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UW-Madison MBA program ranked among best for investment return

Madison, Wis. - A University of Wisconsin-Madison master's degree in business administration gives students the fourth-fastest financial return in the nation, according to BusinessWeek's latest "Best B-Schools" issue.

On average, the UW class of 2006 paid $186,800 for their MBAs and started earning salaries $42,343 higher than before. A graduate could break even in four and a half years, not counting lost income for full-time students.

The slowest return came from schools such as Harvard, Stanford, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their MBAs, according to BusinessWeek, cost more, bring a lower salary premium, and take an average of 14 to 15 years to pay off.

UW-Madison was not in the overall top-30 list. The top-ranked overall schools were the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

All three of those schools also were among the 10 with the slowest financial returns to graduates.
The top three schools with the fastest return are Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business, Michigan State University's Eli Broad College of Business, and the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business.

The overall rankings take into account subjective ratings by graduates (45 percent of the score) and recruiters (45 percent), as well as the volume of publications by faculty (10 percent).

To arrive at its findings, BusinessWeek sent a 50-question survey to 16,565 Class of 2006 MBA graduates at 100 schools in North America, Europe, and Asia. The magazine received 9,298 responses.

The graduate survey results count for 50 percent of a school's total student satisfaction score. An additional 25 percent comes from the responses of 11,518 graduates in the 2002 poll and 25 percent from 10,074 graduates polled in 2004. Measuring six years' worth of data ensures that short-term improvements or problems do not sway the results.

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