McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Engineer
GMAT 720, GPA 7.95/10 (College follows relative grading; Avg. estimate around 7-7.3)
Wharton | Mr. Rates Trader
GMAT 750, GPA 7.6/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Former SEC Athlete
GMAT 620, GPA 3.8
Tuck | Mr. Army To MBB
GMAT 740, GPA 2.97
Columbia | Mr. Forbes 30 Under 30
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB Advanced Analytics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Impactful Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Banker To CPG Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 7.36/10
Ross | Mr. Leading-Edge Family Business
GMAT 740, GPA 2.89
Darden | Mr. Logistics Guy
GRE Not taken Yet, GPA 3.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Desi Boy
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Stylist & Actor
GMAT 760 , GPA 9.5
Columbia | Mr. Ambitious Chemical Salesman
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Tepper | Ms. Coding Tech Leader
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. Irish Biotech Entrepreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Cricketer Turned Engineer
GMAT 770, GPA 7.15/10
Wharton | Mr. Planes And Laws
GRE 328, GPA 3.8
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Refrad
GMAT 700, GPA 3.94
Harvard | Mr. Supply Chain Photographer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Space Launch
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Ms. Product Strategist
GMAT 700, GPA 7.3/10
Columbia | Mr. MBB Consultant
GRE 339, GPA 8.28
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Avocado Farmer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.08
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Development Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.9
Columbia | Mr. Wannabe Grad
GMAT 710, GPA 3.56
Kellogg | Ms. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3

MBA Value Erodes In Past Ten Years

If you want proof that the immediate rewards of the MBA degree have declined, look no further than the past ten years. From 2001 to 2010, the costs of getting the degree have significantly outpaced starting pay at every one of the top 20 U.S. business schools.

An analysis by Poets&Quants of school recommended budgets to attend a two-year program and median salaries show that large amounts of value have eroded from certain programs. The assessments were made on the basis of a school’s recommended budget for students to attend their MBA program compared against the median starting base salaries of a school’s graduates. The analysis did not take into account the fellowship grants that would reduce the costs of getting a degree.

Whether this is merely a reflection of the overall economy which has led to widespread layoffs and stalled salaries among many white collar employees or a sign that the cachet of an MBA has declined is up in the air. But there’s no question that MBA candidates working toward the degree today will take a longer time to achieve a return on their investment than their predecessors did ten years ago.

Which schools saw the greatest depletion of value in the past decade?

The costs of attending Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School rose 12.8 times faster than its MBA starting salaries–more than any other top 20 school–while the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business saw the cost of attending its MBA program jump 11.7 times its median salaries for graduates.

Which schools held the most value? The two at the top of the list: Stanford Graduate School of Business increased its budget recommendations to students by only 1.6 times its salary increases, and the costs of getting a Chicago Booth MBA rose only 2.2 times the salary of a Booth graduate. They were followed by MIT Sloan and New York University’s Stern School of Business, both of which saw costs rise 2.4 times median salary increases.

By and large, the top ten schools did significantly better than the bottom ten in the top 20. In the top ten schools, the costs of the degree rose three times the median salaries. But in the bottom ten of the top 20 schools the costs increased 6.5 times pay.

The single biggest increase in the cost of an MBA over the past ten years occurred at Texas-Austin where the recommended two-year budget for a student surged 140% to $127,444 from $53,034. Meantime, median base salaries went up only 12% to $95,000 for the Class of 2010 from $85,000 for the Class of 2001.

The smallest increase in base salary was at Emory University’s Goizueta School where pay increased by only 6% in the past ten years to $90,000 from $85,000. The cost of getting a Goizueta degree, however, jumped by 45% to $130,280 from $89,920.

Among the elite private schools, the greatest deterioration in the value equation was at Columbia Business School. The costs of getting the degree rose 8.9 times faster than the starting salaries in the past ten years. The recommended two-year budget at Columbia jumped 71% to $169,502 from $99,388, while median base pay increased by only 8% to $100,000 in 2010 from $93,000 in 2001.

 

School2010 Median Pay2001 Median Pay% 

Increase

2010 

Two-Year

Budget

2001 

Two-Year

Budget

% 

Increase

Harvard$110,000$100,00010%$158,000$109,60031%
Stanford$120,000$100,00020%$168,812$128,00032%
Wharton$110,000$95,00016%$168,000$119,45641%
Chicago$102,000$85,00020%$154,060$107,72243%
Kellogg$105,000$90,00017%$156,990$105,06649%
Columbia$100,000$93,0008%$169,502$99,38871%
Dartmouth$105,000$95,75010%$159,900$95,75067%
MIT Sloan$110,000$92,50019%$160,378$110,62045%
Berkeley$110,000$90,00022%$144,746$76,32090%
Duke$100,000$85,00018%$137,746$82,94866%
Virginia$100,000$85,00018%$142,000$84,00069%
NYU$100,000$85,00018%$157,622$109,23444%
Michigan$100,000$90,00011%$141,210$91,10055%
Yale$100,000$85,00018%$151,982NANA
Cornell$96,000$87,50010%$142,404$86,61064%
Carnegie-Mellon$95,000$88,0008%$149,400$74,000102%
UCLA$100,000$85,00018%$147,278$62,664135%
UNC$95,000$85,00012%$136,860$82,65066%
Emory$90,000$85,0006%$130,280$89,92045%
Texas$95,000$85,00012%$127,144$53,034140%

Source: School reports to BusinessWeek. For public institutions, out-of-state recommended budgets were used.

DON’T MISS: THE CLASS THE LOANS FELL ON or IS THE MBA STILL WORTH THE COST AND THE TIME?