The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.
Ideally, prospective M.B.A. students will know a good business deal when they see one. In a stale economy, they need to figure out if a school's M.B.A. program, which could cost roughly $100,000 at some schools, will be worth it. While some business schools yield little debt but often a low average starting salary for grads, other schools' graduates leave school with high salaries and large debt loads. Some business schools hit the sweet spot, and at those schools, recent grads tend to earn a lot compared to what they owe, as shown by their high salary-to-debt ratios.
Of the 136 ranked business schools surveyed by U.S. News in 2011, 132 submitted starting salary data for their 2011 graduates who accepted jobs within three months of graduation. Among those 10,524 graduates, the average starting salary reported was $77,132.
Conversely, 94 ranked business schools submitted indebtedness data for their 2011 grads, and the average amount of debt among 2011 grads from those schools was $47,743. Overall, 93 ranked business schools submitted both starting salary and indebtedness data, and among those schools, M.B.A. students earned 2.1 times more in their starting salaries, on average, than they owed in student loan debt.
Class of 2011 M.B.A. graduates at the 10 schools in the table below earn the highest annual salaries in their first jobs relative to the amount they owe in student debt. Among the 10 schools, grads earn, on average, four times as much in their first-year salaries than what they owe in loans.
The E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University—Baton Rouge tops the list of best financial value because, even though its 2011 graduates earned less in their first year than those from the other nine schools on the list, Ourso grads also had the least amount of educational debt. The average amount of indebtedness among 2011 Ourso graduates was $8,524—less than a fifth of the average indebtedness among all ranked business schools that submitted debt data to U.S. News.
Overall, the schools with most financial value vary geographically, but Texas yields three of the 10 institutions on the list: Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, Texas Christian University's Neeley School of Business, and Texas A&M University—College Station's Mays Business School. While Neeley and Mays made the list of business schools with most financial value last year, the only other school to make the list two years in a row is Zicklin School of Business at CUNY—Baruch College.
[Check out the U.S. News rankings of Best Business Schools.]
Schools designated by U.S. News as Unranked were excluded from this list. U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for Unranked programs because the program did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked. In the table below, U.S. News did not include schools that reported starting salaries for fewer than 25 students.
Below are the 10 schools with the most financial value for 2011 graduates:
|Business school (name) (state)||Average starting salary||Average student debt||Salary-to-debt ratio||U.S. News b-school rank|
|Louisiana State University—Baton Rouge (Ourso)||$54,914||$8,524||6.4||81|
|CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College (Zicklin)||$81,678||$14,746||5.5||97|
|San Diego State University (CA)||$59,236||$14,513||4.1||*RNP|
|Baylor University (Hankamer) (TX)||$64,700||$18,000||3.6||64|
|Texas Christian University (Neeley)||$74,915||$21,680||3.5||70|
|University of Iowa (Tippie)||$82,539||$23,826||3.5||49|
|University of Oregon (Lundquist)||$58,500||$16,904||3.5||91|
|Texas A&M University—College Station (Mays)||$87,169||$25,567||3.4||32|
|Brigham Young University (Marriott) (UT)||$92,372||$28,519||3.2||34|
|Miami University (Farmer) (OH)||$71,900||$22,394||3.2||78|
*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one fourth of its ranking category. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Business School Compass to find data on indebtedness, expenses, grants, complete rankings, and much more.
U.S. News surveyed more than 400 schools for our 2011 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 come 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.