Shortcut to find the best US MBA


Duncan
[Update: StartClass was offline on April 3, 2018. Its owner, Graphiq, has been aquired by Amazon. I suggest you instead use https://find-mba.com/search which also allows you to filter schools using their average GMAT, work experience and accreditation]

As an admissions and careers consultant, I've advised hundreds of people on how to find the best business school. I've written over over 4,000 posts on this board, and one of the most-read is about GMAT Tiers -- which explains which of the top 100 schools applicants should aiming at. There have been over 80,000 views of that post, which is at http://www.find-mba.com/board/27082

But that post is most useful if your GMAT is over 600. And if you are similar to a lot of other candidates, or bring less additional value to a cohort, then you'll need a higher score.

One of the approaches I recommend for people looking at US schools which accept lower scores is to use comparison databses like Find-MBA's advanced MBA search (https://find-mba.com/search) or startclass (which used to be called FindTheBest). Visit it at http://business-schools.startclass.com/

Consider, for example, the applicant who started this discussion: www.find-mba.com/board/36049 explaining that "I am a Computer Science Engineer with a CGPA of 6.7 intending to do MBA. I have a GMAT score of 560 and a TOEFL score of 97. I currently have a work experience of 2.5 years." CGPA, means Cumulative Grade Point Average, is the ten point scale used in India, so this person is one of the largest groups of applicants: an Indian with a technical education, relatively little work experience with little leadership work, and weak scores. At some Indian universities 6.7 is low: some US schools will think it's like a 2.7 GPA.

Of course, the best advice for this person is to become a better candidate: look for a better role; focus on improving the GMAT score, and especially on the weaker side; do some extra-curricular activity, ideally to get leadership experience and to stand out a little; perhaps take a part-time course somewhere to show the potential to get higher scores in academic work.

However, lots of candidates can't find the time to do that, and a perennial problem for Indian candidates is that they suddenly find they need to start an MBA as quickly as possible because of marriage plans. That means that often they miss out on the opportunity to apply early, which could allow them to get into a better college.

Getting into the best college you can really matters, because the quality of the education, the classmates, the financial aid and the career outcomes vary massively.

Comparison sites are great resources because they list data for around hundreds of schools. Both Find-MBA and Startclass include the 300 best schools in the US and, as far as I can see, Startclass only lists the good ones: those which are AACSB accredited. They are ranked using different methods: Startclass uses a Smart Rank system which averages the rankings over the last few years, and that's as good an approach as any. I'm not sure how Find-MBA ranks their results.

Imagine for example a candidate with a 560. There's a slider bar in either site allows you to reduce the average GMAT to 560, and that shows that the schools with an average at or under 560. You can then see those schools ranked and filter them for other variables (perhaps for schools with similar or less average work experience). Using Startclass in 2013, that showed that the top schools were Utah, Rutgers, DePaul, Flint and Portland.

If we then click through, we'll see more data (In startclass, click on "ADVANCED TABLE" on the top right above the table). The average work experience varies a lot a these schools. Our candidate would be weaker at the first three schools, where the work experience is around 5 years, but stronger at Flint and Portland. They could be considered stretch schools, because admission is possible there but not assured.

Because this candidate is weak on more points that just work experience, we probably need to look for schools where his GMAT is above the average, to balance for the fact that neither the nationality, profession or work experience are in short supply or highly valued. So, if we look at schools where the average is 530, we get Portland, Ball State, Drake, Central Michigan and Montana State. These would be safe schools if this candidate can apply early, because there's only so many seats available for Indian computer scientists: if you apply later, they will have filled up their quota of Indians.

And id the candidate is applying late? Maybe they need to look even lower down, like 510? The top five are Portland and Drake (again), McNeese, Kansas and UMass Dartmouth. Those should be pretty safe schools unless the candidate is very weak in some other ways.

So, that's the good news about StartClass and Find-MBA. However, there are some weaknesses. The data are not always consistent with what the schools publish, and often that's because schools publish different numbers all the time. Sometimes sites have old data. There's a feature in Startclass that allows readers to suggest updates to the data (I know Find-MBA is also responsive by email), but perhaps some errors come in that way too. So, you also need to do your own research to confirm what any site is suggesting. Even so, it's a huge time-saver.

There's one last thing I should say about these sites' ranking systems. Averaging the rankings is really smart, but the reality is that as you go lower down the rankings the differences don't mean so much. The gap between 1st place and 50th place will be huge, but the difference between 151st and 200th is not so big.For that reason also keep an eye out for salary data. If you're looking very low down the ranking, salaries and selectivity are key data. A school with a high salary and which selects only a small percentage of applicants will be very good.

Those other data should also give you hints about schools where the GMAT might be wrongly shown. For example, can Portland really have an average GMAT of 500, as Startclass has claimed? It seems a bit odd that it's outperforming schools with average scores of 570... I see that BusinessWeek says it has an average of 540 (http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/full_time_mba_profiles/portland.html) and that fits with Princeton Review which gives the standard range of 470-580 (http://www.princetonreview.com/schools/business/BizBasics.aspx?iid=1036178). So, please use those two sites to check and update what you get.

Despite the weaknesses, the usability of comparison sites makes them a very useful tools for applicants looking underneath the FT top 100.

[Edited by Duncan on Apr 04, 2018]

[Update: StartClass was offline on April 3, 2018. Its owner, Graphiq, has been aquired by Amazon. I suggest you instead use https://find-mba.com/search which also allows you to filter schools using their average GMAT, work experience and accreditation]

As an admissions and careers consultant, I've advised hundreds of people on how to find the best business school. I've written over over 4,000 posts on this board, and one of the most-read is about GMAT Tiers -- which explains which of the top 100 schools applicants should aiming at. There have been over 80,000 views of that post, which is at http://www.find-mba.com/board/27082

But that post is most useful if your GMAT is over 600. And if you are similar to a lot of other candidates, or bring less additional value to a cohort, then you'll need a higher score.

One of the approaches I recommend for people looking at US schools which accept lower scores is to use comparison databses like Find-MBA's advanced MBA search (https://find-mba.com/search) or startclass (which used to be called FindTheBest). Visit it at http://business-schools.startclass.com/

Consider, for example, the applicant who started this discussion: www.find-mba.com/board/36049 explaining that "I am a Computer Science Engineer with a CGPA of 6.7 intending to do MBA. I have a GMAT score of 560 and a TOEFL score of 97. I currently have a work experience of 2.5 years." CGPA, means Cumulative Grade Point Average, is the ten point scale used in India, so this person is one of the largest groups of applicants: an Indian with a technical education, relatively little work experience with little leadership work, and weak scores. At some Indian universities 6.7 is low: some US schools will think it's like a 2.7 GPA.

Of course, the best advice for this person is to become a better candidate: look for a better role; focus on improving the GMAT score, and especially on the weaker side; do some extra-curricular activity, ideally to get leadership experience and to stand out a little; perhaps take a part-time course somewhere to show the potential to get higher scores in academic work.

However, lots of candidates can't find the time to do that, and a perennial problem for Indian candidates is that they suddenly find they need to start an MBA as quickly as possible because of marriage plans. That means that often they miss out on the opportunity to apply early, which could allow them to get into a better college.

Getting into the best college you can really matters, because the quality of the education, the classmates, the financial aid and the career outcomes vary massively.

Comparison sites are great resources because they list data for around hundreds of schools. Both Find-MBA and Startclass include the 300 best schools in the US and, as far as I can see, Startclass only lists the good ones: those which are AACSB accredited. They are ranked using different methods: Startclass uses a Smart Rank system which averages the rankings over the last few years, and that's as good an approach as any. I'm not sure how Find-MBA ranks their results.

Imagine for example a candidate with a 560. There's a slider bar in either site allows you to reduce the average GMAT to 560, and that shows that the schools with an average at or under 560. You can then see those schools ranked and filter them for other variables (perhaps for schools with similar or less average work experience). Using Startclass in 2013, that showed that the top schools were Utah, Rutgers, DePaul, Flint and Portland.

If we then click through, we'll see more data (In startclass, click on "ADVANCED TABLE" on the top right above the table). The average work experience varies a lot a these schools. Our candidate would be weaker at the first three schools, where the work experience is around 5 years, but stronger at Flint and Portland. They could be considered stretch schools, because admission is possible there but not assured.

Because this candidate is weak on more points that just work experience, we probably need to look for schools where his GMAT is above the average, to balance for the fact that neither the nationality, profession or work experience are in short supply or highly valued. So, if we look at schools where the average is 530, we get Portland, Ball State, Drake, Central Michigan and Montana State. These would be safe schools if this candidate can apply early, because there's only so many seats available for Indian computer scientists: if you apply later, they will have filled up their quota of Indians.

And id the candidate is applying late? Maybe they need to look even lower down, like 510? The top five are Portland and Drake (again), McNeese, Kansas and UMass Dartmouth. Those should be pretty safe schools unless the candidate is very weak in some other ways.

So, that's the good news about StartClass and Find-MBA. However, there are some weaknesses. The data are not always consistent with what the schools publish, and often that's because schools publish different numbers all the time. Sometimes sites have old data. There's a feature in Startclass that allows readers to suggest updates to the data (I know Find-MBA is also responsive by email), but perhaps some errors come in that way too. So, you also need to do your own research to confirm what any site is suggesting. Even so, it's a huge time-saver.

There's one last thing I should say about these sites' ranking systems. Averaging the rankings is really smart, but the reality is that as you go lower down the rankings the differences don't mean so much. The gap between 1st place and 50th place will be huge, but the difference between 151st and 200th is not so big.For that reason also keep an eye out for salary data. If you're looking very low down the ranking, salaries and selectivity are key data. A school with a high salary and which selects only a small percentage of applicants will be very good.

Those other data should also give you hints about schools where the GMAT might be wrongly shown. For example, can Portland really have an average GMAT of 500, as Startclass has claimed? It seems a bit odd that it's outperforming schools with average scores of 570... I see that BusinessWeek says it has an average of 540 (http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/full_time_mba_profiles/portland.html) and that fits with Princeton Review which gives the standard range of 470-580 (http://www.princetonreview.com/schools/business/BizBasics.aspx?iid=1036178). So, please use those two sites to check and update what you get.

Despite the weaknesses, the usability of comparison sites makes them a very useful tools for applicants looking underneath the FT top 100.
quote
SiddharthK
Duncan,
Findthebest is indeed a valuable source.Thanks for the useful post ...

-How do I convert India Percentage to GPA? Indian universities use a %age system. I am finding it difficult to find reach universities due to this reason
It is expected that Indian/Chinese applicants 30 points score above average. Is it a myth/reality ? Indians have lower acceptance rate than all other applicants. Say a school [Eg: Tennesse Knoxville has a avg score of 610 & 3 yrs exp]. Is it a safe/mod school for me[620,4yrs exp,Applying Early] ? Knoxville has a avg GPA 3.4 I have no way of calculating my GPA.What to do in such cases ?

-Consider my case ...I have IT experience. I have non IT(family business) experience .[Total -4] So,will my experience help me distinguish from the only IT experience folks ?

-What I intend to do : My GMAT score is 620 . Work exp is 4 years. So,I tried to find schools in findthebest with gmat score in the range of 620-640. Is it the right approach .what do u think

Many Thanks
Duncan,
Findthebest is indeed a valuable source.Thanks for the useful post ...

-How do I convert India Percentage to GPA? Indian universities use a %age system. I am finding it difficult to find reach universities due to this reason
It is expected that Indian/Chinese applicants 30 points score above average. Is it a myth/reality ? Indians have lower acceptance rate than all other applicants. Say a school [Eg: Tennesse Knoxville has a avg score of 610 & 3 yrs exp]. Is it a safe/mod school for me[620,4yrs exp,Applying Early] ? Knoxville has a avg GPA 3.4 I have no way of calculating my GPA.What to do in such cases ?

-Consider my case ...I have IT experience. I have non IT(family business) experience .[Total -4] So,will my experience help me distinguish from the only IT experience folks ?

-What I intend to do : My GMAT score is 620 . Work exp is 4 years. So,I tried to find schools in findthebest with gmat score in the range of 620-640. Is it the right approach .what do u think

Many Thanks
quote
Duncan
- There a different ways to convert. None of them work well, and admissions officers are not stupid. They know that the CGPA matters less than the school. But there are three or four methods: for your own purposes I suggest you use them all and then average them. But for the schools, just give them your CGPA unless they tell you otherwise.
- It's not the case that Indian or Chinese test-takers score higher. Obviously they score lower, since the test favours speakers of US English. The case is that admitted applicants from Indian and China have to be above average on most of the criteria at a school to be competitive candidates: that's because there are so many more of those applicants than can fit into a balanced cohort. So, yes, Indians and Asians are less likely to be accepted at schools than others, like those in Asia, where they are a majority of applicants and admitted students.
- On Knoxville, it's certainly not a safe school. Visit http://business-schools.findthebest.com/l/103/University-of-Tennessee-Knoxville-TN - most applicants get declined. Students come from only three countries, so national diversity is not an actively managed factor.
- Your work experience is not going to be highly valued, because of the employers that school serves.

So, I think it's better to assume that you will need at least 30 points above the average, and ideally 80, to consider anywhere a safe choice.

[Edited by Duncan on Apr 03, 2018]

- There a different ways to convert. None of them work well, and admissions officers are not stupid. They know that the CGPA matters less than the school. But there are three or four methods: for your own purposes I suggest you use them all and then average them. But for the schools, just give them your CGPA unless they tell you otherwise.
- It's not the case that Indian or Chinese test-takers score higher. Obviously they score lower, since the test favours speakers of US English. The case is that admitted applicants from Indian and China have to be above average on most of the criteria at a school to be competitive candidates: that's because there are so many more of those applicants than can fit into a balanced cohort. So, yes, Indians and Asians are less likely to be accepted at schools than others, like those in Asia, where they are a majority of applicants and admitted students.
- On Knoxville, it's certainly not a safe school. Visit http://business-schools.findthebest.com/l/103/University-of-Tennessee-Knoxville-TN - most applicants get declined. Students come from only three countries, so national diversity is not an actively managed factor.
- Your work experience is not going to be highly valued, because of the employers that school serves.

So, I think it's better to assume that you will need at least 30 points above the average, and ideally 80, to consider anywhere a safe choice.
quote
nathmond
Hi Duncan,
GPA conversion chart is provided by my university in the transcript in a scale of 4 ,but the canadian universities are not accepting that .I don't know about the other universities.
What I understood is they are considering the absolute percentage of the Indian students as they are not comfortable with our GPA conversion.
My university issued GPA conversion table looks something like
55+ -3.0
60+ -3.3
65+ -3.6

and so on
till
75+ -4.0
Hi Duncan,
GPA conversion chart is provided by my university in the transcript in a scale of 4 ,but the canadian universities are not accepting that .I don't know about the other universities.
What I understood is they are considering the absolute percentage of the Indian students as they are not comfortable with our GPA conversion.
My university issued GPA conversion table looks something like
55+ -3.0
60+ -3.3
65+ -3.6

and so on
till
75+ -4.0
quote
Duncan
Interesting. It's certainly very hard for universities anywhere to convert between the systems.
Interesting. It's certainly very hard for universities anywhere to convert between the systems.
quote
mba hipste...

GPA conversion chart is provided by my university in the transcript in a scale of 4 ,but the canadian universities are not accepting that.

Which schools don't accept the conversion? It should be relatively straightforward for them to figure that out. I'd add that if you can outscore the average GMAT of incoming admits, then you can use that as leverage to convince them that your quant skills are up-to-par.
<blockquote>
GPA conversion chart is provided by my university in the transcript in a scale of 4 ,but the canadian universities are not accepting that.
</blockquote>
Which schools don't accept the conversion? It should be relatively straightforward for them to figure that out. I'd add that if you can outscore the average GMAT of incoming admits, then you can use that as leverage to convince them that your quant skills are up-to-par.
quote
Pia_11
Thank you for your post! They are always helpful.
Please help me where all should I apply for a good Masters programs (MBA or MS)?

Work experience: Nearly 4 years n social enterprises; working with corporates for CSR, nonprofts in Business Development domain and currently a social entrepreneur working for women empowerment
GMAT Score: 600 (Q37, V35, IR5, AWA5)
Gender and citizen: Female, Indian citizen

Could you please recommend me where should I apply with my background and current GMAT score? I want to apply to US and Canada for fall 2017 programs.

As an admissions and careers consultant, I've advised hundreds of people on how to find the best business school. I've written over over 4,000 posts on this board, and one of the most-read is about GMAT Tiers -- which explains which of the top 100 schools applicants should aiming at. There have been over 17,000 views of that post, which is at http://www.find-mba.com/board/27082

But that post is most useful if your GMAT is over 600. And if you are similar to a lot of other candidates, or bring less additional value to a cohort, then you'll need a higher score.

One of the websites I recommend for people looking at US schools which accept lower scores is startclass, which used to be called FindTheBest. Visit it at http://business-schools.startclass.com/

Consider, for example, the applicant who started this discussion: www.find-mba.com/board/36049 explaining that "I am a Computer Science Engineer with a CGPA of 6.7 intending to do MBA. I have a GMAT score of 560 and a TOEFL score of 97. I currently have a work experience of 2.5 years." CGPA, means Cumulative Grade Point Average, is the ten point scale used in India, so this person is one of the largest groups of applicants: an Indian with a technical education, relatively little work experience with little leadership work, and weak scores. At some Indian universities 6.7 is low: some US schools will think it's like a 2.7 GPA.

Of course, the best advice for this person is to become a better candidate: look for a better role; focus on improving the GMAT score, and especially on the weaker side; do some extra-curricular activity, ideally to get leadership experience and to stand out a little; perhaps take a part-time course somewhere to show the potential to get higher scores in academic work.

However, lots of candidates can't find the time to do that, and a perennial problem for Indian candidates is that they suddenly find they need to start an MBA as quickly as possible because of marriage plans. That means that often they miss out on the opportunity to apply early, which could allow them to get into a better college.

Getting into the best college you can really matters, because the quality of the education, the classmates, the financial aid and the career outcomes vary massively.

StartClass is a great resource because it lists data for around 350 US schools. These include the 300 best schools in the US and, as far as I can see, they are all AACSB accredited. They are ranked using a Smart Rank system which averages the rankings over the last few years, and that's as good an approach as any.

Imagine for example a candidate with a 560. There's a slider bar in the left hand column that allow you to reduce the average GMAT to 560, and that shows that the schools with an average at or under 560. You can then sort that filtered view by the Smart Rank, and that shows that the top schools are Utah, Rutgers, DePaul, Flint and Portland.

If we then click on "ADVANCED TABLE" on the top right above the table, we'll see more data. The average work experience varies a lot a these schools. Our candidate would be weaker at the first three schools, where the work experience is around 5 years, but stronger at Flint and Portland. They could be considered stretch schools, because admission is possible there but not assured.

Because this candidate is weak on more points that just work experience, we probably need to look for schools where his GMAT is above the average, to balance for the fact that neither the nationality, profession or work experience are in short supply or highly valued. So, if we look at schools where the average is 530, we get Portland, Ball State, Drake, Central Michigan and Montana State. These would be safe schools if this candidate can apply early, because there's only so many seats available for Indian computer scientists: if you apply later, they will have filled up their quota of Indians.

And id the candidate is applying late? Maybe they need to look even lower down, like 510? The top five are Portland and Drake (again), McNeese, Kansas and UMass Dartmouth. Those should be pretty safe schools unless the candidate is very weak in some other ways.

So, that's the good news about StartClass. However, there are some weaknesses. The data are not always consistent with what the schools publish, and often that's because schools publish different numbers all the time. Sometimes FindTheBest has old data. There's a feature that allows readers to suggest updates to the data, and perhaps some errors come in that way too. So, you also need to do your own research to confirm what FindTheBest is suggesting. Even so, it's a huge time-saver.

There's one last thing I should say about the Smart Rank system. Averaging the rankings is really smart, but the reality is that as you go lower down the rankings the differences don't mean so much. The gap between 1st place and 50th place will be huge, but the difference between 151st and 200th is not so big.For that reason also keep an eye out for salary data. If you're looking very low down the ranking, salaries and selectivity are key data. A school with a high salary and which selects only a small percentage of applicants will be very good.

Those other data should also give you hints about schools where the GMAT will be wrongly shown by StartClass. For example, can Portland really have an average GMAT of 500? It seems a bit odd that it's outperforming schools with average scores of 570... I see that BusinessWeek says it has an average of 540 (http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/full_time_mba_profiles/portland.html) and that fits with Princeton Review which gives the standard range of 470-580 (http://www.princetonreview.com/schools/business/BizBasics.aspx?iid=1036178). So, please use those two sites to check and update what you get from StartClass.

Despite the weaknesses, the usability of StartClass makes it a very useful tool for applicants looking underneath the FT top 100.
Thank you for your post! They are always helpful.
Please help me where all should I apply for a good Masters programs (MBA or MS)?

Work experience: Nearly 4 years n social enterprises; working with corporates for CSR, nonprofts in Business Development domain and currently a social entrepreneur working for women empowerment
GMAT Score: 600 (Q37, V35, IR5, AWA5)
Gender and citizen: Female, Indian citizen

Could you please recommend me where should I apply with my background and current GMAT score? I want to apply to US and Canada for fall 2017 programs.

[quote]As an admissions and careers consultant, I've advised hundreds of people on how to find the best business school. I've written over over 4,000 posts on this board, and one of the most-read is about GMAT Tiers -- which explains which of the top 100 schools applicants should aiming at. There have been over 17,000 views of that post, which is at http://www.find-mba.com/board/27082

But that post is most useful if your GMAT is over 600. And if you are similar to a lot of other candidates, or bring less additional value to a cohort, then you'll need a higher score.

One of the websites I recommend for people looking at US schools which accept lower scores is startclass, which used to be called FindTheBest. Visit it at http://business-schools.startclass.com/

Consider, for example, the applicant who started this discussion: www.find-mba.com/board/36049 explaining that "I am a Computer Science Engineer with a CGPA of 6.7 intending to do MBA. I have a GMAT score of 560 and a TOEFL score of 97. I currently have a work experience of 2.5 years." CGPA, means Cumulative Grade Point Average, is the ten point scale used in India, so this person is one of the largest groups of applicants: an Indian with a technical education, relatively little work experience with little leadership work, and weak scores. At some Indian universities 6.7 is low: some US schools will think it's like a 2.7 GPA.

Of course, the best advice for this person is to become a better candidate: look for a better role; focus on improving the GMAT score, and especially on the weaker side; do some extra-curricular activity, ideally to get leadership experience and to stand out a little; perhaps take a part-time course somewhere to show the potential to get higher scores in academic work.

However, lots of candidates can't find the time to do that, and a perennial problem for Indian candidates is that they suddenly find they need to start an MBA as quickly as possible because of marriage plans. That means that often they miss out on the opportunity to apply early, which could allow them to get into a better college.

Getting into the best college you can really matters, because the quality of the education, the classmates, the financial aid and the career outcomes vary massively.

StartClass is a great resource because it lists data for around 350 US schools. These include the 300 best schools in the US and, as far as I can see, they are all AACSB accredited. They are ranked using a Smart Rank system which averages the rankings over the last few years, and that's as good an approach as any.

Imagine for example a candidate with a 560. There's a slider bar in the left hand column that allow you to reduce the average GMAT to 560, and that shows that the schools with an average at or under 560. You can then sort that filtered view by the Smart Rank, and that shows that the top schools are Utah, Rutgers, DePaul, Flint and Portland.

If we then click on "ADVANCED TABLE" on the top right above the table, we'll see more data. The average work experience varies a lot a these schools. Our candidate would be weaker at the first three schools, where the work experience is around 5 years, but stronger at Flint and Portland. They could be considered stretch schools, because admission is possible there but not assured.

Because this candidate is weak on more points that just work experience, we probably need to look for schools where his GMAT is above the average, to balance for the fact that neither the nationality, profession or work experience are in short supply or highly valued. So, if we look at schools where the average is 530, we get Portland, Ball State, Drake, Central Michigan and Montana State. These would be safe schools if this candidate can apply early, because there's only so many seats available for Indian computer scientists: if you apply later, they will have filled up their quota of Indians.

And id the candidate is applying late? Maybe they need to look even lower down, like 510? The top five are Portland and Drake (again), McNeese, Kansas and UMass Dartmouth. Those should be pretty safe schools unless the candidate is very weak in some other ways.

So, that's the good news about StartClass. However, there are some weaknesses. The data are not always consistent with what the schools publish, and often that's because schools publish different numbers all the time. Sometimes FindTheBest has old data. There's a feature that allows readers to suggest updates to the data, and perhaps some errors come in that way too. So, you also need to do your own research to confirm what FindTheBest is suggesting. Even so, it's a huge time-saver.

There's one last thing I should say about the Smart Rank system. Averaging the rankings is really smart, but the reality is that as you go lower down the rankings the differences don't mean so much. The gap between 1st place and 50th place will be huge, but the difference between 151st and 200th is not so big.For that reason also keep an eye out for salary data. If you're looking very low down the ranking, salaries and selectivity are key data. A school with a high salary and which selects only a small percentage of applicants will be very good.

Those other data should also give you hints about schools where the GMAT will be wrongly shown by StartClass. For example, can Portland really have an average GMAT of 500? It seems a bit odd that it's outperforming schools with average scores of 570... I see that BusinessWeek says it has an average of 540 (http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/full_time_mba_profiles/portland.html) and that fits with Princeton Review which gives the standard range of 470-580 (http://www.princetonreview.com/schools/business/BizBasics.aspx?iid=1036178). So, please use those two sites to check and update what you get from StartClass.

Despite the weaknesses, the usability of StartClass makes it a very useful tool for applicants looking underneath the FT top 100. [/quote]
quote
Duncan
I didn't reply to this because, obviously, I think the person should have followed the approach outlined in the original.
I didn't reply to this because, obviously, I think the person should have followed the approach outlined in the original.
quote

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