The AdComm knows that applicants want to put their best foot forward and as a result, many resist asking us questions that they think may detract from their candidacy. Instead, they ask questions that are clearly best answered by the Admissions Committee to our students, our alumni, admissions consultants or even other applicants. I was at an info session recently where one of the attendees said, "I have a question for one of the alumni: what is the admissions committee looking for in the interviews?" I was standing up there alongside ten alumni and couldn't resist interjecting that I might be able to provide a good perspective on that.
Similarly, I've seen candidates pose questions on online forums about our essays or our process, and fellow forum participants, none of whom are Admissions Committee members, weigh in on what they think the answer might be. We've also seen admissions consultants try to give guidance on answering our essay questions based on their interpretation of what we're looking for.
To all those seeking an answer to what they're afraid might be seen as a "dumb question," I encourage you to email us directly (RossMBA@umich.edu) to get answers straight from the makers of the questions and the process. We try our best to answer every question, and if there is a question that seems to be asked frequently, I will post the question and a response here or in our newsletter (if it requires a lengthier, more detailed response).
So here's a paraphrased question from a participant in the online chat we did with accepted.com yesterday (the transcript will be available next week): "I've heard that Ross weights a GPA more heavily than the GMAT. Is that true and what if my GPA is low?" Answer: Not true. Don't fret about your GPA; it's too late to remedy that. BUT, there are ways you can demonstrate your academic ability in general, and your quantitative skills in particular (e.g., you work(ed) in a quantitative field, you took a post-undergraduate course in a quantitative subject, you scored very well on the GMAT, especially the quant section, etc.) Bottom line is that a lower than average GPA will not eliminate you from consideration.
Feel free to send your questions our way! We hope to make the process as transparent and stress-free as an application process can be.