Below is a list of the top 25 U.S. MBA programs based on 3 popular ranking sites: FinancialTimes, BusinessWeek, and MBA50.com. What we find here is that the classes listed are almost identical. The only difference between the lists is the rank order, and even then, the greatest difference between any two lists is ten position spots (Columbia University ranked 14 in BusinessWeek, and 4 in the FinancialTimes list.) FinancialTimes and BusinessWeek also have four and three schools respectively that show up on their top 25 list that are not included on the MBA50 list.
What this means to me, is that as long as you are accepted into one of the top 30 schools( in any of these lists), you are an elite MBA. The differences between these three lists are fairly arbitrary +/- 10 position points. If you are taking on a lot of debt to attend your MBA it is important that you are able to make it into one of these 25-30 schools. Otherwise, you should be sure to have a large portion of your MBA financed through other means (scholarships, employer-reimbursed, etc.) if you wish to ensure a positive ROI on your education.
Top 25 MBA Rankings
|MBA50-Institution||MBA50.com 2012 Rank||BusinessWeek 2012 Rank||FinancialTimes.com 2012 Rank|
|University of Chicago||2||1||6|
|University of Pennsylvania||4||3||3|
|University of California, Berkeley||9||13||7|
|University of Virginia||10||10||17|
|New York University||13||16||10|
|University of Michigan||14||8||14|
|Carnegie Mellon University||16||11||16|
|University of California, Los Angeles||17||18||15|
|University of Texas, Austin||19||19||25|
|University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill||20||17||26|
|Ohio State University||24||27||33|
|University of Southern California||25||28||32|