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by Vault Education Editors | March 17, 2011

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I like the specificity of this U.S. News’ b-school-list title: “10 M.B.A.s With Most Financial Value at Graduation.” And the subtitle: “Graduates of these programs have the highest first year salaries relative to debt load.” Most of what you need to know is right there. The publication’s overall business school rankings have been criticized for its volatility and lack of authority, but this is a useful list.

You can see that the average starting salaries, with the exception of UC—Davis, are all lower than the reported national average of $90,602 (a recent QS report found the average U.S. MBA salary to be $88,485; GMAC said the median salary for the class of 2010 to be $94,542). But given that the debt burden of an MBA student can easily be over $40 thousand, and over $100 thousand at top programs (Harvard: $73,310; Wharton: $109,836), these are programs that offer relatively little risk.

The list of ten schools below reflects data from 98 schools, out of 437 surveyed, that reported both starting salary and average indebtedness data.

[U.S. News]

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