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Some Tid Bits from the Bloomberg Businessweek Rankings

Fuqua’s ascension to the #1 spot grabbed everyone’s attention. Some scoffed at the methodology. Others wondered if there was truly a changing of the guard. Of course, plenty took the opportunity to bash Harvard, Booth, Kellogg, and Wharton, as if they were overrated squads who’d only earned their accolades through soft schedules and biased officials.

Behind the big news, Bloomberg Businessweek also mined some intriguing data. In the infographic “What Business School Does for Your Career,” Bloomberg Businessweek broke down the top (and bottom performers) in categories ranging from loans to salaries to provide readers with a true picture of their potential investment in business school.

Let’s start with loan burdens, where Fuqua also ranked #1 with a median debt of $85,000 per student. Bet Duke isn’t mentioning that in their promos. Similarly, Fuqua also ranked the worst in the “Borrowed vs. Earned” category, which places MBA debt against annual compensation. Here, debt accounts for .6478 of first year compensation.

Dartmouth is another program where students incur high debt, ranking just below Fuqua in median debt ($83,000) and fifth worst in debt-to annual compensation (.4899). MIT Sloan, and Emory Goizueta also placed in the top five for both total debt and debt-to-compensation.

Conversely, Columbia University and Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business were the biggest bargains at first glance, with both programs reporting $0 for median loan debt (and consequently 0 for debt-to-compensation). However, these numbers likely stem from the schools not reporting debt. According to a May 2014 study by Poets&Quants,  70% of Columbia graduates leave school with a debt averaging $115,200 (Georgia Tech’s indebtness fell below the top 32 American programs with the basement being $61,547). UCLA’s Anderson School of Management also appears to be a bargain. Ranking #11 (up seven spots from 2012), UCLA carried the fourth lowest loan burden ($10,000) and debt-to-compensation ratio (.1224). Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business posted similar numbers to UCLA ($14,750) and (.1459).

However, graduates of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business get the highest early returns on their education, re-couping .4433 of their costs in the first year of graduation. They were followed by Indiana Kelley (.4011), Brigham Young Marriott (.3922), Carnegie Mellon Tepper (.3418), and Vanderbilt Owen (.3357). However, Bloomberg Businessweek’s charts only cover the top 30 business school. Overall, the top performers on ROI were the University of Wisconsin, Penn State Smeal, and Purdue Krannert. That said, Bloomberg Businessweek also notes that Wisconsin’s numbers were slightly skewed by a million salary offered by one graduate. Stanford MBAs generated the least return (.1779) followed by Columbia University (.2025), Wharton (.2134) and Harvard (.2134).

For starting salaries, the Stanford Graduate School of Business is king, with students averaging $170,000 in total compensation upon graduation. Stanford was followed by IMD ($151,000), Wharton ($150,000), Tuck ($145,000), and Sloan ($143,000). The University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business scored the lowest in starting salaries at $61,950, followed by the University of Oklahoma ($67,000) and the University of Alabama ($72,000).

And here’s the biggest surprise stat: “The Male MBA Premium.” This is the starting wage difference between men and women in the first year after graduation. Among Stanford graduates, you’re better off being a guy, with men earning $52,000 more than their female counterparts. Men also heavily outpaced women at Hult ($22,000), INSEAD ($20,400), and Wharton ($20,000). On the flip side, female graduates earned more to start at Kenan-Flagler ($3,500), USC Marshall ($2,500) and Harvard ($1,000). Men and women earned equal starting salaries at Cornell Johnson and Virginia Darden.

To read the full stats, click on the Bloomberg Businessweek links below.

DON’T MISS: Businessweek’s Big Oops Moment in the Rankings

Sources: Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Businessweek