Why Brigham Young University is the best business school for your money

In December Business Insider released its sixth annual list of the 50 best business schools in the world — the schools whose MBA programs have the best reputations, highest starting salaries, lowest tuitions, and best job-placement rates.

Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management came in at No. 44 on our overall list. It’s the least expensive US program and least expensive two-year program, and it took first place on our list of the best business schools for your money, making it one of the most underrated MBA programs out there.

“When you consider the low cost of the degree, scholarships and high starting salaries, the quality of the education — it’s a very economical MBA program choice,” BYU MBA program director John Bingham told Business Insider.

We decided to take a closer look.

The cost of the degree

The tuition and fees for the entire program totals just $47,900. That’s less than half the price of top MBA programs at most private schools in the US and three times less than the $144,340 price tag of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the top school on our ranking. Brigham Young, which is subsidized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is even cheaper for members of the church: LDS students pay less than $25,000 for an MBA.

On top of that, more than 80% of students receive additional scholarship funding of at least a few thousand dollars, so many graduate with little debt.

High placement and competitive salaries

Three months after graduation, 92% of students have accepted job offers, and another 5% start their own viable companies. BYU puts a large emphasis on entrepreneurship, and the faculty teaches skills like innovation, analysis, and problem-solving to students interested in starting enterprises.

Companies begin recruiting for internships in the first semester of the program. Over 100 companies, including Ford, Adobe, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson, as well as many small- and medium-size companies, recruit Marriott students. Tech companies in Silicon Valley and in the Pacific Northwest have also been scouting more and more candidates at BYU, according to Bingham.

And like many of the other 50 best business schools in the world, Marriott graduates command an average annual starting salary in excess of $100,000, with some reporting that they earn as much as $153,000 right out of school.

“I have no doubt that they provide a very good education and that the individuals that do matriculate are very solid,” Stacy Blackman, founder of MBA admissions advisory Stacy Blackman Consulting, told Business Insider in an email. “Thus, the strong placement and salary numbers.”

Not for everybody

But despite everything BYU offers — and at such a steep discount — Blackman says of the thousands of prospective students her firm has advised in the past 15 years, less than 10 individuals were applying to BYU.

Even setting aside the issue of its deeply religious values, which may not appeal to some, Marriott still isn’t the best fit for many b-school applicants.

For starters, Marriott embraces a more collaborative and cooperative learning environment than many other b-schools, according to Bingham. That’s great for some students, but those craving an intensely competitive atmosphere found at a places like Harvard, Wharton, or Stanford may be disappointed.

Students looking for high-powered positions on Wall Street or in consulting may also want to consider other programs: Most Marriott students remain in the Pacific Northwest, with only 8% landing jobs in the Northeast after graduation. And just 4% of graduates takes positions in consulting, compared with the 30% who land jobs in sales and marketing.

But for those less captivated by the allure of an east coast, Ivy League education or a career in finance and consulting, BYU’s Marriott school offers a top-notch education at an unparalleled value.

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