Did you know that obesity can have an impact on graduate school admission? It may seem utterly outlandish but a study published in the journal “Obesity” indicates that applicants who are overweight have a more difficult time getting into graduate schools than do their non-overweight counterparts. As reported in an article in “MarketWatch” entitled “Overweight and denied college admission: Heavier grad school applicants could face bias in admissions” written by Jonnelle Marte, grad school applicants who had face-to-face interviews and were obese had tougher odds of getting in than did students who didn’t have to do face-to-face interviews (these people could have been thin or obese but the grad school would not know either way through the interview…since they didn’t interview). This was true for both males and females with the trend being even stronger for females.
According to the article in “MarketWatch,” “Jacob Burmeister, a Ph.D. student in clinical psychology at Bowling Green State University, and his fellow researchers analyzed the grad school applications of 97 applicants, and found that candidates with a higher body-mass index who were asked to do a face-to-face interview had lower admission rates than thinner applicants and overweight applicants who didn’t have to do in-person interviews. For women, the negative correlation between weight and the chance of getting accepted was even higher. ‘We have yet another example of weight bias at work,’ says Ted Kyle, chair of the advocacy committee for the Obesity Society.”
Does it surprise you that even graduate schools discriminate — whether knowingly or unknowingly — against overweight applicants? Did it ever cross your mind that one’s physical traits could influence a graduate school admissions decision? Do you think this trend is even stronger for MBA applicants? Let us know your thoughts on the matter concerning graduate school admission by posting below!