How is The A-List: Best Business Schools 2015 different from other MBA program rankings lists?
The Best Business Schools list takes academic quality, affordability, and accessibility into account, as well as each school’s average GMAT score for incoming, full-time students and job placement rate of exiting full-time students, three months after graduation. Each data point has a sweet spot that is most beneficial to evaluate schools upon. Because of this, you will find different schools on this list than the typical rankings list. This list is for bright and ambitious students that are looking to find a school that has a reputation for high-quality education, marketable degrees, tuition they can quickly pay off, and reasonable acceptance qualifications that make getting into graduate school a possibility.
Does each graduate school on The A-List: Best Business Schools rankings offer all business emphases?
Most of the graduate business schools on the A-List are large, prominent institutions that include a comprehensive selection of graduate degree emphases. However, we do not claim that all the MBA programs included, offer all emphases.
Does this graduate business school rankings list take into consideration all business schools in the U.S.?
Yes, however because we rely on U.S. News & World Report and Forbes.com for quality data, we were only able to fully score graduate business schools from their lists, in our data set. Regardless of that limitation, we do feel confident that the schools in these lists include the top business schools in the nation who embody the best combination of the A-List qualities.
What MBA program data factors go into The A-List: Best Business School Rankings and how are they weighted?
The graduate business rankings list is based on a weighted combination of each school’s A-List scores for academic quality, affordability and accessibility. Additionally the MBA programs were scored for their accepted full-time students’ average GMAT scores and their job placement rates. We balanced the weight of all 5 factors so that the top-ranked business schools are those that best accept, accommodate and educate a variety of students at the most affordable price. See Methodology.
Does the affordability portion of the business school A-List take scholarships and financial aid into consideration?
No. A student’s ability to qualify for a scholarship or financial aid is just as much, if not more, dependent upon the student’s accomplishments and financial status, as to how much financial aid is available for the school to give to students. For this reason we decided to eliminate financial aid from the affordability portion of our rankings calculation. Focusing solely on tuition gives a solid comparison between the schools themselves and gives students with average financial means and academic accomplishments a more accurate picture of what each school will cost to attend.
Does The A-List: Best Business School Rankings consider both in-state and out-of-state tuition for graduate business schools?
The lists are currently calculated using either out-of-state or in-state MBA program tuition figures. An in-state list will be released soon after the out-of-state tuition list.
The A-List: Best Business School Rankings considers academic quality, but how?
We base academic quality on three factors: the school’s categorization in the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Business Schools” rankings, the Forbes.com “The Best Business School” rankings, and the school’s placement within the quality category of the MBA schools being ranked. The job placement rates are also indicative of the academic quality, as it reflects the value and marketability of a degree from a specific institution to a future employer, but that is a separate data point in our formula.
How is enrollment considered in the rankings?
Enrollment is not a factor in our graduate rankings, as there has not been conclusive research (that we are aware of) regarding business school cohort sizes, and their positive or negative influence on academic quality or value of education, job placement rates, etc.