When planning a business career, possibly no decision you will make can advance professional success more than selecting the right school. Let’s face it; choosing the right college will open many doors. According to the well-respected and influential annual U.S. News and World Reports rankings of the top business schools, here are the top five for 2015.
1. Stanford University; 825 students, annual tuition $61,875
Stanford offers more than two-dozen undergraduate concentrations from accounting to e-commerce to portfolio management. M.B.A and Ph.D. degrees are available in seven areas. The university also has the distinction of being in the hiring backyard of some of the world’s leading tech companies.
2. Harvard University; 1,867 students, annual tuition $58,875
Harvard specializes in management and, in fact, is first in the nation in this concentration. As with the other top-tier business schools, Harvard offers joint degree programs with their 27 academic concentrations and the law school, medical school and the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
3. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton); 1,711 students, annual tuition $62,424
The university’s Wharton School was the nation’s first college dedicated to business and it boasts the nation’s largest network of graduates. Students can pursue joint degrees, including an accelerated M.B.A and J.D. degree in three years.
4. University of Chicago (Booth); 1,181 students, annual tuition $61,520
The Booth School of Business offers 15 undergraduate degree concentrations plus joint degrees with the university’s Chicago Law School, the Pritzker School of Medicine, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies and the School of Social Service Administration.
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan); 812 students, annual tuition $63,454
The Sloan School of Management offers 20 different business study concentrations, Almost a quarter of Sloan’s graduates have gone on to fill Chief Executive Officer positions during their careers. The school’s Action Labs allow student teams to study real-life problems confronted by real national and international companies.
The costs of those colleges give many students pause. Contrary to the perceptions of most, the price tags for these top-tier private and public business schools are virtually identical. Is the reward worth the cost?
Forbes has a formula that measures the first five years of earnings relative to the opportunity cost of their M.B.A. degree. The opportunity cost includes two years foregone salary, fees and tuition. This result is called the “5-year M.B.A. Gain.” In 2013, Stanford’s median gain was $99,700.