Forbes Ranks UNC Kenan-Flagler #11 MBA Program for ROI

We congratulate UNC Kenan-Flagler’s full-time MBA Program for being ranked #11 for return on investment (ROI) by Forbes magazine in its biennial list of America’s top 25 business schools. Forbes released its findings on Oct. 9 and concluded that while the costs and commitment for earning an MBA are high, graduates from top schools still earn a significant salary increase five years after graduation. This year's ranking focused on the full-time, on-campus MBA graduating class of 2008 — a tough and challenging year in terms of the economy and job opportunities. To determine its rankings, Forbes surveyed approximately 17,000 alumni from 100 schools.

How the Forbes Rankings Work

Forbes uses a fairly straightforward methodology for its rankings — return on investment. Of all of the influential MBA rankings available today, Forbes is the only one to focus exclusively on ROI. The magazine surveyed alumni five years out of school and asked them their post-MBA compensation, career choice and location. Rankings are based on the average salary gains seen in students' first five years after graduation compared to their financial status before receiving an MBA and their investment costs — including two years of forgone compensation, tuition and fees. On average, students at the top 10 U.S. business schools entered their programs in the fall of 2006 having earned an average salary of $72,000. Five years after receiving their degrees, they were earning $185,000 on average.

Same Rigorous Curriculum, Different Delivery Method

A virtual counterpart to UNC Kenan-Flagler’s full-time, on-campus MBA Program, MBA@UNC leverages the same rigorous curriculum and expert faculty. The key difference is how the program is delivered. Using innovative technologies and in-person global immersion experiences, MBA@UNC blends the flexibility of online learning with the rigor and quality of the on-campus program. Courses are delivered using an advanced online learning platform that includes original broadcast-quality video, self-paced lectures, interactive case studies and collaborative activities that foster teamwork. Students attend live online classes that provide face-to-face interactions with other professionals from around the globe. By providing both quality and convenience, MBA@UNC is creating revolutionary outcomes for students.

Extraordinary Outcomes for Students

According to Steve Cohen, a contributor to Forbes, “What Apple’s Mac did for the personal computer, MBA@UNC is about to do for online education.” Students graduating from MBA@UNC are seeing transformative results that demonstrate the value of the program and the positive impact it has on their careers. For example:

• While in the program, 71 percent of MBA@UNC graduates received a promotion or made a career progression. • Within our active student population (as of Oct. 1), students have reported an additional 124 promotions and/or job changes since they joined MBA@UNC.

"The students apply what they learn immediately in their jobs, and their companies value the growth they see," says Susan Cates, MBA@UNC executive director.

The Flexibility to Learn and Succeed — from Anywhere in the World

UNC Kenan-Flagler created MBA@UNC to provide the flexibility and access working professionals need to earn their MBA from wherever they are in the world. Through MBA@UNC, they can continue to advance their careers while also advancing their education. Take, for example, Allen Baker who graduated in July 2013. A former nuclear engineering officer in the U.S. Navy, Baker enrolled in MBA@UNC a few years prior to transitioning to the civilian world. “MBA@UNC made it possible for me to attend classes and earn my MBA from a top-ranked school from virtually anywhere in the world,” says Baker. “Even at 3 a.m. from my barracks in West Africa!”

A Strong Return on Investment

Like UNC Kenan-Flagler’s full-time MBA Program, MBA@UNC is positioned to offer students a tremendous return on investment. "When we announced our plans for MBA@UNC, we pledged that our students, curriculum and faculty would be the same quality as our on-campus programs, and we have fulfilled that commitment," says Doug Shackelford, MBA@UNC associate dean and the Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Learn more about UNC Kenan-Flagler and the MBA@UNC program.