The MBA is considered to be the most prestigious business degree around, and it generally increases earnings by around $45,000 per year. Additionally, demand for people with an MBA has also continued to rise. As such, it is undeniable that obtaining an MBA is an excellent investment. However, this requires a financial investment (the average cost for a full MBA degree, with all fees included, is around $140,000), and an investment of time (an MBA degree takes on average two years to complete). This so-called inevitable “debt curse” is something that puts many students off in pursuing the degree.
Fortunately, a survey or 464 schools by the U.S. News & World Report in 2014 has revealed that there are high quality MBA programs that enable students to fight this debt curse, seeing the fastest return on investment. The vast majority of high quality MBA programs (Jump to 9+ best online MBA degrees for 2017) have various forms of financial assistance available to students. The highest levels of assistance tend to be provided to those who aim to use their degree for public service. However, it is important to remember that public service jobs tend to have lower pay. This means that you may have to make a salary cut, but you should see a reduction on the cost of your program as well.
1. Berkeley Haas School of Business
At the Berkeley Haas School of Business, students can agree to a loan repayment program if they become part of a nonprofit organization workforce, as it is recognized that this leads to lower salaries. However, only certain organizations are eligible, and they must prove that they will be reimbursed for the loan repayments they made at minimum levels over the past half year.
2. The University of Tulsa – Collins
The University of Tulsa has been shown to have the highest salary-to-debt ratio of all. This came after a study of 82 ranked school by the U.S. News & World Report. The university has revealed that graduates earned an average of $61,055 within the first quarter of graduating. Additionally, those who had to take out a loan to finance their degree had an average student debt of just $10,522.
3. Columbia University School of Business
Columbia University is one of the world’s best known universities, and it is certainly not known for its affordability. However, they offer an interesting assistance program that encourages graduates to take on positions in the public or nonprofit sector after graduation. It is only available for those who are able to graduate within five years, can demonstrate financial need, and can demonstrate that the nature of their job is eligible. The greatest help is given to those who are earning less than $80,000 per year.
4. The University of Washington – Foster
The U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Washington in 23rd place. Within three months of graduating, the average salary of students was $105,680. Additionally, their average student debt was just $29,720.
5. Duke University – Fuqua School of Business
The Duke University Fuqua School of Business program can provide a level of loan forgiveness to those who are full time employed in a government or nonprofit organization. They must also focus specifically on improving social policy. Reimbursement can be given for both private and federal loans to the value of $8,000 per year.
6. Louisiana State University – Baton Rouge
The Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge has graduates who earned an average of $56,656 per year three months after completing their degree. While this earning is lower compared to that of graduates of other schools, their average student debt was only $9,987.
7. University of Connecticut
Graduates from the University of Connecticut earned an average of $101,562 within three months of graduating. However, they did also have an average student debt of $29,727,
8. Baylor University – Hankamer
Students at the Baylor University in Hankamer, Texas, can expect average earnings of $71,840 within three months of graduating, while having an average student debt of $21,480.
9. Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School is known to be one of the top Ivy League schools in this country, and one that most people believe they would never be able to afford going to. However, the business school does offer reimbursement options to those students who, within 10 years of graduating, take on employment on a full time basis within a nonprofit organization. The reimbursement is up to $10,000 each year for those who earn less than $80,000 per year. Those who earn more will only receive a partial coverage. Other criteria, such as the graduate’s position at the organization, how badly the community needs his or her skills, and how much room for growth and development within the job, also influence the level of reimbursement that will be provided.
10. The University of Massachusetts – Amherst
At the Isenberg School of Management of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, students can expect average earnings of $81,583 within three months of graduating from the MBA program. Meanwhile, they had an average student debt of $28,240.
11. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
The Ross School of Business of the University of Michigan offers a loan pay back program to help people who work for nonprofit or public organizations that they have approved. To be eligible, you must be in full time employment, and you must be a permanent, legal resident of this country. If your work is related to providing a service, the school will repay certain elements of your student loan. On average, students have had $2,000 reimbursed.
12. The University of Missouri – Trulaske
At the Trulaske College of Business of the University of Missouri, students earned an average annual salary of $57,219 within three months of graduating from their MBA program. Their average student debt was $21,383.
As you can see, there are two main ways to help you fight the student debt curse. The first is to apply for a program that offers a form of reimbursement on your loans. Doing so means you will not be saddled with student debt for a long period of time. It does also mean, however, that you will be limiting yourself in terms of where you can work, and that you may see significantly lower incomes than those who work in the private, for profit sector. However, salaries continue to be reasonable in those areas as well, and you can take on a different position once you have repaid your loan.
The other option is to complete a degree with the best salary to debt ratios. This means you are unlikely to receive any form of reimbursement, but you won’t be saddled with a huge student debt either. Choosing between these two options has to be a personal decision. Either way, it is agreed that completing an MBA is an excellent investment.
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