Many candidates meet most of the requirements for excellent business schools, but the lack of excellent undergraduate qualifications is the one sticking-point that prevents them from entering excellent schools. The obstacle means they enter inferior MBAs, which hampers their job search and limits their career growth because of poorer networking, less brand equity and a lower-quality educational experience. By taking a smaller higher education qualification which gives them a new transcript, with for-credit grades that better reflect their potential, they can often convince schools to consider their applications.

This affects many applicants including:
- Indian students with three-year ordinary degrees rather than four-year honours degrees
- Graduates of universities that are not highly-valued
- Holders of university-level qualifications below the honours level, such as associate and foundation degrees, the Vordiplom and the HND
- Professional qualification holders, often from accounting
- Degree holders with poor academic grades, which do not suggest the candidate will be a good MBA candidate.

An effective solution to this problem is to top-up the qualification to an honours degree qualification that carries academic credit. That means that work will be assessed and the grades will be shown on a transcript that will show higher academic accomplishment

Good examples of these are qualifications which are designed for such people.
- Top-up undergraduate honours degrees are often offered by universities for people who need to show one further year of higher education. Some online UK examples are calls "Top-Up" BSc's.
- Some universities offer certificates or diplomas for holders of bachelor degrees which are generally equal to one or two semesters of full-time study. For example, the LSE has a Graduate Diploma in Commercial Law, which is available online: and the UK's Open University has a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration
- Many one online masters degrees have certificate programmes which can be taken separately and have academic transcripts. The Graduate Certificate Course at Harvard Extension School‎ is a good example.

However, come qualifications probably won't be so helpful: those which are not taken for academic credit, and thus don't have assessments which are recorded on a transcript to show academic accomplishment. Good examples of those are:
- Courses with a certificate of attendance, rather than academic grades
- Most Coursera and EdX certificates
- Summer school programmes which are not taken for academic credit

[Edited by Duncan on May 08, 2020]