In case you’re not also following the law school admissions world (which most of you probably are not, and honestly, you maybe shouldn’t even be following the bschool admissions world as closely as you are, if it’s causing you too much stress), you may have missed the recent announcement by Yale Law School that they’re opting out of the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings system.
This is noteworthy, because Yale Law hits at #1 of the U.S. News ranking for law school, like, a lot. (Side note: Harvard Law has pulled out, too.)
Here’s an op-ed in the Washington Post from a Yale Law professor, explaining why this is actually a good move, not just for Yale but for all of us. (PDF here in case you can’t access behind paywall.)
In case you’re wondering about the title of this post, “rankings are stupid” is something we’ve been saying around here forever. Applicants get fixated on them. They don’t do anybody any good, except for those magazine publishers that crank out lists of rankings every year and sell advertising dollars against them.
We’re mentioning this in the hopes that you’ll look beyond the rankings, as you select which schools to apply to.
The rankings game fuels stress and anxiety.
Sure, it can be helpful to have a more manageable list of schools to start from, but knowing that a publication rated one school as “the best” is not at all helpful in knowing if that school will be a good fit for you.
Do your own research. Figure out what your own priorities are. Determine if the school’s culture is warm and welcoming, if there are people there who are like you — and also, hopefully, people there who are not, so that you experience diversity of backgrounds and opinions and worldviews, which is instrumental to helping challenge your existing beliefs and making you more skilled at compromise and collaboration as you advance your business skillset.
If you get into a good school but not a great one — based on those metrics set by those publications — then that does not at all reflect on you! It just says that one school saw you as a better match to them, and another one didn’t.
There’s so much stress in this process.
Letting go of the external standards that you’re being judged by can be a form of liberation.
Yeah yeah, we know, not easy, not when everyone else is bragging about getting into the top-notch prestigious places.
But the honest truth is you can get an AMAZING education and be set up for incredible opportunities by going to a other schools too. There are plenty of choices out there. The elite ones aren’t the only ones worth trying for.
The perceived prestige factor of the school you’re admitted to does not indicate your self-worth as a human.
Try to keep some perspective in this process, and recognize how flawed the system is that we’re operating in. Don’t buy into all the hype. What they’re selling is not all substance, a lot of it is just manufactured.
OK, off our soapbox for now.
We do hope you get into an amazing program, of course we do! And we also know that there are quality MBA programs out there for everyone, even if they’re not Whanvard.
Tell us what you think.