The ‘Most Popular’ U.S. Business Schools

Wisconsin School of Business is ranked 30th among the best U.S. B-schools by Poets&Quants.

Wisconsin School of Business is ranked among the best U.S. B-schools by Poets&Quants.

Which business school is the most likely to enroll applicants who have been accepted into the MBA program?

Clue: It’s not Harvard, Stanford or Wharton.

That alone, of course, is surprising, but not as big a surprise as the school that reported the best yield, a closely watched number by admissions officials that tracks the percentage of accepted students who enroll.

The business school at the University of Wisconsin at Madison trounced every U.S. school, including many of the Top Ten elite schools, last year with a record yield of 90.4%. Harvard did come in second at 89.3%, while Stanford came in third, with 84.0%.

The numbers, reported by the schools to U.S. News & World Report, were published yesterday (May 21) when the magazine compiled a list of what it called the ten “most popular B-schools.” Wisconsin’s stellar showing was attributed to “a larger surge among public business schools – which tend to be less expensive than their private counterparts,” according to U.S. News. But it’s also a reflection of the small size of Wisconsin’s full-time MBA program, which enrolled just 94 students in the fall, and an impressive showing in recent rankings. The school is ranked 26th best in the U.S. by Poets&Quants, delivering significant value for the cost of the program.

Harvard, which typically has the highest reported yield number, had no significant falloff. The percentage of accepted students who enroll at Harvard tends to hover near the 90% mark year after year. The only school that HBS tends to lose admits to is Stanford. Wisconsin, on the other hand, had a dramatic rise in yield. In 2011, the school’s yield was 72.1%, while in 2010 it was 75.6%.

There were other surprises as well. Many of the most selective schools in the world—including the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the University of Chicago’s Booth School, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School, Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and Columbia Business School—didn’t make the top ten.

In fact, the rest of U.S. News’ top ten list is largely filled out by schools which typically rank far lower than the top 20. The No. 4 school, which isn’t ranked at all, is Oregon State University, with a yield of 81.5%.  Rounding out the top five is Brigham Young University’s Marriott School, with 75.0%.

In contrast, the yield rates at Columbia Business School and Wharton last year were 65.8% and 65.2%, respectively.

Highest Admission Yield Numbers of 2012


School                                               Yield      Accepted    Enrolled
  1. Wisconsin Business School 90.4% 104 94
  2. Harvard Business School 89.3% 1,029 919
  3. Stanford GSB 84.0% 474 398
  4. Oregon State University 81.5% 119 97
  5. Brigham Young (Marriott) 75.0% 224 168
  6. University of Kentucky (Gatton) 74.1% 108 80
  7. University of Houston (Bauer) 72.8% 103 75
  8. University of Tennessee-Knoxville 71.7% 106 76
  9. Ohio State University (Fisher) 71.4% 161 115
10. Pepperdine University 70.8% 130 92

Source: Business schools reporting to U.S. News & World Report

(See following page for the yield numbers of the top 25 U.S. business schools)

  • midwestern

    Even for full-time programs, people who apply locally tend to apply and attend 1-2 schools–no “best before” deadlines or any surprises, and they’ll end up attending the ones that send them offers. hence the high yields.

    I think it’s largely possible that the Yield rates are usually low for top b-school, because people like to have options–amongst them, HBS and GSB are definitely the best options..

  • Confused

    As far as I know, Ross is welcoming / collaborative and apologies for the harsh language. I was merely trying to point out that YouDecide seems to be attempting to destroy Ross’ image and, assuming he/she is a Ross grad, that what YouDecide is doing appears to be a Ross-on-Ross hate crime.

    Through my questions, I am trying to figure out YouDecide’s motivation for knocking their own school in such a public forum.

  • Re: Confused

    What do you mean by your last paragraph? Ross is known to be welcoming and collaborative!

  • Confused

    What is your goal in posting this?
    Are you trying to tell any potential MBA that Ross is a terrible place and to avoid it?
    Are you trying to show that Ross students are jingoist Americans?
    Are you trying to show the world that you are a crusader for good?

    Are you trying to show that this author is misguided?
    Are you trying to show that Ross students should be more welcoming to international students and to their needs by not forcing them to adapt to the American culture / environment?

    I am basically confused about the purpose of this comment thread and why you chose this as your forum for this issue. Because this seems like an internal Ross issue and Ross-on-Ross hate crimes would only serve to diminish the overall value of the degree and negatively impact the talent pool of students interested in Ross.

  • YouDecide5

    Hi dear friends,

    I am deeply concerned about an article written on MSJ. It is serious, because
    SJ is seldom deeply concerned about anything. In summary, the article makes a
    blanket accusation on cheating within among international students and the
    article is littered with insinuations. I believe there should be some level of
    accountability when something is published by a student-run publication. I also
    believe that there are black sheeps in every flock, but it would be
    irresponsible to burn a forest for a tree like what the author did. Below is my
    exchange with the author (you should start all the way from the bottom of this
    email, which is when the email thread began) with the deans copied inside. I
    have also attached the picture of the article for those who have not read it.

    I sincerely urge you, regardless whether you are international or domestic
    students, to write in to the author and to the school to express your rejection
    of stereotyping. I am not actually concern with whatever he has to say because
    I believe it is his opinion and he has the right to express them – the forum
    might have been more appropriate though but who am I, of all people, to judge
    on appropriateness. But what perturbs me, and which is the crux of the problem,
    is the failure of the school to advocate and promote a more open-minded
    platform that promotes understanding between domestic and international
    students. I am fortunate to be friends with many of you kind, beautiful, and
    handsome, and some muscular domestic students, but we know the ground realities
    – the stratification between international and domestic students. I believe
    this effort is a 2–way street. As much as we like to comment and state that
    international students do not speak up, reach out, or attempt to learn about
    the social dynamics in the US context ( I am differentiating myself from the
    international community at this point in time because I watch entourage, games
    of thrones, workaholics, and dexter), the same could be said for domestic
    students who fail to reach out as well, seeking comfort in activities we (again
    I am trying to show my allegiance to the domestic students) are used to –
    hitting the bars, tailgating, playing beer pongs, flipcups, and 1/4. Who is to
    say the international student is not willing to break out of his comfort zone
    to know more people? They are the ones who flew thousands of miles to a foreign
    land, to learn and speak a language foreign to them, and having to adapt to a
    whole new environment. I believe credit should be given when it is due.

    I hope you can make an effort to draft a short email stating your opinion on
    this. If not for justice (as the author proudly claims), then do it for your
    love for me. If there is no love, I believe your services can be acquired via
    liquid or monetary persuasion.

    Spread love, not war.


  • YouDecide4

    Dear Thomas,

    Thank you for your reply. You are right, I have been trying to touch on a few
    things, but it is apparent from your reply that you have failed to listen and
    have missed out my key points. I believe I should be more direct with my
    response this time.

    Let me begin by stating that I find the intention of your article dubious at
    best. Are you sincere about raising the importance of adherence to the Ross
    Honor Code, or are you more interested in chastising the 7 alleged
    international students who plagiarized and got away ‘scott free’ and that you
    felt the need to air your grievances because you worked harder or just as hard
    but ended up getting the same rewards as them? If your purpose were to raise
    adherence to the Ross honor code, then I would applaud your efforts. However,
    it is obvious from your article that your intention might not be as nobel as
    you would like to think.

    Your article has been crafted and manipulated, littered with insinuations about
    the international community, and worst of all, based on anecdotal evidences
    that your mind has chosen to funnel and filter selectively. I am sure you have
    not interacted much with the international students at all. Because if you did,
    you would have met a whole bunch of us who are hardworking, honest, and most
    importantly, women and men of integrity. If you had not allowed yourself to
    fall victim to the fallacy of the one-sided story by reaching out to more
    international students, I am sure you would have not written that article
    insinuating the lack of integrity among the international community. Again, as
    much as you would like to deny or claim that it was not your intention to
    do so, your actions prove otherwise. I find it hard to believe that a person
    capable of drafting such a well-manipulated article would fail to realize that
    readers would fail to pick up on the accusatory tone of your article. In fact,
    I do not believe that you did not write that article with a certain level of
    malice, because you were able to pick up on the tone of my previous email and
    that shows that you are capable of calibrating your writing tone to achieve the
    intended effects.

    Now that I am done giving you an overview of what I feel and think about the
    article, I will now go on to address the specific points you raised in this

    1. “First, I tried to clearly state the ignorance of assuming
    all internationals cheat…So far I’ve found Rossers sophisticated enough to
    avoid stereotypes.”

    * I find your statement extremely
    disturbing. It shows how deliberate and manipulative you tried to be. It was
    smart to insert the token disclaimer cautioning readers not to be ignorant to
    use your points as basis to suspect and accuse international students of their
    propensity to cheat – “You would be ignorant, of course, to use this as
    reason for suspicion of international students in general”. However, your
    stated skepticism in the last sentence of the same paragraph of your article
    reveals your true intentions and insinuations – “…it may be that US
    students who plagiarize are better at covering their tracks and that in many
    cases of cheating by internationals there is no intent. Of course that is
    plausible, but I am skeptical…”. Qualifying yourself first does not
    dissolve you of any responsibilities. Just as claiming ignorance to a crime and
    then committing the crime does not make you any less guilty. Your actions are
    no different from those students who qualify or claim ignorance of what
    plagiarism entails, but end up plagiarizing anyway. And by your standards of
    moral adherence, that makes you no different from people who plagiarize and
    those who run Ponzi schemes. Of course, that is not what I believe you to be
    because I do not judge. I am merely re-stating the assertions you made. But of
    course, I am skeptical, just as you are skeptical about the double standards
    enforced on plagiarism when your national culture is taken into account.

    * I also find it hard to convince myself
    that an author who is capable of crafting such a well-manipulated piece be
    naïve enough to believe humans are sophisticated enough to avoid stereotypes.
    Your statement in itself is an indirect admission that you were indeed creating
    and reinforcing stereotypes in your article – since you believed Rossers to be
    sophisticated enough to avoid them. I agree and hope to believe that most
    Rossers would be capable of that. However, we all know what the ground
    realities are when it comes to stereotyping. Your reasoning on the
    ‘sophistication level’ is just another convenient reply – no different from
    what firms send out when they reject your application. You know, those
    “you are a high quality candidate, but this year was a tough and
    challenging recruiting season…” Do you seriously believe in the sincerity
    of those emails? Just as you are naïve enough to believe in the sophistication
    of ALL Rossers to avoid stereotypes? I emphasize on ALL, because when it comes
    to stereotyping and in the process leading to prejudice and discrimination, it
    only takes one person to spread this malice. I am sure you would know who Adolf
    Hitler is.

    * I find it difficult to reconcile all
    these contradictions that you presented and I seriously question your sincerity
    in raising awareness to the Ross Honor vis-a-vis trying to make this a witch
    hunt for the 7 international students who cheated. It seems more to me that you
    were trying to exact your own personal form of justice and were using the MSJ
    as a convenient conduit and masking it under the guise of adherence to the Ross
    Honor Code. And in the case if your true intention is to raise awareness and
    adherence to the Ross Honor Code, I can only say that I am deeply disappointed
    and that you did a terrible job at that. I am speaking not only for myself, but
    from a large majority of the international community. This is not an anecdotal
    evidence and I will present them to you in time to come.

    2. “Second, You are correct that I cannot prove unequivocally
    that international plagiarism is a problem. As I mentioned in the
    article, the opaque nature…”

    * I think it is pointless to delve further
    into this and try to make a point. Because this is based on anecdotal
    evidences, and it would basically de-generate into a war of opinions where
    there is no right or wrong, and it is my words against yours. Just as how
    anecdotal evidences are in nature, we exaggerate, make false claims, add false
    details just to make our stories more interesting.

    * However, I would like to point out your
    discriminatory nature in your investigation. You initiated your investigations
    based on accusations you heard from other students. And you based your
    investigations specifically on international students cheating. Has it not
    occurred to you how biased your actions are to begin with? By the same token, I
    can also conduct my own biased investigations into a certain segment of the
    student body and if I am unable to substantiate my claims, I would simply abuse
    my position in the student publication to publish an opinion piece that lacks
    in substance and is littered with accusations, hear says, and rumors. And best
    of all, I mask my malicious intentions by inserting token disclaimers, and that
    I am simply giving my opinion on what I believe to be my opinion and the
    opinion of the “anecdotal masses”. As a journalist or anyone who is
    proud of their work, we should always maintain the highest integrity and
    standard of work we produce.

    * I would also like to state that there are
    black sheeps in every flock. But I would not risk not seeing the forest for the
    trees. Let me postulate this to you: Assuming you have within your circle of
    friends about 50 international students whom you are good friends with. Out of
    this 50, you have 2 international students or 4% who slipped in their journey
    towards moral enlightenment – would you be as comfortable as you are in
    publishing this article, knowing that your other 48 friends are hardworking,
    honest, and are Rossers with integrity? You see, I too have met many domestic
    students who do not behave as well as I think they should (note that this is
    based on my own standard and I do not require anyone to abide by my standards).
    But the difference is that I do not reinforce these stereotypes and judge the
    rest of my domestic classmates.

    3. “Lastly, the tone of your email borders on hostile, so
    let’s not go there.… You would be best served not to see it as “divisive” but
    as an opportunity to examine the CVC more critically and make it more effective
    for all of us. We should not be afraid to upset “harmony” if it exists at
    the expense of justice.

    * This last statement is the reason why I
    decided to reply at length. Because you have proven to me that my fear came
    true. I was flabbergasted by your use of “JUSTICE”. Your choice of
    word has shown your true intentions in writing this article. You are seeking
    justice (personal) and you are not truly sincere about raising awareness and
    adherence to the honor code. I am concerned. In fact, I am more concerned with
    a bigot going into the workforce and leading a company, feeling self-righteous,
    and going around attempting to exact his form of justice, then having a person
    who plagiarized in my company. At least the person who plagiarized would have
    the self-awareness to realize his mistakes, and hopefully learn.

    * Like I mentioned in my opening paragraph,
    I would be more than willing to stand behind you if your fight was about
    raising awareness and adherence to the honor code. However, me and the
    international community at large do not think that this is your true
    motivation. Hence, I saw this as divisive. How you fail to admit to the
    inflammatory and accusatory nature of your article is beyond me, and I can only
    hope that with maturity and time, you can put down your seething ego to really
    reflect and come to terms with what your article was really trying to portray.

    * My tone in my emails are hostile just as
    your tone was in your article. Our words have impacts. And this exercise of
    mine only go on to serve to you as a reminder that we have the autonomy in what
    we say and do, and what we say and do have an impact on others. I am glad you
    were able to pick up on the tone of my email, because now I can stop finding
    excuses for you thinking that you might not have been sensitive enough to
    realize the impacts of the subtleties and nuances of your article.

    * I am sure by now, it would be clear to
    you that I am not one who would be afraid to upset ‘harmony’. But I would be
    hesitant to proclaim in a bigotry fashion that my actions are for justice,
    because I believe in “he who has not sinned cast the first stone”.
    Instead of seeking justice in the form of retribution and punishment, I hope to
    look ahead to see how we can improve things. Or if there is even a real problem
    of cheating – not specific to internationals – to begin with.

    I believe I have to stand and speak up firmly on this irresponsible accusation
    and insinuation you are spreading about the international community. I also
    know that my email could very much be counter-productive in trying to make you
    see my point and that is for our students to be open-minded, free from
    stereotypes, which I believe are key values toward creating a truly global
    mindset that embraces and understands. But I feel that this is necessary to
    drive home my point, and the view of many international students who reject
    your insinuations, accusations, and stereotypes.

    As Ross attempts to rebrand herself as a truly global business school, and
    position her students as business leaders on the international stage, we need
    to cultivate this open–mindedness in understanding problems, truly embracing
    diversity, and have the self-awareness to comprehend the consequences of our
    words and actions on others. I believe this to be a journey, and I am just as
    guilty of bigotry as you are on many occasions. But I make it a point to always
    reflect on my actions. While it is always difficult when emotions are raging, I
    hope that you would find the peace to really reflect on what I have written
    about. I invested 1.5 hours of my weekend time in writing this email because I
    sincerely believe in reaching out to you and helping you see the different
    point of views.

    I will take this conversation with you in private in the future and I would be
    more than willing to meet you in person to discuss this in detail. I believe
    many of my international and domestic classmates would be willing to meet with
    you too.

    I leave you with this quote: “The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the
    eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.”

    Have a great weekend ahead,


  • YouDecide3


    It seems you are touching on several things here, so let me try to clarify:

    First, I tried to clearly state the ignorance of assuming all internationals
    cheat, so I apologize if you misinterpreted that statement. What I was
    saying was that, though few internationals cheat, among those students who are
    caught cheating, many are international, which is a statement I stand by.
    However, I can see how you interpreted it the way you did. As the
    dialogue on this continues, if I find that others are reading it the way you
    are I will be happy to print a clarification. So far I’ve found Rossers
    sophisticated enough to avoid stereotypes.

    Second, You are correct that I cannot prove unequivocally that international
    plagiarism is a problem. As I mentioned in the article, the opaque nature
    of the current process makes that impossible, which is frustrating. What
    I can tell you is that since I came to Ross, I’ve heard more than a dozen
    people complain about international cheating and plagiarism in their classes.
    I was not looking for this problem and I did not ask for these opinions.
    They came to me unprompted from various sources over an extended period
    of time. When Professor Imhoff’s email provided a more concrete example
    of cheating, which no one has denied involved 7 internationals, I thought it
    was time to start a dialogue. In speaking with Dean Suslow and Professor
    Lenk, I attempted to quantify international cheating. No statistics were
    available, but it was their experience that at least half, if not more, cases
    of CVC violations involved international students. This majority share
    coming from 30% of the student body.

    For the reasons stated in my article, it is my opinion that this is enough
    evidence to investigate a potential problem and restructure the CVC process.
    I spent quite some time thinking through my stance on this, and I stand
    by it.

    Lastly, the tone of your email borders on hostile, so let’s not go there.
    I will simply say that the MSJ is a platform for making Ross a better
    place, and that critical examination of the status quo often makes things
    better. You would be best served not to see it as “divisive” but as an
    opportunity to examine the CVC more critically and make it more effective for
    all of us. We should not be afraid to upset “harmony” if it exists at the
    expense of justice.