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16 Nov Best School Lists Are Best For No One

I am not a fan of the “Best” school lists, and there are many in higher education who agree with me.  In fact, Dickinson College President, William Durden is the head of a large group of colleges formed to counter the “Best College” lists such as USNews & World Report.  These lists put far too much emphasis on marketing, and no emphasis on what is the best school for your student. That said, I’m going to discuss such an article from Business Week magazine. There is something very peculiar about it.

In the February 28th, 2009 issue of Business Week, the magazine ran an article on the top 50 schools to get a Bachelors degree in Business. The article starts with Rutgers University and finishes with the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. But there are some glaring omissions from this list that everyone would assume would be in the top ten. No where in this list will you find the names of Harvard, Princeton, Yale, or many other excellent schools. Harvard, home of the Harvard Business Review, the gold standard of business case study education did not even make the list?

Does this mean that Harvard, Princeton, and the like have not been putting enough resources into their business schools to compete with schools like the University of Illinois, the University of Texas, or Brigham Young? No, obviously that is not the case. What this article does show is there is no practical standard that anyone can use to come up with a list of the 50 “Best” schools of anything. This may rub some people the wrong way, but the “Best” school lists are not much more than beauty pageants that do little to nothing to help your student find the best school for them. Avoid them.



Scott A Anderson

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