• Home
  • High Schools
  • Community Colleges
  • Colleges
  • Grad
    • Business
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Law
    • Medical
  • Online Education
  • World Universities

10 MBAs That Lead to Low Student Debt

For students who borrow, these business schools could be a bargain.

By + More

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. 

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.

[Find out what going to school part time means for your wallet.] 

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.