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WSJ Rankings Comparison of Top Business Schools

To see a table underneath hit the header

Rank School Enrollment Tuition $ Test Scores Job
Offers %
Compensation
$
1 Dartmouth College 490 42,990 710 98 100,000
2 University of Cal-Berkeley 1381 26,881* 707 95 98,977
3 Columbia University 1869 43,436 706 94 101,428
4 MIT-Sloan 781 44,566 702 97.7 101,988
5. Carnegie Mellon 636 41,900 696 96.4 93,479
6. University Of NC-Chapel Hill 888 18,375* 664 92.8 90,044
7. University of Michigan 1745 39,800 701 91 93,474
8 Yale 469 42,000 701 95 92,213
9 University of Chicago 3180 44,500 703 97.3 98,289
10 University of Virginia 702 37,000 677 95 95,704

EXPLANTIONS

Enrollment : Number of full time students.

Tuition : Annual tuition and fee 2006-2007. *In-state tuition shown for public schools.

Test Scores : Mean GMAT of accepted students

Job Offers : percentage of job-seeking full time graduates who received prior to or within three months after graduation.

Compensation : Average starting salary of full time graduates who accepted employment.

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Extract of the article by Ronald Alsop published in Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
NATIONAL RANKING
Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business in Hanover, N.H.
Tuck received its highest ratings this year for its “well-rounded” students, their personal integrity, interpersonal and communication skills, and teamwork abilities.

University of Michigan

Michigan had rivaled Tuck with its consistently strong showing in the survey in previous years, but some recruiters now complain about both the students and the career-services office. One survey respondent said more Michigan students are demonstrating a “what’s in it for me?” attitude.

“Students weren’t as prepared for interviews and were somewhat more arrogant than in the past,” says David Gallon, a survey respondent and senior strategic research consultant, truck and SUV, for Toyota Motor Corp. in Torrance, Calif.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University is another school that tumbled in the 2007 ranking — to 12th place from sixth — after a number of years near the top of the ranking. Recruiters said they were displeased with the pompous attitudes of some students at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Some students also proved disappointing in their financial knowledge.
The Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sloan made a notable gain in the ranking, jumping six places to No. 4. It also moved up three places in the International ranking, to No. 5. Recruiters gave MIT its highest marks for students’ analytical skills and work ethic, and named it more than any other school for excellence in teaching information technology and operations management.

Anderson School of Management – UCLA

Anderson School rose to No. 15 after three straight years in the cellar. Recruiters said they are most impressed for its diversity and energy and for students’ strong leadership, interpersonal and teamwork skills.

Harvard University and Stanford University

Two schools that typically rank low despite reputations for academic excellence — again were criticized for what recruiters said were their students’ inflated egos and excessive expectations. Nevertheless, their graduates still end up landing some of the highest paying jobs.

REGIONAL RANKING

Brigham Young, in Provo, Utah

Year in and year out, recruiters rave about graduates’ maturity, competitive drive, integrity and international experience, especially from their missionary work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Academically, the Marriott School receives high marks in the Journal survey for its accounting program. Some recruiters also are finding that more Brigham Young M.B.A.s make a good fit for investment banking. “BYU has put much more emphasis in preparing their students for investment banking,” says Steven Potter, a survey respondent and managing director at Banc of America Securities in New York. “At both the B.A. and M.B.A. levels, they have had outside firms come to the school to give a course on valuation techniques that is much more practical than theoretical.”

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Last year’s top-rated Regional school, experienced quite a turnabout, slipping 10 spots in 2007. Recruiters said the school produces some stars but that it admits too many students who lack enough work experience. Survey respondents also were critical of the many international students with weak communication skills and the need for visa sponsorships to work in the U.S.
“Thunderbird attracts good students who want ex-pat careers, but also average students who can afford the steep price and want to ride Thunderbird’s above-average reputation,” says Tom Kondo, a survey respondent and human resources manager for L’Oréal Paris in New York. “Often times, the average students will claim interest in international or ex-pat careers, but don’t really have the skills or desire to follow through. When we interview there, we always have to weed these students out.” Recruiters said they still consider it the top school in the world for teaching about international business.

Among the biggest gainers this year were three Boston-area schools: Boston University, Boston College and Babson College. Babson placed highest of the three at No. 21, up 14 spots from last year.

Three new schools broke into the top 10: Indiana University, the University of Florida and Emory University. Indiana jumped 10 places to No. 5 this year, as recruiters noted that students are more polished and sharper, especially in their marketing skills, and that the career-services office has become more responsive. The survey respondents awarded Indiana higher scores this year for incorporating experiential learning into the curriculum, faculty expertise and course content, and overall recruiting value.

INTERNATIONAL RANKING
ESADE and Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development (IMD) held on to first and second place again this year, while No. 3 London Business School and No. 4 IPADE Business School in Mexico swapped places.
This year, ESADE was rated highest for students’ personal integrity, their teamwork abilities and the career-services office.

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Blog Posts About This Topic

Getting into a Top MBA Program « AdmissonSync as quoted by WSJ

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Getting into a Top MBA Program

Why a Top MBA?

Unlike graduates of medical schools and law schools, there is no licensing exam required to practice business in the United States. In addition, the quality of accredited schools offering MBA degrees varies tremendously. This is a degree you can obtain part-time in 4 years, in an executive program in 1 year, via correspondence courses, and from schools with near 100% acceptance rates.

As a result, the value of your MBA degree is directly related to the prestige of the university and business school which grants it. A recent study of the value of MBA programs concluded that “if you don’t get into a leading business school, the economic value of the degree is really quite limited.” The study examined consultants at McKinsey & Company and investment bankers at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and found that those without MBA’s performed as well, or better, than business school graduates. The fallacy of the study was that it did not recognize that it is much harder to get such a job without an MBA degree. Intellectual horsepower and potential – rather than business knowledge – is the primary criterion top consulting firms and investment banks look for. If someone possesses a Ph.D. in economics from MIT or a JD from Harvard – quite common at such firms – then that obviously serves as a more than adequate intellectual proxy for even a top two-year MBA.

The required curriculum at most business schools consists of courses such as finance, accounting, statistics, organizational behavior, strategy, economics, communications and technology. Schools may have a larger or smaller set of “core” courses, and many give these subjects different names. But overall, MBA programs have more similarities with one another than they do differences, and most of the same subjects are taught from the same textbooks, using many of the same cases.

Thus, the academic content of a business school education – much like a law school or medical school education – does not vary greatly between programs. But due to the tremendous variation in the standards of institutions conferring the degree, an MBA has the most value in the marketplace when it is from a school that is highly respected. In addition, the lifelong professional network which comes from going to business school is more valuable when it is from a school where graduates typically go on to the most successful careers.

Ranking the Rankings

There is no other academic degree which is ranked and analyzed by so many publications and organizations as the MBA. While the general public and the business world have intuitive ideas of which the most famous and prestigious programs are, many of these rankings have highlighted improvements in other programs and presented them as viable competitors. Nonetheless, the traditional top schools perform the best across the best-regarded rankings.

US News and BusinessWeek

US News & World Report and BusinessWeek are the most well-known and respected MBA rankings, and have each been published for more than 10 years. New rankings from the Financial Times, Forbes, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal have come out in the last few years. Each ranking has strengths and weaknesses.

US News is generally considered the best ranking for prospective MBA applicants, as their system is the most transparent, and their rankings always come closest to peoples’ common sense perception of relative prestige. This is no accident, since their ranking heavily favors “peer assessment”, which is essentially “prestige”, as one of their key factors. There are three schools which have been ranked #1 by US News in the past ten years – the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, and the MIT Sloan School of Management.

BusinessWeek is considered the next most useful ranking for applicants, since they collect a great deal of data and weight their ranking toward student feedback. Yet, none of Harvard, Stanford or MIT has ever been ranked #1 by BusinessWeek. Instead, the only schools to achieve the top position in their ranking are the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Business School Highest Ranking in US News Highest Ranking in BusinessWeek
Harvard Business School

1

3

Stanford Graduate School of Business

1

4

MIT Sloan School of Management

1

4

Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

2

1

Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

3

1

Outside of these five schools, no other school has ever been ranked #1 in either of these rankings. BusinessWeek displays some variation, but has generally had each of these schools in or near the top 5. In US News, they have consistently been the top five schools every year the ranking has been published.

Other Rankings

The newer rankings, The Financial Times, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal, are essentially specialty rankings which weight specifically chosen criteria very heavily to produce different results. The end results have some similarities with US News and BusinessWeek, but also produce many curious outcomes for individual schools and are more useful for the data they collect than the rankings they produce. A summary of the methodology issues with these rankings:

Ranking Methodology Problems
Financial Times Focuses on self-reported salary data several years post-graduation Unreliable and incomplete data: self-reporting bias
Forbes Focuses on self-reported salary data several years post-graduation; focuses on ROI Unreliable and incomplete data: self-reporting bias; penalizes schools with high entering salaries (inversely correlates program quality and applicant salary)
Wall Street Journal Based entirely on recruiter satisfaction Recruiters who tend to be unsuccessful at attracting interest from students at top schools tend to give those schools poor marks (inversely correlates program quality and graduate choices)

These methodology problems produce some questionable results, such as the Wall Street Journal ranking Stanford outside of the top 40, Forbes ranking MIT Sloan outside the top 15, and the Financial Times ranking Yale and NYU ahead of Kellogg. As such, the top business schools don’t pay as much attention to these rankings. Stanford’s dean even commented, quite justifiably, that doing poorly in the Wall Street Journal ranking was probably a better indicator of the quality of a program than doing well!

The Top Programs

Harvard, Stanford, MIT Sloan, Kellogg and Wharton stand out consistently amongst their peers, and have historically been considered the most prestigious MBA programs. They are also considered the best programs today. Two other notable programs are the University of Chicago and Columbia Business School. In fact, the deans of Harvard, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia and Chicago, meet regularly to share benchmarking information, and generally consider each other to be peer schools.

The reason that Columbia and Chicago are generally considered just below the other five is because they carry somewhat less prestige, as reflected in a couple of key statistics. Columbia used to have a 46% acceptance rate as recently as 10 years ago, far higher than any other top school, admitting nearly half of all applicants. Meanwhile, Chicago consistently has a much higher acceptance rate than any other top school (above 25-30%) and through much of the last 10 years maintained a 50% yield – in other words, nearly half of the people offered admission to Chicago choose not to attend. Nonetheless, these two schools are considered among the most prestigious after the top 5, and are even ranked in the top 5 in some finance-heavy rankings. Siebel’s “Siebel Scholars” program recognizes the top MBA students in the United States by awarding $25000 scholarships to the top five students at each of Harvard, Stanford, Sloan, Wharton, Kellogg and Chicago.

After these seven schools, other well known and highly regarded programs include:

  • Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
  • Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley
  • Yale School of Management
  • NYU Stern School of Business
  • Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
  • Anderson School of Business, UCLA
  • Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

Collectively, there are about 15 schools in the United States with a claim to “top 10 status” in one area or another.

Additional Statistics

Top MBA programs by subject area – one of the best ways to think about the top five MBA programs is to consider that they are all excellent in nearly every discipline, but are #1 in different specific subject areas:

Business School US News #1 in 2006 for… BusinessWeek “top-rated” in 2005 for…
Harvard Business School – Management – Finance
– Management
– Entrepreneurship
Stanford Graduate School of Business – N/A – Management
– Entrepreneurship
MIT Sloan School of Management – Information Systems
– Production/Operations
– Supply Chain/Logistics
– Finance
– Management
– Marketing
– Entrepreneurship
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania – Finance
– Accounting
– Finance
– Management
– Marketing
– Entrepreneurship
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University – Marketing – Management
– Marketing

Yield – that is, the % of students who accept offers of admission. While some less prestigious programs may have high yields because of a highly targeted audience, the top programs are certainly competing with one another for many of the same students. In other words, the typical explanation for someone turning down an offer of admission at one top business school is because they accepted the offer of a school they would rather attend. Since top candidates receive more offers of admission, their choice of program is a factor which can be used to gauge the quality of each program. The yields of the top schools (2004 figures) are:

School Name

Yield

Acceptance Rate

1

Harvard

85%

12%

2

Stanford

83%

9%

3

MIT Sloan

75%

18%

3

Wharton

75%

15%

5

Columbia

71%

13%

6

Kellogg

66%

16%

7

Chicago

58%

28%

Endowment – this is kind of like the market capitalization of a business school, in a somewhat silly way. If a school has many graduates who have gone on to become very wealthy, it should have a lot of money in its endowment fund. If the school is well-managed, that fund should grow and help it attract more successful students. These are the top 10 schools by endowment (BusinessWeek, 2001):

School Name

Endowment ($ millions)

Endowment per student ($ 000)

1

Harvard

1100

628

2

MIT Sloan

402

560

3

Stanford

387

530

4

Kellogg

380

152

5

Wharton

338

216

6

Michigan

267

138

7

Darden

255

523

7

Yale

255

607

9

Chicago

207

87

10

Tuck

167

420

The reason the per-capita endowment figures for schools like Chicago and Kellogg are so low is because they spread their resources amongst a large number of full-time and part-time students. Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Wharton do not have part-time programs.

Famous Alumni – so who goes on to fame and fortune with an MBA degree? Besides George W. Bush, the nation’s first MBA president (Harvard ’75), the most prominent MBA’s are CEO’s of the world’s largest companies. MBA Jungle analyzed the Fortune 200 to see where their CEO’s went to school. The list, once again, has the top schools well-represented, and shows Harvard’s strength historically:

School Name

# of Fortune 200 CEO’s

1

Harvard

20

2

MIT Sloan

5

3

Stanford

4

3

Columbia

4

3

Chicago

4

6

NYU Stern

3

7

Kellogg

2

7

Darden

2

7

Goizueta

2

7

Indiana

2

7

Texas

2

In the past 100 years, Harvard has been the most popular destination for those interested in an MBA. Of course, the MBA was a completely different animal just 20 years ago. Back then, most students went directly out of college, and the competition and prestige were nothing like it is today. It is worth noting that only 79 CEO’s in the Fortune 200 had MBA degrees at all – but the MBA accounted for more than two-thirds of all graduate degrees held by these CEO’s. Although Wharton only had 1 CEO in the Fortune 200, they have historically had more, and this particular ranking is always in a state of flux.

The rest of this document will focus on the top 5 programs, but the same principles apply to the admissions process at most top 10 or top 20 programs.

Keys to Admission

Your GMAT score, undergraduate GPA, and the number of years of work experience you possess are the primary quantitative indicators used by business school admissions committees. Here is how the top 5 schools stack up on those measures:

Business School

Median GMAT

Median GPA

Mean Work Experience (Years)

Stanford

710

3.5

4.0

MIT Sloan

700

3.4

5.3

Harvard

700

3.6

4.4

Wharton

710

3.5

5.8

Kellogg

700

3.4

5.2

As of this writing, this means that more than half of all students attending these schools scored in the top 5% of all GMAT test takers worldwide. It also means that somewhat less than half did not. The GMAT is the primary indicator of raw intellectual ability considered by admissions committees, since it is standardized, and offers an objective – albeit incomplete – measure of ability between students from different colleges and majors. If you are lower than your target school’s average on any of these measures, it should be compensated by all of the other areas. In other words, if you expect to get in to Wharton with only 2 years of full-time work experience, you should have a very high GMAT score and GPA amongst other things.

Retaking the GMAT – this is only useful if your highest score is below your target school’s median. Retaking the GMAT to get a 730 when you already have a 710 is reasonably meaningless and shows you to be focused on the wrong things. Of course, getting a 720 after previously scoring a 670 may greatly help your candidacy. While most schools say you can take the GMAT as many times as you want, you should never take the test without proper preparation, as the entire process can be quite arduous. Prepare by taking practice tests – particularly CAT simulations – and if you find that you are not scoring 700+ with regularity, you should consider taking a course to prepare.

Although admissions committees at top schools say that a low GMAT score won’t keep you out, those who get in with scores in the low 600’s are almost certainly exceptional cases. If you are the average candidate without any internationally impressive accomplishments, a low GMAT score almost guarantees you a dreaded “ding” letter. On the other hand, for the candidate who is average in all other respects, a 790 isn’t much different from a 740 from the school’s point of view. Most schools will admit two otherwise similar candidates with disparate but high GMAT scores based on characteristics other than the GMAT. As for the people who get in with scores from 650 to 700, admissions can be frustratingly random – even more so than for everyone else.

While the overall GMAT score is what will be counted most heavily, the quantitative score is more important for applicants with non-technical backgrounds while the verbal score is examined more closely for applicants from foreign countries and those with science or engineering degrees. Schools are merely looking for the assurance that a candidate will be able to both crunch numbers and communicate well. Assuming that the overall GMAT score is alright, only a seriously low score on the section that will be examined most closely for a given candidate would be a liability. For example, if you are a native english speaker and have good grades from an Ivy League college in Literature, they probably won’t be too concerned about a low score on the verbal section, and just consider it an aberration. However, a low score on the quantitative section – regardless of how strong your combined GMAT score is – could be a major liability. The AWA score is not important for most applicants, and is not factored into the overall GMAT score anyway. In some cases, the actual text of the AWA section might be compared to an applicant’s essays if the schools are skeptical about either’s authenticity.

How the GPA is evaluated – top business schools are not as focused on undergraduate grades as other professional programs. If you have a 99th percentile LSAT score, and a 4.0 GPA in Political Science from Princeton, you will almost definitely get into Yale Law School. If you score 9.2 on the MCAT and graduate with a 3.4 in music, you will almost definitely not get into Johns Hopkins Medical School. On the other hand, if you graduate first in your class in finance at NYU, get a 780 on the GMAT, and work at Boston Consulting Group for three years, the admissions committee at Stanford Business School could decide they’ve already let in enough people like you, and the spot could go to someone with a 3.2 GPA in English who worked in a NGO in Africa. The bottom line is that if you are still in school, you should try to get the very best grades you can, but afterwards you just have to live with them. If you did poorly in undergraduate, good graduate degree grades help offset the impression that you’re incapable of getting good grades, but they don’t undo the damage your GPA does to the school’s average. Thus, letting you in becomes a very context and timing-driven judgment call.

Essays – there are typically two to seven essay questions in each application, with between 2000 and 3000 words required in total. While the first application will take you the longest, and you can cut-and-paste many paragraphs into subsequent essays, overall the differing nature of school’s questions will require you to spend many days on each package to create a satisfactory product. The essays are your primary opportunity to convince the school to let you in. They will evaluate you on two dimensions: what you will bring to the school as an MBA student, and what you will bring to the school as an alumnus. The second criterion is obviously the most important. Schools are trying to select the applicants they believe will be the most successful in their careers based on their backgrounds and accomplishments to date. Put another way, the 10-20% of applicants who get into a top business school are the ones who least needed the top MBA degree to succeed in their careers. Ironic, but true.

Of course, most of the applicants to top schools are reasonably successful in their careers already, so your essays need to distinguish you from others in your peer group. Your peer group – those applicants who are most like you – is who you are competing against primarily. For example, any top school could fill up their entire class with analysts from consulting firms with high GMAT scores and GPA’s. But they won’t. Instead, they will have a certain number of spots for such applicants, and someone who was a sculptor would not be competing for one of those spaces. This makes some peer groups more competitive than others in any given year. Most schools will say that every candidate competes against every other candidate, and from a certain point of view this is true. Someone could be a consultant, and even though they have already let in more consultants than they would like, he could bring something so special to the class from other experiences that they decide to let him in too. But in such a situation, the candidate likely won’t get in on strong numbers alone.

Your essays also give the school a sense of your personality. They want to see how you work your argument and the reasons they should admit you into your writing – while still answering their questions directly. They want you to be able to list and explain your accomplishments without being boastful or off-topic. These are, of course, the same skills you will need to be successful in your career after graduation.

Many people have taken to using admissions and essay consultants, and most schools will tell you that they discourage this. It is our opinion that the vast majority of successful candidates do not use paid essay editing services, and the majority of those who do use such services do not get in. This makes sense, of course – the people that need those services the most are the weakest candidates, and they’re on their own when it comes to a final interview. But beyond that, admissions consultants are invariably not the kind of people that a candidate to a top school wants advice from. Most did not ever attend a top business school themselves, and those few that did were essentially not successful enough to find reasonable jobs afterwards – and thus got into the essay editing business. We encourage you to get someone else to look at your essays and make suggestions, but pick someone who isn’t being paid on the basis of how much of your time they take, or how many changes they suggest you make. Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with your essays at all!

On the other hand, you should collect as much information and advice on the admissions process as you can, but always take it with a grain of salt. An unsuccessful applicant may not always be right about why they didn’t get in, but alumni of a given school can usually give you a pretty accurate picture of what it takes to get in. Written information sources are also essential, and this guide assumes that you’ve probably already picked up Richard Montauk’s excellent book, “How to Get Into The Top MBA Programs”. Although his advice is more generic – and thus applicable to any MBA program, but not customized for the truly best programs – you need to learn everything about the process. You should use that book with this guide to tune your application for top 5 schools.

Recommendations – these are most certainly the least important part of your application, but you shouldn’t discount them. They should reinforce what their rest of your package says, and provide the opinion of a real person who knows you very well and can answer the school’s questions directly and honestly. Every school will tell you this, and you should listen. The truth is that school’s know that many applicants write their own recommendations and just get their recommenders to sign and send them.

When to apply – the earlier the better, in general. Schools have either 2 or 3 application deadlines (rounds) and round 3 is almost always incredibly difficult to get in. This is just because statistically, there are very few spots left open by the third round. While some people believe that round 2 can be best for candidates without extremely strong backgrounds, it’s our belief that the first round is the best if you can get your application up to a desirable standard of quality in time.

The Interview – Harvard, Sloan, Stanford and Wharton all interview candidates by invitation only. This means that if you receive an interview – and at Harvard and Sloan, nearly all accepted candidates are required to interview – then this is your last and best opportunity to convince the admissions committee that you are someone they would like to have at their school. At Kellogg, all applicants are required to interview, so this changes the dynamic of the session significantly. Instead of the interview being an opportunity for you to address any weaknesses and convince them to let you in, it is merely another data point taken with the rest of your application. Put another way, a strong interview at Kellogg can’t get you in – but a weak interview can, and will, keep you out.

Conclusion

Attending one of the top business schools in the United States is really an amazing experience that we would recommend to anyone. Our classmates from business school are some of our closest friends, and the value of the network after graduation is immeasurable. We believe that you will be best served by attending the very best school you can get into, so never set your sights too low for reasons of expense, geography or other hassles.

Take a risk, and apply to some great programs – you won’t regret it.

Good luck!

Harvard Business School

Harvard University

Boston, Massachusetts

http://www.hbs.edu

HINTS

Harvard is obsessed with leadership, and they are looking for indications of leadership ability in each of their candidates. This can be in the form of managerial work experience, extracurricular activities, or initiative taken in other forms. What is more important than demonstrated leadership is to convince them that you have the capability for taking on great responsibility and taking charge of a situation in the future. Harvard is considered the #1 general management school by US News (and most of the world), so personal well-roundedness is key.

FAMOUS ALUMNI SAMPLE

George W. Bush, President, United States of America

Louis Gerstner, former Chairman, IBM Corporation

Rajat Gupta, former Worldwide Managing Director, McKinsey & Company

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO, General Electric Company

Jeff Skilling, former CEO, Enron Corporation

ADMISSIONS STATISTICS

Application Rounds: 3

Class Size: 910

Applicants: 8,893

Waitlist Size: NOT RELEASED

Waitlist Acceptance Rate: NOT RELEASED

FINANCIAL AID

Annual budget: $54,800

Guaranteed loans available for all students.

FURTHER INFORMATION

BusinessWeek Profile

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/full_time_profiles/harvard.htm

Harvard MBA Admissions

http://www.hbs.edu/mba/index.html

Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu

HINTS

Kellogg believes that teamwork is what builds great organizations, and the ability to work with, and co-exist with others in the business school environment is their primary screening criterion. Kellogg is ranked as the #1 school for marketing, so communications ability and softer skills are more valued here – and expected – than at other top programs. As was mentioned earlier, the interview has a different nature at Kellogg than at other schools, and they want to see if you are the Kellogg “type”, and excited about their program specifically.

FAMOUS ALUMNI SAMPLE

Michael Borman, President, Blue Martini Software

Leland Brendsel, CEO, Freddie Mac

John Hoeven, Governor, State of North Dakota

James Keyes, CEO, Johnson Controls

Locke Burt, Senator, State of Florida

ADMISSIONS STATISTICS

Application Rounds: 3

Class Size: 625

Applicants: 6,039

Waitlist Size: NOT RELEASED

Waitlist Acceptance Rate: NOT RELEASED

FINANCIAL AID

Annual budget: $52,533

Guaranteed loans available for all students.

FURTHER INFORMATION

BusinessWeek Profile

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/full_time_profiles/kellogg.htm

Kellogg MBA Admissions

http://www.kellogg.nwu.edu/admissions/index.htm

MIT Sloan School of Management

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

http://mitsloan.mit.edu

HINTS

Sloan wants to admit a class of innovators. What is most important is to convince the admissions committee that your career will involve having a great impact on your organization or industry, and that you have the creativity and courage to take it on great challenges. Sloan is ranked the #1 school for technology, operations management and quantitative analysis, so strong business analytical skills are expected, but communications ability is what distinguishes successful applicants.

FAMOUS ALUMNI SAMPLE

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations

Carly Fiorina, former CEO, Hewlett-Packard Corporation

William Clay Ford, CEO, Ford Motor Company

Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister, Israel

John Reed, Chairman, New York Stock Exchange

ADMISSIONS STATISTICS

Application Rounds: 2

Class Size: 319

Applicants: 2,940

Waitlist Size: 208

Waitlist Acceptance Rate: 15%

FINANCIAL AID

Annual budget: $55,310

Guaranteed loans available for all students.

FURTHER INFORMATION

BusinessWeek Profile

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/full_time_profiles/sloan.htm

Sloan MBA Admissions

http://mitsloan.mit.edu/mba

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford University

Stanford, California

http://www.gsb.stanford.edu

HINTS

With the highest average GMAT score in the world and the lowest acceptance rate, Stanford is the most difficult business school to gain admission into on the basis of numbers alone. That being said, they have a very diverse class mix and a balance curriculum that emphasizes both hard and soft skills. The key to admission is convincing the committee that you are bringing something unique to the class. While Stanford is not ranked #1 in any sub-specialty, it is strong in many areas.

FAMOUS ALUMNI SAMPLE

Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corporation (dropped out after 1 year)

John Donahoe, former Worldwide Managing Director, Bain & Company

Philip Knight, CEO, Nike Corporation

Scott McNealy, CEO, Sun Microsystems

Charles Schwab, Chairman, Charles Schwab Corporation

ADMISSIONS STATISTICS

Application Rounds: 3

Class Size: 378

Applicants: 5,253

Waitlist Size: 243

Waitlist Acceptance Rate: 9%

FINANCIAL AID

Annual budget: $48,012

Guaranteed loans available for all students.

FURTHER INFORMATION

BusinessWeek Profile

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/full_time_profiles/stanford.htm

Stanford MBA Admissions

http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/mba/

Wharton School

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

http://www.wharton.upenn.edu

HINTS

The Wharton School is ranked as the #1 school in finance and accounting, and their emphasis is definitely on business fundamentals. Although the class has the same number of years of work experience as at other top programs, the average age skews a little higher, and thus maturity is definitely valued by the admissions committee. The admissions committee at Wharton is looking for talented, hard-working individuals that have achieved a great deal but are not arrogant about it.

FAMOUS ALUMNI SAMPLE

Reginald Jones, former CEO, General Electric Company

Shaun O’Malley, former Chairman, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP

Louis Platt, former CEO, Hewlett-Packard Corporation

Donald Trump, CEO, Trump Organization

Gary Wilson, Chairman, Northwest Airlines

ADMISSIONS STATISTICS

Application Rounds: 3

Class Size: 771

Applicants: 7,274

Waitlist Size: 371

Waitlist Acceptance Rate: 23%

FINANCIAL AID

Annual budget: $59,728

Guaranteed loans available for all students.

FURTHER INFORMATION

BusinessWeek Profile

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/full_time_profiles/wharton.htm

Wharton MBA Admissions

http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba

FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE GO HERE

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MBA Rankings and Admission Criteria

(If you cannot see a table please hit the header)

Rank Business School Accepted Average
GMAT
 Work Exp. Average
Age
1 U. of Pennsylvania (Wharton) 14% 700 6 29
2 Northwestern (Kellogg) 18% 690 4 27
3 Stanford 8% 727 4 27
4 Harvard 13% 701 4 27
5 Columbia 12% 704 4 27
6 Duke (Fuqua) 19% 690 5 28
7 MIT (Sloan) 17% 703 5 28
8 Chicago 25% 684 5 28
9 Cornell (Johnson) 25% 673 5 29
10 Dartmouth (Tuck) 14% 692 5 28
11 Michigan 21% 677 5 29
12 NYU (Stern) 22% 686 5 27
13 UC — Berkeley (Haas) 14% 684 6 28
14 Virginia (Darden) 19% 676 4 27
15 Yale 17% 687 5 28
16 UCLA (Anderson) 15% 698 4 28
17 Carnegie Mellon 31% 660 5 28
18 UNC — Chapel Hill 22% 667 5 27
19 Texas — Austin (McCombs) 25% 687 5 29
20 Indiana (Kelley) 32% 646 5 28
21 USC (Marshall) 27% 670 5 28
22 Purdue (Krannert) 23% 644 5 28
23 Rochester (Simon) 30% 646 6 29
24 Georgetown (McDonough) 19% 657 5 28
25 Washington U. (Olin) 29% 661 5 28

How Important Is Your GMAT Score?

Institution

Avg.
GMAT
Avg.
Age
Avg.
GPA
Arizona State University 649 28 3.4
Babson College 630 29 3.2
Baylor University 595 27 3.1
Boston University 655 26 3.29
Brigham Young University 653 28 3.53
Carnegie Mellon 691 28 3.3
Case Western Reserve University 615 27 3.16
Columbia University 709 28 3.4
Cornell University 673 27 3.26
Dartmouth College 699 29 3.3
Duke University 705 29 3.4
Emory University 680 28 3.4
Georgetown University 662 28 3.3
Georgia Institute of Technology 655 27 3.43
Harvard University 708 27 3.6
Indiana University – Bloomington 644 28 3.3
Loyola University Chicago 540 28 3.2
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 710 28 3.5
Michigan State University 637 28 3.38
New York University 700 27 3.4
Northwestern University 700 28 3.4
Purdue University 667 28 3.3
Rice University 625 28 3.2
Southern Methodist University 661 28 3.26
Stanford University 711 NR 3.5
The Ohio State University 664 27 3.4
The University of Chicago 695 28 3.4
The University of Texas at Austin 670 28 3.38
Thunderbird 600 28 3.3
Tulane University 655 27 3.35
University of California at Berkeley (MFE) 699 29 3.5
University of California, Los Angeles 710 28 3.6
University of Colorado at Boulder 648 28 3.31
University of Georgia 663 27 3.33
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 649 27 3.4
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor 690 28 3.3
University of Minnesota 655 29 3.25
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 652 28 3.28
University of Pennsylvania 714 29 3.5
University of Rochester 664 27 3.4
University of Southern California 680 27 3.3
University of Virginia 680 28 3.3
University of Washington 677 29 3.45
University of Western Ontario 647 30 NR
Vanderbilt University 622 29 3.2
Wake Forest University-Full-time MBA Program 630 28 3.2
Washington University in St. Louis 650 28 3.19
Yale University 696 28 3.5

. Source: Princeton Review

Hit the header if you cannot see a table

FACTORS AFFECTING ADMISSIONS I have attempted t…

FACTORS AFFECTING ADMISSIONS

I have attempted to address here some questions of prospective Masters students with regard to the GMAT and GRE examinations, and the respective Masters courses that they subsequently wish to pursue.
Past experience has proven that the vast majority of students that wish to do a Masters programme, or a MBA, have little idea about the complexities of the process of application to a university for a Masters programme. Thus the reason for these answers.
What I have endeavored to do is to save you, the student, valuable time looking around for the most appropriate Masters program available.

1: Do I need to take the GMAT or GRE examination?

Practically any decent Masters course at practically any decent university will definitely require the GMAT or GRE examination score. Yes, many great universities, such as Stanford advertise their Masters by saying that the GMAT score is not absolutely necessary, or that a score of around 650/800 is acceptable, but the reality is that they will not even look at you unless you have a GMAT and the score is around 720/800! Universities use this ploy to attract more applicants. So beware of such tactics.

2: How important is my Grade Point Average (GPA) in comparison/combination with my GMAT/GRE score?

Naturally your GPA is a very important determining factor in securing a place on a Masters programme.
Note, however, to avoid disappointment, that if a university asks for a GPA of more than 7.0 out of 10 or 3.5 out of 4.0 (from an American-based university) then generally that is exactly what they mean.
Many think that 6.8 is near enough 7, or 3.3 is near enough 3.5, only to discover, too late in most cases, that it is not, and a letter of rejection waiting in their mail boxes. Do not assume anything. Make the effort to write e-mails/letters to the appropriate person to clarify the exact entry requirements.
Likewise for the GMAT-GRE scores. If a university stipulates that it wants a score in excess of 580, for example, that is exactly what they want. 570 will not do.I have personally witnessed applicants making the above assumptions only to find that they have been rejected.If you are applying to any half-decent university you will definitely need good a GPA and a strong GMAT-GRE score. Below I have posted a number of links to useful sites to exemplify the point.Therefore, the answer to the question is that both your strong GPA and your strong
GMAT/GRE score are extremely important factors in determining whether you will accepted for a Masters course. It almost goes without saying that the better the university the higher the requirements. As a general guideline I would be very suspicious of Masters programs that do not demand GMAT/GRE scores since the most obvious conclusion that one can make is that the courses are not very competitive and you should not expect to have great career prospects having graduated from such a Masters.

Question 3. When should I select the Program and the universities I wish to apply.

I am of the opinion that this should be done prior to your sitting for GMAT/GRE exam.
One it will clear to you what scores you require to go to your dream university. Thus you will have a clear target and you need not take the exam repeatedly.
Second you will save money on score reporting.

Question 4: On what basis should I choose a Masters/MBA programme?

Well obviously you want to choose the best possible programme since this ought to give you the greatest employment prospects. There are rankings for Masters and MBAs that are published by various different publications and are provided in the group Files Section.
These rankings give a good general guideline and you will be sure to see familiar names at the top such as Stanford, Berkeley, MIT,Harvard, Wharton,LBS, LSE, Insead and so on. Their positions may vary slightly from year to year but they are always at the top and everyone in the business world knows them, and identifies them with quality.
So just how do you choose the best possible course? Well, firstly you have to be realistic. It is not easy getting into one of the big name
universities unless you have a GPA of more than, let’s say 7.8/10 or 3.7/4 and a GMAT score of at least 680. Do not delude yourselves. If you do not have such scores then you will just have to lower your aim. There are a surprising number of quality Masters programs at universities that many undergraduate students have not heard of yet provide excellent quality and almost guarantee jobs before completing the Masters programme. Business leaders, and employers generally, will undoubtedly know about such universities and the particular Masters on offer. So just because you have not heard of a university do not be put off. After all the reason you are doing a Masters is to increase your job prospects. Having said that, there is also the type of Masters you should pursue. Do not just pick anything that takes your fancy. You have to be constantly thinking whether you are going to be more attractive to a prospective employer with that particular Masters in the future. Thus you have to seriously think about what sort of
job you see yourself doing. Some Masters are particularly “hot” such as Finance (with an emphasis on Financial mathematics) or an MBA with an emphasis on e-commerce. There are many others but there are also those that have saturated the markets such as a Masters in marketing, unless, of course you happened to have picked it up from a university like Stanford. So think objectively and realistically about which Masters you really want to do and spend enough time surfing the Internet to investigate all possibilities -you may be surprised by what you find. In conclusion, if I had to give one piece of advice with regard to choosing a university it would be: NAME, NAME, NAME.

Question 5: When should I take the GMAT/GRE examination?

The simple answer is as soon as possible. Unfortunately most students leave the GMAT or GRE until the last minute and do it in a rush which certainly does not make for great results. To be sure that you get the highest possible score allow yourself at least three months to prepare yourself, and be prepared to work and practice extremely hard over that three-month period. Ideally you should take the GMAT-GRE at least a year before you think about exactly which Masters you intend to pursue. Remember the examinations are valid for a five-year period. Students who come thinking that the GMAT-GRE can be conquered in a very limited time period are going to be sorely disappointed and severely punished in the real examination. It is simply something that you cannot rush. So take action and think about doing a GMAT-GRE course at the earliest opportunity to avoid disappointment.

Importance of Recommendations

Importance of Recommendations depends on three factors:
1.The program for which you are applying.
2.Your aim for applying.
3.The university you are considering for application.

If you are having research experience and are applying for a research program or a Research Assistantships than recommendations play an important part.
Similarly for Teaching Assistantships.

If you are considering a top ranked program then also recommendations play an important part.

Corollary of this is your recommendor’s credentials should be impeccable.The recommendations should site some specific experiences and should not be generic in nature.

According to a recent Survey following factors play an important part in an application mix.
1.Academics
2.Standardized Test Scores
3.Recommendations
4.Essay

All are important ingredients of the application mix.

I have not mentioned TOEFL because it has a different role to play. For
admission if you have a decent TOEFL score it is sufficient.Every university
or even a program specifies a minimum TOEFL score. If you meet it along with
good credentials it is enough.
However it does not imply that if one has a high TOEFL score it does not
have a positive affect on ones application.
Among the other credentials the importance of each depends on the rank of
the university you are applying. For Top Universities Academics is more
important and second weightage is given to GRE.As we go down the ranks
importance of academics goes on shrinking and GRE starts playing more
important role. This is for a normal student.
By my saying this I am not decrying the role of other items in the
application mix i.e. Recos and Essay.
Sufficient it to say that the importance of each item depends on each
individuals circumstances.

If you have a low GRE score it is important that you have good academics.To
some extent the negative impact of low GRE score can be balanced by a high
academic score.
The importance of high academics can be realized when you note that while
you can dispense with low GRE score by taking the test again you cannot
overcome with low academics.

Similarly if you have low academic score you can be excused to some extent
for this by scoring high in GRE. Along with this you should be able to
present your case well in your SOP and your Recos should also support your case.

Thus you will see from the above that

The active ingredient in the application mix are
1. GPA
2.GRE / GMAT/ SAT

The supporting ingredients are
3.RECOS
4.SOP

The dormant ingredient is
5. TOEFL.
TOEFL comes to play when there is a tie.

In the case of Business Studies experience is another important aspect. More of it later.
The importance of each lies with your circumstances and your choice of a program.