But a recent survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (this publication’s owner) found that 90% of full-time MBA graduates said the degree boosted their earnings power. The degree has long been associated with a promotion and pay rise, hence why managers are willing to spend large sums on an MBA.
That trade-off has been the subject of much recent debate. Putting your career on pause for two years to go back to school means you miss out on earnings. But for many MBA graduates the degree propels them into a higher position.
A good way to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of an MBA is to assess a school’s salary-to-debt ratio. US News, which ranks America’s top MBA programs each year, has calculated the rate of return by dividing the average salary and signing bonus of freshly-minted MBA grads, by the average student debt of those who borrowed money to fund their education.
Here are the top-10 US News-ranked American business schools where MBAs earn more than $100,000 on average, within three months of graduation, who get the highest ROI. Graduates from these business schools have at least a 280% average return, according to US News data.