IU Kelley School of Business' MBA program moves into the Top 20 in Forbes rankings

Publication bases its rankings solely on the return on investment acheived by graduates

  • Oct. 9, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Kelley School of Business has risen into the top 20 rankings of another national business publication. Forbes has announced that Kelley's Full-Time Master of Business Administration program now ranks 19th overall.

In the Forbes ranking released today, Kelley's MBA program is third in the Big Ten and sixth among public institutions. Two years ago, the magazine ranked the program 27th overall.

The publication's ranking of business schools is based solely on the return on investment achieved by graduates five years after receiving their MBAs. The publication surveyed alumni about their pre- and post-MBA compensation, career choice and location.

Kelley's upward movement in Forbes' rankings is especially noteworthy when one considers that the more than 16,000 students surveyed faced challenges presented by the Great Recession.

While shifts in rankings among many of the Top 10 MBA programs were minimal, 10 of the Top 25 schools saw a decline.

Dean Idalene Kesner said Forbes' rankings are another clear indication of the value and quality of a Kelley MBA.

"The cost of a Kelley MBA is comparatively low, and so is the cost of living in Bloomington for our students, but our hiring companies are in the top tier," said Kesner, also the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management. "Our MBA graduates are hired at prestigious companies all over the world who know we produce hard-working leaders who aren't afraid to take risks."

In addition to improvement in the school's overall ranking, Forbes also reported that students graduating from Kelley's MBA program had the second shortest payback period among Top 20 schools to recoup the costs associated with earning their degree, 3.4 years.

"We're delighted to see the quality of the Kelley MBA experience reflected in a large jump in the Forbes ROI rankings, and we’re especially happy to see that Kelley is one of the schools to have one of the fastest payback periods of any MBA program in the Forbes Top 20 and beyond," said Jonlee Andrews, chair of the Full-Time MBA Program, a clinical professor of marketing and a Nestlé Faculty Fellow.

"Thanks to the combined efforts of our faculty, staff and students, average salary at graduation has risen steadily over the last few years. We're proud to be considered one of the best investments in MBA education," Andrews added.

Ninety-five percent of 2013 Kelley grads had a full-time job within 90 days of graduation, which places them ahead of peers at most of the schools in the Top 20. Their average starting salary was $101,656, and their average signing bonus was $21,228.

Bloomberg Businessweek, which also ranks MBA programs every two years, last year ranked Kelley's MBA program 15th overall and first overall in student surveys on student satisfaction, career services and teaching.

The rankings first were reported on Forbes.com. Other Indiana schools in the rankings were Purdue (Krannert), which was ranked 28th; and Notre Dame (Mendoza), which was 29th. 

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Idalene Kesner

Idalene Kesner

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Jonlee Andrews

Jonlee Andrews

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George Vlahakis

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Jeni Donlon

IU Kelley School of Business

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