Top Feeder Colleges to Chicago Booth

When it comes to rivalries between business schools, you would be hardpressed to find a better one than the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. These Chicago-metro schools are among the best in the world. Kellogg has been ranked first on five different occasions by BusinessWeek; Chicago has accomplished that feat three times. Yet when it comes to admitting MBA applicants, Booth appears to have an unusual preference: Northwestern undergraduates.

A new analysis of the top feeder schools for Booth’s just enrolled Class of 2013 finds that Northwestern is the top feeder university, supplying twice as many MBA students than even Booth’s parent university. Northwestern grads account for 4.2% of the class, exactly double the 2.1% from the University of Chicago.

In fact, the University of Chicago lags behind Duke, the Indian Institutes of Technology, Berkeley, UPenn, and Georgetown in filling seats in this year’s incoming group of full-time MBA students. That’s somewhat unusual because the top feeder schools to both Harvard Business School and Wharton are their parent universities.

The data comes from an analysis of the Facebook group for Booth’s Class of 2013. The Facebook information provides a rare glimpse into the educational and work backgrounds of the students accepted and enrolled at Chicago’s Booth School of Business. B-schools keep this information close to the vest, never disclosing this information in typical class profiles. Yet, it can often loom larger in admission decisions than an overall grade point average or GMAT or the quality of the required essays.

The Booth data was collected from the Facebook page for the Class of 2013. Poets&Quants was able to identify and confirm the undergraduate backgrounds of some 474 members of the class of 575 students who enrolled this September. We then used that sample–representing 82.4% of the first-year MBA students–to estimate the number of students from any one institution in the full class.

Interestingly, when compared to several other top business schools, the incoming class at Chicago Booth also is among the most egalitarian. Only 11.2% of the incoming class have undergraduate degrees from the original eight Ivy League schools. Compare that to 33.1% at Wharton, 30.0% at Harvard, 21.2% at Columbia, and 13.8% at Dartmouth’s Tuck School.

If you subtract students who earned their undergrad degrees at international schools, only 15.3% of the incoming Booth students have an Ivy League degree, versus 38% at Harvard and 44% at Wharton.

(See next page for table of the top feeder colleges for Chicago’s Booth School of Business Class of 2013).

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About the Author...

John A. Byrne

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.