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Forbes Magazine Ranks Tippie MBA an Excellent Return on Investment

Graduates who receive their MBA degrees from the University of Iowa's Tippie School of Management received $102,000 in additional pay between 2000 and 2005 as a result of the degree, according to a new survey by Forbes Magazine.

That figure places the Tippie MBA in the 12th spot overall in Forbes ranking of business schools, up from 26th in the magazine's most recent survey in 2003. That ranks the program third among public universities, behind the University of Virginia and the University of Texas; and second in the Big 10, behind only Northwestern. The Tuck College of Business at Dartmouth University received Forbes' top ranking.

When the five years of additional pay is measured against the total program cost of tuition and foregone income, the Tippie School ranked first in the nation by providing a return on this investment of 126 percent.

The Forbes survey also found that the Tippie Fulltime MBA Program had the quickest time to pay back, of 2.2 years. The pay back ranking is a measure of the number of years after graduation that the increase in salary allows the graduate to recoup the cost of tuition and foregone salary. The program's score of 2.2 years is tied for first with Brigham Young University and puts Iowa among only three schools with payback times of less than 2.5 years. UI ranked 8th in this category in the 2003 survey.

Gary Gaeth, associate dean of the Tippie School of Management, said the Forbes rankings differ from other rankings because the magazine's measuring stick is based on how much the MBA degree costs compared to how much the degree helped in providing increased professional opportunities. Forbes conducted its survey by mailing salary questionnaires to graduates of the Class of 2000 from business schools across the world, then used those responses to determine how much more in salary they have earned than what they would have been expected to earn had they not studied for their MBAs.

Gaeth said he's pleased with the Forbes ranking because it directly reflects the school's mission to improve the lives of its students. "We believe our program is about changing lives, both personally and professionally, and this ranking tells us we're doing a good job of that," Gaeth said. "It assesses our students when they enroll in the program and looks at them again five years after they've graduated. These results show that they have significantly advanced their professional careers. We believe this is partly because of their experiences here."

Tippie's MBA graduates from the Class of 2000 typically earned an annual salary of $93,000 in their fifth year following graduation, a $60,000 increase over the $33,000 salary they earned before receiving their degrees.

Colleen Downie, assistant dean and director of the Fulltime MBA program, said the ranking also reflects the school's personal touch in student relations, particularly in career development and placement.

"We really get to know our students intimately here, what drives them and what motivates them, and we use that to match them up with potential employers," she said, adding that the Forbes ranking comes at a crucial time for the School of Management, which recently revised its curriculum and moved into new quarters in the Pomerantz Center.

Downie also said the school is continuing to improve. "We're in a new building with new classrooms and a new curriculum, and this is a great way to kick off a new academic year," she said.

The Tippie School of Management offers three MBA programs designed to enhance professional education: a Fulltime MBA; the MBA for Professionals and Managers (MBA-PM) program, which is offered predominately in the evenings for students in Des Moines, Newton, Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities; and the Executive MBA, with programs in Iowa City and Des Moines. In addition, the Tippie School has expanded offerings over recent years by providing a Dual Master's Degree Program for engineers, in conjunction with Iowa State University and an International Executive MBA program in both Hong Kong and Beijing.


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