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Can you earn an MBA without drowning in debt? At some business schools, that's not only possible, it's likely, according to data reported to U.S. News.
On average, members of the class of 2011 who borrowed for business school finished with $47,743 in debt, according to statistics reported by 94 schools in an annual U.S. News survey. On the high end, MBA classes at some schools left owing nearly $100,000, on average, while graduates of the 10 schools that lead to the least debt shouldered as little as $8,000, on average.
[Find out how to pay for an MBA.]
Many of the business schools that graduate students with the lowest average debt are state institutions, including the University of North Carolina—Wilmington Cameron School of Business, where the average class of 2011 student was $8,000 in debt, and the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business, where graduates left with an average student loan burden of $18,403. The indebtedness data does not differentiate between in-state students and nonresidents, and only includes students who borrowed money specifically for business school.
Several schools on this least-debt list, including UNC—Wilmington, are designated as Rank Not Published (RNP) in the U.S. News Best Business Schools rankings. RNP denotes a school with a numerical ranking that U.S. News has calculated but has not published. Business schools that are Unranked, which means they did not submit enough data for U.S. News to calculate a ranking, were not considered for this list.
These 10 business schools sent their members of the class of 2011 off with the lowest average debt burdens of any MBA program:
|Business school (name) (state)||Average indebtedness, class of 2011||U.S. News b-school rank|
|University of North Carolina--Wilmington (Cameron)||$8,000||RNP|
|Louisiana State University--Baton Rouge (Ourso)||$8,524||81|
|San Diego State University||$14,513||RNP|
|Mississippi State University||$14,536||RNP|
|CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College (Zicklin)||$14,746||97|
|University of Mississippi||$14,828||RNP|
|University of Massachusetts--Amherst (Isenberg)||$15,500||57|
|University of Oregon (Lundquist)||$16,904||91|
|Baylor University (Hankamer) (TX)||$18,000||64|
|University of Missouri (Trulaske)||$18,403||54|
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Business School Compass to find complete rankings, indebtedness data, 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.