The U.S. News Short List, separate from the 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.
Students who want to earn an M.B.A. may find wallet-friendly deals at public business programs in their state of residence. For many students, though, financing a business school education may lead to student loans and heavy debt loads come graduation.
[Get expert tips and advice on paying for business school.]
Of the 136 ranked business schools surveyed by U.S. News, 94 programs provided average indebtedness data for students graduating in 2011. Among them, the average debt load for graduating M.B.A. students was $47,743 in 2011. (This data is based on debts students incurred during their M.B.A. programs and includes only those M.B.A. graduates who took on student debt to fund their degrees.) In comparison, students graduating from one of the 10 schools with the highest debt burdens were responsible for sums of more than $40,000 higher than the average.
Among the 10 business programs with the most heavily debt-laden students, graduates accumulated an average of $91,513 in education-related debt. Members of the class of 2011 at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University graduated with the highest average debt loads with $96,805 in debt—nearly $50,000 more than the national average.
[See a full list of business schools and the average debt loads of their graduates.]
For many students, a higher debt load at graduation is worth it to attend a top-ranked business school. Four of the 10 business programs that lead to the most debt for graduates are among the top 10 in U.S. News's rankings of the Best Business Schools, and all 10 programs rank in the top 25.
Business schools that were designated by U.S. News as Unranked were not considered for the list below. 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.
These 10 business schools graduated students with the heaviest average debt loads in 2011, based on school-reported data to U.S. News:
|Business school (name) (state)||Average indebtedness||U.S. News b-school rank|
|Duke University (Fuqua) (NC)||$96, 805||12|
|Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)||$96,346||9|
|Yale University (CT)||$93,723||10|
|University Of Michigan—Ann Arbor (Ross)||$93,602||13|
|University of Virginia (Darden)||$90,949||13|
|Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)||$90,200||4|
|Cornell University (Johnson) (NY)||$90,194||16|
|New York University (Stern)||$89,040||11|
|Vanderbilt University (Owen) (TN)||$87,587||25|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)||$86,688||4|
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Business School Compass to find 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 the data come from the schools themselves, these lists have no influence over U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools.