Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. Each week, we bring you a chart to help you decide which of the schools’ strengths speak to you.
Attending a competitive business school may be your ticket to significantly improving your earning potential—but earning your MBA from a top-ranked program does not come cheap.
In a 2014 survey of nearly 10,000 graduating students across 112 business schools, Bloomberg Businessweek found that “investment in an elite school tended to take longer to recoup because these schools are so expensive and students forgo high wages.” In the publication’s survey, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, for instance, reported the highest median total compensation at graduation ($170,000) for its emerging MBAs. However, when this factor was weighed relative to its students’ average pre-MBA salary and the cost of attending the program ($126,750 per year), Stanford was ranked worst for return on investment.
Weighing the potential payoffs and opportunity costs associated with different schools is therefore an important step when you are considering your options for an MBA. Because tuition, fees, travel expenses, and extracurricular spending add up over the course of a two-year program, many MBA students find themselves carrying substantial debt post graduation. Those looking to make a more conservative investment in their education—especially outside the top ten programs—might do well to consider which MBA programs offer the best value for the money.