Stanford GSB | Ms. Creative Data Scientist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Consulting Research To Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (no GPA system, got first (highest) division )
MIT Sloan | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT 690, GPA 7.08
Wharton | Ms. Product Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future Tech In Healthcare
GRE 313, GPA 2.0
MIT Sloan | Mr. Agri-Tech MBA
GRE 324, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. Anthropologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Aker 22
GRE 332, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Tech In HR
GMAT 640, GPA 3.23
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Military To MGMNT Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Data Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 7.76/10
Harvard | Ms. Nurturing Sustainable Growth
GRE 300, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Ms. Senior PM Unicorn
GMAT 700, GPA 3.18
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. “GMAT” Grimly Miserable At Tests
GMAT TBD - Aug. 31, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. Electrical Agri-tech
GRE 324, GPA 4.0
Yale | Mr. IB To Strategy
GRE 321, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Overrepresented MBB Consultant (2+2)
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Ms. Freelance Hustler
GRE 312, GPA 4
Kellogg | Ms. Gap Fixer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Little Late For MBA
GRE 333, GPA 3.76
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Wellness Ethnographer
GRE 324, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Ms. Financial Real Estate
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. The Italian Dream Job
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
NYU Stern | Mr. Labor Market Analyst
GRE 320, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Indian IT Auditor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8

25 B-Schools That Lead To The Most MBA Debt

Conspicuously absent from the list (below) are the debt numbers for Columbia Business School, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the University of Southern California’s Marshall School, and Washington University’s Olin School. Those institutions apparently did not disclose this data to U.S. News. But it’s a sure bet that all of them would be among the top 25 if they had provided the information, given their high levels of tuition and similar student pools.


Another question raised by the numbers: Why do MBAs at Harvard and Stanford graduate with more than a third less debt than those at Wharton? Wharton officials declined to respond. Unlike most business schools which use scholarship money to attract the best students, Harvard doles out some $21 million a year in fellowship grants to students based on financial need, not merit. The primary aim of its fellowship program is to keep debt at low levels. Harvard measures financial need by taking into account an admitted applicant’s income for the last 3 years, assets owned, spouse’s income (if any) and outstanding undergraduate debt. In other words, if an applicant has the wherewithal to pay for his or her MBA experience, he’s unlikely to get fellowship support.

Our conclusion: Harvard and Stanford are far more generous with their scholarship packages than Wharton so the sticker price of an MBA at Harvard and Stanford is more likely to be discounted. Harvard, for example, says that its students receive average scholarships of $48,200 over their two years at the school. Stanford reported that its students received $20,644 in fellowship money in the last academic year, or roughly $41,300 over the two years of the MBA program. Wharton does not disclose this number.

Wharton can not only lay claim to having the highest student debt loans. Compared to Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, and other top schools, it also has been less successful at placing recent graduates in jobs. A full three months after commencement, nearly 16% of Wharton’s class failed to be employed, versus just 7.6% at Stanford and 9.7% at Harvard. So more Wharton students are also likely to have trouble meeting their higher loan payments.

Once you add an effective interest rate of 7.65% from government loan programs, these debt burdens grow quickly over the years. If a Wharton MBA paid down his $110,000 over the next 10 years, the total cumulative payments would come to more than $180,000. With a repayment schedule over 25 years, the debt would balloon to more than $280,000–not accounting for any deferrals or penalties for missing a payment.

School 2010 Average Debt 2009 Average Debt
1. UPenn (Wharton) $109,836 $105,489
2. Dartmouth (Tuck) $96,292 $85,917
3. Duke (Fuqua) $92,827 $88,050
4. Michigan (Ross) $92,734 $84,798
5. Northwestern (Kellogg) $87,256 NA
6. Cornell (Johnson) $86,900 $83,700
7, Yale School of Management $86,895 $99,418
8. New York University (Stern) $85,198 $78,887
9. Georgetown (McDonough) $82,577 $78,746
10. Vanderbilt (Owen) $80,857 $76,957
11. Chicago (Booth) $79,539 $86,758
12. Texas-Austin (McCombs) $77,644 $69,552
13. North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) $77,124 $75,251
14. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) $75,570 $87,592
15. California-Berkeley (Haas) $73,186 $63,748
16. Harvard Business School $73,110 $76,958
17. Virginia (Darden) $72,027 $66,272
18. Stanford $71,403 $75,442
19. George Washington $68,959 $66,989
20. Pepperdine (Graziado) $66,242 $71,680
21. Thunderbird $64,381 NA
22. Notre Dame (Mendoza) $62,858 $65,925
23. UCLA (Anderson) $62,711 $64,030
24. Wake Forest (Babcock) $61,846 NA
25. Emory (Goizueta) $60,435 $58,440

Source: Business schools reported to U.S. News & World Report.


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