Even more, the part-time and EMBA students have the advantage of being able to continue to work — reducing the opportunity cost that weighs so heavily on full-time MBAs. Then, there is the matter of sponsorship. According to 2016 research from the Executive MBA Council, 23% of EMBAs receive full-sponsorship, with another 36% enjoying partial tuition reimbursement. At Kellogg, 66% of the latest EMBA class is either fully or partially sponsored. While data on part-time MBA sponsorship is harder to find, a 2015 GMAC study reported that employers surveyed offered some form of sponsorship to 40% of their employees.
LOWER DEBT IN THE PART-TIME MBA AND LOWER PERCENTAGE OF CLASS DEBT IN THE EMBA
Although part-time and executive MBAs still draw paychecks and (often) some support, debt loads remain touch-and-go. Just look at the data supplied by five business schools ranked in U.S. News’ Top 25 which supplied student loan information for all three programs (Michigan Ross, Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, Emory Goizueta, and Washington Olin). Parsing through the data, several trends become apparent.
First, in four out of five schools, part-time MBAs incurred less debt than their full-time peers. For example, the difference came to more than $43,000 at Ross ($59,014 vs. $102,605), going as low as a $4,200 difference at Haas ($83,288 vs. $87,546). At the same time, the percentage of part-time MBAs in debt was lower at three of these five schools. That said, the one constant was that executive MBAs roused the highest debt levels at all five schools, ranging from $74,567 at Washington Olin to $125,942 at Haas. Such numbers alone paint a stilted picture, as EMBAs represented the smallest percentage of debt holders at four of the five schools, including 16% at Ross and 28% at Haas.
Bottom line: You can’t reflexively discount a part-time or executive MBA program unless you have your heart set on Harvard, Stanford or Dartmouth, whose degree programs cater to full-time students. Wondering how your school’s programs stack up in terms of GMATs and GPAs? Unsure how the demographics compare in terms of female and international students? Curious how much work experience your peers would have? Check out the tables on the upcoming pages to see how full-time, part-time and executive MBA programs stack up against each other in these categories.
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Go to next page for female and international student representation.