Which MBA Programs Offer The Best Post-Graduation Income With Minimal Debt?
While some programs on this list may be unexpected compared to the traditionally highest-ranked programs, they actually help graduates complete their MBA and secure a 6-figure salary with the highest salary-to-debt ratio upon graduation, all while being ranked highly on a national level for their MBA training.
1. University of Washington (Foster) MBA
The Foster MBA program at the University of Washington is one of the best programs in the country, ranked #22 by US News. The combined average salary and signing bonus within 3 months of graduation from this program is approximately $151,000.
Yet, the average debt of graduates completing the program is only $31,780, leading to a salary-to-debt ratio of 4.8 to 1 (a first year salary almost 5 times the debt of students upon graduation). This is particularly true for in-state students or residents, where yearly tuition is approx.. $36,000 as opposed to $53,000, and many students are offered scholarships based not only on financial aid but also GMAT and academic performance.
2. University of Florida (Warrington) MBA
Ranked 26th by US News in the category of best MBA programs, University of Florida has a robust graduate business program with several concentrations at their disposal for students. The average salary with signing bonus upon graduation is approximately $132,000 for its graduates. Combine that with the fact that average debt upon completing the program is only $22,000 per year, and the salary-to-debt ratio comes in at a spectacular 5.7 to 1. The Warrington MBA program is special, as it also offers a 1-year accelerated MBA in-person.
UF has a tuition of approximately $26,000 for in-state students and $61,000 for out of state students. Even for out-of-state students, this is a far cry from the costs at many 2-year private programs that approach well over $100K in tuition and allows you to achieve employment 1 year earlier which is a superb financial benefit considering that you will be earning over 100K in income rather than spending another year accumulating debt. Lastly, UF has a robust scholarship program, with some students receiving merit-based full-tuition scholarships which you can read more about here.
3. University of Georgia (Terry) MBA
While the university of Georgia Terry MBA program is ranked #39 by US News, it offers fantastic value for graduates in order to make the list. The average salary with signing bonus for full-time MBA graduates is approximately $126,000, and average debt upon graduation for students is around only $21,000. As a result of this, the average salary-to-debt ratio is approximately 6 to 1, which is the best ratio of any program on the list. For residents, the average tuition is a total of approximately $32,000, while for non-residents it is approximately $69,000 for program completion.
They offer a range of scholarships from $5,000 to $20,000, but most impressive and unique about the programs financial opportunities is the assistantship offering. The assistantship is offered to 90% of two-year full time students, and brings your tuition down to virtually zero with a nominal cost of $25 per semester. In addition, students can work 13 hours per week to actually achieve a stipend of $9,800 per academic year. You heard that right, you could be getting paid to get your MBA!
4. University of Texas – Dallas (Jindal) MBA
The University of Texas-Dallas has the #31 ranked full-time MBA program in the country, and also offers a robust online MBA experience with one of the best ranked programs in the country at #7 by US News. The average salary with signing bonus for full-time MBA graduates is approximately $110,000, and average debt upon graduation for students is around $33,000. Considering these factors, the average salary-to-debt ratio is approximately 3.4 to 1, meaning you will make over 3 times the amount of debt you graduate with in your first year.
For residents of Texas, the average tuition is a total of approximately $30,000, while for non-residents it is approximately $59,000 for program completion.Their scholarship offerings are excellent, with 75% of incoming classes receiving some level of scholarship, and an average award that is approximately 50% of tuition fees.
5. Indiana University (Kelley) MBA
The University of Indiana Kelley MBA program is ranked the #23 full-time MBA program in the country. The average salary with signing bonus for full-time MBA graduates is approximately $142,000, and average debt upon graduation for students is around $59,000.
Considering these factors, the average salary-to-debt ratio is approximately 2.4 to 1, allowing students to earn a starting salary that is more than twice their debt right from the start upon gradation. Average tuition costs for in-state students is $28,000, while for out-of-state students it is approximately $52,000. Their scholarship offerings are excellent, with over 50% of incoming classes receiving some level of scholarship that can range from $10,000 to full tuition covered.
Frequently asked questions
Even with an average GPA and GMAT score, the online MBA is a great option as it allows you to remotely take classes, and gain a degree from some top ranked institutions such as UNC and Carnegie Melon. Even at these extremely competitive schools, acceptance rates are favorable with Carnegie Melon having a 30% acceptance rate, and UNC above a 50% online acceptance rate for their online programs.
Since MBA programs can receive thousands of applications, and many of these applicants all have average or above average GPA and GMAT scores, the personal statement can become and important differentiator.
Absolutely. You should have multiple people review your essays for grammar and spelling errors, transition quality, and overall message. The most polished essays that are application-ready have usually been through at least 2 or 3 revisions prior to submission.
The most common format for MBA interviews is one-on-one or panel interviews (two or more interviewers with one applicant). It is important to prepare and practice answers to the most common MBA interview questions.
Anywhere between 1.5 to 3 minutes is a safe range for answers, although a few seconds more or less than this is completely reasonable depending on the question. The quality of the answer, given concisely and directly, is far more important than the amount of minutes you are speaking.