10 MBA with the best Return of Investment
10 M.B.A.s With Most Financial Value at Graduation
Graduates of these programs have the highest first year salaries relative to debt load.
Attending graduate school tends to be an expensive venture, and getting an M.B.A., while cheaper than pursuing a law or medical degree, is no exception. It’s not uncommon for employers to help employees subsidize the cost of going to business school, but most students are forced to self-finance. MBA at top programs can cost nearly, and sometimes in excess of, $100,000. Amid a slowly recovering economy, some potential students may be hesitant to make such a sizeable investment without a firm grasp on what the value is of their pricey new degree-in both the long and short term.
[See U.S. News's complete rankings of Best Business Schools.]
Of the 437 business schools surveyed by U.S. News in 2010, 153 reported average starting salary data for their 2010 graduates. In all, that data encompasses 9,978 students who reported an average starting salary of $90,602. Conversely, the average debt load upon graduation among the 172 schools that reported that figure for 2010 graduates was $34,940. Overall, 98 business programs reported both starting salary and indebtedness data, and among those schools, students earned 1.69 times more in their first year, on average, than they owed in student loan debt.
The table below highlights the 10 business programs where students earn the most in their first year relative to their debt load. Only one school among the top 10, the University of California-Davis Graduate School of Management, boasted an average starting salary higher than the national average. However, all of the schools on the list reported debt loads well below average, including the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, where students had an average of $17,714 in student loan debt after graduating in 2010.
The data presented in this table is not meant to reflect the business schools that yield the highest starting salaries, create the most long-term earning potential, or have the highest overall value-monetary or otherwise. Instead, it is meant to highlight the schools with the most initial value by comparing first year starting salaries to debt load.
Zicklin School of Business, The City University of New York
The City University of New York is America’s Largest AACSB Accredited Business School with a tradition dating from 1847. Baruch College’s landmark building at 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue is the site of the Free Academy – this country’s first institution of free higher public education. In 1919, City College established a School of Business and Civic Administration, offering its first MBA program one year later. This school was renamed in 1953 in honor of Bernard M. Baruch, noted statesman and financier, who was instrumental in the College’s formation.
The City University of New York offers a suite of Executive MBA and Master of Science in Finance, Marketing, HR & Global Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Organizational Psychology and Information System & Business computing program in Singapore with Aventis School of Management, Asia’s Leading MBA Graduate School. With a strong record of 10 years establishment in Singapore, the CUNY Executive Master programs are the most highly sought-after US Graduate Degree in Asia.
|CUNY Zicklin School of Business||$68,295||$14,044||4.9||85|
|University of Georgia Terry College of Business||$66,646||$17,714||3.8||57|
|University of California-Davis Graduate School of Management||$91,872||$24,196||3.8||28|
|Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business||$63,763||$18,007||3.5||80|
|University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business||$70,668||$22,343||3.2||47|
|Howard University School of Business||$86,170||$30,176||2.9||91|
|Florida State University College of Business||$60,132||$21,000||2.9||94|
|Texas A&M University–College Station Mays Business School||$84,305||$30,577||2.8||32|
|Georgia Institute of Technology College of Management||$85,373||$30,449||2.8||28|
|University of Cincinnati College of Business||$61,676||$22,354||2.8||75|
* Only schools that reported starting salaries for 25 or more students were included.
Don’t see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Business School Compass to find business school salary data, debt data, complete rankings, and much more.
U.S. News surveyed more than 400 schools for our 2010 survey of business programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’s data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Business Schools rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data comes from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’s rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools.