How A Dean Would Rank Business Schools

rankingOf course, application volume is just one input. Another very valuable input is the percentage of admitted candidates who actually go to a school rather than turn it down. If a school’s yield rate is 50%, it means that half of the prospective students it admits actually accepts the offer of admission and becomes enrolled as a student at the school.

On this measure, Harvard is first, with an 88.8% yield rate, while Stanford is second with 78.7%. Columbia Business School does exceptionally well on this measure, enrolling 70.4% of the applicants it admits, higher than Wharton (68.1%), Chicago Booth (59.4%), or NYU (48.7%). Columbia’s high yield is a function of its early admission decision policy, its New York City location, and its Ivy League status.

You could just as easily add one or two more inputs on average GMAT scores and undergraduate grade point averages. The latter measure, however, wouldn’t take into account the quality or standing of the undergraduate degree and major in a subject. The former would represent a fairly shared view of the overall quality of the students culled from a school’s applicant pool.

Schools Ranked By Yield Rates


School2014 P&Q RankYield
  1. Harvard Business School288.8%
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business178.7%
  3. Columbia Business School570.4%
  4. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)368.0%
  5. Northwestern University (Kellogg)663.9%
  6. MIT (Sloan)762.3%
  7. University of Chicago (Booth)459.4%
  8. Cornell University (Johnson)1552.6%
  9. UC-Berkeley (Haas)1052.5%
10. Dartmouth College (Tuck)852.2%
11. University of Michigan (Ross)1150.9%
12. Duke University (Fuqua)950.9%
13. Yale School of Management1249.5%
14. New York University (Stern)1648.7%
15. UCLA (Anderson)1448.2%
16. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)1746.6%
17. Vanderbilt University (Owen)2546.1%
18. University of Virginia (Darden)1345.8%
19. Indiana University (Kelley)2045.6%
20. University of Washington (Foster)2344.7%
21.  University of Texas-Austin (McCombs)1944.4%
22. Emory University (Goizueta)2043.5%
23. University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)1837.9%
24. Georgetown University (McDonough)2234.5%
25. Washington University (Olin)2430.9%

Source: P&Q analysis of publicly available data