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Base salary MBA candidates expect to earn-2006

HIT THE HEADER IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO SEE A TABLE

Expected Salary first
job after graduation $
Industry Expected
Salary five
years after
graduation $
103,27498,088

97,563

95,971

95,726

95,342

93,155

92,838

92,809

92,733

91,531

91,432

91,426

90,752

90,220

89,500

89,097

89,043

88,919

88,424

88,326

88,200

87,763

87,743

87,046

87,012

86,962

86,871

86,684

86,667

86,100

85,724

85,592

85,289

85,266

85,178

84,908

84,339

84,027

83,180

82,130

81,394

79,908

79,804

56,531

88,087

Venture capitalInvestment management

Management consulting

Internet/e-commerce

Investment banking

Computer software

Financial services

Energy/power

Biotechnology

Telecommunications

Hospitality

Healthcare/pharmaceutical

Real estate

Computer hardware

Healthcare

Metals

Other

Electronics

Chemical/petroleum

IT consulting

Food service

Utilities

Airline/travel

Academic research

Automotive

Consumer goods

Hotel/restaurant/tourism

Retail/fashion/apparel

Engineering/manufacturing

Forestry/paper/pulp

Entertainment/media/public relations

Network communications/data networking

Insurance

Commercial banking

Government/public service

Engineering consulting

Aerospace/defense

Non-profit

Environmental/conservation

Transportation/distribution/logistics

Agricultural

Construction

Education/teaching

Advertising/public relations

Auditing/accounting/taxation

Average

234,344225,254

195,341

177,324

239,336

173,842

194,733

168,435

160,629

178,493

172,188

158,157

183,755

144,504

159,541

186,800

157,480

144,281

152,453

154,208

176,075

160,385

166,835

173,456

144,606

143,776

143,228

155,552

142,374

139,444

150,435

163,069

175,938

155,832

144,882

133,378

142,212

138,309

130,342

143,083

144,545

141,563

139,554

126,402

92,000

167,052

CNN MONEY

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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.

RELATED ARTICLES

Average MBA Starting Salaries

Ranking of MBA Programs – Based on Placement and Average Earnings

MBA – American Universities With Financial Help

Getting into a Top MBA Program

Business School Essay Topics

Are Green-Horn Applicants Acceptable by Business Schools?

Career Enhancement Potential’ Ranking of Business Schools-Financial Times

Top Business Schools – WSJ Ranking 2007

Recruiters’ Top MBA

Comments about The Best B-Schools of 2006

B-Schools Ranking – Placement within 3 months

All You Wanted to Know about Top MBA Programs – BW

MBA DEADLINES

Canadian MBA

Doctorate Degree Programs focused on Quantitative Finance / Derivatives

Hit the header if you cannot see a table

  School Program  Specialization Location
1. Berkeley – Haas School  PhD Finance   Berkeley,CA
2. Boston College – Carroll School  PhD Finance  Econometrics Chestnut Hill, MA
3. Boston University   PhD Mathematical Finance Boston, MA
4. Carnegie Mellon    PhD Mathematical Finance Stochastics, Financial Economics Pittsburgh, PA
5. Claremont Graduate University – Drucker School PhD Financial Engineering   Claremont, CA
6. Cornell University     PhD Operations Research   Ithaca, NY
7. Florida State University         PhD Financial Mathematics   Tallahassee, FL
8. Illinois Institute of Technology – Stuart School  PhD Management Science     Derivatives, Corporate Finance, Investments Chicago, IL
9. Purdue University     PhD Mathematics with Focus on Computational Finance      West Lafayette, IN
10. Rutgers University         PhD Finance   Newark, NJ
11. Stanford University      PhD  Finance Dynamic Asset Pricing     Stanford, CA
12. Stanford University  PhD Statistics     Financial Mathematics Stanford, CA
13. University of Arizona – Eller       PhD Management with Concentration in Finance    Tucson, AZ
14. University of Alabama – Culverhouse   PhD Finance   Tuscaloosa, AL
15. University of Houston – Bauer School PhD Finance Fixed Income, Derivatives, Quants Houston, TX
16. University of Nebraska Lincoln   PhD Business Administration       Econometrics Lincoln, NB
17. University of Chicago  PhD Finance       Chicago, IL
18. University of Florida   PhD Quantitative Finance     
19. University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School   PhD Finance     
20. Vanderbilt University – Owen School  PhD Finance   Derivatives, Statistics, Differential Mathematics  

Recruiters’ Top MBA Schools

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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

RELATED ARTICLES

Average MBA Starting Salaries

Ranking of MBA Programs – Based on Placement and Average Earnings

MBA – American Universities With Financial Help

Getting into a Top MBA Program

Business School Essay Topics

Are Green-Horn Applicants Acceptable by Business Schools?

WSJ Rankings Comparison of Top Business Schools

Career Enhancement Potential’ Ranking of Business Schools-Financial Times

Top Business Schools – WSJ Ranking 2007

Comments about The Best B-Schools of 2006

B-Schools Ranking – Placement within 3 months

All You Wanted to Know about Top MBA Programs – BW

MBA DEADLINES

Canadian MBA

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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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Career Enhancement Potential’ Ranking of Business Schools-Financial Times

Top Business Schools – WSJ Ranking 2007

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MBA – American Universities With Financial Help

(If you cannot view the table properly please click the Headline of the article)

School

State

Mean GMAT: Full-time Students

Minimum TOEFL Score

Availability of aid

U.S. News Rank

Brigham Young University (Marriott)

UT

653

240

Aid available (international students)

40

Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

PA

691

250

Aid available (international students)

17

Cornell University (Johnson)

International students have several options available if they wish to borrow to help meet their educational costs. The Johnson School has partnered with Citibank to offer its international students up to $23,000 in loan funds. Students must have verifiable assets equal to or greater than the amount of the loan they are requesting. This loan requires no cosigner, but offers a cosigner option if the student borrower does not have the required assets to qualify for the loan. The cosigner (regardless of citizenship) must document they have the assets to qualify for the loan. The Access Group also offers a signature loan to international students with a three-year credit history in the United States.

Student loans may not be used on the declaration of finances form. Once you receive your student visa you can apply for student loans

NY

673

250

Fellowships available: 55
Aid available (international students)

The Johnson School has over $1 million in merit-based scholarship funds to award each year to new and returning students.

Almost 30 percent of Johnson School students receive some scholarship.All our scholarships are awarded based on merit regardless of citizenshipolarship assistance.

15

Duke University (Fuqua)

NC

705

250

Aid available (international students)

11

Emory University (Goizueta)

GA

680

250

Aid available (international students)

18

Georgetown University (McDonough)

DC

662

250

Aid available (international students)

27

Georgia Institute of Technology

GA

655

250

Aid available (international students)

32

Harvard University

MA

707

253

Aid available (international students)

1

New York University (Stern)

Stern is proud to offer a comprehensive international student loan program.

NY

700

250

Fellowships available: 370
Teaching assistantships available: 596

Aid available (international students)

13

Ohio State University (Fisher)

OH

664

250

Aid available (international students)

21

Purdue University–West Lafayette (Krannert)

IN

667

230

Aid available (international students)

23

Stanford University

CA

711

250

Aid available (international students)

2

Tulane University (Freeman)

LA

655

250

Aid available (international students)

45

University of California–Berkeley (Haas)

CA

701

230

Aid available (international students)

6

University of California–Davis

CA

678

250

Aid available (international students)

42

University of California–Irvine

CA

658

250

Aid available (international students)

49

University of California–Los Angeles (Anderson)

CA

705

260

Aid available (international students)

11

University of Chicago

Financial aid information is sent to prospective students upon admission to the program. You will not need to apply for scholarships or loans until such time. Chicago GSB offers two loan programs for international students – one that requires a co-signer from the U.S. and one that does not. All ADMITTED international students will be directed to a web site to request a loan application. The loans can be used for the I-20 visa application process.

IL

695

250

Fellowships available: 5
Aid available (international students)

8

University of Florida (Warrington)

FL

666

250

Aid available (international students)

42

University of Georgia (Terry)

GA

663

233

Aid available (international students)

45

University of Maryland–College Park (Smith)

MD

651

250

Aid available (international students)

27

University of Michigan–Ann Arbor (Ross)

MI

690

250

Aid available (international students)

10

University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (Carlson)

MN

655

240

Aid available (international students)

23

University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)

The Kenan-Flagler Business School, through a partnership with CFI, offers the EXTRA MBA Loan for international students

No cosigner is required

 

NC

652

250

Fellowships available: 69

Aid available (international students)

Merit fellowships are awarded to 25% of our students. UNC awards are made to international and U.S. students

21

University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)

IN

657

250

Aid available (international students)

32

University of Rochester (Simon)

NY

665

250

Aid available (international students)

23

University of Southern California (Marshall)

CA

685

250

Aid available (international students)

26

University of Texas–Austin (McCombs)

TX

670

260

Fellowships available: 10
Teaching assistantships available: 31

 

Aid available (international students)

18

University of Virginia (Darden)

For international students, there are several merit-based scholarships available as well as student eligibility for third party loans.
In order to borrow money, the amount to be borrowed must be listed on the application for I-20.

VA

680

we do not consider the GPA in our evaluation.

250

Fellowships available:131
Aid available (international students)

14

University of Washington

WA

677

250

Aid available (international students)

18

University of Wisconsin–Madison

WI

658

250

Aid available (international students)

37

Yale University

CT

696

250

Aid available (international students)

15


RELATED ARTICLES

Average MBA Starting Salaries

Ranking of MBA Programs – Based on Placement and Average Earnings

Getting into a Top MBA Program

Business School Essay Topics

Are Green-Horn Applicants Acceptable by Business Schools?

WSJ Rankings Comparison of Top Business Schools

Career Enhancement Potential’ Ranking of Business Schools-Financial Times

Top Business Schools – WSJ Ranking 2007

Recruiters’ Top MBA

Comments about The Best B-Schools of 2006

B-Schools Ranking – Placement within 3 months

All You Wanted to Know about Top MBA Programs – BW

MBA DEADLINES

Canadian MBA

 

Cost of Attending School

YEARLY COST OF ATTENDING UNIVERSITIES FOR NON RESIDENTS.COST IS EQUAL TO FEES +LIVING COSTS.
YEAR IS EQUAL TO TWO SEMESTERS.

(Data Collected in 2005. Please verify and get the latest information from the school’s web site)
.

UPTO $10,000
1.South Dakota State Univ.
2.University of Georgia
3.Utah State University
4.University of Texas, Elpaso
5.Arizona State University
6.Mississippi State Univ.
7.Louisiana Technological University
8.University of Texas, Arlington
9.University of Wyoming
BETWEEN $10,001- $15,000
1.Texas Technological Univ.
2.New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
3.University of Missouri, Columbia
4.University of Central Florida
5.University of Nebraska, Lincoln
6.Montana State University
7.University of Louisiana, Lafayette
8.Wichita State University
9.Louisiana State Univ, Baton Rouge
10.University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
11.University of Arizona, Tuckson
12.North Carolina A&T University
13.University of Texas, Austin
14.Western Michigan Univ.
15.Tennessee Tech. University
16.Univ. of Texas, Dallos
17.Univ. of Mississippi
18.New Mexico State Univ.
19.Idaho State University
20.Cuny, City College
21.University of Houston, Houston
22.University of North Carolina, Charlotte
23.University of Utah
24.University of Neveda, Reno
25.University of Alabama, Huntsville
26.University of Massachusetts, Amherst
27.University of Missouri, Rolla
28.Michigan Technological University
29.University of Dayton
30.New Jersey Institute of Technology
31.State University of New York – Stony Brook


BETWEEN $15,001- $20,000
1.University of South Florida
2.University of Tulsa
3.University of Alabama, Birmingham
4.University of Maryland, Baltimore Country
5.Iowa State University
6.New Jersey Institute of Tech.
7.Soutern Illinois University Carbondale
8.Marquette University
9.University of Iowa
10.University of Akron
11.University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
12.Portland State University
13.Universtiy of Minnesota, Twin Cities
14.University of Tennessee, Knoxville
15.Texas A&M University, College Station
16.Clemson University
17.Wright State University
18.Suny, College of Enviornment Science & Forestry
19.University of Cincinnati
20.Virginia Polytechnic Univ. & State University
21.University of Hawaii, Manoa
22.Oregon State University
23.Florida International University
24.Michigan State Univ.
25.Georgia Institute of Tech.
26.Illinois Institute of Tech.
27.Howard University
28.Univ.of California, Santa Barbara
29.Rutgers State Univ.of N J
30.George Mason University
31.Univ. of California, San Diego
32.University of South Carolina
33.Northeastern University
34.Ohio University, Athens
35.North Carolina State University , Raleigh
36.Colorado State University
37.Virginia Common Wealth University
38.University of Florida
39.University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
40.Oakland University
41.University of Toledo
42.University of California , Santa Cruz
43.Wayne State University
44.Worchester Polytechnic Institute
45.Pennsylvania State University, University Park


BETWEEN $20,001- $25,000
1.University of Delaware
2.New York State College at Alfred University
3.Univ. of California, Berkeley
4.Univ.of Connecticut, Storrs
5.University of Illinois , Chicago
6.University of Maryland , College Park
7.Purdue University,West Lafayette
8.University of California, Riverside Bourns
9.University of California, Davis
10.Syracuse University
11.University of Washington, Seattle
12.Southern Methodist Univ.
13.Indiana University, Purdue University, Indiana Polis
14.Yale University
15.Rice University
16.University of Southern California
17.University of Wisconsin, Madison
18.University of California, Los Angeles
19.Drexel University
20.Florida Atlantic University
21.Colorado School of Mines
22.University of Virginia


ABOVE $25,000
1.Duke University
2.Auburn University
3.Clarkson University
4.Case Western Reserve University
5.Stevens Institute of Technology
6.University of California, Irvine
7.Catholic University of America
8.Vanderbilt University
9.Ohio State University
10.Lehigh University
11.California Institute of Technology
12.University of Notre Dame
13.Oregon Graduate Institute of Science&Technology
14.University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
15.Tulane University
16.University of Rochester
17.Cornell University
18.Washington University in St. Louis
19.Northwestern University
20.Boston University
21.Harvard University
22.Princeton University
23.Tufts University
24.John Hopkins University
25.Carnegie Mellon University
26.Columbia University
27.Dartmouth College
28.University of Colorado, Boulder
29.Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
30.Massachusetts Institute of Technology
31.Brown University
32.Stanford University