Highlights of The Princeton Review’s 2021 Top Online MBA Ranking

Princeton Review Online MBA Ranking

The Princeton Review— the education services company known for its test prep, tutoring, and college and grad school rankings—recently released its ranking lists of Best Business Schools for 2021.  The Princeton Review also ranked the top 50 Online MBA programs for 2021.  Applicants are encouraged to use these rankings as a resource as you navigate the admissions process. 

How were the Princeton Review 2021 Online MBA Rankings determined?

According to their press release, The Princeton Review tallied their list of the top 50 online MBA schools for 2021 based on its 2019-20 survey of administrators at more than 125 business schools (at which a majority of their program was online) offering online MBAs. The company also factored in data from its survey in 2019–2020 of more than 6,000 students enrolled in the online MBA programs. More than 60 data points were weighted to determine the list and rankings. The criteria focused on five core areas: academics, selectivity, faculty, technical platforms, and career outcomes.

The Princeton Review’s list of Top 50 Online MBA Programs incorporates student opinions that were collected through their online MBA student survey and institutional data reported to them by administrators at the business schools.

How were The Princeton Review’s Surveys Developed and Conducted?

The Princeton Review developed the surveys with the assistance of an advisory board formed for the rankings project in 2014. Advisory board members included faculty and administrators at top institutions offering online MBA programs. The survey for school administrators, which evaluated more than 30 fields, covers admissions selectivity, graduation and retention rates, faculty training and credentials, technological infrastructure, student indebtedness, and career outcomes among other items.

The survey for students, which also evaluates more than 30 unique fields, allows students to rate their faculty, their fellow students, career preparation, academics, the technology platform, and overall satisfaction with their programs.

The online MBA rankings were developed through a survey online using their online survey tool. They promoted students’ participation in their student surveys in various ways over a school year. They also work with administrators at the schools requested that they send an e-mail encouraging their MBA students to participate in our survey.

Kelley Direct is Top-Ranked Program

The Kelley School of Business Online MBA – Kelley Direct, was ranked the top program for the 2021 online Princeton Review online MBA rankings.  Kelley continues to be the top-ranked program throughout many major publications over the past few years.

“We are thrilled by our recent No. 1 rankings from both The Princeton Review and Poet & Quants,” said Will Geoghegan, interim chair of Kelley Direct and clinical assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship. “As a leader in online education, we aren’t surprised that our faculty and high-quality teaching experience are being recognized yet again as the best in the field.

“Our recent curriculum revamp was built upon a foundation of innovation in the online space, providing our students with a stellar MBA experience that happens to be delivered online,” Geoghegan added. “Our signature integrated core coursework has opened up additional teaching avenues and synergies among our faculty, leading to more opportunities for engagement and networking for students and allows them to be more specialized within seven major options.

“The learning that takes place in Kelley Direct courses engages, challenges and elevates in a way that few other programs can replicate. Our students are high performers — professionals who bring a wealth of experience to our virtual community,” he added. “They appreciate that they are within a school committed to their advancement, which provides includes life-long access to career services with one-on-one career coaches who help guide their professional development. We also imbue in our students a commitment to enrich their organizations and communities as well as do good through ethical and sustainable business practices.

“When you put that all together, we believe we have found the recipe for success that enables us to hold onto our No. 1 rankings.”

Other Notable Highlights in the Princeton Review 2021 Online MBA Rankings

Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, located in the Bay Area of California, earned the 14th spot on the annual rankings from The Princeton Review. Compared to last year’s No. 25 ranking, SCU jumps 11 spots to land within the top 15 programs on the education services company’s Top 50 Online MBA Programs for 2021 list.  “Rankings are a great guide for schools to apply to, but visiting them (online and in-person) to get a sense of the community and curriculum is also important, said Toby McChesney, Sr. Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs at the Leavey School of Business.  “We are pleased with our recent jump in rankings and this illustrates our strong admissions numbers, student satisfaction, and career numbers in terms of promotions and pivoting their jobs”, he added.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Jack Welch Management Institute (JWMI) has been recognized by The Princeton Review’s list of top 50 online MBA programs, advancing to #15 for 2021. This marks JWMI’s highest ranking yet, with the Institute moving up in rank each year.

The Princeton Review placed the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business at West Texas A&M University at No. 22 of its top 50 online MBA programs in the world for 2021. This is the third consecutive year the MBA program has earned a Top 25 ranking by The Princeton Review; last year, WT ranked No. 23.

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About the Author

Ryan Nemetz

Ryan is the Director of Client Services at MetroMBA and Clear Admit. He has over six years of experience in higher education including his current role and serving as a college basketball coach at Eastern University for four years.

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