In addition to the top five, there are also rankings that include the top 20 MBA programs. There are several reasons to consider a top 20 school, instead of just the top five. Many people go for their MBA a little later in life and are already settled down in a career. In this case, you'll probably want to stick a little closer to home. Another reason to make your way down the list is that it typically gets a little less expensive. Sure, you can get loans to go to Stanford, but you can save $10,000 to $20,000 per year and still get a degree from a top 20 school by going to say, Georgetown in Washington, D.C., or Emory University in Atlanta.
Another reason to consider the top 20 schools is that you won't find too much of a difference in reputation among the lower 15. The difference between Columbia, Yale and Duke Universities isn't enough to warrant a cross-country move in most cases. If you live in the same region as one of these schools and can get in, it might be a good match. If the Southern United States appeals to you and you appreciate a good college town, then Duke and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are both great options. Durham and Chapel Hill are both classic small college towns and the academic atmosphere and reputations are both top notch. They're ranked at 12 and 20, respectively, and at Chapel Hill, you can gain in-state residency for a comparably low tuition of $19,525 [source: US News].
If big cities are your thing, you can pick from Georgia Tech, Georgetown, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California (USC), New York University and the University of Chicago. Each of these schools is in a major metropolitan area and each resides in the top 20 ranked business schools. Living in these towns may give you an edge when it comes time to graduate and get into the job market, so think about where you may want to start or change your career. They're all in the mid $40s per year for tuition, with the exception of UCLA, which offers in-state fees of about $33,000.