Tuck | Mr. Winning Team
GMAT 760, GPA 7.95 out of 10
Kellogg | Ms. Clean Tech
GMAT 690, GPA 3.96
Harvard | Mr. Renewable Energy Investing
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Darden | Ms. Teaching-To-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
Tuck | Mr. Strategic Sourcing
GMAT 720, GPA 3.90
Tuck | Mr. Recreational Pilot
GRE 326, GPA 3.99
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seller
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Government Consultant
GMAT 600, GPA 3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Space Launch
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Yale | Ms. Biotech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.29
INSEAD | Mr. Media Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.65
MIT Sloan | Ms. MD MBA
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Research 2+2
GMAT 740, GPA 3.96
London Business School | Mr. Investment Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 2.2
NYU Stern | Mr. Long Shot
GRE 303, GPA 2.75
Kellogg | Ms. Kellogg Bound Ideator
GMAT 710, GPA 2.4
Wharton | Ms. PMP To MBA
GMAT 710, GPA 3.72
Kellogg | Mr. Sales Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.00
Stanford GSB | Mr. LGBTQ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.58
Duke Fuqua | Mr. 2020
GMAT 630, GPA 3.92
MIT Sloan | Mr. Generic Nerd
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Cambridge Judge | Mr. Versatility
GMAT 680, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Hustler
GMAT 760, GPA 4
Chicago Booth | Mr. M7 Aspirant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.79 / 4.00
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Journalist
GMAT 690, GPA 2.8
Tepper | Mr. Family Biz
GRE 329, GPA 3.46

MBA Impact High After Any Degree

SoFi co-founders Dan Macklin (L) and James Finnigan - Ethan Baron photo

SoFi co-founders Dan Macklin (L) and James Finnigan – Ethan Baron photo

It’s a 21st Century paradox: undergraduate education costs have driven student debt up so high that the prospect of incurring additional debt for a graduate degree – even if it will add to future earning power – can strike terror into the bravest heart. But this is a fear of the unknown – a concern that even with improved career and income prospects from a second degree, the tremendous difficulty of digging out from beneath the burden of money owed will persist long into the future.

Now, education lender SoFi has crunched data on 200,000 of its loan applicants, and produced findings that provide an antidote to fear based on uncertain outcomes, and can facilitate effective decision-making about whether getting a graduate degree makes financial sense.

The stakes are ever higher. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that U.S. college graduates this year were leaving school with the highest student debt in history – $35,000, up 75% from $20,000 a decade ago. Is it prudent to add even more debt, in hopes that a graduate degree will increase earning potential to the point that student debt becomes less consequential?

SoFi's data on earnings increases by college major and graduate degree

SoFi’s data on earnings increases by college major and graduate degree

The answer depends, of course, on the degrees involved. A master of fine arts degree may deliver a 12%  lifetime earnings bump for a humanities undergrad, but add the MFA to an undergraduate business degree, and lifetime earnings fall by 11%.