HBS just released the preliminary profile for the class of 2016. I scoured these profiles when I was applying last year, trying to gleam any hidden trends. It's crazy to think that my data is now included.
There are currently 940 students in the class, and Dee
Leopold expects that number to settle somewhere between 930 to 939,
after summer melt and a few waitlist additions.
For me, the biggest takeaway from this data is that you should never count yourself out. If you want to go to HBS, just give it a shot and apply. There is no guarantee that you'll get in, but there's also no guarantee that you won't. Someone in the class was accepted with a 580 GMAT. If you had asked most admissions consultants or entered that person's data into one of those online admissions chances calculators, I bet the odds would not be in his favor. But somehow, he got in! I think that's pretty amazing. Admissions are truly a holistic process.
Personally, I didn't expect to get accepted. I worked as hard as I could and tried to best position myself for success, but I didn't expect my dream to actually become a reality. I decided to apply, because I knew I would regret it if I didn't; I would always think "what if?" That's part of the reason I went by the username "Defying Gravity." I was hoping I could achieve what seemed to be an unexpected feat, not allowing anything (including my own doubts) to bring me down.
So if you're even considering applying to b-school for the Class of 2017, my advice is to go for it. Keep your expectations reasonable, but don't be afraid to shoot for the stars, because you have the chance of something pretty freakin' amazing happening.