Magazine

Online Extra: Return on Investment


To determine which undergraduate business programs give students the biggest return on their tuition dollar, we compared annual tuition costs with median salaries for grads. Overall, public universities with their lower tuitions did far better than elite private schools, averaging $6.50 in pay for every tuition dollar spent, compared to $2.03 for the privates. The University of Florida, with annual tuition under $3,000 and a median starting salary of $42,000, came out on top among the publics, while Brigham Young--with tuition costs a tenth of those that some elite colleges charge--topped the list of privates. Cornell offers another bargain; while largely a private institution, the business program is in a state-sponsored portion of the school, with a lower tuition cost than many privates.

Public Colleges

Return on Tuition Rank

Overall BW Rank

School

Annual Cost

Median Starting Salary

Salary Per Tuition Dollar

1

43

Florida (Warrington)

Gainesville

$2,968

$42,000

$14.15

2

44

Georgia Tech

Atlanta

$3,820

$46,250

$12.11

3

15

North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Chapel Hill

$5,034

$50,000

$9.93

4

25

Washington

Seattle

$5,985

$47,500

$7.94

5

3

UC-Berkeley (Haas)

Berkeley, Calif.

$7,704

$55,000

$7.14

6

2

Virginia (McIntire)

Charlottesville

$7,845

$52,500

$6.69

6

28

Wisconsin

Madison

$6,730

$45,000

$6.69

8

32

Rutgers

New Brunswick, N.J.

$8,084

$52,500

$6.49

9

50

Texas A&M (Mays)

College Station

$6,966

$44,000

$6.32

10

18

Indiana (Kelley)

Bloomington

$7,460

$46,000

$6.17

11

29

William & Mary (Mason)

Williamsburg, Va.

$8,490

$50,000

$5.89

12

30

Maryland (Smith)

College Park

$7,906

$46,000

$5.82

13

13

Texas-Austin (McCombs)

$8,688

$48,000

$5.52

14

45

Clemson

Clemson, S.C.

$9,868

$49,000

$4.97

15

5

Michigan (Ross)

Ann Arbor

$11,713

$55,000

$4.70

16

48

Michigan State (Broad)

East Lansing

$10,053

$46,600

$4.64

17

42

Minnesota (Carlson)

Minneapolis

$9,933

$46,000

$4.63

18

41

Ohio State (Fisher)

Columbus

$9,426

$43,000

$4.56

19

22

Illinois Urbana-Champaign

$11,170

$50,000

$4.48

20

35

Miami U. (Farmer)

Oxford, Ohio

$9,911

$41,550

$4.19

21

36

Penn State (Smeal)

University Park

$13,338

$46,500

$3.49

TOP 50 AVERAGE:

$8,242

$47,733

$6.50

Private Colleges

Return on Tuition Rank

2007 Rank

School

Annual Cost

Median Starting Salary

Salary Per Tuition Dollar

1

8

Brigham Young (Marriott)

Provo, Utah

$3,620

$47,000

$12.98

2

10

Cornell

Ithaca, N.Y.

$18,241

$53,000

$2.91

3

38

Baylor (Hankamer)

Waco, Tex.

$22,889

$48,000

$2.10

4

6

MIT (Sloan)

Cambridge, Mass.

$33,400

$60,000

$1.80

5

34

Fordham

New York

$30,000

$53,173

$1.77

6

1

Pennsylvania (Wharton)

Philadelphia

$34,156

$60,000

$1.76

7

49

Marquette

Milwaukee

$25,074

$44,000

$1.75

8

26

Northeastern

Boston

$29,910

$50,000

$1.67

8

20

Lehigh

Bethlehem, Pa.

$31,180

$52,000

$1.67

10

19

USC (Marshall)

Los Angeles

$33,314

$55,000

$1.65

11

24

SMU (Cox)

Dallas

$27,400

$45,000

$1.64

11

11

Georgetown (McDonough)

Washington, D.C.

$33,552

$55,000

$1.64

13

21

Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Pittsburgh

$34,180

$55,000

$1.61

14

31

Bentley

Waltham, Mass.

$29,810

$47,500

$1.59

15

17

Wake Forest (Calloway)

Winston-Salem, N.C.

$32,040

$50,000

$1.56

15

9

NYU (Stern)

New York

$34,616

$54,000

$1.56

15

39

Texas Christian (Neeley)

Fort Worth

$26,300

$41,000

$1.56

15

4

Emory (Goizueta)

Atlanta

$32,100

$50,000

$1.56

19

14

Boston College (Carroll)

Boston

$33,000

$51,000

$1.55

20

40

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Lally)

Troy, N.Y.

$32,600

$50,000

$1.53

21

16

Washington U. (Olin)

St. Louis

$32,800

$50,000

$1.52

22

12

Villanova

Villanova, Pa.

$33,000

$50,000

$1.52

23

46

San Diego

San Diego, Calif.

$30,480

$46,000

$1.51

24

7

Notre Dame (Mendoza)

South Bend, Ind.

$32,900

$48,815

$1.48

25

27

Santa Clara

Santa Clara, Calif.

$30,900

$45,000

$1.46

26

33

Babson

Babson Park, Mass.

$32,256

$46,050

$1.43

26

37

Boston U.

Boston

$33,330

$47,500

$1.43

28

47

U. of Miami

Miami

$31,288

$44,000

$1.41

29

23

Richmond (Robins)

Richmond, Va.

$36,550

$47,000

$1.29

TOP 50 AVERAGE:

$30,030

$49,828

$2.03


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