Monday, March 26, 2018

Analysis of the 2019 U.S. News MBA Ranking

Chicago Booth has claimed its first-ever No. 1 rank in the U.S. News & World Report MBA Ranking, released today. It tied for first with Harvard Business School (HBS), which has held or shared the No. 1 spot for four years running.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, which tied HBS for first last year, slipped to third. Stanford Graduate School of Business, meanwhile, remained constant in fourth place for a second year. Last year, the California school was in a three-way tie for the No. 4 spot with MIT Sloan and Kellogg, but this year, those schools slipped to fifth and sixth respectively.

Here is this year’s top 10, in order of their 2019 rank (2018 rank in parentheses):

1 Harvard Business School (1, tie)
1 University of Chicago Booth School of Business (3)
3 University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (1, tie)
4 Stanford Graduate School of Business (4, tie)
5 MIT Sloan School of Management (4, tie)
6 Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management (4, tie)
7 UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (7)
7 University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business (11)
9 Columbia Business School (9)
10 Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business (8)

1. The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business joined the top 10 for the first time since 2005. In so doing, it sidled past Columbia and displaced Dartmouth’s Tuck School to 10th place. And it knocked Yale SOM out of the top 10. 
2. Applicant behavior suggests that HBS, Stanford, and Wharton are still ranked more highly in the marketplace. 
3. Stanford dropped to #4th: this is probably because more of Stanford's students are entrepreneurs.  That’s because U.S. News’ methodology relies on “grades” from corporate recruiters and other employment stats that favor larger firms over startups or entrepreneurial pursuits. Therefore, schools with large numbers of students going into tech startups or entrepreneurship are penalized. 
4. Of the Stanford MBA Class of 2017, 16% planned to launch their own ventures upon graduation. This could impact Stanford’s recruiter score—4.4 out of a possible 5—which came in just behind the 4.5 score claimed by both Booth and HBS. 
5. At the same time, Stanford had a higher average GMAT score (737) and a lower acceptance rate (5.7 percent) than any other school in the ranking, including the three schools ranked higher. Stanford also boasted one of the highest average starting salary packages, $159,440, second only to third-ranked Wharton, at $159,815.
6. The “Magnificent 7,” or “M7,” remain: Strong performances by Haas and Ross knocked Columbia down to ninth, separating it from its M7 brethren, but otherwise the group of seven appears just as you would expect it, at the very top.
7. Columbia, out of all M7, is probably struggling because of the rising cost of living in New York and the declining interest among applicants in the financial sector. Also CBS is also one of the few leading schools that has yet to have improved its campus. 
8.  The average GMAT score for the most recent class jumped eight points over the year before, to 716, and GPA is up to 3.5.
9. Application volume has also been rising four years running. The number of applications for the Class of 2019 was a record-breaking 3,485, with acceptances offered to just 25.3%. 
10. The median starting salary for the most recent graduating class was $123,000, up $3,000 from the year before.
11. Yale slipped out of the top 10 this year to No. 11, probably because so many of its graduates are joining NPOs. 

For more information, see the article in Clear Admit 

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