More Parents Paying For Their Kids’ MBAs

Student Debt

10 MBA Programs with the Highest Debt


Speaking of school debt…

That $42,000 figure cited earlier is a bit of a misnomer. For starters, annual tuition at elite institutions are generally between $56,175 (Harvard) and $60,720 (Columbia). And even tuition at state schools can run $22K-$32K (or double, in some cases, for out-of-state students). And let’s not forget than many of the top schools are located in pricey locales like New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Get ready for sticker shock there.

Yes, debt can limit your options. It can also make you risk-averse and more apt to take a job that doesn’t necessarily fit you. And that brings up the question: Which graduates carry the most debt?

According to U.S. News and World Report, that honor belongs to Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Here, students carry an average debt load of $108,186 (based off tuition of roughly $55,000). On the plus side, Fuqua grads earn $135,101 starting out. The downside? They have an 86.9% placement rate within three months of graduation (which may also reflect graduates being choosier).

Just below Fuqua is a state school: The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, with an in-state tuition at $48K and an average debt of $102,968. Darden also ranked low (#82) in the Financial Times’ rankings on early ROI (though better than Fuqua at #88). MIT Sloan ($100,512), Michigan Ross ($97,915) and Cornell Johnson ($97,500) round out the top five in debt, though graduates at these schools earn $129K-$137K to start (with each boasting similar three month placement rates as Fuqua). MIT Sloan had the highest proportion of students in debt at 72% among the top ten.

Despite a 93.2% three month placement rate, NYU grads average $93,872 in debt, with the school placing last in ROI. Conversely, Pepperdine ranked tenth in debt at $89,245, with only 43% of their graduates carrying debt. However, the school ranks low on three month job placement (67.5%) and starting salaries ($80,542).

Business School Average MBA Program Debt U.S. News B-School Rank Percentage of Full-Time 2013 Graduates with Debt
Duke University (Fuqua) $108,186 14 66
University of Virginia (Darden) $102,968 11 62
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) $100,512 5 72
University of Michigan (Ross) $97,915 11 60
Cornell University (Johnson) $97,500 17 N/A
Yale University $96,341 13 73
New York University (Stern) $93,832 10 N/A
University of San Francisco (Massagung) $93,465 Rank Not Published 61
Northwestern University (Kellogg) $91,834 6 66
Pepperdine (Graziadio) $89,245 76 43


Source: U.S. News and World Report


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