B-School Chart of the Week: What Is Most Important When Choosing a School?

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 surveyed a number of visitors to our site to get a feel for the concerns, plans, and mind-sets of this season’s MBA applicants. 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.

This year, we asked MBA hopefuls what was most important to them when selecting which business school to attend. Well over one-half of our survey respondents (56.4%) cited “reputation/ranking” as their primary criteria for MBA program selection, while “professors/academic resources” and “recruiters/corporate connections” tied for a distant second place, with 15.4% of the votes each. Trailing the list of school factors under consideration were “location,” “alumni base,” and “cost/tuition”—which received just 5.1%, 5.1%, and 2.6% of responses, respectively.

These results were not surprising to us at mbaMission, given that every year, we see candidates target certain programs solely because of those schools’ reputations. And although the top schools undoubtedly have outstanding strengths and resources, we always encourage applicants to look beyond the stereotypes to identify the program that truly fits their needs best. We created our Insider’s Guides series for the express purpose of helping candidates do just that and hope that whatever your personal criteria may be, you find the right school to fulfill them.

Most Important Aspect Chart



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