The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.
Landing a spot in an M.B.A. program can be difficult when, on average, nearly 50 percent of all full-time business school applicants were turned away in 2011, according to data collected by U.S. News in a 2011 survey of graduate business schools.
Many top-ranked business schools are even more selective, with some saying "yes" to fewer than 20 percent out of the thousands of applicants they consider.
[Find out which business schools have the lowest acceptance rates.]
While those odds can be daunting for M.B.A. hopefuls, there are business schools that accept almost all of their applicants. Union Graduate College's School of Management in New York gave its stamp of approval on 76 of the 77 full-time applications received for the 2011-2012 academic year, and the W. Fielding Rubel School of Business at Bellarmine University in Kentucky also accepted all but one full-time applicant.
At the 132 ranked business schools that submitted acceptance rates for their full-time programs to U.S. News, an average of 46.9 percent of applications led to admissions offers in 2011. But among the 10 business schools with the highest acceptance rates, that figure soars to more than 89 percent.
Aiming for a business school that's more of a sure thing than a long shot doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality. Both Clarkson University's School of Business in New York, and St. Louis University's John Cook School of Business are ranked in the top 100 of U.S. News's Best Business Schools rankings, and each school accepted 82 percent of its full-time applicants. Eight of the 10 business schools with the highest acceptance rates are categorized by U.S. News as Rank Not Published (RNP) in the Best Business Schools rankings. (RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one fourth of all business schools. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.)
M.B.A. applicants aiming to avoid weeks of nervous fingernail biting while they await their admissions decisions may want to consider these 10 business schools with the highest full-time acceptance rates. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report:
|School name (state)||Full-time applicants||Full-time acceptances||Full-time acceptance rate||U.S. News rank|
|Union Graduate College (NY)||77||76||98.7%||RNP|
|Bellarmine University (Rubel) (KY)||38||37||97.4%||RNP|
|Simmons College (MA)||60||56||93.3%||RNP|
|University of North Carolina--Greensboro (Bryan)||44||40||90.9%||RNP|
|University of South Dakota||30||27||90.0%||RNP|
|University of St. Thomas (MN)||65||58||89.2%||RNP|
|Ball State University (Miller) (IN)||35||30||85.7%||RNP|
|Willamette University (Atkinson) (OR)||235||196||83.4%||RNP|
|Clarkson University (NY)||172||141||82.0%||97|
|St. Louis University (Cook) (MO)||89||73||82.0%||81|
U.S. News surveyed more than 400 schools for our 2011 survey of business programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Business Schools rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools.