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Release: Oct. 12, 2001

Forbes ranks UI MBA program fifth in 'return on investment'

Forbes magazine has ranked the Tippie MBA program at the University of Iowa fifth in "return on investment." The ranking shows that Tippie MBA graduates receive one of the top returns on their educational investment among schools with total costs of less than $95,000.

To create the ranking, Forbes surveyed 20,000 graduates who received MBAs from 104 U.S. and international schools in 1996. Forbes also ranked MBA schools with a cost of more than $95,000.

The Forbes rankings project how quickly MBA students can expect to recoup the investment made in their MBA education after they graduate and are based on salary gains of 1996 MBA graduates over the past five years. The survey methodology contrasts the costs of earning an MBA, such as tuition and two years of lost salary, with the salary benefits earned five years after graduation.

The survey showed that Tippie graduates had total salary gains of $71,000 over the five-year period and needed only three years to break even on their MBA investment.

"We are pleased the Forbes ranking shows what we have been stressing for some time -- that the Tippie MBA is a great value. Our talented faculty provide a quality management education," said Gary Fethke, dean of the Tippie College of Business.

The MBA alumni gave salary information from the year before they entered business school, the year they graduated and 2000. Forbes compared the total of five years' pay with a projection of what the median student would have earned for those five years without a degree. Tuitions were adjusted to factor in those students paying in-state tuition at public schools.

"Our MBA program is producing graduates going to higher level jobs, which in turn means higher salaries and higher return on investment. This is a result of recruiting talented students, making curriculum changes, and the placement efforts of our Career Services group," said Gary Gaeth, associate dean of MBA programs in the Tippie School of Management.

Don Schmidt, president of the student MBA Association, said that the Forbes ranking project confirmed what students have known all along. "Top quality education and business experience with

a great return on investment is a key reason for students' choosing the Tippie MBA program over others in the nation. While some MBA programs have increased their class sizes quickly at the expense of student quality, the Tippie MBA program has focused their efforts on growing the program slowly as to not sacrifice the quality of students that enter the MBA program. The Forbes ranking illustrates that this strategy is working very effectively," said Schmidt.

The ranking is included in the magazine's Oct. 15 issue and is available online at