When MBA Rankings Lag The Facts

Top 20 Business Schools: Ross At A Loss 

So what are the differences between the overall rankings and the peer rankings? Let’s start with U.S. News’ 2014 top 20 business schools. Do Harvard and Stanford live up to their lofty reputations? Are there any upstarts like Booth, Fuqua, Darden, or Kellogg that upset the traditional order? And what about those schools whose performance doesn’t meet the hype? Check out our results for the answer:

Overall Rank   Peer Rank   School                                                       Peer Score   Performance
1 1 Harvard Business School 4.8 0
1 1 Stanford Graduate School of Business 4.8 0
3 1 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) 4.8 -2
4 4 MIT (Sloan) 4.7 0
4 4 Northwestern University (Kellogg) 4.7 0
6 4 University of Chicago (Booth) 4.7 -2
7 7 UC-Berkeley (Haas) 4.6 0
8 8 Columbia Business School 4.5 0
9 9 Dartmouth College (Tuck) 4.3 0
10 12 New York University (Stern) 4.2 2
11 9 Duke University (Fuqua) 4.3 -2
12 12 University of Virginia (Darden) 4.2 0
13 12 Yale School of Management 4.2 -1
14 15 UCLA (Anderson) 4.1 1
14 9 University of Michigan (Ross) 4.3 -5
16 15 Cornell University (Johnson) 4.1 -1
17 17 University of Texas-Austin (McCombs) 4.0 0
18 21 Emory University (Goizueta) 3.8 3
19 18 Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) 3.9 -1
20 18 University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) 3.9 -2

Source: P&Q analysis based on U.S. News & World Report 2014 Business School Rankings

Surprisingly, the overall rankings and peer assessment rankings align closely for the 2014 top 20 business schools. Based on its peer assessment average, business school leaders still perceive Wharton as an equal to Harvard and Stanford. However, recent declines in applications to Wharton could erode that impression. U.S. News’ data also show that academic peers hold Booth, Fuqua, and Kenan-Flagler Business School in slightly higher regard than their rankings would indicate. Conversely, Goizueta and Stern are slightly undervalued by their peers. Emory, in particular, is a school to watch. Ranked 27th by U.S. News in 2010, Goizueta has climbed nine spots in the past four years, with a highest placement rate and biggest increase in reported salary of any business school in 2012.

The only loser in the top 20 business schools appears to be the University of Michigan (Ross) which is viewed as a top 10 school by business school deans and directors, yet shares 14th place with UCLA in the overall rankings. Two years ago, Ross experienced a staggering 16.8 percent drop in applications. Despite this setback, Ross maintained the same average GMAT and GPA scores over the previous year. Even more, it snagged the #1 ranking in entrepreneurship from The Princeton Review in 2013.

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