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MBA Applicants Are MIA

By Jennifer Merritt

BYPASSING B-SCHOOLS. In BusinessWeek's survey, MBAs in the Class of 2004 at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School said they had amassed nearly as much in loans as they were getting in base salary -- more than $73,000 in average debt vs. around $95,000 in salary. Reported a 2004 grad of New York University's Stern School of Business: "Those considering an MBA should be sure the job waiting at the other end is worth the sacrifice."

Meanwhile, European schools have managed to capture some of the fall-off. Many report growing interest among U.S. applicants over the past several years. Beyond offering a diverse student body and better exposure to global business practices, European MBA programs are shorter -- about 14 to 16 months -- and tuition rates, despite the weak dollar, promise significant savings. The total cost for the whole experience tops out at aro

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