MIT Sloan | Mr. Surgery to MBB
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. British Tech 2+2
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Mr. 770 Dreamer
GMAT 770, GPA 8.77/10
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Career Coach
GRE 292, GPA 3.468
Columbia | Ms. Cybersecurity
GRE 322, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Fencer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.48
Wharton | Ms. Ultimate Frisbee
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
IESE | Mr. Future Brand Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 2.8
Wharton | Ms. Future CEO
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. Inclusive Consultant
GMAT 650, GPA 6.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Civil Servant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. National Security Advisor
GMAT 670, GPA 3.3
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Military 2.0
GRE 310, GPA 2.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Navy Electronics
GRE 316, GPA 3.24
Wharton | Mr. Naval Submariner
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83
Stanford GSB | Mr. Techie Teacher
GMAT 760, GPA 3.80
Ross | Mr. NCAA to MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
London Business School | Mr. Indian Electric Tech
GMAT 620, GPA 3.5
Marshall School of Business | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Jones Graduate School of Business | Mr. Late Bloomer
GRE 325, GPA 7.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. MS From MSU
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Ms. Healthcare Visionary
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Ms. Media Entertainment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare VC
GMAT 700, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tuck | Mr. S&P Global
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3

How Recruiters Rank The Best Schools


So you think Thunderbird is circling the drain, do you? The school is awash in red ink and the trustees are up in arms. But you’d never know it from recruiters’ response to the U.S. News survey. Thunderbird’s assessment score jumped by over 25%, landing them in real estate that was occupied by USC (Marshall) and Vanderbilt (Owen) last year. That said, their 61.4% placement rate, second-lowest in the top 100, makes us wonder which recruiters responded to the U.S. News survey. So what other schools are surging? Here are the schools where recruiter perceptions are boosting schools’ overall rankings:

School2015 Overall Rank2014 Overall Rank’15 Recruiter Rank’14 Recruiter Rank’15 Recruiter Score’14 Recruiter Score’15 Difference’14 Difference
Texas Tech87NR41NA3.2NA-46NA
St. Thomas100NR54NA3.1NA-46NA
West Virginia9210454973.12.4-38-7
William & Mary827054373.13.0-28-33
Texas Christian767954773.12.6-22-2
UC-San Diego607341593.22.8-19-14
Wake Forest584741503.22.9-173

Source: P&Q analysis based on U.S. News & World Report 2015 business school ranking

Tthe University of Alabama (Manderson) supplied the wildest swing. In the 2014 rankings, recruiters were lukewarm towards the school. This year, they discovered how undervalued it was, with its recruiter score shooting up 0.7 points. And this occurred despite the school dropping 16 places. Due to this correction, Alabama is now viewed as underrated. Considering Alabama’s upward trajectory until most recent rankings, expect them to settle into a more balanced position in 2016.

Texas Tech certainly burst onto the scene in the 2015 rankings. But don’t get too excited. Their graduates’ $51,687 starting salary is the third-lowest among top 100 schools. The University of Colorado (Leeds)’s rise may also be a mirage, as its three month placement rate is among the lowest at 68.8%. But if you’re seeking certainty, you’d be hard pressed to beat the University of Albany, which had a 100% placement rate for its 78 students.

Ironically, last year’s more underrated program – North Carolina State (Jenkins) – doesn’t appear among the overperformers or the underrateds. Jenkins’ overall rank jumped 23 spots in 2015. As a result, quantitative data and recruiter opinions are in better alignment here.


So what can we expect in the 2016 rankings? Consider this: 43 schools increased their recruiter score by 0.2 points or better (and 23 schools by 0.4 points or more). In economics, that’s called a bubble. Expect these inflated numbers to pop next year, with many schools slingshotting back to their 2014 numbers. And those corrections mean you’ll likely see slightly lower index numbers and overall rankings for this year’s pets among recruiters.