Brigham Young University is among the top schools to offer MBA students the most bang for their buck, according to Forbes Magazine’s biennial list of best business schools. The BYU program placed 16th for return on investment in the publication’s Aug. 24 issue, two spots ahead of its position in 2007, the last time Forbes published the list.

“Our students are known for having a rock-solid ethical foundation and an understanding of the value of work,” says Gary Cornia, dean of the Marriott School of Management at BYU. “Our program combines those valuable characteristics with the technical skills needed to succeed. As a result, businesses and firms respond in increasingly positive ways in terms of opportunities and compensation.”

BYU MBA graduates gained $41,000 over five years by attending graduate school, breaking even after 3.9 years. Their average salary five years after graduating was $105,000, compared to $45,000 before entering the program. The BYU program had the lowest tuition of any school in the top 20.

Forbes compiles the rankings by comparing the salaries of MBA students before school and five years after graduation. The magazine reports the total return on investment after subtracting what a student’s salary would have been and the total cost of attending, including tuition and foregone compensation.

“It’s gratifying to see that as the quality of our incoming students increases, their value as graduates continues to be recognized,” says Craig Merrill, MBA program director. “We have a program that blends together students with outstanding academic and business backgrounds with faculty devoted to student success, all in an environment of experiential learning. This allows our graduates to contribute quickly to the organizations they join.”

Stanford ranked first on the list, with a $85,000 return on investment, followed by Dartmouth at $80,000 and Harvard at $79,000.

Complete rankings of the best business schools are available in the Aug. 24, 2009, issue of Forbes, on newsstands Aug. 7 or online at www.forbes.com/bschools.

The Marriott School has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.