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10 MBA Programs That Stick Grads With the Most Debt
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The average debt load among 2014 MBA grads who borrowed was $56,157, according to U.S. News data.

By Susannah Snider

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School and The Short List: Online Programs to find data that matter to you in your college or grad school search.

When it comes to student loan debt, graduate students get slammed.

In fact, about 40 percent of the approximately $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt comes from graduate and professional degrees, according to a 2014 report from the New America Foundation.

Unfortunately for prospective MBA recipients, those programs don't buck the trend. Among the class of 2014, the average debt load for those who borrowed was $56,157, according to data reported to U.S. News by 84 ranked schools.

That amounts to about $635 in monthly student loan payments over the course of a standard 10-year repayment plan, according to a student loan repayment estimator. That figure assumes 6.41 percent interest, which was the 2013-2014 rate for federal Graduate PLUS loans. And that doesn't include any debt borrowed for an undergraduate degree.

[Understand how student loan repayment changes after graduate school.]

If that sounds tough, imagine graduating from New York University, where the average loan bill for borrowers in the class of 2014 was $116,533. Repaying that debt – the most of any b-school reporting data to U.S. News – would require more than $1,300 per month on a 10-year plan at 6.41 percent.

With an average annual base salary of $112,096, some NYU graduates may be able to handle those monthly bills. For those making less, enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan can help make payments more palatable.

On average, 44 percent of 2014 graduates borrowed to earn their MBAs, according to the 77 ranked schools reporting that figure to U.S. News. Of the eight schools among the 10 most debt-ridden reporting that number, 55 percent of 2014 graduates borrowed to earn their degrees.

[Discover the eight student loan repayment myths experts want to see disappear.]

The following business schools had the highest debt among 2014 full-time graduates. Schools designated by U.S. News as Unranked were excluded from this list. U.S. News did not calculate numerical ranks for Unranked programs because they did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires. In the table below, U.S. News did not include schools that accepted fewer than 100 applicants.


Photo: At New York University, MBA graduates from the class of 2014 who borrowed left school with an average of $116,533 in debt.
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