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Personal MBA Coach’s Take on the US News Best Business Schools 2024-2025

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The 2024-2025 US News Top Business Schools report has just been released, with some interesting changes in this year’s rankings.


After occupying the top spot for several years, Chicago Booth was bumped down slightly to #3, replaced by Wharton and Stanford GSB, which tied for the top spot. This #1 finish is a jump for Stanford GSB, which despite remaining popular with Personal MBA Coach clients, finished #6 last year. US News is the second business school ranking to rank Wharton #1 (Personal MBA Coach’s founder Scott Edinburgh’s alma mater) this year (check out the 2024 Financial Times Ranking blog for more). Kellogg dropped one spot, tying with Chicago Booth for third. MIT Sloan occupied the #5 place, bumping Harvard Business School to #6.

Harvard’s lower ranking this year was driven by the school’s employment data: Just over 70.8% of graduates were employed at graduation and 84.2% were employed after three months. By comparison, over 80% of MIT Sloan students were employed at graduation. Despite the rankings drop, HBS remain a popular choice for Personal MBA Coach clients!

Next, Yale SOM ranked seventh for the third year in a row, joined by Berkeley Haas and NYU Stern. The #7 ranking represents a climb for these two schools.

Despite dropping a few spots from last year, Dartmouth Tuck once again made the top ten list, joined by UVA Darden. Michigan Ross was bumped from the top ten, tying with Columbia Business School and Duke Fuqua for the #12 spot. Cornell Johnson remained at #15 for the third year in a row, followed by CMU Tepper and Texas McCombs, which tied for the #16 spot. In another tie, USC Marshall and Emory Goizueta occupied #18. Finally, four schools tied to close out the top twenty: Indiana Kelley, UNC Kenan-Flagler, UCLA Anderson and Vanderbilt Owen.

US News Rankings Methodology

This is the second year when US News used methodology centered on employment data (referred to as Placement Success), which makes up 50% of a school’s overall score (two years ago, only 35% of the score was based on employment rate).

Quality Assessment, which includes both peer assessment score and recruiter assessment score, makes up 25% of the ranking. The remaining 25% is based on Student Selectivity, which includes both GMAT/GRE score, average GPA and acceptance rate.

Using median GMAT/GRE scores means outlier scores have less effect on rankings. This may be welcome news for unique applicants with a low test score, as the change in ranking methodology could lead admissions directors to consider applicants they might previously have excluded.

These rankings and methodology changes are not without controversy, which is why it is even more important this year to remember that rankings are NOT the be-all, end-all.

How to Use MBA Rankings

Personal MBA Coach would like to remind you that changes over time are more significant than year-to-year and guide-to-guide fluctuations. The constant shuffling at the top demonstrates the growing competition among elite business schools.

While the M7 business schools receive a lot of attention, Personal MBA Coach urges our clients to consider a broad range of schools. Our average client applies to five to seven programs to maximize their chances of acceptance.

For more information on how to use the US News Best Business Schools 2024-2025 report or other MBA rankings, check out our tips in this blog.

Beyond MBA rankings, when choosing a business school you should consider factors including a school’s location, culture, academic programming, areas of specialization, and job placement rate. Similarly, culture and teaching style vary across schools. To learn more, we encourage you to review Personal MBA Coach’s new school guides.

Finally, available financing also should be a key consideration since you may be able to secure more funding from one school than another. Last cycle, Personal MBA Coach’s clients earned $10M in scholarships. Depending on your personal circumstances, you might be inclined to select a school with a more favorable financial package regardless of ranking. Some M7 schools are very generous with scholarships while others award them much more sparingly.

Looking for help with school selection? Reach out today for a consultation!

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