Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Operations Analyst
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Double Whammy
GMAT 730, GPA 7.1/10
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Ernst & Young
GMAT 600 (hopeful estimate), GPA 3.86
Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
Yale | Ms. Biotech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.29
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Marine Executive Officer
GRE 322, GPA 3.28
Stanford GSB | Ms. Global Empowerment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.66
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Armenian Geneticist
GRE 331, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 1st Gen Grad
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1
Ross | Mr. Travelpreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 2.68
London Business School | Ms. Numbers
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
IU Kelley | Mr. Fortune 500
N U Singapore | Mr. Naval Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
INSEAD | Ms. Spaniard Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 8.5/10.00
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31

Why Stanford Is Beating HBS Among Dual Admits

Inside the new home of the Kellogg School of Management

Inside the new home of the Kellogg School of Management

Scorecard: Booth — 38% Kellogg — 27%


What about the rivalry between the University of Chicago’s Booth School and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management? Of the 113 people in BW’s sample, Booth won this battle but not by much: Some 38% of the admits chose Booth, while 27% picked Kellogg. Some 35% of these prospective students went elsewhere.

“This gap is about perceived academic rigor,” suggests Bauer. “Chicago’s image as the more analytical program — symbolized by a surplus of Nobel Laureates — implies greater impact on a graduate’s career capabilities and marketability. Kellogg’s kinder, gentler culture is attractive to many dual admits, but the enduring, tangible benefits of attending b-school in Hyde Park gives Booth an edge over its cross-town rival.”

Hoff has a slightly different view of this smack down. “I think this gap will have widened the next time someone runs the numbers, even with Kellogg appearing to make a big push this year to win some of these battles with massive scholarship offers,” he claims. “Kellogg is a great program, but Booth seems to have created some distance in recent years – and of probably 15 clients who have made this choice in the last three years, I think one of mine chose Kellogg over Booth.

“To me, the x-factor is the emergence of the South Loop area of Chicago as a viable (and pretty great) place for Booth students to live. Kellogg always had a community advantage because everyone lived in Evanston – so even though it wasn’t “in the city” it still felt so much more social. Now Booth has the same sense of community that is just a short train ride north of the school and it’s in the city. This really can’t be overstated. When I went to the University of Chicago for law school (2004-2007), grad students were spread out all over the city, making for tricky commutes and little sense of community. Now, overnight, the South Loop is a trendy Chicago neighborhood that is perfectly situated for U of C students.”

Scorecard: Columbia — 40% Booth — 30%

You’d think that in general higher ranked schools have major advantages over rivals when it comes to these admit decisions. But sometimes a counter-intuitive result can occur. Consider the match-up between Columbia Business School in New York and Chicago Booth in Chicago. Among the 91 students in the sample who had this choice, 40% decided to take up Columbia for a two-year stay in New York City, while 30% went to higher ranked Booth, even though Columbia is a laggard when it comes to scholarship money.

Says Bauer: “It’s mostly about geography: NYC vs. Chicago. Big Apple vs. Windy City. Upwardly mobile admits often believe that learning and living in New York will produce more career options than those available to their peers at Booth.”

Two other factors that need to be taken into account here: Columbia’s early decision program and its alternative January start date. “I’d be curious to know if Early Decision admits from Columbia are included in this data, because that would give them a huge and unfair advantage (as most would honor the rules of Early Decision and choose Columbia even if they would prefer Booth),” says Hoff.

“I also would be curious how many international students were polled. As with Wharton, it’s hard for me to imagine someone with global aspirations choosing Chicago over Columbia because the latter just has far more ‘carry’ it seems in international markets, regardless of rankings. Also, as with Wharton, the idea of staying on the East Coast – or specifically in New York – surely works as a trump card. If you can keep your life intact (many have significant others who work in NYC at the time of applying) and still go to a great MBA program, why turn everything upside down in hopes of a slight upgrade? Columbia has always done really well in yield across the board, due to both the Early Decision round and the massive ‘NYC Hammer’ they hold with many applicants.”

Scorecard: Columbia — 42% Stern — 23%

And what about that also big rivalry in New York between New York University’s Stern School of Business and Columbia Business School, with its Ivy League prestige? Columbia won this hands down, taking 42% of the 93 students in the sample to Stern’s 23%.

Hoff has a take on this battle. “It’s not surprising that Columbia wins against Stern, but I do think some would be interested to see that Stern gets the percentage it does,” he says. “You would think that anyone applying to both would have a clear Columbia-Stern order going in. I think this speaks to the spirit of Stern, which is very warm and inviting, and also the location down in the heart of the city.

“If I had to guess, I would say that candidates who are already living in Manhattan at the time of their application would probably lean toward Columbia as they can just keep their current apartment and life intact and just change their ‘work commute.’ International candidates would almost always pick Columbia because of the Ivy brand, but that non-NYC U.S. students might lean NYU in the end. Why? Because when you live in another city in American and dream about living, working, or going to school in New York, that dream looks a lot like Greenwich Village.”

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.