B-School Chart of the Week: How Important Are Rankings?

Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. Each week, we bring you a chart to help you decide which of the schools’ strengths speak to you.

We recently asked aspiring MBAs to answer a variety of survey questions about their business school prospects and perspectives. Now the results are in, and for those who are curious about their fellow applicants’ views on business school, we will be sharing some of the collected data in our B-School Chart of the Week blog series.

A total of 132 candidates—84 from the United States and 48 international—responded to our survey question “How important are rankings in your choice of business school(s)?” Candidates were asked to respond with a number between 1 and 10, with 10 indicating the highest level of importance. While the data we collected clearly suggest an overall tendency to view a school’s ranking as important, the trend seems slightly more pronounced among U.S. applicants, for whom the average rating was 7.6, compared with just 6.8 for international applicants. The most frequent rating in aggregate—as well as among U.S. applicants and international applicants, when analyzed as separate groups—was 8, just a little higher than the overall average rating of 7.3. Still, for some candidates, rankings did not appear to be a significant consideration in deciding which MBA program to target, given that 4.5% of respondents indicated a rating of just 1.

Remember, keeping an eye on how well your target school stacks up according to Bloomberg Businessweek, U.S. News & World Report or the Financial Times may be worthwhile, but as we have emphasized before, fit trumps rank.


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Deadlines

  • INSEAD (Round 4)
  • UNC Kenan-Flagler (Round 3)
  • USC Marshall (Round 3)
  • Carnegie Mellon Tepper (Round 3)
  • London Business School (Round 3)
  • Cambridge Judge (Round 4)
  • NYU Stern (Round 4)

Click here to see the complete deadlines

2020–2021 MBA Essay Analysis

Click here for the 2019–2020 MBA Essay Analysis

MBA Program Updates