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2023-2024 Best Business Schools: US News MBA Rankings Have Landed

MBA and Beyond 0

The much-anticipated US News & World Report annual ranking of American colleges and universities has been released, and as always, it is causing a stir in the world of higher education. The rankings are a comprehensive and influential guide for students, parents, and educators alike, with many schools anxiously awaiting their placement on the list. 

The rankings take into account a range of factors, including academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, and alumni giving, among others. In addition to the overall rankings, US News also releases rankings for specific programs and majors, providing prospective students with a wealth of information to help them make informed decisions about their higher education.

In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the top 10 US MBA programs, highlighting the differences from the previous year and discussing the various metrics used to determine their ranking.

Here are the new Top 10 US MBAs (according to US News)

We have compiled a list of the top 10 US MBA programs based on the ranking and metrics provided by US News & World Report.

Rank B- School Admit Rate Average GPA Median GMAT Salary & Bonus Employment
1 Chicago (Booth) 30 4 730 $194,792 96%
2 Northwestern Kellogg 31 4 730 $189,342 97%
3 Pennsylvania(Wharton) 23 4 740 $190,992 96%
4 MIT (Sloan) 15 4 730 $185,727 94%
5 Harvard 14 4 730 $198,180 90%
6 Dartmouth (Tuck) 33 4 730 $191,712 97%
7 Stanford GSB 9 4 740 $198,032 84%
8 Michigan (Ross) 28 3 720 $182,966 98%
9 Yale (SOM) 28 4 745 $181,362 93%
10 NYU (Stern) 27 4 740 $196,143 94%

Stanford is tied with Tuck (go Tuck!) for 6th. Columbia and Haas fell out of the top 10. Stern has made its way in. Booth held onto the number 1 spot, while Wharton dropped to 3rd. 

Wild, right?

Let’s talk about what changed

The Methodology: US News changed the weighting of several factors

2023 - 2024 2022 - 2023
GMAT/GRE Scores 13% 16.25%
Average GPAs (4.0 Scale) 10% 7.5%
Faculty/Dean Survey 12.5% 25%
Corporate Recruiter Survey 12.5% 15%
Job Placement 30% 21%
Starting Pay 20% 14%

You can see that “outcomes” (job placement and starting pay) now account for 50% of the score and factors commonly associated with reputation and selectivity (test scores, recruiter/peer surveys) lost more than 18% of their weight.

Now, the important question - what does this mean for applicants?

Obviously, no one knows for sure, but here are some theories:

Theory #1: The increase in the weight of the GPA will have an impact on international and domestic applicants alike. International applicants who attended a university that did not use a 4.0 scale do not have their GPAs included in the school’s averages, which means universities will likely place more emphasis on enrolling domestic students with higher GPAs. This could result in increased competition amongst domestic applicants and/or fewer spots for international applicants who don’t have a GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Theory #2: Tuck is going to see an uptick in applicants. It’s still not a well-recognized international name, but it’s always had a prestigious reputation in the US and with its admirable leap into the top 10 and tied with Stanford… More applicants who are wanting to stay in or move to the US will strongly consider Tuck.

Theory #3: Booth is going to gain more traction in terms of international recognition. Being in the number 1 spot two years in a row, even with the change in ranking methodologies, demands respect. International applicants who are worried about work visas post-MBA will be paying attention to its high job-placement rate. At 96%, it beats out Harvard with 90% and is head and shoulders above Stanford’s 84% placement rate.

Theory #4: Speaking of Stanford and Harvard… having only an 84% and 90% placement rate respectively (lowest in the top 10s) might surprise people, but it actually makes sense when you think about why. Many of their candidates want placement in non-traditional or entrepreneurial roles that don’t hire at the same rate or on the same timeline as mainstream recruiters. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a slight increase in acceptances for applicants who want to eventually be hired by more mainstream recruiters or traditional roles.

The takeaway: 

To put it bluntly, the new methodology incentivizes domestic applicants with higher GPAs and mainstream/traditional hires and penalizes schools with large international populations and candidates seeking entrepreneurial or non-traditional roles. 

Will this impact this year's applicant pool? Absolutely.

The top 10 weren’t the only ones impacted - USC Marshall made it into the top 15 to tie with Cornell while Emory jumped 4 spots to 17 which previously belonged to UCLA (now 19). Business schools will be discussing the trajectory of their ranking to decide how much influence they want it to have on their admission goals. Some may allow it to permeate their admission decisions, others may follow the path of many law and medical schools and boycott future rankings.

Being up-to-date on b-school announcements, changes, and info sessions in the coming months will be vital to the success of applicants. This is why working with an MBA & Beyond consultant can really give you a competitive edge. Our consultants are invested in keeping informed of current and upcoming changes, which means our clients benefit from the knowledge. MBA & Beyond doesn’t rest on our laurels, we ride the waves of change to come out ahead, and we know how to strategize a client's application and profile so they can do the same!

If you’d like to be matched with one of our expert consultants to get started on strategizing your profile and applications (even while preparing for GMAT/GRE), simply directly enroll for services and we will walk you through the next steps

To increase your chances of success, we hold coffee sessions every other week where our experts offer valuable tips and guidance. Make sure to attend these sessions and take advantage of the opportunity to learn from our experts.