ROI meets the MBA

Every two years Forbes comes up with a list of the top 75 business schools based on the return on investment.

Only two Virginia schools made the most recent list, which was released last Friday: the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia at (No. 9) and the Mason School of Business at William & Mary at (No. 49).

The rankings were determined by looking at the total compensation earned five years after graduation, minus tuition, fees and forgone salary while in school.

Darden graduates on average broke even on their MBA 4.2 years after graduation. At the end of five years, their return was $50,000. Class of 2004 graduates of the two-year program earned an average salary of $159,000 in 2008.

Mason grads took 4.4 years to recoup the cost of their MBAs. At the end of five years, their return was $24,000. The average 2008 salary for the class of 2004 was $110,000.

Mason’s in-state tuition over two years is $45,000, just over half the cost of Darden’s two-year tuition cost of $82,500.

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