Rankings, Rates, ROI & More: The M7 By The Numbers

Stanford GSB is the costliest business school in the world

Cost is a major structural barrier to building board rooms, management teams, and workforces that better resemble the societies in which they operate. The M7 solution has been to offer an increasing number of scholarships and greater accessibility to underrepresented groups. Harvard Business school recently announced plans to cover tuition and fees for 10% of its admits based on need; HBS also has not increased tuition for five years. Columbia kept its tuition stable for three straight admission cycles. Stanford, like Harvard, offers average annual awards of around $42,000 that are received by half the respective MBA programs’ students. Kellogg boasts that nearly two-thirds qualify for and receive financial aid.

But the M7 are not just the most illustrious of the world’s business schools. They are also the most expensive. Depending on living expenses, which fluctuate significantly according to school location and a student’s family size, two years of a full-time residential program at one of the M7 schools can cost anywhere from a quarter million dollars to nearly $400K. The estimated average two-year cost at the M7 is more than $229,000, and more than $238K (for single students) at both MIT and Stanford. See table below for details.

Once in, there's no better way to put it: an MBA from one of these schools is a ticket to a better life. Median starting salaries ticked upward at four schools — Harvard, Booth, Kellogg, and Stanford — and stabilized at the others, while bonuses were mostly flat, rising in Chicago and dipping in Palo Alto. Because we calculate total compensation using the percentage of those reporting a bonus, and because that percentage fluctuates yearly, median compensation appears to have fallen at three of the schools in the table below; in reality it is remarkably stable, and at a level no other B-school currently approaches. Moreover, some of the M7 schools report — and all have grads who receive — other compensation such as stock and relocation options, which add to their totals.

And where do M7 MBAs go to work once they have left the rarefied air of their respective B-schools? You may not be surprised to learn that the largest group of Harvard, Wharton, and Columbia grads work in finance, or that Booth and Kellogg send most of their MBAs into consulting. But did you know that Stanford techies are actually second at the school to finance grads? And that most Sloanies are consultants, with tech a runner up and finance a close third?

Which schools produce the most entrepreneurs? Which send the most MBAs into healthcare? See the Class of 2021 distribution below for answers, with Class of 2020 in parentheses for year-to-year comparisons.

See the next page for class profile data for the M7: pre-MBA industries and undergrad majors.

AND SEE POETS&QUANTS' COVERAGE OF THE 2021 EMPLOYMENT REPORTS FOR THE M7:

HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL

STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

THE WHARTON SCHOOL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

NORTHWESTERN KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL

MIT SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

CHICAGO BOOTH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

AND SEE MORE OF OUR COVERAGE OF THE COSTS & OUTCOMES AT ELITE MBA PROGRAMS:

WHAT DOES IT COST TO ATTEND A TOP MBA PROGRAM? HERE ARE ALL THE NUMBERS

MBA SALARIES & BONUSES AT THE TOP 25 B-SCHOOLS

2021 YEAR IN REVIEW: EMPLOYMENT REPORTS & CLASS PROFILES

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