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        Harbert College MBA offers major return on investment

        May 6, 2014 By Joe McAdory

        All News


        U.S. News & World Report ranks Auburn's Harbert College No. 2 in `financial value' among MBA programs. Delta Air Lines Financial Analyst Brittney Rieben values her MBA from Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business because it taught her to “completely analyze a business decision instead of just focusing on the financial implications of the decision.” Rieben, a 2013 graduate, and her classmates can focus on the big picture, in part, because of the financial implications of their decision to choose Harbert College. U.S. News & World Report ranked Harbert College No. 2 on “The Short List: 10 MBAs with the Most Financial Value at Graduation.”According to survey data obtained from 99 business schools by U.S. News & World Report, Harbert College MBA graduates had the second-best salary-to-debt ratio among respondents, making an average starting salary 6.72 times greater than their average student debt. According to data collected by U.S. News & World Report during the 2012-13 academic year, Harbert College MBA graduates earned an average starting salary of $57,169 while carrying an average debt of $8,500.“While this ranking is for our campus MBA program, providing students an excellent return on investment is part of our mission across all our MBA and other graduate programs,” said Stan Harris, Harbert College Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs and Torchmark Professor of Management. “MBA students get a lot of bang for their buck here at Auburn. We strive to keep our tuition costs reasonable and continually work to prepare students to land great jobs with good salaries.”Harbert College ranked fourth among the top 10 schools with an “employed at graduation” rate of 60 percent. Placement rates, average starting salaries, tuition costs and availability of assistantships all matter to prospective graduate students given the prevalence of student loan debt in the U.S. According to a report by the College Board, graduate students nationwide borrowed an average of $17,230 in student loans during the 2012-13 academic year.“The Auburn MBA program is able to keep student debt low through a generous number of graduate research assistantships and competitive tuition pricing,” Harbert College Director of MBA Admissions and Operations Jim Parrish said. “With minimal graduate student debt, recent MBA alums can focus more on their new career opportunities.”First-year MBA student Robert Jones already knows what he plans to do with his after graduating. A former sound engineer in Los Angeles, Jones plans to offer behind-the-scenes help to small businesses and start-ups as a consultant. His dream is to help business owners who are trying to revitalize economically depressed or stagnant communities.“I feel if I can help areas like that become better, then I will have left my mark on the world,” he said. “I’m good at team-building and I’m good at leading in many situations. When the pressure is on, that’s when I shine.”