On March 16, Stern dropped to number 20 on U.S. News and World Report’s publicly released 2017 Best Business School Rankings, nine ranks lower than last year.
Stern’s Dean, Peter Henry, addressed the graduate school’s new ranking in an official press release that explained that Stern’s lower rank was due to the omission of information regarding the number of students who submitted their GMAT scores.
“In its absence, U.S. News had substituted an ‘estimated’ number (we do not know how this estimate was derived),” the release stated. “We promptly provided the correct information [before U.S. News published their rankings], but U.S. News declined to adjust the rankings.”
However, Henry admits in his statement that the accidental exclusion of this information is due to Stern’s oversight. In addition, Henry said U.S. News did not notify the university of the missing data at the time of submission, and the missing statistic was relatively the same as last year’s.
“Going forward, we will further tighten the procedures for data submissions so such lapses do not recur,” the release said.
Vice President for NYU Public Affairs John Beckman reiterated the points addressed in Henry’s statement, saying that Stern has never neglected to answer this question before, and that it is important to remember the survey included more than 300 questions in total.
“I’d say the most important thing to know is ‘don’t take that ranking at face value,’” Beckman said, referencing the press release. “If U.S. News had had that item of data, Stern would likely have been several places higher in the ranking (hard to say exactly how much higher because U.S. News uses its own ranking formula).”
Stern freshman Salma Bandoo said she does not think that this drop in rank will impact yield and enrollment at Stern at the undergraduate or graduate level.
“The undergrad students at Stern didn’t seem as nearly concerned as the grad students,” Bandoo said. “People will still want to come to Stern, and given their finances I am sure that people will still be willing to pay to attend Stern given its success in other areas where its statistics reflect.”
Bandoo is considering pursuing an MBA at Stern in the future, and said that this will not affect her decision to do so.
“I feel confident that the professors are proficient in their fields of study which is more important to me,” Bandoo said. “Since I am an undergrad student at Stern there is already a familiarity with the rigor of the academics, and I would feel more confident pursuing a degree here than at any other institution.”
The release acknowledged that Stern’s drop is based on inaccurate information, and hopes that this new and misleading rank will not impact students’ view of the school.
“For both prospective students and current members of our community, I would ask you to bear in mind: in the real world Stern’s outstanding quality is no different this week than it was last week,” the release said.
Email Greta Chevance at [email protected]