Princeton Review 2015 B-School Rankings

The Princeton Review recently released the 2015 editions of its guides to business and law schools, which also include annual ranking lists uniquely based on student surveys. Among the ranking list categories and schools ranked …

The Princeton Review recently released the 2015 editions of its guides to business and law schools, which also include annual ranking lists uniquely based on student surveys. Among the ranking list categories and schools ranked #1 on them, you’ll find:

“Best Career Prospects”—Stanford Graduate School of Business

“Best Professors”—Yale School of Management

“Best Classroom Experience”—New York University Stern School of Business

“Toughest to Get Into” (the only ranking list in the books based on school-reported data)— Stanford Graduate School of Business

“Greatest Opportunity for Women”—Simmons College

“Best Green MBA”—Yale School of Management

Unlike other popular rankings, the Princeton Review does not rank the business or law schools hierarchically. “Each school in our books offers outstanding academics: no single law or b-school is ‘best’ overall,” says Robert Franek, SVP / Publisher of the Princeton Review.

“We publish rankings in several categories along with our detailed profiles of the schools to give applicants the broader information they need to determine which school will be best for them.”

 

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ROI of the MBA Strong Across Most Tiers

Just about everyone knows that earning an MBA degree offers an excellent return on investment. But what’s interesting to learn is that even schools outside of the Top 20 and without a globally recognized brand …

Just about everyone knows that earning an MBA degree offers an excellent return on investment. But what’s interesting to learn is that even schools outside of the Top 20 and without a globally recognized brand still offer degree-holders the chance to rake in a seven-figure income over a two-decade period.

PayScale, which collects salary data from individuals through online pay comparison tools, provided an analysis for Poets&Quants which revealed that the career and salary benefits extended far beyond top tier MBA programs.

Several schools offer a greater ROI than their ranking would suggest, Payscale determined. MBAs from Boston University, says P&Q’s editor in chief John A. Byrne as an example, earned enough money–$2,329,000–to put them at No. 19 on the list, even though his organization ranks BU’s full-time MBA program at 40.

Similarly, MBAs from UC-Irvine’s Merage Business School will earn an estimated $2,319,932 over the 20 years, putting Merage alums at No. 21 on the list, though the school’s MBA program is ranked at 47.

That’s not to say attending a top school isn’t really worth the hefty cost; far from it. The highly ranked, big-brand schools tend to deliver the highest earnings over a 20-year period, Byrne reports.

Harvard Business School’s MBAs come out on top, with median income of $3,233,000. Stanford MBA holders are next with $3,011,000, and Wharton comes in third with $2,989,000. Harvard MBAs, in fact, earned nearly twice as much as MBAs from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, who pull in $1,781,820 over 20 years,” he notes.

The deans of two prominent business schools weigh in on the issue in Byrne’s story. Robert Bruner of the University of Virginia’s Darden School, isn’t surprised by the strong association between income potential and where you earn your MBA.

“There is a winners-take-all, self-reinforcing cycle in higher education: certain schools attract excellent student talent, which in turn attracts intense recruiter activity and high-salary offers. The employment results make it easier for those schools to attract excellent student talent…and the cycle continues,” Bruner says.

Paul Danos, dean of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, notes that while the elite programs require a significant investment in time and money, it pays off in both career options and compensation. “The top programs are able to recruit the best qualified students, provide a truly excellent educational experience, and therefore attract top recruiters who recognize the value of that experience.”

While industry choice, geographic location, and other factors ultimately influence ROI, those in management education are unanimous in their belief that no other degree can open doors as the MBA does.

““It is a transformative experience that enables an engineer to become a financier, a high school teacher to become a marketing executive, or an auditor to become a mergers and acquisition specialist for a top corporation, says Danos. “I know of no other educational experience that can match the total value proposition of a 2-year full time MBA.”

You may also be interested in:

Forbes Announces Top MBA Rankings

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MBA Essay Do’s and Don’ts from Kenan-Flagler

The admissions team at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School recently provided a list of helpful do’s and dont’s for applicants working on their MBA admissions essay, and their advice holds no matter which program you’re currently …

The admissions team at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School recently provided a list of helpful do’s and dont’s for applicants working on their MBA admissions essay, and their advice holds no matter which program you’re currently contemplating.

Three Things to Do:

  • Tell a compelling story if you hope to stand out amid the thousands of essays read by the admissions team each year. Make sure your personality comes through so the team gets a real sense of who you are, as well as why you want to attend UNC Kenan-Flagler, and how your past experiences have shaped you as a professional.
  • Recruit at least one other person to proofread your essay for those pesky punctuation errors or grammatical mistakes that we tend not to see ourselves after re-reading and tinkering along the way.
  • Thou shalt adhere strictly to the word count limit unless thou wishes to antagonize the overworked folks in admissions.

Three Things to Avoid:

  • One hopes this goes without saying, but please refrain from regurgitating your resume in essay form and calling it a day. Use examples to illustrate the highlights of your professional experience. Remember, you’ve got a story to tell and a personality to sell!
  • To build upon the previous point: don’t forget to make the case for why Kenan-Flagler is the right program for you. The admissions team is adept at sussing out applicants who have merely switched out the school name from another essay…so don’t be that applicant!
  • Don’t forget to proofread, spell-check, and proofread some more. “Submitting an essay riddled with spelling, punctuation and grammar errors is the equivalent to wearing pajamas to your admissions interview,” the admissions team warns.

You may also be interested in:

UNC Kenan-Flagler 2014-2015 MBA Essay Topics

UNC Kenan-Flager’s History of Sustainable Enterprise

 

 

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USC Marshall Fall 2015 MBA Essay Question

The USC Marshall School of Business has a streamlined application process, like many programs this season, and requires one essay of Fall 2015 applicants. Essay: What are your short-term and long term personal and/or professional …

The USC Marshall School of Business has a streamlined application process, like many programs this season, and requires one essay of Fall 2015 applicants.

Essay: What are your short-term and long term personal and/or professional goals following graduation from USC Marshall? How will USC Marshall enable you to develop or improve your skills in order to reach your goals? (500-700 words)

Optional Essay: Please provide any additional information you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application. (250 words)

Re-Application Essay: Please describe any significant professional, personal, or academic growth since your last application to the USC Marshall School of Business. Discuss your specific professional goals and how the USC Marshall MBA Program will help you achieve those goals. (500-700 words)

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USC Marshall 2014-2015 MBA Application  Deadlines

USC Marshall Offers New Degree in Entrepreneurship

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Choose Safety Schools for Your MBA Applications Carefully

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com Landing a seat at a top MBA program isn’t a slam-dunk for anybody. It’s getting increasingly competitive to get into the highest-ranked schools. …

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

Landing a seat at a top MBA program isn’t a slam-dunk for anybody. It’s getting increasingly competitive to get into the highest-ranked schools.

The term safety school gets thrown around quite a bit in MBA admissions, and it’s important for applicants to have a clear understanding of what that term means before they start the school selection process.

The rule when coming up with a list of business schools is that you must feel genuine enthusiasm about attending each and every one of them, regardless of whether they are dream schools or programs you might consider a safer bet. If you would feel disappointed rather than ecstatic about advancing your career by attending a school, then do not apply. That’s a waste of everyone’s time and your money.

[Consider the benefits of looking beyond the top-ranked business schools.]

A good way to determine whether your list should include one or more safety schools is by asking yourself how important it is for you to go to business school next year. If the need is immediate, then definitely include a range of schools of varying degrees of competitiveness. The application pool fluctuates each year, and all you need is one admit, so spread some risk around.

However, if you’ve zeroed in on a handful of highly competitive programs that you strongly feel are the best choices for advancing your professional goals, and you have some flexibility with the timing, it would be better to focus your energies on the GMAT and elevating your profile in line with your target programs’ characteristics.

If you don’t get in the first time, you can learn from your weak points and reapply in the next application cycle.

A safety school doesn’t mean you’d be guaranteed an offer of admission, though. It merely means your chances are far greater than at a program with an acceptance rate of 15 percent or lower.

[Here are some tips to narrow down your b-school application list.]

So, in order to decide what qualifies as a safety school for you, start with the hard data points. As a general guideline, take a look at programs you like where your profile falls within the top 10 percent of admitted students.

Compare your undergraduate GPA, GMAT score, years of work experience and particular industry with those of accepted applicants reported by the school in their class profile page. If your industry is underrepresented, consider that an advantage for your application.

Everyone has different reasons for applying to business school. Your main focus may be on networking prospects, the educational experience, geographic location, culture, special programming or even family tradition. If you’re excited about any of those elements at a school and would be happy to attend for any of those reasons, then consider it, even if it’s a safe choice.

I had a client who applied to both University of California—Los Angeles Anderson School of Management and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Of the two, Stanford is obviously the more competitive “reach” school, but my client was from Los Angeles and would have been happy to go to Anderson, thus making it a great selection for a safety school.

[Fight the fear of failure when applying to MBA programs.]

Ultimately, he did get into Stanford and chose that school over the full scholarship offer he received from UCLA.

Another client faced the difficult decision of remaining on the waitlist at the University of California—Berkeley Haas School of Business, his dream choice, or accepting an offer of admission from the University of Texas—Austin McCombs School of Business, his safety school and one he would be thrilled to attend.

When the waitlist purgatory continued into summer, even after he’d submitted a deposit to hold his place at McCombs, he finally decided to withdraw from the Haas wait list and commit to a sure thing. He was increasingly happy with McCombs as he met his future classmates and weighed the significant financial benefits of in-state tuition.

If you do apply to a range of schools, make sure each is a good fit and that your excitement, level of research and passion for the program comes through in your application regardless of whether it’s a safety school or not. The folks in the admissions committee have typically been at it long enough and can tell when an applicant has lukewarm feelings for them – and that’s the surest way your safe bet will become a bust.

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B-Schools Still Lukewarm on GMAT IR Section…For Now

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of admissions officers at over 200 business schools across the United States,  60% say that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section (launched in June 2012) …

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of admissions officers at over 200 business schools across the United States,  60% say that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section (launched in June 2012) is not currently an important part of their evaluation of a prospective student’s overall GMAT score.

This represents a slight uptick from Kaplan’s 2013 survey, when 57% said an applicant’s Integrated Reasoning score was not important.  Despite that finding, Kaplan’s survey also finds that 50% of business schools pinpoint a low GMAT score as “the biggest application killer,” confirming that applicants still need to submit a strong score overall.

And because GMAT takers receive a separate score for the Integrated Reasoning section, poor performance on this section cannot be masked by stronger performance on the Quantitative, Verbal or Analytical Writing Assessment sections of the exam.

Brian Carlidge, executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs at Kaplan Test Prep, says the current lack of emphasis on the IR section may be due to the fact that applicants in 2012, 2013, and 2014 probably submitted scores from the old GMAT, since scores are good for five years.

The tide will likely change though as more applicants submit scores from the current iteration of the GMAT with the IR section. For that reason, Kaplan advises MBA applicants to continue preparing for and doing well on the IR section.

“Similar to how not scoring well on Integrated Reasoning cannot be masked  by good performance on other sections because it receives its own separate score, doing well on Integrated Reasoning can set you apart from other applicants in a positive way,” says Carlidge. “Use it to your advantage.”

For the 2014 Kaplan survey, admissions officers from 204 business schools from across the United States – including 11 of the top 30 MBA programs, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report – were polled by telephone between August and September 2014.

You may also be interested in:

The New GMAT Integrated Reasoning: What to Expect

Score Preview Added to GMAT

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