What U.S. News’ List Means For Applicants

Ups and Downs in the Midwest

For students choosing between schools in the Midwest, the new US News rankings could have an important impact. While Northwestern (Kellogg) and University of Chicago (Booth), tied for #4, continue to clearly stand out as leading schools in the Midwest, followed by University of Michigan (Ross) at #13, there has been meaningful jockeying among other Midwestern schools at the bottom of US News’s Top 25. Most notably, Notre Dame (Mendoza) rose from #37 to #25, and University of Wisconsin – Madison moved up from #28 to #25. At the same time, University of Minnesota (Carlson) fell from #21 to #30, and Washington University (Olin) slipped from #20 to #22.

As a result of these noteworthy shifts, applicants looking at Midwestern schools beyond Kellogg, Booth, and Michigan must now more seriously consider Notre Dame and Wisconsin. While applicants should absolutely not make decisions solely based on rankings and must also consider specific programs and faculty as well as locations, with its new ranking, Notre Dame is likely to see a significant uptick in applications (and corresponding decrease in its acceptance rate) especially given the school’s renowned alumni network.

Shawn P. O’Connor is the Founder and CEO of Stratus Admissions Counseling, a New York-based MBA admissions counseling and test preparation firm serving a global clientele of applicants to the world’s premier business schools. Mr. O’Connor is a graduate of Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He is also a regular contributor to US News and World Report (where he authors the column Law Admissions Lowdown) and Forbes (where he writes the column The Launching Pad).

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