Press "Enter" to skip to content
GMAT Club

Tier 1 vs. Tier 2 Business Schools 2023

MBA and Beyond 0
 

Tier-1-and-Tier-2

 

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:


Know which school best fits you!

What are Tier 1 and Tier 2 colleges?

 

Tier-1-and-Tier-2

 

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.

 

Coffee Session

 

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.

FT Rankings Name Location
1 Columbia Business School US
2 Insead France/ Singapore
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.

 

top-tier-universities

 

Source: https://rankings.ft.com/rankings/2909/mba-2023

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.

FT Rankings Name Location
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

Source: https://rankings.ft.com/rankings/2909/mba-2023

How are Tier 1 schools different from Tier 2 schools?

 

Tier-1-and-Tier-2

 

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
Stanford 4.3% 610-790 USC 11.5% 716
Harvard 4.5% 730 Washington University 13% 700
Princeton 5.8% NA Tufts 11% NA
Yale 5.9% 726 Tulane 13% 630
MIT 6.62% 730 NYU 12.2% 729
University of Chicago 5.92% 732 Boston University 20.1% 680
Caltech 6.7% NA UNC-Chapel Hill 23% 674
Columbia 5.1% 729 University of Michigan 20% 722
Brown 6.6% NA Cambridge Business School 20% 690
Dartmouth 7.9% 726 Notre Dame 19% NA
Duke 5.8% 713 Emory 13% 684

PLACEMENTS OF TIER 1 AND TIER 2 B-SCHOOLS

Tier 1 B-Schools Tuition Fee ($) Average Salary ($) Tier 2 B-Schools Tuition Fee ($) Average Salary ($)
Stanford 147.768 156,000 USC 132,842 127,000
Harvard 146,880 150,000 Washington University 130,437 138,000
Princeton NA NA Tufts NA 149,000
Yale 144,700 140,000 Tulane 107,666 106,000
MIT 154,336 150,000 NYU 150,964 145,000
University of Chicago 145,880 NA Boston University 117,120 128,000
Caltech 112,728 146,000 UNC-Chapel Hill 125,869 126,800
Columbia 106,416 150,000 University of Michigan 132,096 154,000
Brown NA 145,000 Ann Arbor NA 135,000
Dartmouth 152,628 150,000 Notre Dame NA 126,000
Duke 140,000 141,800 Emory 132,500 128,000

Recruiters of  Tier 1 schools and Tier 2 schools

 

Tier-1-and-Tier-2

 

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.

Learn more about the best recruiters for B-schools: Top 5 MBA Recruiters

WHAT TO TARGET? TIER 1 OR TIER 2

 

Tier-1-and-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.

 

Tier-1-and-Tier-2

 

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.


SUBMIT A PROFILE EVALUATION REQUEST

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.