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MBA Debt Burden Comparison at Top 50 U.S. Business Schools: Discover the Most & Least Financially Burdensome Programs



Last Updated on November 20, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

Title: US Business Schools Omitting Debt Burden Data, Raises Concerns for MBA Students

In recent years, top business schools in the United States have curiously stopped reporting debt burden data, leaving prospective MBA students in the dark about one of their major concerns. Alongside factors like salary, job placement, return on investment (ROI), and networking opportunities, MBA aspirants are increasingly anxious about the financial burden that comes with pursuing their postgraduate degree.

Since 2016 and 2017, many leading business schools in the country have chosen to omit debt burden information from their reports. At present, the most reliable source for such data is the College Scorecard provided by the US Department of Education. However, this resource only offers information from the 2018-2019 academic year, leaving potential students with outdated figures.

In response to this lack of transparency, the Washington Foster School of Business has taken a proactive step by incorporating debt data from the College Scorecard into its MBA Rankings Calculator. This innovative tool allows prospective students to create a personalized ranking based on their specific interests and weighs factors such as debt burden accordingly.

Interestingly, Harvard Business School stands out as the only institution among the prestigious M7 group that continues to disclose the average indebtedness of its graduates. Remarkably, Harvard Business School boasts the lowest average debt burden among the top business schools, with their figure standing at $25,083.

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According to the College Scorecard data, four schools ranked within the top 25 have graduates burdened with over $100,000 in debt. It is worth noting that U.S. News, despite the lack of reporting from the majority of schools, still gathers debt information, with 36 out of 61 schools examined providing average graduate indebtedness figures.

Within the top 25 business schools, the highest average debt burden is witnessed at the Virginia Darden School of Business, with graduates carrying an average debt of $114,043. In contrast, Harvard Business School reports an average debt of $88,757.

U.S. News also tracks the percentage of MBA graduating classes that have debt weighing them down as they enter their first post-graduate job. This additional data concerning tuition fees and starting salaries is crucial in providing a comprehensive context for understanding the burden of debt faced by MBA graduates.

In conclusion, the lack of reported debt burden data by many leading US business schools has become a cause for concern among MBA students. While Harvard Business School remains a reliable source of this information for prospective students, alternative resources like the College Scorecard and U.S. News can help alleviate some of these concerns. Nonetheless, the demand for updated and transparent debt burden data continues to persist among those aspiring to embark on an MBA career.

Robert is a talented writer and educator with a focus on MBA courses. He has years of experience teaching and writing about the intricacies of business education, and his work is highly regarded for its depth of insight and practical application. Robert holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a reputable institution, and his academic background gives him a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing MBA students. He has a talent for breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-understand language, making his writing accessible to a wide range of readers.

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