Going Deeper on School Rankings

When should you use crossover rankings and exclusivity on lists?

Both Bloomberg and Princeton Review have published their 2016 undergraduate b-school rankings. I realize these are not MBA specific. However, many Top 20 undergrad business schools also appear on lists of the best MBA schools.

PonderMBAMany of these schools also appear in our rankings for Military MBA. Composite, or crossover, rankings such as these can be beneficial because they combine various factors such as the opinions of students and recruiters along with incoming data MBA schools use such as acceptance rates, GMAT scores and graduation rates.

MBA Schools which appear on our value rankings and the Top 20 undergrad b-schools’ lists include:

Indiana (Kelley) #4 Bloomberg, #19 Military MBA
UVA (McIntire) #5 Bloomberg, #13 Military MBA
Texas at Austin (McCombs) #6 Bloomberg, #20 Military MBA
North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) #7 Bloomberg, #15 Military MBA
Michigan – Ann Arbor (Ross) #8 Bloomberg, #10 Military MBA
NYU (Stern) #9 Bloomberg, #17 Military MBA
Cornell (Dyson) #11 Bloomberg, #11 Military MBA
Ohio State (Fisher) #14 Bloomberg, #29 Military MBA
Emory (Goizueta) #15 Bloomberg, 21 Military MBA
Pennsylvania (Wharton) #16 Bloomberg, #4 Military MBA
Georgetown (McDonough) #17 Bloomberg, #25 Military MBA

Sometimes when you compare various rankings, rather than observe crossover consistencies, you will also notice exclusions. Such is the case when you compare entrepreneurship with lists of MBA schools ranked by students and recruiters which best prepare their students for jobs in corporations after they graduate. As Inc. Magazine recently wrote, “Schooling students in entrepreneurship is, simply put, a different beast than schooling students in how to be an ideal employee.”

Rankings are just one of many factors which go into choosing the right graduate business school and degree program. Using rankings alone will not result in the best decision. However, when you do give consideration to rankings, schools which appear on multiple lists may offer more value because they do well across various criteria. That is, assuming you know what these criteria are and which criteria have the most meaningful value for you.

As mentioned above, when evaluating entrepreneurship, exclusivity on lists is also an important factor to consider. This can also be true for specific types of concentrations within graduate business degrees such as an emphasis in logistics and supply-chain management. Under these situations, you should fairly assess the trade-offs involved in attending a better school in an area of specialization compared to a better overall MBA school which has earned a reputation with its alumni and employer organizations.

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