Just three and a half months into 2016, U.S. News & World Report has already released its 2017 ranking of Top Business Schools, and there’s quite a bit to talk about. The U.S. News ranking is arguably the most influential among U.S. business schools, and for good reason.
Various stakeholders can (and do) haggle over percentages of weight given to this statistic or that, but we at Veritas Prep think it does a good job at quantifying broad characteristics that a typical business school applicant would care about, namely the school’s overall reputation (40% weight), the ability to place you in a good-paying job (35%), and the capabilities of your fellow students (25%). We won’t get into the nitty-gritty here, but you’re more than welcome to read about the rankings methodology on the U.S. News website.
Now, let’s get into the juicy stuff!
Chicago Booth moves to #2
For the first time in the poll’s history, Chicago Booth has entered the #2 spot, tied with Stanford Graduate School of Business. There’s a lot to talk about here. How can Booth, which admits one in every four applicants (24.4%), possibly rank equally to Stanford, which admits only 6.1%? The key is that Stanford graduates are pickier.
Let me explain: Stanford exceeds Booth (and pretty much every other program) in every category except job placement. In fact, on the surface, Stanford’s job placement numbers look absolutely abysmal: It ranks #52 in percentage of graduates employed at graduation (71.7%) and #74 in percentage of grads employed three months after graduation (86.2%).
But wait, shouldn’t recruiters be pounding down the door to hire Stanford grads? Indeed, they do. However, Stanford MBAs are known for being exceptionally picky, and they’re willing to wait to get the jobs they want. This year, 92% of Stanford MBAs had received a job offer within 3 months of graduation, but several of them chose not to accept those offers. MBAs from most other schools have a lower tolerance for risk, so once they near the three-month mark after graduation, few offers go unanswered.
In addition, far fewer Stanford graduates go into traditional MBA recruiting industries such as management, consulting and finance. These industries will hire whole classes of MBA recruits many months before graduation, so the schools that send more graduates into those industries tend to have stronger recruitment statistics than the programs that send more graduates into non-traditional positions. Remember, most companies will only hire someone when a position becomes available (just-in-time hiring), rather than hiring a whole slew of graduates at once.
Many Stanford grads tend to gravitate toward venture capital, private equity, or Bay Area startups, which are far smaller than the enormous banks and management consulting firms that many traditional MBAs are hired to. This depresses their statistics, but is also a key reason to attend Stanford GSB. Based on all other criteria, Stanford would be the clear #1 ranked program.
This isn’t to say that Chicago Booth isn’t deserving. The school has invested significantly in its career services resources and recruiting apparatus to ensure its graduates have stellar jobs upon graduation. Fully 95% of Booth graduates had accepted a job offer within three months of graduation, leading every school in the top-10 except the (much smaller) class at Tuck, which edged them out at 95.1%.
NYU Stern drops to #20, but ignore it
The biggest loser — by far — in this year’s ranking is NYU Stern, dropping from #11 last year to #20 this year. The school is furious, and we can’t blame them. Dean Peter Henry released a press releaseexplaining the drop in ranking, which was due to inadvertently leaving one answer blank on a survey of 300 questions. The question asked for the number of admits that had submitted a GMAT score, which was not dramatically different from the previous year.
However, rather than simply reaching out and asking NYU Stern – perennially ranked in the top 10-12 programs – what the number should be, the ranking “estimated” the number, resulting in a drop of nine places. Clearly, their estimate was nowhere near realistic, and we at Veritas Prep believe this action by U.S. News to be in egregiously bad taste and downright punitive. We encourage all of our clients and readers to ignore this year’s ranking of NYU Stern, to not incorporate it into their school-selection decisions, and assume that had the data been reported correctly, the school would have remained in approximately the same rank.
Check out Part 2of this article, in which we’ll take a deeper look at these rankings and what they might mean for you.
Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+and Twitter.
Travis Morgan is the Director of Admissions Consulting for Veritas Prep and earned his MBA with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He served in the Kellogg Student Admissions Office, Alumni Admissions Organization and Diversity & Inclusion Council, among several other posts. Travis joined Veritas Prep as an admissions consultant and GMAT instructor, and he was named Worldwide Instructor of the Year in 2011.
If you can make it there…well, you know the saying about New York City. If you're hoping to call the Big Apple home and attend NYU (New York University) during your college years, here are a few tips to help you get there.
1. Be sure to read the "Application Do's and Don'ts Guide" on the NYU admissions website.
This might seem like an obvious thing to do, but a lot of applicants ignore this kind of available advice from the admissions officers themselves (and that's a bad idea). Read the guide carefully. The admissions committee is being very clear about what they want and don't want you to do. Pay particular attention to this:
"Read and follow instructions. Please don't decide that you have a 'better' way. We wouldn't ask you to do something in a certain way unless it was important that you do it that way."
If only every college were so direct.
2. Pay close attention to the testing requirements.
NYU's testing requirements are unlike those at most colleges. You can submit the SAT or ACT, or specific combinations of SAT Subject Tests, or specific AP exam scores. This can really allow a student to put her best testing foot forward. So make sure you review the options carefully on the NYU website, and select the test option that puts you in the best testing light.
3. Consider that a desire to be "in the city" is more of a pre-requisite than it is a reason to apply.
In their essays to NYU, a lot of students write about a desire to go to college in New York City. But a desire to be in New York should pretty much be a given if you do in fact want to go to college at NYU. We're mentioning this here because NYU, like all selective colleges, is looking for evidence of a thoughtful college search and a potential match with their student community. So don't just decide that New York seems exciting and stop there. Really think about why life as a college student in NYC would really enhance your college experience, and what you would do to make the most of that opportunity.
4. Make the most of the personal statement essays.
NYU's Common Application supplement has four required essays. Well, it's actually three required essays and one "haiku, limerick or short poem that best describes you." Successful applicants won't lament the requirement to write so many essays, and they won't hide behind answers that are contrived to impress. They'll have fun writing the haiku, imagining the movie being made in 2050 about their life and selecting a famous New Yorker to spend a day with. They'll use those opportunities to reveal their personalities. They'll be honest enough to show that they're just the type of self-aware, introspective, sometimes wry, sometimes sassy, sometimes self deprecating students that seem to choose (and thrive at) NYU.
Here are some prompt-specific tips:
If you had the opportunity to spend one day in New York City with a famous New Yorker, who would it be and what would you do? (Your New Yorker can be anyone -past or present, fictional or nonfictional – who is commonly associated with New York City; they do not necessarily have to have been born and raised in New York.)
This is one of those prompts that can expose kids who haven’t given serious consideration to the school. If you’ve really thought about what it would be like to live in New York City, you’ll have some idea about how you want to spend your days, and you probably have paid attention to who some famous New Yorkers are. You've thought about the city and what you'd like to do there. So this opportunity to spend a day with a famous New Yorker would probably be an exciting one.
As with all essay questions, this should be about you, not about New York or the famous person. The answer should reveal something about yourself and your personality.
For example, the Beatles fanatic could talk about John Lennon (who specifically left England to live in New York City) and what a fantastic day it could be just visiting local guitar shops, hanging out in The Village drinking coffee and talking music with him, how you could finally ask him the truth about the lyric in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and find out whether or not he and Paul still liked each other.
That answer reveals something about the writer. It doesn’t just regurgitate information about New York City that the reader already knows.
In the year 2050, a movie is being made of your life. Please tell us the name of your movie and briefly summarize the story line.
This question and the limerick one after it are good examples of essay questions reflecting the personality of the school and the student body. Students at NYU would have fun with a question like this if you posed it to them, even if they weren’t studying anything to do with film. It’s just that kind of environment where people enjoy creativity and self-expression. So NYU asks it in part to help identify students who embrace that culture.
It doesn’t matter what the title or the story line is as long as you inject your own personality into it and help the reader get to know something about you.
Write a haiku, limerick, or short (eight lines or less) poem that best represents you.
Again, true NYU-ers will have a field day with this. They won’t get frustrated with having to write “some stupid poem.” They’ll want to do it. They’ll wish that other college applications allowed them to do it. It’s those students who are mostly likely to accept an offer of admission from NYU, and who are most likely to thrive once they get there.
So let loose with this one. Don’t plod along trying to create something impressive. Be playful, serious, introspective—whatever you think represents you.
Please tell us what led you to select your anticipated academic program and/or NYU school/college, and what interests you most about your intended discipline.
In spite of the fact that college is first and foremost, well, school, a lot of students give surprisingly little thought to questions like this. NYU wants to know that you're not just looking forward to Central Park in fall and all that great New York pizza, but that you're also excited about the academic journey you're about to take.
You've only got 500 characters (about one paragraph) to work with here. So you're going to need to make your points clearly and forcefully. And you'll need to do so in a way that focuses on you more than it does NYU. That's how you distinguish yourself in a question like this, by writing something nobody else could write.
For example, any potential business major could write,
"Business has always interested me. I find the combination of so many elements, from marketing to accounting to sales, fascinating. NYU has an excellent reputation, and New York City will also provide me many opportunities to find internships where I can gain valuable experience."
First of all, what teenager that you know talks like that? Secondly, he just wrote the same essay that a lot of other NYU business major hopefuls will write. And worst of all, he just told the admissions committee things about NYU that they already know.
Let them hear your academic excitement. Show NYU that you've given appropriate thought to the major you’ve selected and why you want to pursue it. What if this applicant above turned it around and said,
“I learned something working at my dad’s mortgage company–business isn't always fun. I saw how much my dad worried especially as the economy started to go south. It wasn't easy for him. But I also saw how engaged he was in his work. He loves what he does because it's hard, not in spite of it. I'm a lot like my father. I’m applying as a business major not because it seems fun, but because I want to get up in the morning and feel just as excited to go to class as I did to go to my job.”
Now we’ve gotten to know something about him, something we wouldn’t have known from the rest of his application. And there’s an energy there, something that makes us believe he’s not just checking the “business” box because he doesn’t know what else to check.
It takes a certain kind of student to get in, to attend, and to ultimately succeed at NYU. And their application is designed to give you the opportunity to show that you’re one of them. The best matched NYU students are independent, thoughtful and expressive. They would never try to hide those qualities. So bring them out here in your essay responses, and never hide behind language where you’re just trying to impress.
Note: Before you follow our tips, we recommend you read our "How to" guide here: Download PreviewHowToUse30Guides
And if you have other questions about essays, applications, interviews or financial aid, visit our online store. We’ve got books, videos and downloadable guides to help you. Or you could speak with one of our online college counselors.
Filed Under: Advice for specific colleges