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Getting Your Money’s Worth: The Return on Investment of the Chicago MBA

Chicago MBA Return on Investment

Although a growing number of business schools throughout the country are offering part-time or Flex MBA programs, many ambitious business students still choose to pursue their education full-time. However, the often high price of tuition combined with two years of lost income can be a huge deterrent in students choosing a full-time MBA program.

Although the thought of taking two years off from a career may be daunting—especially when it comes to a quickly growing city like Chicago—prospective MBAs should also keep in consideration one of the benefits of having an advanced degree: a salary bump. Considering this, students can better evaluate the true return on investment (ROI) program full-time MBA and make smart decisions about where their money will go farthest.

Don’t let the high price tags of MBA programs in a major business city Chicago scare you away. Below are the Chicago business schools that offer students the best ROI.

Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management boasts one of the highest ROI’s in the world, ranking fourth overall among the world’s best business schools on Forbes recently released list of the best full-time MBA programs in the U.S. Forbes‘ ranking is weighted specifically by how well compensated graduates are several years after earning an MBA.

Forbes ranking notes that 2012 MBA graduates are now making an average of $84,800 in their return on investment. While several business schools will often have a higher-level of compensation for in-state residents because of tuition differences, Kellogg tuition rates remain constant for both in and-out-of-state applicants. On average, students earn around $80,000 per year prior to enrollment, which increased to an astounding average of $196,000 just last year. Most grads pay their entire tuition back less than four years after graduating.


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Booth School of Business – The University of Chicago

In 2016, the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago topped the ValueWalk list for having the highest return on investment in the world. Comparing the relatively low cost of a Booth MBA (around $65,000-70,000) with graduate salaries of up to $150,000 or more, Booth graduates will have paid for their degree twice over by the time they have completed their first year of work. Booth graduates are also likely to find work quickly—within three months of graduation, 98.4 percent of all MBA graduates had secured job offers. Booth alumni also find many of their post-graduate opportunities through a broad network of alumni and career support at the university. In 2016, the university was responsible for facilitating 75.2 percent of student’s new jobs.

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

The Leadership MBA at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management current tuition is $55,600 per year. According to PayScale figures, Lake Forest MBA grads earn around $107,000 annually—a difference of over $51,000. Graduates from the LFGSM are spread throughout the globe, living in all 50 states and in 15 countries around the world. Alumni from the MBA program hold positions as CEOs of major companies, elected officials, entrepreneurs, and leaders in a wide variety of industries.

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About the Author


Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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