Best Value MBA Programs for Vets Using Post-9/11 GI Bill

Year 1 (2009-2010) | Year 2 (2010-2011 Current Analysis Below) | Year 3 (2012-2013)

With more funding available from the Post 9/11 GI Bill, military veterans are weighing their options for getting an MBA degree and they are committed to find the right school for their education needs. Veterans who are surveyed say military-friendly school lists do not provide meaningful data that can be used to make an informed decision about enrolling in an MBA school. Magazine rankings such as BusinessWeek's are subjective and geared toward traditional, not military, MBA students.

Military MBA wants to help military veterans and their families, using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, evaluate schools and get a quality MBA degree at the right price. What follows is our complete analysis of the Best Value in MBA Schools.

Explanation of the Chart
The chart above plots total tuition paid by schools and the VA versus the MBA school ranking by US News & World Report. We chose these measures because they offered the best available means to evaluate educational quality and cost to students: in other words, the most bang for the buck. Go here for the methodology of our analysis.

After plotting amounts of tuition waived for veterans against rankings of MBA schools, the data points fell into three clusters. The three groups of schools are listed, and explained, in greater detail below.

Data in Table (appearing below)
* The last two columns in the table below combine an MBA school's contribution to the Yellow Ribbon Program, funds matched by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the maximum in-state tuition for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This is the amount you should expect to pay at each university if you fully qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

University/MBA School
% Tuition
Paid
US News Rank
Total
Tuition
Balance
Owed
* Total % Tuition Paid * Net Tuition Vets Pay
Dartmouth College
Tuck School of Business
100
7
47835
0
100
0
University of Michigan
School of Business
100
14
42889
0
100
0
Cornell University
School of Management
100
16
24636
0
100
0
Carnegie Mellon
Tepper School of Business
100
18
52500
0
100
0
Duke University
Fuqua School of Business
78.5
12
45850
9850
94.4
2570
Washington University St. Louis
Olin Business School
81.8
20
44300
8070
91.9
3594
Harvard Business School
41.2
2
48600
28600
49.5
24520
University of Pennsylvania
Wharton School of Business
38.3
3
52193
32193
59.8
20985
UC Berkeley, Haas
40.3
7
49647
29647
49.8
24946
University of Chicago
Booth School
36.1
5
55445
35445
49.7
27888
Northwestern University
Kellogg School of Management
34.9
5
57231
37231
48.2
29674
Stanford University
Graduate School of Business
26.5
1
56691
41691
34.8
36990
M.I.T.
Sloan School of Management
19.9
3
50353
40353
28
36273
UCLA
Anderson Graduate School
41
14
43915
25915
51.7
21214
University of Virginia
Darden School of Business
27.6
13
43500
31500
37.3
27258
University of North Carolina
53.8
19
26014
12014
81.8
4734
Emory University
Goizueta Business School
68.1
23
46992
14992
81
8932
Vanderbilt University
Owen Graduate School
46.3
28
43220
23220
53.8
19980
Georgetown University
McDonough School of Business
23.8
25
41952
31952
31.4
28762
USC
Marshall School of Business
36.4
21
55000
35000
44.9
30299
University of Minnesota, Carlson SOM
50.9
37
39260
19260
61.3
15198

 

IMPORTANT TO NOTE
Our analysis led to a Top 21 list of MBA schools. It is not a ranking. The data represents defined groups of MBA schools that provide the best value for military veterans. All twenty one of these MBA schools should be commended for their many commitments to work with military veterans and their families. Veterans can get an excellent education at any of these schools.



High MBA School Ranking, 80-100% Tuition Waiver
Each MBA school in this category rated high academically and also committed to reduce costs for veterans in an effort to lower their overall tuition rates. All of the schools in this category rank Top 20 in quality and they cover 80% or more of tuition costs for veterans. Four of these MBA schools waive 100% of their tuition for veterans who qualify, which makes them obvious choices to attend if you can get in and receive funding.


Highest MBA School Ranking, 20-40% Tuition Waiver
MBA schools in this group rate high for the quality of their MBA programs. In fact, all are in the Top 7. However, these MBA programs committed less funding relative to other schools to help veterans offset high costs of tuition. There are quality-price tradeoffs to attend these schools, but higher tuitions could be offset with better reputations, future careers and higher compensation. The challenge for this group of MBA schools continues to be stepping up their financial commitments, which are subsequently matched by the VA, to make their programs even more valuable for veterans and their families.


Lower MBA School Ranking, 25-70% Tuition Waiver
Even though none of these universities rate in the Top 7 academically, there are many outstanding programs from well-regarding MBA schools in this cluster. Several in this category compete on a tuition basis with Group I and the majority are Top 20 in terms of quality. You should evaluate any meaningful tradeoffs, include factors such as location and consider your situation in deciding to attend these MBA schools.

METHODOLOGY
In order to perform this analysis we sorted through data supplied to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) from thousands of participating institutions of higher learning. Out of this nationwide group we located MBA schools committed to tuition waivers, which are matched 100% by VA as part of the Yellow Ribbon Program. Of these institutions, we found 21 MBA Schools that offered tuition waivers and were ranked in the top 40 by US News & World Report. These rankings were plotted on the horizontal axis. We then divided the total tuition by the total of the amount waived by the universities (plus the VA matching funds) to arrive at the percentage of tuition paid. These percentages of tuition waived were plotted on the vertical axis of our analysis. Together, using percentages of tuition waived and quality rankings, we located three groups of MBA schools that make up our Best Value MBA Programs for Veterans Using Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The last two columns in the table above combine an MBA school's contribution to the Yellow Ribbon Program, funds matched by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the maximum in-state tuition for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This is the amount you should expect to pay at each university if you fully qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.