UVA Darden Rises to No. 11 in 2017 Forbes MBA Ranking
By Jay Hodgkins
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business rose to No. 11 from No. 16 in Forbes’ 2017 Best Business Schools ranking of the top MBA programs in the United States. Darden notched the second largest jump in the rankings among the Top 25 programs.
Forbes compiled data for its ranking from a survey of more than 4,000 business school graduates from the class of 2012 and data submitted by each school. The MBA program ranking is based on Forbes’ “5-year MBA gain” return on investment metric — a measure of graduates’ increased salary after graduation weighed against the actual cost of attending a B-school and the opportunity cost of leaving the workforce to attend school.
The Darden Class of 2012’s 5-year MBA gain was $69,900. The class entered the MBA program with an average pre-MBA salary of $73,000, which grew to $180,000 in 2016.
Darden offered increased affordability to its Class of 2012 as well as increased salary potential, according to Forbes’ data. Tuition increased from the Class of 2010, which was the previous class surveyed for Forbes’ 2015 MBA rankings, but increases in scholarship support more than offset tuition growth.
In the years since 2012, Darden has continued to rapidly grow scholarship support for students, with Dean Scott Beardsley launching the Darden Scholarship Challenge in 2015. Annual philanthropic support for scholarships grew to $13.7 million in the School’s 2017 fiscal year, a 700 percent increase over the 2015 fiscal year.
“Being the most affordable and accessible top business school in the United States is a key priority for Darden, and we have made significant new investments to achieve it,” said Beardsley. “We are pleased to see that Darden’s Class of 2012 made a significant gain in the return on their MBA investment. Increasing in the Forbes ranking is an indicator that we have made positive moves in affordability, but we will not see the impact of recent scholarship investments until five-plus years from now.”
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia