Your MBA Salary depends largely on the school you attend. This comes from the “shouldn’t shock anyone department.”

MBA graduates from the best MBA schools make more over the course of their lifetime than those from other schools. Bloomberg Businessweek recently compiled research that indicated those graduating from a program like Harvard or Stanford stand to make $126,000 when starting out. Those with MBAs from lesser programs, however, stand to make much less.

This adds up over the course of your career. Graduates from the top 57 programs made $700,000 more over the course of their lifetime than graduates from the University at Buffalo. The contrast is even starker when compared with graduates from Harvard, whose graduates earn around $3.6 million, almost $2 million more than our University at Buffalo MBA grads.

Based on expected annual MBA salary alone the top schools were:

  1. Harvard University ($3.6 million over a 20 year career)
  2. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School ($3.34 million over a 20 year career)
  3. Stanford Graduate School of Business ($3.29 million over a 20 year career)

Of course expected pay shouldn’t be the sole arbiter in choosing your school. One should consider the ease of entrance, convenience, and the school’s overall reputation, among others.

Read more on the affect of your school on MBA salary at Bloomberg Businessweek.