SBPM ranks in third tier

Business Week magazine included GW’s School of Business and Public Management in its master’s degree rankings for the first time, placing it in the magazine’s third tier of schools.

Robert Moll, SBPM’s director of communications, said he and other SBPM officials are pleased with GW’s inclusion in the rankings in this week’s cover story, The Best B-Schools.

Of the 350 management schools accredited by the International Association for Management Education, only 67 were listed in Business Week’s rankings, Moll said.

Moll said he believes GW’s business school receives respect from industry officials.

You have to take the rankings with a grain of salt, but we also pay attention to them, Moll said.

Business Week formulates its scores by combining student, recruiter and intellectual-capital scores, which are weighted proportionally, according to the magazine’s Web site.

Students must remember that GW’s graduate business program improves each year, Moll said.

The average GMAT scores of entering MBA students increased by six points from 1999 to 2000, Moll said. He added that the average student entering the school this year has 4.42 years of work experience and is a year older than students from last year’s incoming class.

We are constantly improving the quality of students that we are expecting, Moll said.

Moll said a new facility and improvement of the Graduate Career Center have also helped GW increase its appeal to employers. In the past year, the number of recruiters coming to campus doubled, he said.

Business Week rated neighboring schools University of Maryland and Georgetown University among the top 30 business schools in the country.

But, SBPM is trying to concentrate on improving itself rather than worrying about other schools, Moll said.

We need to stay focused on our strategy as opposed to looking at what out neighbors are doing, Moll said.

GW has the second-lowest payback for tuition, the ratio of graduates’ salaries to tuition dollars, of all the schools surveyed, according to a companion article to the cover story titled Want an 82% Pay Hike?

Moll said students’ choices of employment are the main reason behind the low payback ranking.

Many students get jobs in the government, non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations, because of GW’s location in D.C. Traditionally these jobs have lower salaries than jobs in the private sector, he said.

Also, Moll said 35 percent of last year’s graduating class accepted jobs with startup companies in the high-tech sector. Starting salaries are usually lower for startup companies, but the promise of stock options, a relaxed work environment and valuable technical experience gained from that type of work entice many students, he said.

The high number of international students is another reason for the low ranking in tuition return ratio. International students make up 65 percent of the Class of 1999, with the largest single group coming from India.

Most of these students return to their home countries after graduation and end up with relatively high-paying and challenging jobs, Moll said.

However, since Business Week converts graduates’ salaries into U.S. dollars, and the dollar is stronger than most international currencies, average salaries of graduates decrease even though, on the whole, graduates may be extremely successful in their individual environment, Moll said.

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