Kellogg vs. Booth: The Ultimate Smackdown

Kellogg’s $250 million Global Hub

.Admissions:

Despite Booth’s ascendance in the rankings, Kellogg remains just a tad more selective than Chicago Booth, accepting less than 21.9% of the applicants who apply to its full-time program. Booth, on the other, accepted 22.9% of its candidates in 2018. The difference is largely due to the fact that Kellogg receives slightly more applications every year than Booth: 4,471 applications for the Class of 2020 versus 4,289 received by Booth. In recent years, Booth has pretty much closed the gap because it used to be much farther behind. It’s worth noting that the average GMAT score for Kellogg and Booth’s applicant pool is extraordinarily high: 732 for Kellogg and 731 for Booth in 2018.

Admission StatsKelloggBooth
Average GMAT732731
GMAT Range590-790610-790
Average GPA3.63.6
Applications4,471 (Two-Year Program)4,289
Accepted978983
Enrolled478591
Selectivity21.9%22.9%
Yield48.9%60.1%

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Enrollment:

Both Kellogg and Booth are major MBA schools with very large enrollments. Of the top business schools, only INSEAD, Harvard, Wharton and Columbia have total full-time enrollments that exceed Northwestern and Chicago. Once you add the sizable part-time MBA programs that both Kellogg and Booth offer, these two institutions are even larger than Harvard, Wharton, and Columbia. In fact, there’s only one major school with a larger enrollment: New York University’s Stern School due to its massive part-time enrollment. When you include Kellogg’s one-year MBA students, Kellogg and Booth enroll roughly the same number of full-time MBAs: Kellogg’s 1,304 is just slightly larger than Booth’s 1,179.

Enrollment StatsKelloggBooth
Total MBA Enrollment1,3041,179
Women46%42%
International34%30%
Minority27%31%

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Poets&Quants:

Booth and Kellogg admit a high percentage of students who had majored in either business or economics when they did their undergraduate studies. At Booth, it’s 49%. At Kellogg, it’s 50%. The percentages for Kellogg exceed 100% but that is how the school reports undergraduate backgrounds for the class that entered in 2018. It’s surprising that Kellogg brings in slightly more students with STEM backgrounds, 35% vs. Booth’s 31% because of Chicago’s quant reputation. It may also be somewhat surprising that Kellogg MBAs are more likely to have studied in the humanities (26% versus the 15% with liberal arts degrees at Booth). And when it comes to industry backgrounds, the schools are pretty similar as well.

Undergrad DegreesKelloggBooth
Humanities26%15%
STEM35%31%
Business/Economics50%49%

Cost Of Attendance

Chicago Booth was one of two top business schools, along with Harvard Business School, that held the line on MBA tuition for perhaps the first time ever. Booth’s annual MBA tuition for the 2019-2020 class is $72,000, while Kellogg’s annual tuition for its two-year MBA program is now $73.404. So that puts the total tuition bill for a two-year program at Booth to roughly $144,000, while at Kellogg it’s $146,808. The tuition for Kellogg’s one-year MBA program is now $101,288.

Of course, the base tuition isn’t what you’ll actually pay for your degree. You’ll also have various fees to pay, books and supplies and living expenses. Kellogg estimates the annual cost of its two-year MBA to a single person at $105,610, a sum that includes $17,100 for room and board and $4.050 for health insurance. That brings the total two-year cost to more than $211,000.

Booth estimates its one-year total MBA cost at $108,822, including $22,185 for room and board and $4,600 for health insurance. Add it all up over two years and it comes to slightly more than $217,600.

Oftentimes, the published estimates by business schools tend to low ball the costs of travel and entertainment. So you might expect to add roughly 20% to these cost estimates. Any way you look at it, an MBA from Booth or Kellogg or any top schools is a major investment.

Of course, you may very well gain a scholarship that will discount the total price. Kellogg says 36% of students enrolled in the 2018-2019 academic year have merit- or need-based scholarship. Booth also offers merit-based scholarships and fellowships to select admitted students but says that the “selection process is highly competitive.” As is usually the case, awards are based upon information provided within the original application and are communicated at the time of admission.

What It CostsKelloggBooth
Annual Tuition for Two-Year MBA$73,404$72,000
Annual Room & Board$22,800$22,185
Total Annual Estimated Cost$105,610$108,822
Total Estimated Cost Over Two Years$211,220$217,644

 

Jobs and Pay:

When it comes to pay and placement, both schools provide solid on-ramps to lucrative MBA jobs. Booth MBAs pull down slightly more than Kellogg MBAs, $154,722 in starting salary and sign-on bonus, adjusted for the percentage of graduates who reported signing bonuses, versus $151,605. But the difference is more a function of career choice than it is a reflection on the demand for a school’s graduates. Kellogg sends more MBAs into the tech field than Booth and tech tends to pay less in salary and bonus than consulting or financial services. On the other hand, tech is more likely to dangle stock options and grants in front of MBA hires and those extras are not calculated in the salary and bonus averages. In terms of placement, Booth’s Class of 2018 also did slightly better than Kellogg, with 95.5% of Boothies employed within three months of graduation compared to 92.0% at Kellogg.

2018 Job & Pay DataKelloggBooth
Average Starting salary & bonus$151,605$154,722
Average Starting salary$128,415$131,893
Average Sign-On Bonus$30,776$33,121
MBAs employed at commencement80.4%87.6%
MBAs employed 3 months after commencement92.0%95.5%
Estimated median pay & bonus in 20th year$190,000$184,000
Estimated median pay & bonus over a full career$3,085,680$2,970,437

Industry Choices Of Kellogg & Booth MBA Grads

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Ever since the Great Recession in 2008, business schools where finance had long dominated have seen a dramatic shift in hiring. That is certainly true at Booth. In 2019, the school put more of its MBAs into consulting (35%) than in financial services (31%). Even more surprising, a higher percentage of Boothies ended up in consulting than even Kellogg which in 2018 saw 30% of its graduating class sign up with a consulting firm. The biggest differences in career choices occur in finance, where Kellogg sent just 14% of its MBAs in 2018, less than half the Booth total, and the tech industry, which hired 28% of Kellogg’s grads in 2018 compared to 20% of Booth’s 2019 MBAs.

IndustryKelloggBooth
Consulting30%35%
Financial Services14%31%
Technology28%20%
Consumer Products7%5%
Healthcare7%1%
Manufacturing4%NA
Real Estate3%3%
Retail3%NA
Energy1%NA
Media/Entertainment1%1%
NonProfit1%NA
Transportation1%1%

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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.

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