Stanford GSB | Mr. Corporate VC Hustler
GMAT 780, GPA 3.17
Darden | Mr. Strategy Manager
GRE 321, GPA 3.5
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Airline Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.73
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Smart Operations
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Wharton | Mr. Marketing Director
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Healthcare Startup
GRE 321, GPA 3.51
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Air Force
GMAT 610, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Sustainable Business
GRE 331, GPA 3.86
Wharton | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Yale | Ms. Impact Investing
GRE 323, GPA 3.8
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Food Waste Warrior
GMAT Not written yet (around 680), GPA 3.27
Stanford GSB | Ms. Future Tech Exec
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Columbia | Mr. Aussie Military Man
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0 (rough conversion from Weighted Average Mark)
Harvard | Mr. Hopeful Philanthropist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.74
Stanford GSB | Mr. FinTech
GMAT Not Taken Yet, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Analytics Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1

U.S. News Ranking Most Influential Among Harvard MBAs

U.S. News 2019 MBA ranking saw Harvard lose out to Wharton

Wharton knocked out Harvard Business School in U.S. News & World Report‘s last MBA ranking but it didn’t impact the importance of that ranking to Harvard MBA students. A survey by the school found that the controversial annual list is the most read of all the MBA rankings and the most influential.

Some 74% of the responding HBS students said they consulted the ranking while applying to business school, while 46% said the publication’s rankings influenced their school choices. The survey was conducted by the school’s marketing and communications staff to determine how impactful MBA rankings are in applicant decisions.

The findings confirm earlier surveys that have shown that at least in the United States, the U.S. News ranking is the most read. A 2017 survey of MBA applicants and students by the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC)  found U.S. News to be the most trusted ranking among Americans. The magazine’s lists were cited by nearly 80% of respondents as an influence on where they applied. Poets&Quants’ rankings drew over 60% of respondents as well. Overseas, nearly 70% of applicants listed the Financial Times as an influence, with U.S. & World Report and The Economist both named by slightly more than 40% of applicants.

Source: 2017 AIGAC survey


The AIGAC survey also found that business school rankings were a key factor in choosing specific schools. Rankings finished second only to school reputation, though just by a 55%-to-54% margin (with respondents able to choose up to five options). Another intangible — school culture — ranked third at 41%, where it was tied by a more palpable consideration: city and geographic location. From there, more practical details, such as career impact, alumni network, academic focus, and career placement, held court. Despite the pricey tags attached to most top MBA programs, tuition and scholarship availability were cited by just 15% and 14% of respondents respectively.

Harvard declined to reveal the other findings of its survey. “We’re not sharing the full results,” said Mark Cautela, an HBS spokesman. “Rest assured P&Q was included and did well!”

The survey was done after Harvard lost its number one ranking in U.S. News last March. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School captured top honors in the 2019 ranking of the best full-time MBA programs in the U.S. Wharton knocked out both Harvard and Chicago Booth which shared first place a year earlier. HBS and Booth slipped two places each into a three-way tie for third place with MIT Sloan, while Stanford’s Graduate School of Business gained two places to rank right behind Wharton in second place. Harvard also slipped out of first place in Poets&Quants’ 2019-2020 MBA ranking, nudged aside by Stanford Graduate School of Business.

“Aside from identifying which rankings are most popular among students, the survey affirms that the rankings are being used to inform rather than to drive decisions,” Chief Marketing & Communications Offier Brian Kenny told The Harbus, the MBA student newspaper. “In most cases the rankings are one of many data points students consider when narrowing their selection set for where to apply.”



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.