Is There a Better Way to Rank Business Schools?

  • Mean Starting Salary, a measure of the mean salary of students entering the workforce after graduation, is informative for students considering the return on investment of attending a certain school, but it tends to be more a function of geography and student career choice than school quality.
  • Employment Rate at Graduation and Employment Rate Three Months After Graduation, again are informative and relevant for students considering a program’s return on investment, but they have little bearing on the value of the school. Furthermore, at a time when many of the nation’s top schools are fostering innovation and entrepreneurship programs (straying from the traditional “corporate recruiting model” of MBA programs), these attributes may be outdated.
  • Mean Undergraduate GPA is not comparable across different applicant pools (a 3.0 GPA from Harvard doesn’t mean the same thing as a 3.0 GPA from DeVry).
  • Acceptance Rate is not comparable for schools with different enrollments (Harvard enrolls roughly 1900 students; Stanford enrolls 800; Haas enrolls 500). Furthermore, shifting national trends in the number and quantity of business school applications each year can have varying affects on schools, unrelated to school quality (for example, over the past few years, there has been a national decline in the number of applicants to part-time MBA programs, but schools located in or near Silicon Valley have been less affected by this trend).
  • Mean GMAT Score measures the quality of the student body at the start of the MBA. This also quantifies the perceived value of the school to each year’s incoming class (the higher a student’s GMAT score, the more potential program options they have for getting their MBA).
  • Peer Assessment Score and Recruiter Assessment Score both measure the quality of the student body at the end of the MBA. The former is based on business school deans’ ratings of their competitors, and the latter is based on corporate recruiters’ and company contacts’ assessments.

Appendix

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Statistician

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Patrick Perry

Patrick Perry

Statistician

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