Poets&Quants’ Top Value Business Schools

University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

Of course, there are some limitations to this way of calculating the ROI. First, it doesn’t include potential scholarships or financial aid. It also doesn’t consider many students often take more than four years to graduate. Plus, while the salaries are an average of the most recent graduating class (2019), they are not guaranteed. Future students could earn much more or much less than what is reported as the average. However, signing bonuses, raises, and promotions are also not included, all of which often does happen within five years of working. Still, it is meant to serve as a baseline for current and future business majors.

To illustrate some differences that can occur, we also decided to calculate ROI 10 years after graduation using the same calculations, except, obviously extending the salary calculations to 10 years instead of just five. This gets a little more prone to variances since most business grads have either gone back to graduate school or are making much more 10 years after graduation compared to the average salary for first jobs after graduation. Still, we thought it would be interesting to report out the data.

As you can see, extending the calculations 10 years after graduation creates some shuffling in the ROI. At the very top, Virginia’s McIntire passes Michigan’s Ross. The cost of attending Virginia is greater than Michigan but McIntire grads reported earning more in their first jobs after graduation than Ross grads and over time, that obviously creates more value for the degree. The same goes for graduates of the University of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, which moved into third place after 10 years. Higher cost schools like Cornell University’s Dyson School, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School were all able to move into the top-15 thanks to large salaries right after graduation.

A decade after graduation and Hult still remains at the bottom of the ROI list. Other schools, however, like George Washington University and Santa Clara University rise out of the bottom-15 a decade after graduation.

See the next two pages for five-year and 10-year ROI for all 96 B-schools.

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