Wisconsin school of business
Poets & Quants rank: 26
Average GMAT: 675
Tuition & fees: $31,221
Wisconsin was my first out of state MBA visit. I visited on a designated "preview day" with a lot of other people. We started with a breakfast and met a LOT of current students. One of the things that really impressed me were the number of current students who attended the event. I would estimate the number around 15-20 over the course of the day. Wisconsin being also an 8 hour drive away, I had every intention of leaving after the tour and heading back home. I ended up staying quite a bit later for the meet & greet session, it was a blast.
One of the things that impressed me the most about Wisconsin was how sharp everyone there is. Not just the staff, but students. In visiting schools, I can usually get a gauge of how smart I am in relation to the people there. Hands down Wisconsin is the top program I will visit from an overall intelligence perspective.
As I stated above, this is a smart group of people. Depending on the school, I have felt about average or above average intelligence-wise. Here I definitely wouldn't be the smartest guy in the room, and I think that would allow me to really grow. Madison is a great city for young professionals. It houses the college but is also the state capitol and it has a lot going on. It definitely isn't just a college town. Recruiting is a huge pro as well. Wisconsin probably has the best recruiting of anyplace I visited. Their placement stats reflect this in that they have the highest reported median salary of anyplace I have looked at. Financially, in a vacuum, they have the best combination of cost and future salary of anyplace I am looking at (not taking into account scholarships).
Well if you've read this far, you know I'm rather bullish on Wisconsin, but there are a few cons. The biggest con for me is that it is super competitive and I very well might not get in. Wisconsin is definitely a stretch school for me and even with a 700 GMAT (which I haven't even gotten yet), I am not 100% sure I'd get admitted. And a minor gripe, it is cold in Wisconsin.
I am really enamored with Wisconsin. I can probably say they are the best school I am applying to. I really liked Madison and felt really comfortable with the students. I can probably say they are the one school that I might pass up a scholarship to the others to go to. They are about as close to a "dream school" as I have (yes more so than Ohio State).