When candidates begin looking for colleges to apply to after graduation or acquiring professional experience, they face questions like, "Which college is suitable for me?" This is a challenging issue since what makes one institution ideal for one applicant may be disastrous for another.
Top-tier universities are separated into two groups, but this is a good approach for candidates to decide if tier 1 or tier 2 schools are the best fit for them. It's crucial to note that these tiers don't imply that one institution is better than another or that you must attend a high-tier school to succeed in your career. Instead, these tier 1 schools and tier 2 schools show how tough it is to get into a particular college based on its admissions standards and which students have the highest chance of getting into which school based on their ability.
This article will explain and discuss the differences between tier 1 schools and tier 2 schools and help you reach a conclusion where you'll better understand which one will fit your goals the best.
Here is a snapshot of the article:
What are Tier 1 and Tier 2 colleges?
Tier 1 schools:
These tier 1 schools have a reputation for cutting-edge research, academic quality, a diverse student body, and the highest levels of innovation, creativity, and scholarship. Unfortunately, these tier 1 schools have an acceptance rate of less than 10%. This means that just ten people out of every hundred who apply for admission are taken in. These tier 1 schools desire academic proficiency and outstanding extracurricular activities, although they simply require consideration.
These top-tier universities are considered the most challenging colleges to get admitted to, but that does not mean it is impossible for all. We say it’s quite the opposite; they will be accessible to all students, including those who are from an overrepresented pool. It does not imply that getting into top-tier universities is unachievable; what we meant is that the competition is at its peak, and chances of getting into tier-1 schools are, therefore, less. It should never be considered a guarantee.
Tier 2 colleges
These tier 2 colleges are still highly competitive, but less so than tier 1 schools. They often have acceptance rates of less than 20%. Tier 2 colleges have equal academic and extracurricular expectations, but the number of students that apply is fewer, which means that each eligible student has a better chance of being accepted.
Tier 2 colleges are also elite institutions. If you consider yourself a highly skilled student, then we suggest you target these top tier 2 colleges because it is reachable schools, but applying to them isn't always worthwhile. These tier 2 colleges are frequently less well-known than tier 1 schools, yet they are no less challenging academically.
LIST OF TOP TIER 1 AND TIER 2 B-SCHOOLS
We have listed down top tier 1 schools with their FT rankings. This table contains the data for the 2023 FT rankings. You can check the official website to get the latest data.
|1||Columbia Business School||US|
|3||Iese Business School||Spain|
|4||Harvard Business School||US|
|5||Stanford Graduate School of Business||US|
|6||SDA Bocconi School of Management||Italy|
|7||University of California at Berkeley: Haas||US|
|8||Cornell University Johnson||US|
|9||Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management||US|
|10||Yale School of Management||US|
|11||Duke University's Fuqua School of Business||US|
|14||UCLA Anderson School of Management||US|
|15||Dartmouth College: Tuck||US|
Tier 2 colleges
These tier 2 colleges are still highly competitive, but less so than tier 1 schools. They often have acceptance rates of less than 20%. Tier 2 colleges have equally academic and extracurricular expectations but the number of students that apply is fewer, which means that each eligible student has a better chance of being accepted.
Tier 2 colleges are also elite institutions. If you consider yourself a highly skilled student then we suggest you target these top tier 2 colleges because it is reachable schools, but applying to them isn't always worthwhile. These tier 2 colleges are frequently less well-known than tier 1 schools, yet they are no less challenging academically.
List of top Tier 2 universities
We have listed down top tier 2 schools with their FT rankings. This table contains the data for the 2023 FT rankings. You can check the official website to get the latest data.
|21||University of Southern California: Marshall||US|
|22||IE Business School||Spain|
|23||University of Cambridge:Judge||UK|
|23||Shanghai University of Finance and Economics: College of Business||China|
|25||National University of Singapore Business School||Singapore|
|26||University of Michigan: Ross||US|
|27||ESCP Business School||France/Spain/UK/Germany|
|28||University of Oxford: Saïd||UK|
|29||Rice University: Jones||US|
|30||Esade Business School||Spain|
How are Tier 1 schools different from Tier 2 schools?
Three organizations in the academic world are often regarded as national arbiters of an institution's Tier One status. The Association of American Universities, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Centre for Measuring University Performance, which publishes the Top American Research University (TARU) reports, are the three organizations. Tier One classification is determined if any of these three criteria are met.
HOW IS IT DETERMINED WHAT TIER 1 SCHOOLS OR TIER 2 SCHOOLS?
When it comes to tiers, Tier 1 schools are in the top 20, Tier 2 schools are in the top 50, and Tier 3 schools are in the top 100. There are more category breakdowns in the top 20, but that's the essence. Depending on whose rating you look at, who is in each category might be a point of contention.
Is it necessary to attend a top 20 school (tier 1)?
No, although tier 1 schools do have several benefits compared with lower-level schools. It is because they are globally recognized, has better networks, and have higher beginning pay. If you want a position like VP or above level manager or in any high-powered role, you should try to get as high on the list as possible; top consultancy and finance firms hire from these tier 1 schools, making them the first target of the applicants.
When we compare tier 2 schools to tier 1 schools, the top factor is considered the salary is less. This is partially correct. Starting pay decreases as one moves down the levels, although tuition remains constant. Tier 2 schools are ideal for those who want to learn management but do not have management experience. A top 50 university would suffice, ascending the ladder steadily.
Overall, tier 1 schools provide a better level of growth in consultation, finance, and marketing. In contrast, tier 2 colleges offer the same but at a lower level when compared to tier 1 schools.
For Tier reports, visit: https://mup.umass.edu/Top-Universities
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TIER 1 B SCHOOLS?
It attests to a university's greatness and will assist the country, area, and state economically and educationally. By increasing the number of Tier 1 schools, communities may better compete for the finest and brightest students and faculty, promote economic growth, maintain an educated workforce, and attract innovative research.
According to economists, every $10 million spent on research creates more than 300 new jobs and adds more than $8 million to the local economy.
It's important to note that these tiers aren't designed to indicate that one institution is superior to another or that you need to attend a top-tier school to be successful in your profession.
WHAT IS THE ACCEPTANCE RATE OF TIER 1 AND TIER 2 SCHOOLS?
The table here listed is for 2023. You can check the official website to get the latest details.
|Tier 1 B-Schools||Acceptance Rate||Average GMAT Score||Tier 2 B-Schools||Acceptance Rate||Average GMAT Score|
|University of Chicago||5.92%||732||Boston University||20.1%||680|
|Columbia||5.1%||729||University of Michigan||20%||722|
|Brown||6.6%||NA||Cambridge Business School||20%||690|
PLACEMENTS OF TIER 1 AND TIER 2 B-SCHOOLS
|Tier 1 B-Schools||Tuition Fee ($)||Average Salary ($)||Tier 2 B-Schools||Tuition Fee ($)||Average Salary ($)|
|University of Chicago||145,880||NA||Boston University||117,120||128,000|
|Columbia||106,416||150,000||University of Michigan||132,096||154,000|
Recruiters of Tier 1 schools and Tier 2 schools
Academics, infrastructure, faculty, research, placements, alumni network, and national/international presence are all factors that define tier 1 schools and tier 2 schools. So far, we’ve established that tier 1 schools perform in all of the areas mentioned above. Still, it doesn’t mean that recruiters only target tier 1 schools; let’s take an example of top recruiters.
These are the top 5 top recruiters in the MBA industry: McKinsey & Company, Credit Suisse, Bain & Company, and Deutsche Bank. These recruiters hire from both tier 1 schools and tier 2 schools; the only difference is the pay scale; if you look at the table, you’ll notice that few tier 1 schools receive higher average salaries than tier 2 schools, and in some cases, the opposite is true.
WHAT TO TARGET? TIER 1 OR TIER 2
The tiers are not meant to be conclusive; they're intended to help you decide which schools to apply to and which ones you have the highest chance of being accepted to.
Yes, college tiers are important if you want to work in academics. However, depending on your job options, they’ll take second to other considerations, such as your financial situation. So don’t be swayed just by advertising. Instead, do your homework and apply to the institutions and universities that will provide you with the most value for your money.
Think again before making a decision, but if you still need clarification about which tier is best for you, Our experts are here to tell you about the weaknesses in your profile, which will help you better understand which schools to target.
We offer a limited number of complimentary profile evaluations each week. We match you with the students and alums of top B-Schools according to your background and target schools. In this call, the experts will try to dig out your USP for top B-schools and provide you with honest feedback on your profile and chances to your target schools.
Frequently asked questions
Tier 1 schools are known for cutting-edge research, academic excellence, diverse student bodies, and high innovation, creativity, and scholarship. Tier 2 schools, on the other hand, these colleges are demanding but not as hard as tier one schools. They frequently have acceptance rates of less than a quarter of a percent. While they have the same academic and extracurricular standards, some fewer students apply. Thus each eligible kid has a higher chance of being accepted.
Tiers may have divided schools into two categories, but this is an effective method for applicants to determine if tier 1 or tier 2 is the greatest fit for them. It's important to note that these tiers aren't designed to indicate that one institution is superior to another or that you need to attend a top-tier school to be successful in your profession. Instead, these levels demonstrate how difficult it is to get into a specific institution based on its admissions criteria and which students have the best chance of getting into which school based on their academic abilities.