A New Salary-Vs-Debt MBA Ranking

Stanford University's Graduate School of Business

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business

MBA Programs With The Highest Salary-to-Debt Ratios:

SchoolAverage Salary 3 Years Post-GraduationAverage DebtSalary-to-Debt Ratio
New York Institute of Technology$126,068$50,3082.5x
Saint Mary’s College of California$116,497$49,2232.4x
California State University East Bay$89,894$38,0302.4x
Florida Atlantic University$104,820$45,5732.3x
Texas A&M University$107,890$48,7132.2x
University of Connecticut$118,255$55,3792.1x
George Mason University$111,238$52,1972.1x
Villanova University$126,730$60,2932.1x
University of Kansas$97,086$46,2452.1x

Source: SoFi


  • Truth

    This article is completely worthless. The numbers are 100% false. How could this insanity be published? HBS grads make 158k three years after graduation? Booth grads make 157k three years after graduation? How is there no quality control to so much stuff posted on this site?

  • Close but no cigar

    Seems to me with this dataset a much better analysis could be made.

    ROI is all about incremental gain for a particular investment. Why not show the salary increase vs both the debt burden and foregone salary (for full timers)?

  • El Meerr

    Any data on INSEAD?

  • TechInsane

    Well said.

    MBA class of 2015 Kaplan business school.

  • Dean Boyd

    This story is very misleading on a number of levels.

    The debt burdens cited and used as the underlying basis for the ranking includes all outstanding student loan debt applicants had when they applied for a SoFi refinance loan. So by way of example, the loan debt a student accumulated while attending one or more other institutions before going to business school is counted and assigned to the business school. This central fact, which was not included in the story, penalizes schools that cater to adult learners, who pay their own way and typically attend multiple schools on their path to an MBA degree.

    To bring this into sharper view, here are some facts about Kaplan University based on a two year cohort of more than 1,600 MBA graduates (the sample size that SoFi used for calculating our MBA student debt was 21, hardly the sort of big data this story touts).

    An MBA student at Kaplan University pays approximately $28,000 in total tuition. The average debt for a MBA graduate from Kaplan University (which includes interest and loans taken out for living expenses) is approximately $38,000. The average earnings for an MBA graduate is approximately $64,000.

    Most of our students are adult learners who are financially independent. They are raising families, paying bills and trying to make ends meet while going to school. They are not relying on others (parents) to help pay for school. Many have outstanding debt from other institutions they attended earlier in their academic lives. Instead of being derided, they should be celebrated.

    Dr. Thomas Boyd, Dean
    Kaplan University School of Business and Information Technology

  • Herbert Weiner.


    >#10, SMA

  • Ethan Baron

    BYU fans, no hard feelings – SoFi listed schools it had enough data for, and its ranking should not be taken as comprehensive. Note also that the link in the story to a U.S. News ranking shows Marriott at sixth-best for salary vs. debt.

  • DardenMBA

    Yep… I completely agree. I am not sure how P&Q did not consider BYU in this, as it would’ve led this ranking, or other forms of ROI as well. Well noted.

  • Young

    It baffles me that these lists always fail to list BYU, as if they have something against the school. Average Debt: 20k, average salary: 110k. Salary to debt ratio crushes all these schools.

  • Ethan Baron

    You make a valid general point about $200K income vs. $100K debt, however if you look at SoFi’s numbers, the debts for the elite schools are still much higher (mostly around $100K) than for the “best ROI”-list schools (mostly around $50K), but elite grads’ salaries aren’t double those of grads from the ROI schools… so ranking by difference would produce odd results. You’d have Cal State East Bay, for example, ranked higher ($52K difference) than NYU Stern ($48K difference) and Michigan Ross ($40K difference) when the Ross and Stern grads are making $50-70K more in salary and would be perceived to have achieved a much more elite outcome.

  • Jayc

    This is a great way to do a ranking, but I’d argue ratio is a flawed metric in this regard. A better metric would be *difference* between debt and annual salary.

    Eg, it’s a more favorable outcome to be making $200k income on $100k debt (2:1 ratio, but 100k difference) than to be making $100k income on $33k debt (3:1 ratio, but only $67k difference). That extra money/yr in the first example will add up fast and outpace the “higher roi” MBA in example 2, and probably represents a more “elite” career outcome.