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The 10 "Most Popular" Business Schools

Posted in Test Prep on March 31, 2011 by

What makes a business school popular? A world-class brand, great recruiting opportunities, an extensive alumni network? And how do you measure a school’s popularity in the first place?

U.S News endeavored to answer these and other questions in a recent article about business school popularity, using each program’s yield (percentage of students who decided to attend) as their measure.

As expected, some familiar names such as Columbia, Ross, and Wharton are present. With a yield of 84.3 percent, Harvard edged out Stanford (at 79.7%) for the title of “most popular”:

“In 2010, the business school [Harvard], which ranked second in the 2012 Best Business Schools rankings, accepted 1,071 students and enrolled 903, putting the school’s yield at 84.3 percent.”

Here are some of the other big winners in the U.S News report:

  • With an acceptance rate of 81.9% (and a yield of 72.1%) the University of Kansas School of Business is one of the most popular programs at #7 on the U.S News list.
  • With an overall rank of 32, the Brigham Young University Marriott School of Management comes in at #5 with a yield of 75.4%.

Check out the full list here.

What does all this mean? The popularity list is in many ways arbitrary and more a measure of the extent to which prospective MBA students have already decided they will attend the program to which they are applying, if accepted (yield will obviously be higher if accepted students accept their offers to attend). It also means that some schools such as Columbia and Wharton which are ranked in the top 10 overall may be even more competitive than you expect if they are also popular. You should factor this into your admissions planning if you haven’t already.