Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Kellogg | Ms. MBA For Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Controller & Critic
GMAT 750, GPA 6.61 / 7.00 (equivalent to 3.78 / 4.00)
Kellogg | Mr. PE Social Impact
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.51
MIT Sloan | Mr. International Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Enthusiast
GMAT 730, GPA 8.39
Chicago Booth | Ms. Future CMO
GMAT Have Not Taken, GPA 2.99
Said Business School | Mr. Global Sales Guy
GMAT 630, GPA 3.5
N U Singapore | Mr. Just And Right
GMAT 700, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Youngster
GMAT 720, GPA 3.55
Columbia | Mr. Chartered Accountant
GMAT 730, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Spanish Army Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3
Kellogg | Mr. Cancer Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Financial Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.78
Kellogg | Mr. CPA To MBA
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Sustainable Finance
GMAT Not yet taken- 730 (expected), GPA 3.0 (Equivalent of UK’s 2.1)
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Healthcare Provider
GMAT COVID19 Exemption, GPA 3.68
MIT Sloan | Ms. International Technologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Art Historian
GRE 332, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Harvard Hopeful
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Yale | Mr. Philanthropy Chair
GMAT Awaiting Scores (expect 700-720), GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. Startup Musician
GRE Applying Without a Score, GPA First Class
Chicago Booth | Ms. Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.5
Columbia | Mr. MGMT Consulting
GMAT 700, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. Future Family Legacy
GMAT Not Yet Taken (Expected 700-750), GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Big 4
GMAT 770, GPA 8/10

U.S. News Ranks Online MBA Programs


For some schools, there is no doubt that these programs have become big money makers. The University of Texas at Dallas, ranked ninth by U.S. News, boasts an online MBA enrollment of 1,053 students who are each paying more than $42,200 to get the degree. Poets&Quants estimates that the school is bringing in some $14.7 million a year in tuition and fees from its online MBA program alone. In the last application period, UT-Dallas reported that some 1,198 applied to the program and UT-Dallas accepted 535 of them. Penn State’s online MBA program also looms large, with 747 students who are each paying $59,312 in tuition for the degree.


U.S. News’ rankings methodology is a convoluted hodgepodge of some 60 different data points, most of which are self-reported by the schools. The magazine said it determined the numerical rank of the programs based on four major factors: faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, student engagement, and admissions selectivity. That latter category, arguably the most important element in measuring the quality of a program, includes mean GMAT and undergraduate GPA scores of new entrants, acceptance rates, employee sponsorship, experience, and whether or not the program required letters of recommendation to get in. Admissions selectivity accounts for 25% of the ranking’s weight.

Another 25% is devoted to a survey of deans who were asked to evaluate “the academic quality of the other online graduate business degree programs listed on the survey on a scale of one (marginal) to five (outstanding).” U.S. News did not disclose either the number of administrators who were surveyed nor the number of respondents. UNC said it also declined to complete this survey.

Ultimately, U.S. News assigned the greatest weight, 28%, to its measure of “student engagement” which includes the graduation rate of the program, a series of “best practices” reported to U.S. News by the schools, and accreditation. The best practices portion of the methodology alone has U.S. News awarding schools 1.6 points each for 15 different factors: policies of instructors tracking, reviewing, and providing feedback on student participation; frequencies of instructors tracking, reviewing, and providing feedback on student participation; school tracks students after graduation; collaborative coursework; formal copyright policy; anti-plagiarism policy; American Disabilities Act policy; certified instructional designers; students sign ethics statement; instructor response timeframe; instructor office hours.

A year ago, U.S. News published a list of the best online MBA programs without assigning a numerical rank to each program (see U.S. News’ Quirky Online MBA Ranking). This is the first time the school actually ranked such programs by number.

(See following page for table of U.S. News’ Top 20 With Average GMATs, GPAs & Acceptance Rates)

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.