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Just what the world needed, another ranking of top MBA programs! In all seriousness, though, M7 Financial's new ranking, which divides the schools into tiers based on the cost of financing an education vs the amount of debt incurred, has some unique aspects which make it worthy of a second look.

To paraphrase Poets and Quants, the M7 Financial MBA Creditworthiness Ranking awards schools ratings of A+ to C grades based on the a “leverage ratio”–the average student indebtedness divided by average starting salary and bonus–and a “debt service coverage ratio”–the average starting salary and bonus divided by the estimated annual principal and interest payments on a ten-year student loan.

Because its methodology is so distinctive, the ranking produced some interesting and at times slightly ridiculous results. No one is likely to choose Wisconsin or Arizona State over Harvard or Stanford any time soon. And there are good reasons for that. This ranking, which supposedly evaluates a schools financials, only looks at first-year salaries and employment levels, and does not acknowledge to what degree employment levels are actually factoring into the ranking. What about five years after graduation? What about 10? What about students who choose to switch careers in their 30s or 40s? What about students who have to work overseas for a long period of time? All of these are important factors in any financial decision, and none of them are dealt with in this ranking. And then, of course, there's quality-of-life, which is difficult to assess in any sort of ranking.

So what we are left with are starting salaries, which admittedly are strikingly similar across the board, especially compared to law schools, and debt ratios, which have much more variation.  Which brings us to the most valuable aspect of this new system; the new light it throws on really excellent programs that never seem to get the attention they deserve.  Brigham Young's Marriott school, Rochester's Simon School, Texas McCombs and many other programs are given A rankings and show very high rates of employment after graduation and good compensation packages. Students who have to take on a lot of debt to finance MBA should take a serious second look at some of these schools as safeties.