The Top Undergraduate B-Schools for ROI

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The top-ranked undergraduate business schools are the best for a reason. They boast extremely satisfied students, employers that compete for their grads and pay them handsomely, and high-quality academics.

In many instances, though, the top-ranked schools are also the ones that carry the lofty price tags, which hurts these elite programs when measuring return on investment. Consider Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, the top school in Bloomberg Businessweek’s recent ranking of undergraduate business programs. At graduation, Mendoza students earn a median starting salary of $57,000, which sounds impressive, but annual tuition at the school is currently a little more than $42,000 per year. That means Mendoza grads earn just $1.34 for every tuition dollar spent.

The big winners in undergraduate ROI are the public B-schools, where tuition is low and salaries are above average. At the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, for example, grads earn an impressive $10.30 per tuition dollar spent. In total, state school grads earn an average of $5.99 per tuition dollar spent, compared with $1.56 for those coming out of private schools. The following table looks at how all 124 ranked programs fare in return on investment.

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