March 5, 2009

AEM Ranks Second in ‘Return on Investment’ Index

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One popular ranking device for business schools across the country is return on investment. BusinessWeek argues that especially in the current economic climate with jobs becoming scarcer, a business program’s overall value can be determined based on what the graduates are getting for the amount of money they spend gaining the requisite education.
While BusinessWeek ranked Cornell as having the eighth best undergraduate business program in the country, Cornell was ranked second among private institutions in terms of ROI. Brigham Young University claimed the top spot for private universities with an ROI of $12 for every dollar spent on tuition. Cornell was a very distant second as its graduates earn $2.70 on the job for every dollar spent on tuition.
BusinessWeek said that Cornell was able to rank so high in ROI among private institutions because the business program is in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, a state-funded college in a private university. The average tuition for Cornell undergraduate business students, according to BusinessWeek, is $20,364, where the average tuition cost for the other ranked private business programs was around $35,000.
The reason Cornell was able to place so high among its fellow private universities, its comparatively lower tuition, was the same reason public schools fared better overall than private schools in the ROI ranking.
The top three public business schools in terms of ROI were the University of North Carolina ($10), SUNY Binghamton ($8.52) and James Madison University ($7.18). These universities’ low tuitions were primary factors in their relatively high ROIs.