The William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration was ranked among the top 25 business schools in the country by the U.S. News & World Report for the first time in three years.

The rising figures mark the end of a three year slump which, according to Dean of Simon School Mark Zupan, was caused by the recent economic downturn in the United States.

“We are focused on finance and business,” Zupan said. “When those areas were hit hard in the early part of the decade, we got hit as well.”

The Simon School is ranked 23rd in the country, which marks a rise of 13 places since last year. Simon was also ranked 12th in finance and 17th in accounting among U.S. business schools.

In addition, the Financial Times of London ranked Simon 18th in the United States, while Business Week ranked it 29th.

Officials at the Simon School attribute this sharp increase in rankings to heightened emphasis in several key areas of the school.

The average starting salary and bonus for a Simon School graduate increased to $86,038 from last year’s $77,844. The rate of graduate employment has also increased from 55.8 percent last year to 66.5 percent.

The rate of graduate employment three months after graduation also rose, topping off at 88.6 percent this year over last year’s figure of 83.1 percent.

According to a press release by the Simon School, a recent survey shows that the quality of the school’s incoming students is also improving, in contrast to the general decrease seen in some other schools. This is due in part to an effort made by the Simon School’s admissions department to more closely assess prospective students’ talents, attitude and capacity for leadership.

There has been an increased focus on improving the collective undergraduate grade point average and undergraduate Graduate Management Admissions Test scores.

According to the press release, the rise in the school’s overall quality has to do with the success that can be attributed to these efforts.

The undergraduate GPA jumped from 3.2 to 3.4 and average GMAT scores rose from 647 to 665. The school has also placed more importance on enhancing local colleges and businesses.

More local students have been admitted than in previous years. Also, the school has become more open to admitting younger, less trained students if they show unusual potential for excellence.

Simon School graduates are also attaining high-quality jobs in local firms.

The school has become one of the most diverse MBA programs in the country. Over 40 percent of students come from Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Zupan has high hopes for the school’s future. “We are going to keep working [to improve the] program,” he said. “We hope to make Simon School a top 10 school within 20 years.”

Haymovits can be reached at ohaymovits@campustimes.org.



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