Surprising Levels of Debt For EMBA & Part-Time MBA Students

EMBA Graduates and Their Debt Burden at Selected Business Schools


School Average Debt % In Debt
Georgetown (McDonough) $112,446 47%
Pepperdine (Graziadio) $91,829 82%
Thunderbird $81,642 71%
Washington (Olin) $78,801 46%
Emory (Goizueta) $77,795 72%
Vanderbilt (Owen) $77,362 57%
Minnesota (Carlson) $68,678 68%
Virginia Tech $68,067 71%
Arizona State (Carey) $64,135 41%
Rice (Jones) $52,421 45%
Fordham University $45,000 80%
Wisconsin Business School $40,000 50%
Ohio State (Fisher) $37,347 32%
Brigham Young (Marriott) $35,737 49%

Source: Business schools reporting to U.S. News & World Report

Part-time MBA students, who typically are getting their degrees at night while holding down full-time jobs during the day, also are racking up formidable debt. The school reporting the highest level of debt for its part-time students was Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School, where the average debt burden was $80,185–more than the debt assumed by full-time MBA graduates at such top-tier schools as Harvard or Stanford, though some costs were covered by scholarships. Masters scholarship is awarded to candidates who can demonstrate significant academic and extra-curricular achievements.

In fact, the amount of debt part-timers are assuming at many schools, without big brands or strong alumni networks, often exceeds or comes shockingly close to the debt of full-time students at many of the best schools in the world. Syracuse University’s Whitman School, which is ranked 79th by U.S. News, reported that 94% of its part-time students are graduating with debt of $61,157.

The figures for part-time students is even more surprising than the numbers for EMBA students who often have access to career development offices and networking opportunities. Most evening MBA candidates have little to no career support at many schools, making it harder to quickly get a return on their investment. So students are graduating with mountains of debt, yet seldom see significant increases over pre-MBA compensation.

Average Debt Burden Of Part-Time MBAs at Selected Business Schools

School Average Debt % In Debt
Pepperdine (Graziadio) $80,185 57%
Michigan (Ross) $69,296 41%
New York (Stern) $68,902 NA
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) $66,582 63%
UCLA (Anderson) $66,315 59%
Northwestern (Kellogg) $64,163 NA
Syracuse (Whitman) $61,157 94%
Washington (Olin) $57,222 46%
Minnesota (Carlson) $54,117 52%
UC-Berkeley (Haas) $52,175 67%
Rice (Jones) $51,225 45%
Arizona State (Carey) $50,411 71%
DePaul (Kellstadt) $49,445 48%
Georgia Tech $43,258 NA
Fordham $39,040 92%
Ohio State (Fisher) $37,347 32%
Wisconsin Business School $30,000 65%
Virginia Tech (Pamplin) $27,142 23%

Source: Business schools reporting to U.S. News & World Report