Kellogg | Mr. Operator
GMAT 740, GPA 4.17/4.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Transition
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Harvard | Mr. STEM Minor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.78
INSEAD | Mr. Sustainability PM
GRE 335, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Business Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Productivity Focused
GMAT 700, GPA 3.6
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Tech Engineer
GRE 310, GPA 4.0
Cambridge Judge Business School | Ms. Story-Teller To Data-Cruncher
GMAT 700 (anticipated), GPA 3.5 (converted from Australia)
McCombs School of Business | Mr. CRE
GMAT 625, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Finance Nerd
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Army Marketing
GRE 327, GPA 3.8
Darden | Mr. Financial World
GMAT 730, GPA 7.8
Harvard | Mr. First Gen Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Wharton | Mr. Global Perspective
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
INSEAD | Ms. Marketing Supe Latina
GMAT 720-740 (anticipated), GPA 3.1 (last two years 3.4)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Financial Solutions
GRE 313, GPA 3.62
Wharton | Mr. Valuation Specialist
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Commercial Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Schoolmaster
GMAT 710 (to re-take), GPA 3.5 (Converted from UK)
Wharton | Ms. Atypical Applicant
GRE 314, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Startup Founder
GMAT 740, GPA 4
Wharton | Mr. Passion Projects
GMAT 730, GPA 3.15
MIT Sloan | Mr. MBB Transformation
GMAT 760, GPA 3.46
Yale | Mr. Army Logistics
GRE 310, GPA 3.72
Stanford GSB | Mr. Clown
GMAT 740, GPA 3.85
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. Sans-Vertebrae
GMAT 730, GPA 3.78

B-Schools With The Most Competitive Students

It’s also somewhat surprising that Columbia Business School wasn’t on the list. In years past, some overzealous Columbia students were said to hide books in the library so their classmates wouldn’t be able to study for an upcoming exam. Typically, schools located in big cities tend to bring out the most competitive instincts in students, partly because they can disappear in the city during their two-year experience and often feel less connected to the university and their classmates.

When BusinessWeek began surveying MBA students in 1988, it asked a telling question: “What percentage of your classmates would you have liked to have as friends?” The schools that scored highest on what you might call a “friendliness index” were Yale, Dartmouth, North Carolina, Northwestern and Stanford. And which schools were on the low end? Columbia, Chicago, NYU, and Wharton, the Princeton Review’s number one school with the most competitive students.


How to read the table: For each year of the Princeton Review survey, we give the actual rank for each school that made the top ten list for having the “most competitive” students. The overall results are based on an index that takes into account each school’s annual rankings as well as the number of times a school made the Princeton Review top ten list.

1. Pennsylvania (Wharton)100.012113
2. Vanderbilt (Owen)95.951222
3. Brigham Young (Marriott)88.774341
4. Acton School of Business74.22343
5. Texas A&M (Mays)59.86659
6. Southern Methodist (Cox)55.7568
7. Arkansas (Walton)49.5109710
8. University of Mississippi42.3895
9. Purdue (Krannert)32.047
10. Rochester (Simon)30.984
11. Rutgers University26.8610
12. Howard University24.799
13. IMD18.63
13. Santa Clara University (Leavey)18.68
15. Texas Southern (Jones)16.55
16. University of Iowa (Tippie)15.56
17. University of Miami14.47
17. Clemson University14.47
19. Georgia State (Robinson)13.48
20. Texas Christian (Neeley)11.310
20. Florida State11.310

Source: The Princeton Review

Methodology: To create the index and our own ranking, we awarded each school 10 points for every first place finish in this ranking, nine points for every second place finish, and so on. We also awarded ten points for each year a school landed on the top ten list on the theory that multiple appearances gives more credibility to the Princeton Review’s findings.



About The Author

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.