Dear Mentor:

Which MBA school tiers should I target?

I am an MBA aspirant. I want to pursue MBA in the US. But, I want to go for MBA right after my B.E. Computers. Hence, I won't have any work experience. So, I came to know from that we should go for 2nd tier and 3rd tier B-schools. But I don't know which B-schools fall under the 2nd or 3rd tier. Could you help me on that? I am aware of the general eligibility criteria. But can you give me some more or less precise idea about what kind of students and with what level of academics are given admissions to B-schools in US? For example, students who have done B.E. from recognized Indian Universities with Honors in their B.E. degrees. Because everywhere it is mentioned that high requirements for admissions are there. But nothing is specified as to what are these high requirements in terms of graduation percentages and other academics like 10th and 12th percentages, or grade in co-curricular activities. These can really help us in taking our career decisions. It would be very nice of you if you could furnish information regarding the above.

Tiering of B-Schools, India

Dear Tiering of B-Schools:

We are facing the colloquial language issue here. There is no precise definition of 2nd and 3rd tier business schools. The interpretation of the tiers depends on what the individual has in mind. While the interpretation may vary across individuals, you may wish to consider a reasonable rule-of-thumb. Top 20 or so B-schools may be considered top-tier, and those between 21-50 as the 2nd tier and 51 and lower as the 3rd tier. Keep in mind that there is no specific, well-defined formula.

Another complication is of course is who determines the rankings of business schools. It is a controversial area, with rankings of schools changing dramatically depending on the source, methodology, and the rigor. Effectively, you are left with your own judgment on how you want to tier the schools, having researched information from various sources.

As you have correctly noted, admission in the US is not based on a single input. Admissions and selection criteria include: academic performance, reputation of your academic institution, performance on entrance exam(s), letters of recommendation, work experience, personal statement of purpose (SOP) or essays, and so on. Each school uses its own proprietary weighting formula to assign importance to various elements of the criteria. There are no specific formulas or percentages we can offer, since they: 1) are proprietary, and 2) vary across schools.

As you can imagine, B-schools with higher reputation are obviously more demanding than the lower-ranked schools. Lower-ranked schools are more likely to overlook deficiencies in certain requirements than the top-ranked schools. Thus our recommendation that if you are lacking significantly in certain area of the criteria, you are unlikely to get admitted into a top-tier B-school.

You can use the iMahal College Finder to identify target schools. But, you have to keep in mind that its recommendations are based strictly on the entrance exam score. So, if you are lacking in other dimensions of the selection criteria, such as work experience, you may have to lower your expectations.

You will be well advised to read the iMahal Authoritative Guide for Studying in America and Canada. The Guide explains how you can succeed in your quest for education in the US and Canada.

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