest, the Kelley School of Business receives many applications each year. For that reason, the majority of those who apply for entrance into the school are rejected instead of accepted.

According to statistics from the school, approximately 500 people apply to Kelley every year. Out of that group, only 186 are given offers of admission. That’s an acceptance rate of just 38%. 

Without question, that’s a very small percentage, which might discourage some applicants. However, the number is actually quite unrestrictive for high-level business schools. 

For example, although the Sloan School of Business at MIT received 5,798 students who applied to join the program In 2017, it accepted only 11.5%. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business has an acceptance rate of just 19.2%, while the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business has a low 20.8% acceptance rate. 

When looked at this way, it’s clear that the Kelley School is one of the better bets for students who want to be accepted into a top-ranking business school. 

This isn’t to say that acceptance is easy or guaranteed, only that it is more possible there than it is elsewhere. 

Kelley School of Business Tuition

Higher education tends to be quite expensive. That’s particularly true of graduate school, especially a reputable institution like the Kelley School of Business. 

The top-flight faculty and reputable business connections that one expects in a school of this quality cost quite a bit of money. 

According to figures provided by the school, Indiana students should expect to pay $54,318 each year to attend Kelley. Out-of-state students should plan on $78,658 for every year. 

At the core of that figure is $28,143 yearly in in-state tuition and $52,483 yearly in out-of-state tuition. 

To be sure, that’s a great deal of money. But it is in fact quite a bit cheaper than many other schools of equal caliber. 

For example, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business costs $77,500 in annual tuition, and the Harvard Business School costs $73,440 in yearly tuition. 

Furthermore, the numbers provided by the Kelley School offer plenty of room for revision, which can lower the overall cost. 

For example, the school estimates that students will pay $14,904 each year in room and board and $2,958 in transportation. 

Students can save money in these categories by taking specific measures. If a student can live at home or live with roommates, they will be able to lower the cost of living significantly. 

Likewise, carpooling or biking to campus can minimize transportation expenses. 

Whatever options are available to students, the fact remains that the Kelley School of Business is among the most affordable of the top-rated business schools in the nation. 

Kelley School of Business Requirements

Although the Kelley School accepts a far higher percentage of students than many other schools of its quality, the fact is that acceptance isn’t guaranteed. While they may take 38% of their applicants, hundreds are turned away each year. 

There are several things one can do to increase the chances of admission, starting with understanding application requirements.

At its core, Kelley looks for applicants who have an aptitude for algebra and organization. They see evidence for these things in the essays students must submit, and in the grade point average they bring to the application. 

Although the school does not have a minimum GPA requirement, its students tend to have an average of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale

While that means that successful applicants can earn Bs in a few classes, most of their grades must be in the A range. 

In most cases, students must also submit their scores on one of two standardized tests. 

One of those tests is the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). The GMAT measures specific competencies that students will bring to their studies at business school. It focuses on skills such as quantitative reasoning, analytical thinking, and verbal strength. 

The other is the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations). The GRE is more general than the GMAT, but it also identifies key competencies needed for successful business school students. These competencies include both verbal and quantitative reasoning, as well as writing and critical thinking. 

Kelley School of Business Notable Alumni

Nobody judges the quality of a school by the fame achieved by their graduates. But by looking at the successes of those who were trained at the school, observers can see how that school prepares its students for greatness. 

Perhaps the most famous graduate of the Kelley School is Marc Cuban, one of the richest people in the world and the owner of several companies, including the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. 

Cuban earned his BS in Management from Kelley in 1981 but launched multiple ventures while still in school. Since then, Cuban has founded businesses such as Audionet and and continues to help fund startups around the world. 

After earning an MBA from Kelley, Deepender Hooda launched a career in Indian politics. When he joined Parliament in Lok Sabha from Rohtak in 2005, Hooda was India’s youngest politician. Currently, Hooda represents Haryana as a member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha. 

When Mauricio Tohen earned his MBA from Kelley in 2000, he already held an MD from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a DPsych Diploma in Psychiatric Research from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. 

With these esteemed credentials, Tohen has a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of New Mexico.

Kelley School of Business Ranking

There is a reason that hundreds of people apply to study at the Kelley School each year. And, believe it or not, that reason is not just the aforementioned group of excellent businessmen and politicians that it has trained. 

Rather, so many people want to study at Kelley because it is one of the highest-ranked business schools in the United States. 

According to Fortune Education, the Kelley School is the 21st best business school in the world, beating out the schools at Rice University, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. puts the school in the 26th spot, right above the business schools at the Universities of Florida and Maryland. 

While all of these outlets have their value, the most trusted is the magazine U.S. News & World Report. Because of its thorough research and comprehensive ranking matrix, U.S. News has become the standard in judging the quality of a school. 

For that reason, it carries a great deal of weight when U.S. News ranks the Kelley School as the 23rd best business school in the country. Furthermore, the magazine puts the Kelley School in 11th place on its lists of schools for accounting and marketing and gives it 10th place for its part-time MBA program. 

Should You Attend Kelley School of Business?

It’s hard to argue that anyone interested in a career in business or politics should not apply to Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. As we’ve seen, the school has already trained one of the world’s wealthiest business leaders and numerous successful corporate leaders. Anyone would be happy to follow in these grand footsteps. 

Beyond its famous names, the Kelley School has been proven to be one of the best schools in the country, falling among the top twenty-five in the United States in lists compiled by the most trusted outlets. 

The even better news? Kelley is far more affordable than many of its peers, and it even tends to accept more applicants than most other schools of its caliber. 

All of that said, there is a reason that students may be wary about applying. After all, more than 70% of those who attempt to gain acceptance into the school are denied. 

The school expects high grades, good test scores, and excellent application materials from everyone who plans to join them, and some might not be ready for that commitment. 

But for those ready to take on the challenge, the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University will be well worth the effort for anyone prepared to join the world of business leaders.