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Charlottesville, VA Business News

Is it worth the money? Forbes lists UVa’s Darden #5 in ROI

Posted by lbanner on August 23, 2007

Forbes magazine has published its fifth biennial ranking of business schools. The magazine’s survey ranks schools based on return on investment, calculated as compensation five years after graduation minus tuition and the forgone salary during school. The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business came in at number five. Using the ROI approach, Forbes noted the appeal of one-year programs, “Each of the top five one-year foreign programs beat out all two-year programs because the opportunity cost, in lost wages, to attend is materially less.” In other words, if you’re looking at a salary of say $95,000+ a year (that’s the median first-year compensation of a Darden grad), a one-year program translates into a single $95,000 loss while a two-year program generates a loss of $190,000. That the one-year program comes out on top in terms of ROI appears not too astonishing, especially when you fold in tuition. Total two-year in-state cost of participation at Darden? $35,000 (year-1) + $37,500 (year-2) = $72,500. Out-of-state? $40,000 (year-1) + $42,500 (year-2) = $82,500.

Darden’s Data:

Five-Year MBA Gain
Total 1: $94,000
As % Of Expenses 2: 63%
Years to break even: 3.5

Class Of 2002 Salary
Pre-MBA: $56,000
In 2006: $149,000

Class Of 2008
Tuition 3: $83,000
Media GMAT score: 680

The List (top 4):

  1. Dartmouth (Tuck)
  2. Stanford
  3. Harvard
  4. Virginia (Darden)
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