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The Highest B-School Debt Burdens

  1. Duke Nabs the Undesirable Top Spot
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    Duke Nabs the Undesirable Top Spot

    To make the best investment, it’s good to know what’s at stake. Here we list the programs where MBAs suffer the highest amount of student loan debt after graduation. The list is culled from more than 10,000 responses from graduates of the 115 business schools that participated in Bloomberg Businessweek‘s 2012 full-time MBA ranking. The dubious front runner: Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business where the average debt burden was $87,398.

    “This is not a ranking we are comfortable leading,” says Jennifer Francis, senior associate dean for programs at Fuqua. “Increasing available scholarship funds is a critical priority in our current fundraising campaign.”

    Following Duke is the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where the average reported debt burden was $83, 226. On the slides that follow, we’ve listed the ten highest reported debt burdens, each program’s cost, and the average starting salary reported by graduates. Click through to shop around.

    (Data note: Program Cost and Average Starting Salary numbers were provided by the schools mentioned in Fall 2012. Average Debt Burden data was collected in the graduate survey that was part of the 2012 Best Business Schools ranking.)

    Photograph by Giantstep Inc/Getty Images
  2. 10. Northwestern (Kellogg)
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    10. Northwestern (Kellogg)

    Program Cost: $113,100

    Average Starting Salary: $116,605

    Average Debt Burden: $69,962
    Photograph courtesy of Northwestern University
  3. 9. USC (Marshall)
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    9. USC (Marshall)

    Program Cost: $103,300

    Average Starting Salary: $97,921

    Average Debt Burden: $70,340
    Photograph courtesy of University of Southern Californi
  4. 8. Dartmouth (Tuck)
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    8. Dartmouth (Tuck)

    Program Cost: $117,930

    Average Starting Salary: $115,302

    Average Debt Burden: $75,081

    Photograph courtesy of Dartmouth University
  5. 7. Michigan (Ross)
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    7. Michigan (Ross)

    Program Cost: $100,389

    Average Starting Salary: $111,047

    Average Debt Burden: $77,607

    Photograph by ZUMA Press
  6. 6. Georgetown (McDonough)
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    6. Georgetown (McDonough)

    Program Cost: $99,650

    Average Starting Salary: $99,799

    Average Debt Burden: $77,688

    Photograph courtesy of Georgetown University
  7. 5. Virgina (Darden)
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    5. Virgina (Darden)

    Program Cost: $95,900

    Average Starting Salary: $109,335

    Average Debt Burden: $80,528

    Photograph courtesy of University of Virginia
  8. 4. Chicago (Booth)
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    4. Chicago (Booth)

    Program Cost: $111,587

    Average Starting Salary: $115,079

    Average Debt Burden: $82,080

    Photograph by B.O'Kane/Alamy
  9. 3. Yale
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    3. Yale

    Program Cost: $115,321

    Average Starting Salary: $104,147

    Average Debt Burden: $82,293

    Photograph courtesy of Yale School of Management
  10. 2. Pennsylvania (Wharton)
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    2. Pennsylvania (Wharton)

    Program Cost: $121,610

    Average Starting Salary: $120,702

    Average Debt Burden: $83,226

    Photograph by Kendall Whitehouse/The Wharton School
  11. 1. Duke (Fuqua)
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    1. Duke (Fuqua)

    Program Cost: $109,844

    Average Starting Salary: $111,812

    Average Debt Burden: $87,398

    Photograph courtesy of Duke University