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Business schools ranked according to Return On Investment

Is the salary you earn after you learn a valid measure for ranking schools? This new ranking lists schools according to their MBA graduates' salary to debt ratio. Read more below.
BY Skendha Singh |   28-12-2016
An MBA from Brigham Young University offers the best return on investment according to SoFi’s new rankings

SoFi, an online lender, recently released its Return on Education MBA rankings based on salary to debt ratios of top business schools in the US. The rankings rank schools under three heads: highest average salary of graduates, best salary to debt ratios, worst salary to debt ratios.

To create the rankings, SoFi analysed more than 60000 student loan refinancing applications over a two-year period.  The Return on Education (RoEd) MBA rankings are based on average salaries earned by graduates, and comparisons with the debt incurred towards financing an education.

Several B-Schools which dominate the RoEd rankings of highest average salary, are on the top of other lists as well. The first name on the list is Columbia University, where MBA graduates earn more than approximately 170,000 USD per year on an average. Next is University of Pennsylvania. It is followed by Stanford and University of Chicago (Booth). These elite schools feature recurrently on other rankings as well.

Interestingly, however, the RoEd rankings also list top 10 schools which offer the best value for money. This list features several lesser known schools. Top of the list is Brigham Young University, where graduates earn 109,000 USD approximately. The average salary is twice the amount of debt. Others include Villanova University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, & San Diego State University. 9 out of the 10 schools on this list do not feature in other MBA program rankings.

SoFi has also published 10 worst MBA programs from a return on investment perspective. The average annual salary of graduates from these schools is lower than their outstanding debt. For the average MBA graduate of Ashford University, annual salary is approximately equal to student debt. Whereas graduates of institutions like Baker College, Benedictine University, Kaplan University, and a couple of others earn even less than they invest! These colleges are under scrutiny, according to media reports, because of high student debt loads, and low rates of graduation.

The RoEd rankings serve a vital practical purpose, since an MBA degree is a huge investment in terms of time and money, and students keep a keen eye on their potential return on investment (RoI). However, academics have criticized such lists because they encourage the prioritization of money over knowledge. According to academics, the RoI from a business education is not the only aspect students need to consider. Business ethics & leadership skills gained during an MBA are critical to the world of business, and perhaps outside the scope of rankings like these.

Eventually, their purpose is to serve the prospective student in making a well-informed, and potentially life-changing decision.

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